by Roby Abeles PsyD
There’s a whole story I tell about Crocodiles which is my metaphor for addiction. Thats why it is called Crocodile set up. You don’t need that. But I do teach that too when I teach this method. It is basically a set up for relapsers. But of course can be used with first time attempts for sobriety.
The theory behind this is that SOME addicts have dissociated the good feelings from the consequences of using, and so when they think of using/acting out, they CAN’T put the consequences of it with that craving. They do not have one continuous story – they have 2 disconnected stories. The goal of this set up is to CONNECT the 2 stories, so when they have a craving, they also are connected to the consequence of their using. This gives them an advantage.
There are 3 BSPs in this set up.
2 at first and when those are connected put down the pointer and Start the set up with the 3rd Brainspot.
BSP 1. Represents the GOOD FEELING/EUPHORIC RECALL of using. Find this using inside window, and ask the client to look through the pointer to the wall behind and make note of where the spot is. You can also use a sticker to bookmark that spot on the wall, as you are not going to hold the pointer on this spot. BSP 2. Represents the BAD FEELING ASSOCIATED TO THE CONSEQUENCES of using. (Lost job, lost family, hangovers, humiliation, jail, etc etc) Find this using inside window, and hold pointer as usual.
Ask the client, in their own time, to move their eyes back and forth between the 2 brainspots. Keep going until you have one continuous story. Once you have one continuous story you take the pointer down.
THEN Find BSP #3. Which represents a future without using. Have them talk about what that might be like, keep them orienting towards the pleasure of it. If they can’t do this yet, Brainspot any obstacles in the way.
If not obstacles, find BSP 3# and keep on it while encouraging the expansion of this story until they feel it, see it, like it and it is grounded into their body.
This can take several sessions to complete. Take your time. Watch it unfold and stay curious.
Dr. Roby Abeles is an accomplished psychotherapist with over 30 years of experience in diverse clinical, academic, government, and human services environments. She provides clinical supervision to clients world-wide, is an international Brainspotting, Trauma and Addictions trainer. Her passion is helping others access their own healing potential and inner wisdom.
Her current private practice is in Sydney, Australia, where she provides clinical consultation and psychotherapy for addiction, mood disorders and trauma related issues, to clients who come to her from all over Australia and overseas. Dr. Abeles provides her clients with short-term, intensive healing and issue resolution sessions provided in one or two week blocks, with up to 4 hour sessions daily. Treatment is fully integrated; including brain-based, embodied, relational therapies for achieving optimal mental health, including referrals for naturopathic, orthomolecular and functional neurology treatments as necessary.
Her specialist areas of training are Brainspotting™ (Australian BSP Trainer) Somatic Experiencing (SEP), Ego State Therapy, 12 Step model of Recovery, [Dr Abeles has over 30 years of sobriety] and the M.A.T.E.S.® Regulation Program, co-developed with Salene Souza.
Dr Abeles has a Doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology, a MA in Counselling and Spiritual Psychology, and a BA in Psychology, specialising in Chemical Dependency Counselling. She is a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT#36667) in California, USA, and a Clinical member of PACFA (20556) in Australia.