Assisted Self Discovery (ASD) aims to induce memory reconsolidation by providing a “missing experience,” an interaction, vocalization, or another form of expression denied in a pivotal early environment. By creating a container where the missing experience can be processed, the person can release painful core material, becoming a healthier, less constricted version of themselves. Through this interaction, the practitioner becomes what we call a “magical stranger,” one who brings a healing interaction that was absent from the context in which the habitual patterns first took shape.
We see the interpersonal space as an opportunity to resolve attachment-related trauma. As recounted in the International Body Psychotherapy Journal, many relational psychotherapies cite early failures in co-regulation and parental attunement as the driving factors of psychological distress in later life.
With its emphasis on the interpersonal space between the therapist and individual, the healing work we do in sessions can grant people resolution from missed attunement opportunities in childhood.
ASD supports the healing of early relational trauma through its focus on the therapist’s inner space as a potent therapeutic instrument in its own right. To create a healing internal atmosphere, we bring “loving presence”. As described in Body, Movement, and Dance Psychotherapy, ASD practitioners evoke within themselves a state of loving presence by focusing on qualities within a client that give them “non-egocentric nourishment.” By focusing on deriving a feeling rather than imparting one onto a client, presence enhances attunement with clients. attunement with clients.