BWRT® & Modern Neuroscience

by R.Bellchambers-Wilson, MIBWRT, Dip. Hyp. Psych

The purpose of this short article is to look at a brief look at how the BWRT® process is standing up against the findings of modern neuroscientific research. Whilst it is well known that BWRT® had its origins in an idea that occurred to it’s creator, Terence Watts, while reviewing the work of Benjamin Libet it is also worth noting that the field of neuroscience has made great advances since his famous experiments back in the early 1980. I do not intend to get involved in any of the ongoing debates about free-will, which was the primary motivation behind Libet’s work because, as we will see, they are nothing but a sideshow to the point Terence Watts picked up on and eventually developed into the BWRT® procedure.

Before continuing it is quickly worth noting that one of the main principles behind BWRT® is that it is directed at changing the negative emotional response a person has in response to a given trigger situation to something positive or at least neutral. It is true that BWRT® is not unique in this objective but what makes it different is the method adopted and the range of variations of this technique (called protocols) that have been, and continue to be, developed for a wide range of presenting conditions. So instead of being a ‘one solution fits all’ approach the basic BWRT® process can be adapted and modified as new information becomes available regarding how the brain behaves in specific circumstances by the creation of a new or modification of an existing protocol

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BWRT® - what is it?

BWRT® - BrainWorking Recursive Therapy® - is a new therapeutic model which is achieving wonderful results every bit as fast as the modern need for an ‘instant fix’ requires. The outline given here of the process scarcely does it justice, nor does it convey the excitement with which many therapists are greeting it. 


Free Will

In 1983, the scientist Benjamin Libet made a startling discovery - all decisions are made by the physical brain around 1/2 to 1/3 of a second before we become aware of them. This means that we do not have free will - this is not guesswork, not an assumption, but a scientifically proven fact. There’s nothing mysterious, spiritual, or ‘spooky’ about it and no assertion that everything in life is ‘pre-ordained’. The truth is actually far simpler than that; the physical brain instantly responds to input from the world and from our own senses, and assesses that input to see if there is a pattern that has been encountered before. This happens at collossal speed far below the level of conscious awareness and so it’s likely that what we consider to be the subconscious is just the physical brain process. There’s no value judgement being made, no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ course of action, just a pattern being matched. The process is no more selective than a computer keyboard - every key is as valid as every other key, and it’s only when what we have typed appears on the screen that a value judgement occurs as we assess whether what we have typed was what we wanted. The brain does not and cannot care, simply activating a pattern that has been activated before in response to similar stimuli. Emotional responses are much slower and appear far later, in the consciously aware part of the brain.

As a result of the way evolution works, any stimulus - think of it as data input - received by the brain has to traverse the same route that it has always done since the arrival of the first sentient animals on the planet. That is: oldest part of the brain first, the Reptilian Complex, then the rather newer Paleomammalian Complex - you can think of these as the ‘pattern recognition matrix’ and as far as can be discovered, there is no sense of self in either of those sections. Finally, it reaches the ‘modern human’ Neomammalian complex and subsequent conscious awareness - we realise that ‘something is going on’. Libet’s experiments showed this journey takes between 1/2 and 1/3 second, during which time it travels around 50 metres of neural pathway and undergoes thousands upon thousands of tests that check for a continued match to any recognised pattern. Some of the neurons are as small as 1 mm long and the data input, which is travelling at around 200 mph or more, is tested up to 1000 times at each end of the neuron. For reference, the brain has around 85 bn neurons - some say 100 bn.

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BWRT® – A Thoroughly Modern Therapy

BWRT® is the acronym for BrainWorking Recursive Therapy® a new therapeutic model which is achieving results every bit as fast as the modern need for an ‘instant fix’ requires. And it really is instant a lot of the time… certainly completed inside a single session and often without any initial consult first. It’s hard to do justice to it in an article but suffice it to say that the therapists who have already learned it have greeted it with great excitement. Comments like these from the Facebook page are common:

       “Absolutely gobsmacked how quickly clients can reorganise and create new neuropathways with this new therapy - with last client it only took 5 min and she was surprised as well, when went to check onto the "past" memory and feeling- there were no disturbing ones left at all! hypnosis, no NLP, CBT or EFT, I myself finding it hard to believe the results Thank you, Terence for sharing your knowledge with us so we can educate others”

The therapy model was inspired by the work of a scientist by the name of Benjamin Libet; in 1983, he made the startling discovery that all decisions are made by the physical brain more than one-third of a second before we are aware of them – 330 milliseconds to be precise. The idea takes some getting used to because it means that we really do not have free will… this is not guesswork, not an assumption but a scientifically proven fact. And if you’re now thinking: “Well, yes, ok, but I can change my mind any time I want to!” you’re quite right, you can. But even then...

(This article originally appeared in the journal 'Unlimited Human' )

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BWRT as a professional therapy

by R.Bellchambers-Wilson, MIBWRT, Dip. Hyp. Psych

BrainWorking Recursive Therapy (BWRT®) is a relative newcomer to the range of psychotherapeutic techniques available to professional practitioners. Despite this it is making astonishing progress towards acceptance as a mainstream therapy having already been accepted as a valid course for study by members of the British Psychological Society as a part of their continuing professional development (CPD) requirements and also in being granted true Institute status in the UK by The Secretary of State. 

In this article I will compare some of the reasons for this rapid rise by comparing the process to that of one of the oldest established mainstays of psychotherapy, namely hypnotherapy. This should not to be seen as an attack on hypnotherapy, I fully expect it to be a primary form of therapy for some time to come but its longevity to this point does make for an interesting comparison.

BWRT® was granted institute status because of the innovative research and development work performed by it’s creator, Terence Watts. That process consisted of an in-depth review of the findings of neuroscientific research into how and why we act and behave in the ways that we do. The specific questions behind Terence’s quest were:

  • Why we sometimes can't stop ourselves doing things.
  • Why we sometimes feel that we just cannot do something we would really like to.
  • Why we so often limit ourselves from getting on with life.
  • Why we sometimes give up on something without even trying properly to do it.
  • Why we sometimes fear something when there's no real reason to do so.
  • Why some situations 'trigger' uncomfortable feelings, even though we have no idea why.
  • Why therapy doesn't always work as we want it to.

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