ISE stands for Initial Sensitizing Event. It's the “first time”, the root-cause event that locked the event into memory. This initial situation is what made the client sensitive to a specific energy pattern.
The S.E.A.L. Pattern
The signature of an ISE in childhood is the S.E.A.L. pattern. SEAL stands for the four key aspects you need to watch for during a regression session:
- Energy/Emotional Intensity
Something happens to shock the Child. It’s unexpected. One moment she is feeling safe, at-one with her environment. And then something happens to change that.
The Shock occurs because the Child does not see it coming. This sends a ZZT! through the nervous system of the body. It's felt physically as the body is flooded with stress hormones.
Because the Child is unprepared for it there’s a startle response – a little “freeze” occurs. The body tenses up. The breath catches up. All the senses are tuned into what’s happening NOW.
What is happening is new. It’s unfamiliar. So the Child doesn’t have a frame of reference. The Child doesn’t know how to interpret what’s happening. This element of uncertainty makes the situation unpredictable. The Child cannot predict what’s going to happen next. And the inability to predict outcomes is a threat to survival. This generates fear.
2. Energy/Emotional Intensity
There’s intensity to the energy of the event. It may not seem like a big deal to the adult mind but to the Child feels like too much. So there’s a “ZZT!” that goes through the mind-body energy system. As it ripples throughout the nervous system of the body the body gets flooded with stress hormones. And it tightens up in readiness to respond.
The Energy has sufficient intensity to put the nervous system of the body on red alert. Stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline are felt as uncomfortable sensations in the body.
You don’t need to think when you’re facing a threat. Thinking will only slow you down. You need to act without thought. The event may not seem like a big deal to the adult thinking mind. But that’s the point. The mind of the Child is overwhelmed by the emotional intensity. And the lack of maturity often results in misinterpretations.
The Child will often report feeling alone. But this is important – alone is not an emotion. This the sense of isolation that reinforces how vulnerable the Child is feeling.
Before the shock of the event the event the Child is in a state of all-oneness. Connected to everything. Then the shock makes what’s happening the central point of focus. The thought is “I am alone” having to deal with this. That’s the underlying problem. Its having to deal with the situation alone that results in fear-based emotions.
Even if the Child is with others she feels alone. That’s because she is trying to cope with what’s happening on her own. She feels isolated. Decisions are being made without the benefit of critical thinking. These form Parts which are actual recordings of the experiences of the Child. Collectively, Parts form the Critical Faculty of the Mind which holds all our conditioning.
Perceptions form decisions which become habits of thought. We call them beliefs. Thoughts generate feelings and emotions which drive reflexes and cravings. Over time, these become habitual behaviours. And habitual behaviours eventually generate the kinds of symptoms that clients come to see you about.
The problem is a lack of support. Lack of resources. Lack of ability to meet one’s own needs because one is alone. So this is the Child lacking what is needed to meet their own need for safety and security. Or nourishment. And these perceptions of lack can result in a Victim Identity which says, “I can’t because …”
The Child’s inability to meet her own needs is a fact. It may be due to lack of ability to make sense of what’s happening. But this overall lack of power is experienced as a state of helplessness. This results in the decision “not enough.”
I’m not enough . . .
I don’t have enough . . .
There's not enough . . .
This is Trauma. Any perception of threat (real or imagined) while in a state of helplessness is trauma. That’s what the ISE is about. It SEALS the trauma into memory. It SEALs the memory into the mind and into the body.
Any perception of threat will generate fear. The perception of helplessness is a lack. Lack of power. Lack of knowledge. Lack of resources. Lack of support. Lack of ability.
Every condition we work with has roots in some kind of trauma.
Abandonment or rejection is interpreted as banishment. The Child knows she cannot survive on her own. So, the fear isn’t irrational. The Child is facing a biological threat to survival.
Abuse, whether verbal, physical, sexual, or emotional, is a survival threat. The Child lacks the resources to protect herself. Often the Child thinks, “I’m going to die!” That is a biological threat to survival.
Confusion is the result of not being able to make sense of things. If the Child cannot figure out how the world works she cannot take care of herself. That is a biological threat to survival.
Denial or withholding of something that is important to the Child is perceived as life-threatening. e.g. taking away the Child’s security blanket; scheduled feedings which leave the Child having to cope with physical hunger. Not being able to get food or security when you need it is a biological threat to survival.
Conflict. Any situation of conflicted energy can cause the Child to feel threatened. e.g. Mom and Dad arguing.
Mom’s ambivalence about being pregnant. The Child needs to know it’s going to be taken care of, that its needs are going to be met. So, these things are often erroneously interpreted as a threat to survival.
Once the pattern has been SEALed within, these unresolved childhood themes can get re-stimulated by situations in adult life that act as reminders of the ISE. For example, a spouse’s infidelity can trigger abandonment fear; the loss of a job or money can trigger the survival fear of not being able to meet one’s needs. Lack becomes both a self-perception and a world-view.
- Not good enough.
- Not smart enough.
- Not capable enough.
- Not pretty enough.
- Not tall enough.
- Not strong enough.
- Not powerful enough.
- Not enough time.
- Not enough money.
- Not enough support.
These beliefs are rooted in the past and SEALed into permanent memory through the SEAL pattern. So watch for the SEAL pattern in your sessions.
- An ISE in childhood always begins with a Shock or surprise.
- This will generates sensation which ripple energetically through the nervous system of the body.
- The Child is acutely aware of a sense of isolation, of having to cope with the event Alone.
- The Child lacks the ability to adequately meet it's own needs.