Emotional Transformation Therapy (ETT)
By Steven Vazquez, Ph.D.
Emotional Transformation Therapy™ (ETT™) is a new form of therapy that rapidly alleviates emotional distress as well as physical pain. The term “transformation” refers to the unusual degree of change that occurs when ETT™ is used. It is a non-drug approach that can bypass the intellect and directly change human emotions. It is not the same as light therapy used to treat seasonal affective disorder (SAD), nor is it the same as “color therapy” (Spectrachrome). ETT™ was originated by Steven R. Vazquez, Ph.D., in the 1990’s and has advanced to its present form in recent years. It has been taught to professionals in eight different countries and hundreds of people in the U.S.
Recent discoveries in the use of light, sound or rhythmic movement has been observed to have psychological effects beyond talk therapy or medication use. Recently, research in child development and cognitive science has shown that our brains can be influenced by certain types of relationship interaction. Emotional Transformation Therapy™ (ETT™) combines the best of the new research on interpersonal therapy with new discoveries in visual brain stimulation,
ETT™ involves a certain type of empathetic interpersonal relationship between the client and the therapist. Each of us develops a characteristic way of relating to others that was originally influenced by our family of origin. These characteristic ways of relating are called “attachment patterns” for which there is now massive scientific research. These attachment patterns are responsible for the manner in which we regulate our emotions. Most psychological conditions are largely the result of inadequate emotional regulation. If a therapist understands a client’s attachment pattern, the therapist can interact with the client in ways that connect with the client effectively and actually influence improvement in brain function. Therefore, when a client happens to experience strong emotions, the therapist can guide him or her in ways that “contain” or change emotions.
Seeing the Light
Within this therapeutic relationship, visual brain stimulation can be used to relieve distress at rapid speeds. When light enters a person’s eyes, there are cells in the eyes called photoreceptors that convert what one sees into neural impulses. These impulses travel to almost every part of the brain and nervous system. If the therapist controls certain features of what the client sees, the direction and destination of the neural impulses can be precisely guided to the portions of the brain responsible for a certain symptom. If this process is guided well, the exact emotions, memories or thoughts responsible for a particular distress can be brought to complete relief in seconds, minutes or usually within a single session.
Many people wonder how light stimulation could possibly change chemical activity in the brain that is associated with emotional distress. Every cell in our bodies has integral membrane protiens (IMP). One class of these IMPs converts vibration such as light into biochemical signals. If a particular wavelength of light matches the targeted emotional or physical state, the experience of “resonance” is thought to occur. This principle can also be seen when one tuning fork vibrates and causes another tuning fork to also vibrate at the same rate. In the case of light resonating with emotion, the result is often a very rapid change in biochemistry and the conclusion of the targeted emotion.
It is common to feel confused after an ETT™ session because experiences may take place so quickly and strongly by a means that is unfamiliar to most people. How could looking at a light, a color or changing the angle at which light enters the eyes have such a strong effect? It is not commonly known that the system of nerves that carry out vision extends throughout the brain and nervous system. By carefully using this visual neural system in recently discovered ways, changes can be made that are quite striking. Therefore, it is important to trust the reality of your experience, not previous ideas about how therapy works or how your brain works.
Is There Scientific Evidence for ETT™?
ETT™ is based primarily on principles founded on scientific research. However, ETT™ draws together scientifically based principles that are found in an array of different fields of study. In many cases these principles had not previously been applied to psychotherapy until their use with ETT. For example, the prestigious journal Science published the findings of six experiments that showed a perceived lack of control increases “illusory pattern perception” in October of 2008. This research supports the principle used in the ETT™ method of Spectral Resonance Technique that involves viewing a specialized spectral chart. In 2002 an article in Cognitive Science about “eye scanpaths” and their relation to memory supports the basic principle used in the ETT™ method of Multidimensional Eye Movement that uses colored dowels. The concept of resonance is used in ETT™ and is a well known principle in physics. Furthermore several brain scans have been conducted before and after the use of ETT™ which have shown substantial improvements in the brains of ETT™ clients.
What Can ETT™ Be Used For?
The range of applications for ETT™ is enormous. Breakthroughs in treatment have been observed in the following conditions:
• complex trauma • posttraumatic stress disorder
• seasonal affective disorder (SAD) • anxiety and phobias • depression • panic
• attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
• obsessive compulsive disorder • substance addiction
• sleep disorders • eating disorders
• weight loss • sexual addictions • optimal performance • closed head injuries
ETT™ operates on the stress component of illness, injury, and physical pain. It has been observed to rapidly relieve the symptoms of numerous physical chronic pain conditions such as the following: migraine headaches, low back pain, temperomandibular joint pain (TMJ), sciatica, osteo and rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, reflex sympathetic dystrophy (or regional pain syndrome), and many others. ETT™ has even been used to rapidly correct marital problems at an amazing speed.
There have been numerous articles written about ETT™ and how it works that have been published in professional journals. If you would like more information about ETT™, feel free to contact Steven Vazquez, Ph.D.. via ettia.org.
Dearing, B.G., and Sing, S. (1996). Photosensitive Assessment: A Study of Color
Preference, Depression and Temperament. Subtle Energies & Medicine, 7
Laeng, B., Teodorescu, D.S. (2002). Eye scanpaths during visual imagery reenact
those of perception of the same visual scene. Cognitive Science, 26, 207-
Vazquez, S.R. (2004, Winter). The New Power Therapy: Emotional
Transformation Therapy™. Counselling Australia, 4 (2), 55-60
Vazquez, S.R (2004, Fall). The New Light Psychotherapy for SAD.
Annals, Journal of the American Psychotherapy Association.
Vazquez, S.R (2005, Spring). The New Process Color Theory. Journal of
Optometric Phototherapy, 29-32.
Vazquez, S.R. (2005, Summer). The New Paradigm for PTSD: Emotional
Transformation Therapy™. Annals, Journal of the American
Vazquez, S.R. (2007). Peripheral Light Stimulation for Rapid Emotional,
Somatic and Transpersonal Regulation. Subtle Energies & Energy
Medicine, ISSSEEM Magazine, 16 (3), 225-249.
Vazquez, S.R. (2007). Color: Its Therapeutic Power for Rapid Healing.
Subtle Energies & Energy Medicine, ISSSEEM Magazine, 17 (2), 191-213
Vazquez, S.R. A New Paradigm for Eye Movement Psychotherapy.
Annals of the American Psychotherapy Association (in press)
Whitson, J.A. and Galinsky, A.D. (2008). Lacking Control Increases Illusory
Pattern Perception. Science, 322 (5898), 115-117.