Provocative Energy Techniques (PET)

The integration of Energy techniques with the style of Provocative Therapy

“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” – (C.G. Jung)

Provocative Energy Techniques (PET) is a unique integration of principles and techniques from the Meridian-based therapies (mainly SET, our simplified adaptation of EFT), with the humorous and paradoxical communication style and techniques of Provocative Therapy. PET addresses the multi-level nature of problems through warmth, humour and spontaneity, whilst also providing the means for rapid desensitisation of clients’ emotional problems. For most therapists, it will represent a radical departure from how they have been trained to think about what they do. If you believe that real change takes time; that therapy must always be serious; that all problems are cognitive creations; and that change is inevitably painful – this approach may turn your therapeutic world upside down.

Essentially, Provocative Therapy involves “humorously playing the devil’s advocate with the client, siding with the negative half of their ambivalence towards themselves (and towards change), seeking to show how they bind themselves in the situation, and doing all this in a way which promotes the client’s self-knowledge and capacity for change.” (Farrelly). Provocative Energy Techniques (PET) uses provocation also as a means of accessing emotional “hooks” that SET can then release. By doing this, we are able to test the congruency of the change. For example, whenever the client remembers a life event they become upset. After treatment, provocation fails to elicit the old reaction.

In PT and PET the therapist seeks to “get into” the client’s phenomenological and experiential world, mirroring this back to the client, and (humorously and perceptively) exaggerating and extending the negative aspects. In emphasising and exaggerating the “doom and gloom”, the reasons why “not to change”, and why change would be a bad thing, the Provocative Therapist is able to tap straight into the affectively-laden material which the energy therapist needs to focus his/her intervention on. PET provides a way of assisting clients rapidly to deal with the emotional “push-pull”, and thus promotes clarity and personal force for change.

PET uses the client’s own resistance to change in order to promote change – and to encourage the client to consider the positive aspects of changing. By over-focusing on the gloom and doom, the Provocative Therapist provokes the client into considering the positive polarity of a problem, mustering assertiveness and self-acceptance. PET provides powerful techniques to minimise the anxiety that accompanies such change.

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