The Power Therapies: A proposed mechanism for their action and suggestions for future empirical validation


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Abstract

Power Therapies claim to achieve rapid results in reducing fear elicited by a large number of situations. This paper presents a theory of how competition among stimuli may be the basis for how the Power Therapies work. The compelling features of these therapies are that they all interrupt old habits and conditioned reflexes and provide new habits and conditioning. Therefore, many of the protocols involve overcoming prior-stimulus dominance. In addition to proposing a mechanism for these therapies, this article also reveals that, despite superficial differences, power therapies fundamentally accomplish the same thing. These therapies reduce the intensity of emotional responses elicited by stimuli associated with trauma. It is proposed that they accomplish this end through working at the subcortical level of brain activity to interrupt the negative emotional responses elicited by the trauma stimuli.

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