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Welcome to the blog. Enjoy browsing around and reading whatever article catches your eye, or use the “Search Blog Posts” on the right column to find a specific topic you’re interested in. Topics range from the uses of Self-hypnosis to exploring new therapy approaches.

In part 1 of this article we looked briefly at the beginnings of Havening.
Here we’ll attempt to describe how it works and a little bit of the processes behind it.
Why is physical touch involved?
Because your body is an electrical-chemical organ. ANY sensory input — anything you see, hear, smell, taste or feel — is transduced into an electrical/chemical signal to be sent to the brain in order to be perceived.
The electrical part of that signal can be measured in frequencies. Different frequencies cause the body to release different chemicals.
As an example, very fast frequencies (30–100Hz) are classified as gamma waves and the chemicals the body releases because of them are stress chemicals like cortisol and adrenaline. Very slow frequencies (5-4 Hz) are called Delta waves and the chemicals the body releases are very different. These are relaxation response chemicals like oxytocin, serotonin and dopamine.
This is why the Havening Techniques employ touch. Studies show that when touch is applied to certain areas of the body, the body creates Delta waves. (Harper, M. (2012). Taming the amygdala: An EEG analysis of exposure therapy for the traumatized. Traumatology, 18 (2), 61–74.doi:10.1006/ccog.1999.0393)
This is the secret behind Havening. It is also behind all other psycho-sensory therapies, however most of them don’t know that.
In devising the Havening touch, Dr. Ronald Ruden utilized the findings from Harper’s study and created a method that takes some of the methodologies of the earlier psycho-sensory therapies and strips out the parts that don’t work. Notably, the Harper study shows that tapping on meridian points or the gamut point, essential parts of the tapping systems, has no advantage so Ruden left that out of the Havening protocols. Why does Havening use stroking? It works better for most people because it is subjectively more soothing and reassuring feeling than tapping.
The results are remarkable. And, let’s take a look a little deeper as to why.
If a person experiences a traumatic event a small, almond-shaped part of the brain called the amygdala takes over operational control of the brain to ensure your survival.
When that happens, particular glutamate receptors called AMPA receptors become potentiated on the post synaptic surface of the lateral amygdala and you go into full fight or flight mode. That’s where you will run like crazy or fight like a demon in order to survive.
AND what makes a traumatic memory unique is its permanence. Dr. Ruden believes this is caused at the moment of traumatization by the activation of a PKMzeta- like enzyme that phosphorylates those AMPA receptors, permanently anchoring them into place.
This is why anything that reminds us of the event will trigger this encoded neurobiological pathway and produce those flashbacks and anxieties. It also explains why traditional therapies do little or nothing to remove or heal the trauma… talking about it sometimes can even make it worse.
So how is Havening different? How does it get in there to alter this seemingly permanent condition?
As mentioned, the low-frequency Delta Waves created by the Havening touch cause various chemicals like oxytocin, serotonin, GABA and dopamine to be produced in the brain. Those “electroceuticals” are a pleasant enough experience, but Havening doesn’t stop there.
The Delta waves also cause voltage-sensitive calcium channels to open on the amygdala neurons allowing calcium to enter the cells. This leads to the activation of an enzyme called calcineurin, a phosphatase which removes the PKM zeta like phosphate from the AMPA receptors.
In other words, the calcineurin basically dissolves the glue which holds the AMPA receptors in place, and they become depotentiated, meaning that they are reabsorbed back into the neuron and no longer able to transmit – permanently.
So the formerly traumatized individual can often still remember THAT the event happened but it has no emotional content anymore to stop them from living a full life.
I’m sure you will agree that this is a huge step forward in the treatment of trauma and phobias. In the hands of a skilled professional the changes can be profound.
And, for me, the fact that it works is very much equalled by Dr. Ruden’s comprehensive research and explication of why it works. I’ll explain more of why that is SO important to me in the next part of this article.

The Havening Techniques® are a truly remarkable new “psycho-sensory” therapy that I predict will change the world of psychotherapy as we know it.

What is a psycho-sensory therapy? It is a therapy aimed at psychological or emotional healing (psycho), but uses the body (sensory) to get there.

Different forms of psycho-sensory therapies include EFT, TFT and other “tapping” techniques, EMDR or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing.

With the tapping techniques either the client or the therapist physically taps with their fingertips on specified locations on the face and body. The stated theory behind it is that doing so brings energy to the person’s “energy meridians,” as described in Chinese Acupuncture systems.

With EMDR the client is asked to move their eyes laterally from left to right. The theory here is that this bi-lateral stimulation creates new associations between the traumatic memory and more adaptive memories or information.

Both therapies have been shown to be effective for many people, particularly in the treatment of trauma.

However, both therapies have also met with skepticism from some scientists who question the validity of the mechanisms underlying the techniques.

One such skeptic was a New York City doctor by the name of Dr. Ronald Ruden. Ruden earned a PhD in organic chemistry from Northwestern University and did research at Harvard with Noble laureate E.J. Corey. (Dr. Corey won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1990 “for his development of the theory and methodology of organic synthesis”.) After Harvard Ruden got his MD from Mount Sinai School Of Medicine. He is currently is an internist with an active clinic in New York.

In the early 2000s Dr. Ruden was introduced to tapping by the British hypnotist, Paul McKenna. He was open minded and asked if there was a book he could read on the subject. McKenna recommended a book by Roger Callahan, the creator of TFT, and Ruden sent for it.

A week or so later, Ruden was in his office reading the book when one of his fellow physicians at his clinic mentioned they had a phobia. He said, “Oh, really? You have a phobia? Would you like to try something?”

He opened the book to the page on removing phobias, read the directions out loud and she followed them, tapping on the prescribed spots while saying some affirmational statements. To their shock and delight, the phobia went away after just a few minutes.

This got his attention, as you can well imagine. Throughout the rest of the day, whenever a patient would come in, he said, “Oh, by the way. Do you have a phobia about anything?”  He did another five sessions throughout the day and they all worked.

Now, Dr. Ruden is a medical doctor. As a western medicine guy, the explanations for why tapping worked just didn’t make sense to him, yet he couldn’t deny the results he was observing. So he decided to put his Ph.D. cap back on and do research into why this stuff actually worked.

He dived into the medical literature. Papers began to pile up on the floor of his office as months turned into years. He said that he did about four years of research in the direction of the process of memory consolidation; thinking was the answer to why it worked. Finally he decided no, it wasn’t the answer, so it was back to the drawing board. He said, “But that’s why they call it research. If you got it right the first time, it would just be search.”

He went off and started researching another theory and finally discovered he believes to be the answer. This explanation is explained quite fully in his 2010 book, When the Past Is Always Present.

I’ll write more about this soon, and for right now, if you want to learn more about this remarkable, life-changing therapy, you can watch this video I made about it:

If you want to find out how YOU can get certified as a Havening Techniques Practitioner, come to our almost-free INTRO to Havening.

Watch demonstrations of Havening; experience it for yourself
• Tuesday evening June 12, 6:30PM-8:30PM

TRS Professional Suites, 40 Exchange Place, 3rd Floor, NYC.
Just come! We’ll be glad to have you.

Get more details and register for the classes HERE:
Call Doug O’Brien  at 718-928-8279 or E-Mail:

There is a remarkable fallacy that is prevalent among people considering using Hypnosis for losing weight. That fallacy is the Hypnosis will someone MAKE them lose weight without having to exercise, change their way of eating or even much THINK about the process of losing weight.

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Last October I attended a workshop on a new therapy called “Havening” that just totally amazed me. I started using it immediately with clients and have gotten some spectacular results with it.

It is called “Havening” because, as I understand it, its first application was in the treatment of Trauma. According to the creator of Havening, Dr. Ron Ruden, one of the criteria for an experience to be classified in our minds as a trauma is it has to include a feeling of inescapability. The person feels that there is no “safe haven” where he or she can go to escape. The process of Havening, then, helps to create a sense of having such a refuge.

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