Psychotherapy Out of Bounds

PSYCHOTHERAPY Out of Bounds, continued
An Anti-Histaminic Auntie-Body
It was mentioned earlier in this chapter that allergies are a product of three things: perhaps a genetic predisposition which, if present, is immutable, the availability of the noxious substance or the allergen in the environment, and the stress-related reactivity of the target cells which react to the allergen. There is little that anyone can do about a person’s existing genetic inheritance and, aside from living in an environmentally controlled glass house, there is little that can be done about the seasonal presence of allergens. In fact, the allergists’ and homeopaths’ use of diluted doses of the allergen to desensitize the sufferer’s allergic reactivity is really an ‘in vivo’ process of stimulating a limited, sub-clinical reaction to allow the body to habituate non-reactivity. That’s right, they set out to unlearn the immune- allergic reaction. And this method does not work all that well with many people for a number of specifiable reasons.
Felicity has treated several people’s allergies by systematic desensitization (Wolpe’s RIT or Quirk’s SCARS method) or hypnotic procedures. These may be boring. A story about a person treated by a more ‘modern’ (NLP) technique might be more interesting.
Primula had suffered from hay fever and asthma for many years, sometimes accompanied by itchy skin. These were reactions to cats, house dust and tree or grass spores. She was uncomfortable inside or outside, or anywhere near cats – which she adored.
Felicity pointed out to her that there was no real ‘danger’ from any of her three allergens. She acknowledged that, but said she nevertheless reacted to them. Felicity pointed out that, since there was nothing dangerous about them, her brain must be making a mistake in maintaining its vigilant readiness to react to their presence with reactivity of the target allergic cells in her body. She agreed. He asked her how they might get her brain to react to these allergens as though they were harmless. She didn’t know.

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