mature asian couple walking on beach talking about raw spots and hold me tight Seattle, EFT

When you think of “raw spots,” what comes to mind? During Hold Me Tight® Seattle workshops participants often give answers like: “sore”, “injury”, “scabbed over” and “old wound”.

We define raw spots as partially healed-over emotional wounds that are still festering and raw under the scar tissue. In day-to-day life raw spots generally go unnoticed and unremembered. Then when our partner bumps one we suddenly lash out, shut down, or suppress the pain. A half-second later we tell ourselves a story about why we are in pain. This story usually blames our partner or ourself. Bumped raw spots, the emotions they activate, and the stories we tell ourselves drive much of our disconnect and conflict patterns.

When a raw spot is hit we reflexively go into fight, flight, freeze, appease or disassociate mode. This takes less than 1/100 of a second. Our sudden reactive change in emotion, feeling, and action can become our signal that a raw spot has been hit. By following the five steps below, we can use these sudden reactive responses to help us understand and tame our cycle.

Notice the abruptly change in emotionfeeling, or behavior. Was I talking calmly and suddenly raise my voice and call my partner out? Did I suddenly feel tense, or did I notice my heart drop into my stomach as I shutdown? Did I go from 0 to 60?

Feel – Next, allow yourself to feel the sensation and energy in yourself instead of moving away from them reflexively. Ask yourself questions like: Where do I feel the energy? What does the tension feel like? How fast or shallow am I breathing?

Think – Now notice what you’re thinking about you and or your partner. How do you explain to yourself what just happened? You might think something like: “They don’t care about me.” “I’ll ever get it right with them.” “They never listen.” “I failed them again”.

Connect – Follow your feelings back prior to your current relationship, often into childhood. When was a time you felt similarly? When was a time you told yourself similar things? Memories could be with a parent, sibling, teacher, coach, or a stranger who harmed you. It could also be a past romantic partner. Once a memory comes to mind ask yourself: “Who was involved?” “What happened right before these feelings and thoughts came up?” “What did I do to get through the experience”?

Share – Now that you have linked a sudden reactive response to your partner with an event that created the raw spot or unhealed wound, it’s time to share with your partner. It could sound something like, “Do you remember last night when I stopped talking mid conversation? I figured out a raw spot got bumped and it brought up a lot of past hurt. I think it relates to the time that…”

This process is simple to understand and hard to follow. Doing the steps requires us to notice and feel things we don’t normally pay attention to. At Hold Me Tight® Seattle we believe it’s worth the investment in your relationship or marriage to do this hard work, and so do the couples who attend our workshops.

Listen to Alexandra tell about her powerful experience with HMTS Workshop Conversation 2 – Raw Spots.

Hear more of Rick and Alexandra’s experience on YouTube or Facebook.

You can find additional support for the process through links in the outline as well as a blank cycle diagram adapted from our Hold Me Tight® Seattle couple workbook.