The unique, unpredictable process of AT
Regular practice of AT, with its passive concentration, encourages a shift to a different mode of perception, to a witnessing self that observes without judging or striving. This will be a novel and sometimes difficult experience for many AT clients at the start, requiring careful explanation and support from the therapist, not to mention practice from the client. In time, the client realises that subtle changes have taken or are taking place (e.g. a general state of calmness; a sense that ‘actually it doesn’t matter’ – whatever current adversity).
However, in reaching that new inner space, people may become more aware of and open to emotions, feelings and memories, some of which may be temporarily disturbing, if they have been repressed for some time. We learn to observe and accept; and also to address these emotions. Again, the role of the therapist is crucial in helping the client to manage and work through any ‘unfinished business’ that may surface during AT. Although the AT procedure is standard – everyone learns the same – the process is unique to each individual.
There may also be an expanded access to feelings, memories, intuition, and creativity, which suggests an opening of communication across the corpus callosum, the connecting bridge between the two brain hemispheres. Analysis of central nervous system activity during AT has indeed suggested an increased balancing of the left and right hemispheres, together with an increase in Alpha wave activity and possibly an upward shift into the Theta region.