HOW TO DO BLST

NOTE: Before you start the actual practice, read the tips below. Also you can use the companion web app to guide you through the process here.

 

1. Choose a target:

 

  • A picture/ memory or

  • A thought/belief or

  • A feeling or

  • A body sensation or

  • The thing that you are worried about

 

We begin BLST by choosing a something that we wish to reduce distress or worry about. It can be something that you are ruminating about or simply a way of transforming an emotion e.g. anger to calm.

 

2.  Rate it: 

Once you have formed your target you should scale it using the 0-10 (with 0 being no distress and 10 being extremely distressing). One way of helping you do this is by paying attention to your body sensations you feel when you think about the target. Notice where in your body you experience tightness, butterflies, shakiness etc.

 

3. Come up with a coping statement/ positive belief

 

BLST not only desensitises traumas or distressing thoughts and feelings, but it enables you to replace negative beliefs you developed about yourself and install a more positive or balanced belief. This step involves having you think about what you WANT to believe about yourself when you think of your target. The belief needs to be in POSITIVE ACTION LANGUAGE, not negative e.g “I am not dumb”. A positive belief would be “I am an intelligent person”. The thing about a positive belief or a coping statement is, you don’t have to believe it right now BUT as we practice BLST, you will find that this belief starts to take a life of its own. Here are some examples of positive beliefs/ coping statements:

 

I can get through this

I know what I have to do

This will pass

I am confident

I am strong

I have got this

 

4. Commence BLST

 

On the BLST app:

  • Set the speed of the CLICK

  • Set the length of time you want to practice (tip: set it for at least 1 ½ minutes)

  • Start the app

  • Close your eyes

  • Focus on your target whilst listening to the sound

 

When the timer/sound stops open your eyes:

 

  1. Check in with your emotions/ thoughts/ body sensations

  2. Rate your distress out of 10

  3. Go again (press the start button)

When the timer/sound stops open your eyes:

 

  1. Check in with your emotions/ thoughts/ body sensations

  2. Rate your distress out of 10

  3. Go again (press the start button)

 

When the timer/sound stops open your eyes:

 

  1. Check in with your emotions/ thoughts/ body sensations

  2. Rate your distress out of 10

  3. Go again  BUT this time:

 

  • Focus on your target whilst

  • Listening the sound whilst

  • Repeating in your head your positive belief/ coping statement

 

When the timer/sound stops open your eyes:

 

  1. Check in with your emotions/ thoughts/ body sensations

  2. Rate your distress out of 10

  3. If your distress is still around 5, repeat the process using your positive/ coping statement. The aim is to get your distress down to a 2 or 3.

 

TIPS:

 

  • Before you proceed, remember that you can call upon your happy/ calm/ safe space if you are becoming too distressed during the practice. Your calm space is something you can visualise, e.g. a beach, lake, a forest, snow, a road, a landscape, clouds etc. Preferably, a place you have been before that it is easy to recall but is neutral (ie. it won't take you back to memories of a time involving people that are no longer in your life or trigger emotions like grief etc).

  • Don't work on something TOO BIG (eg like a highly distressing trauma memory), you should leave that for your next therapy appointment.

  • Make sure that you are in a comfortable place to practise free from distraction. If you are at work, this might be outside or even on the toilet seat. 

  • If you are particularly distressed, you may just need to use your safe/calm space visualisation while you practice. This would look like this:

 

  1. Start the app at the speed that you find most relaxing

  2. Close your eyes and focus on your calm/happy/safe space

  3. As you focus on this, repeat in your mind your positive belief or coping statement 

 

  • Try not to put too much pressure on yourself to make something happen or feel better. Sometimes our expectations can increase or anxiety. 

 

  • Sometime shorter sets at increased speeds might be more effective in shifting an emotion.

 

  • Sometimes longer sets with decreased speed may be more relaxing, especially if you are using the app to aid with sleep.

 

  • Try focusing on the main issue/ worry that is troubling you rather than getting caught up with multiple issues that are arising in the practice.

 

  • If you are finding the practice too difficult take a break

 

Remember- the aim of this exercise is training your brain to become less reactive to distressing thoughts, feelings, memories, urges, body sensations etc. You may have a different result every time you practise. How you feel during and after practising may be influenced by a number of factors outside of your control. Don't be disheartened if you don't experience symptom relief every time.

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