I watched for the better part of two years as the Tappan Zee bridge was replaced. The parts for the new bridge were assembled and the structure was created from deep under the water. Layer upon layer was added until the structure was capable of allowing its first passenger vehicles. It was finally complete and with the same painstaking attention to structure, the old bridge was disassembled and removed until not a trace of its existence is left. HBLU is groundbreaking in its ability to map out and dismantle the structure of trauma.

Judith Swack published her first paper on the structure of trauma in 1994. She recognized that most traumas fell into one of two categories: loss and violence. Because it takes so much energy to compensate for traumatic experiences, people who have suffered but not cleared trauma may have difficulty fully engaging in life. They remain numb even after the initial strong negative emotions have worn off.

Initial Shock

The initial shock occurs at the first introduction of trauma. The phone call, face to face meeting or first hand witnessing of the traumatic event is imprinted in the body by the adrenaline rush frozen or numbness and changes in breathing patterns. This is usually followed by some sort of disbelief or denial that the event has happened. Initial shock usually contains elements of A: Shock and Fear, B: Anger or Rage, C: Sadness or Sorrow, D:Hurt or Pain.

Limiting Beliefs

After a trauma, our minds try to make sense of the event. Limiting beliefs are thoughts you keep having over and over until you believe them. The major limiting beliefs are:

A. A person who has experienced trauma may try to identify where the responsibility lies for what has happened in order to deal with shame, guilt, and blame. Often, we tell ourselves the blame lies with us someone else or even God. “It’s my fault because… ” “It’s God’s fault because…” “How could God let this happen”?

B. “Who will take care of me now/ what is going to happen to me”?

C. “I can’t trust people/ people leave me”.

D. “I am powerless/ I have no control”.

E. “I am unlovable, unwanted, undeserving or unworthy”.

Feelings of Emptiness

Feelings of emptiness occur in loss traumas. Missing the person who is gone is part of grief. It may be accompanied by a physical feeling of emptiness in your chest or heart. People often describe feeling like they have a hole in their heart or a loss of ambition or interest in life.

Root Cause

This layer contains the past life experiences that either set the person up for the loss or that makes the loss so painful. I once treated a man who was traumatized by the loss of his job. The root cause was his parent’s painful divorce when he was 8. That trauma was never addressed so it lay dormant until his job loss triggered it.

Anticipatory Phobias

Anticipatory phobias are common in simple phobias as well as trauma. It is the fear that the traumatic event will happen again and it makes the person afraid to move forward with life. A pervasive feeling of being dead inside. The anticipatory phobia might be the fear to love again because the loss of love was so painful. It can lead people to kill off perspective relationships or businesses because of an underlying belief that “everything ends eventually” or “nothing lasts forever”, People manifest this in various idiosyncratic ways. Each dangerous to the pursuit of a happy fulfilling life.

Violence Trauma

Violence trauma follows the same basic outline but contains an additional aspect of the feeling of contamination or pollution on the part of the survivor. It is common for victims of crimes or sexual assault to describe feeling tainted or damaged. Personal space has been violated, shattering a feeling of trust and breaching boundaries. HBLU addresses this as a matter of course. It is important to me to help survivors feel safe and reestablish their sense of control and person-hood.


HBLU incorporates aspects of NLP or neuro-linguistic programming, applied kinesiology, or muscle testing and the Callahan technique of tapping. These techniques, along with the trauma outline allow me to work with clients who have suffered trauma quickly and without the fear of retraumatization. Whether you have experienced a violent trauma such as an assault, accident or injury or a loss trauma such as a loved one or job joss, HBLU clears trauma permanently in as few as two sessions.