Matrix Reimprinting is a way of using EFT with specific traumatic memories. Developed around 2010 by Karl Dawson in the UK, this technique has quickly spread around the world because of the profound level of transformation it delivers. Here’s the basic idea:
When we experience a trauma (which means anytime we go from fight or flight into the freeze response), a part of us splits off to contain the unbearable feelings so that we can carry on and survive.
This seems to be a natural protection mechanism that we share with all other animals – in the face of imminent death we go into shock. We dissociate from our body. This way we never fully experience the trauma, but on the other hand that part of us that splits off never stops experiencing the trauma.
For us it’s a memory, but for our younger self it’s a current event.
In Matrix Reimprinting we call this younger self an ECHO, which stands for Energetic Consciousness Hologram. It’s energetic in the sense that the younger self has no physical body – it lives in our local fields as part of the larger quantum field (the term Matrix was actually coined in 1944 by physicist Max Planck to describe the quantum field).
The ECHO has no body but it does have an independent consciousness. If you had a traumatic experience when you 7 years old for example, the part of you that split off still has that exact same 7 year old consciousness. You’ve lived through many years, gone through many experiences and learned many things. She’s still trapped in that original event.
The problem is that when something in your life now triggers that old memory, you may suddenly feel the 7 year old’s feelings. In a sense you’re being hijacked by the past. This is why we sometimes have a disproportionate reaction to events. Or we feel intense emotions that don’t really make sense – like fear or anxiety when nothing bad seems to be happening.
This experience of being hijacked can be confusing and scary sometimes, like in the case of panic attacks. We may worry that we’re going crazy, which just adds to the stress and fear! What’s really happening is we’re feeling the feelings of a younger self, often without even realizing it.
So in Matrix Reimprinting that younger self becomes the real client, so to speak. If I’m working with you, we’ll become co-practitioners for a time so that we can help your younger self.
When I first began doing Matrix I admit that I was skeptical about the younger self being “real” – in the sense that it’s autonomous and not just being made up in my client’s imagination. And then something happened that totally convinced me.
I was working with a woman in rural Michigan, here in the US. But this woman had grown up in Russia and had a delightful Russian accent. We began working on a memory from when she was about 5 years old. I had her step into the scene and take her younger self’s hand, then introduce herself – “I’m you from the future, I’m here to help you”.
The next step was to ask the younger self what she was feeling. My client opened her eyes and said “She won’t answer. She’s looking right at me but seems confused”. I had only just started using Matrix and had never run into anything like this before. To be honest, I think I might have panicked for a moment – “It isn’t working!”.
But then it occurred to me to ask my client “Are you speaking English to her?”
“Yes, of course”
“Does the little girl speak English?”
“No!”“Could you speak to her in Russian?”
And then we were off and running. That was a turning point in my thinking. ECHOs are real! If my client had just been making the interaction up in her head, simply using her imagination, there’s no way this would have happened.
Because they’re frozen in time, often many years ago, younger selves often have access to memories that we’ve long since forgotten. And they may have ideas for what they’d like to have happen that we would never come up with. It’s kind of amazing sometimes.
So when you connect with your younger self in a memory, I’d have you ask a few questions:
“What are you feeling?”
“What did you decide in this moment – about your self or about life?”
I would then lead you through tapping on your younger self. This is done in imagination - everywhere you imagine tapping on her, I would tap on you (or have you tap on yourself if we were working via Skype). Though regular EFT is very fast and effective, tapping directly on the younger self is even better. Even in dire memories, it often takes just a few minutes to tap away their distress.
But Wait, There’s More!
Helping the younger self release their distress is only the beginning. We’re also looking at what they decided in that moment – what they were thinking to make sense of what was happening to them. These decisions often become the core beliefs, or perceptual filters that mess up our lives. And the younger the younger self, the more absurd their decisions tend to be.
I’m 4 years old and happily playing on the floor with my toy fire truck. Suddenly my folks are arguing and daddy hits mommy! In a situation like this I’m very likely to go into the Freeze response and I might well decide something like: “It’s not safe to play (or be happy) because something bad will happen.”
Children seem hardwired to take responsibility for everything going on around them. This isn't just egocentric, it’s a survival mechanism. If it’s my fault that mommy drinks, maybe I can change myself and things will get better. This means children often make terrible decisions:
“The world is a dangerous place”
“People you love will abandon you”
“ It’s not safe to relax”
“I have to hide who I really am or I’ll be rejected”
“I must be in control at all times”, etc...
These negative core beliefs set us up for failure. We begin to misinterpret situations to fit our expectations. Karl Dawson says “We’re always looking for confirmation that our beliefs are true”. Unfortunately we tend to find that confirmation, often by re-enacting the same bad experiences all throughout our lives.
With Matrix Reimprinting we have an elegant solution for this seeming glitch in our human design. Once we’ve tapped away the younger self’s distress, we ask them “How would you like this picture to change?”
Sometimes their answer astonishes my adult client (which is always fun to watch!) but invariably the new picture reverses the negative decision (belief) formed in the original scene. Sometimes changing the picture for the ECHO is easy and automatic and sometimes it’s quite a healing journey.
For example, the younger self says “I want mommy to give me a hug”. I ask my client “Can you picture that for your younger self?” If the answer is yes then that’s great.But sometimes my client will say “No! I can’t picture that at all! My mom would never give me a hug.”
In that case we might end up tapping on mom in that memory – helping her get to a better place where she can actually love her child. We could even travel back in time to when mom was a little girl and something bad happened and help mom’s younger self. With Matrix Reimprinting we have access to deeper levels of healing as needed. Once the trauma is discharged, and the ECHO is established in a new, much better picture, we go through a process to re-imprint that picture in the client’s mind, body and heart and then send it out into the Matrix. It’s hard to overstate how profound this can be to experience.
Ideally, and most often, when my client looks back at the memory of the traumatic event, they automatically see the new picture and feel the lovely new positive feelings associated with it. And behind the scenes their belief system has shifted, which begins to change their entire experience of life.
I want to stress that we’re changing the picture for the benefit of the younger self.
For the younger self the change is very real. We’re NOT denying that the actual event took place. As our adult selves we can always access the original memory if we wish (though the emotional distress will likely be gone).
But now our younger self is no longer trapped, re-living the same horrible moment endlessly. Instead, when we look back we have the lovely new picture which becomes a source of pleasure and profound transformation for us.
When I encountered Matrix Reimprinting I fell head over heels in love. And the honeymoon never ended. I've now had the honor of teaching Matrix to hundreds of EFT practitioners and providing countless life-changing sessions for clients. If you’d like to try it out for yourself, please visit my Work with Rob page.