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In the Wild

It is common in our daily lives to come across people affirming 

  • that they are not good enough

  • that they can't do x, y or z, yet

  • that they are blocked in some way by something 

  • that they are unlucky

  • that they can't learn

  • that there is evil in the world

  • that they are out of control

  • that their past has ruined their future

  • that they are too old or young, or their future is bleak

  • that they achieved something 

  • that they learned something 

  • that they are a (professional, a member of a group, skeptic, etc)

  • that they feel good or well or fit

  • that they are able whatever age they are

  • that there is good in the world

  • that they can control their own responses

  • that they can look forward 

  • that they learned from what happened

  • that they are okay now


Sometimes it's helpful, and sometimes it's not. Each will cue a response (CASE), and Landscaping will go on, LTP and LTD taking place. Reverse poems are interesting explorations of affirming.


We can choose to use Affirmational Havening to shape our Landscape. See also Transpirational Havening.


What are you affirming most often?

Question, Observe, Calibrate, Track your 'favourite' affirmations.

Project: Imagine the flow of neural traffic through the open receptors being like busy city streets. In the case of our neurology though, we strengthen the route.

Metaphor and Identity

It is common in our daily lives to come across people affirming using metaphors.

  • hanging-on

  • mouse-like, an elephant, a clown,  a chameleon

  • a mess, a jumble, a shambles, a tangle

  • at sea, a volcano, a void, black

  • lost, out of it, la la land

  • grounded, rooted, tall tree

  • found

  • related to nationality

  • a shark

  • wild card

  • outsider

  • weird

  • battling

  • journeying

  • imprisoned

  • caught in a rat race

  • ugly duckling

  • apple of their eye






Sometimes, using a metaphor is helpful, and sometimes, it is not. Each time a metaphor is used, whether it is thought or said out loud it will cue a response (CASE), and Landscaping will go on, LTP and LTD taking place. 


We can choose to use Affirmational Havening to shape our Landscape. See also Transpirational Havening as there is a close relationship which is important to know.

Principles and use

In a Havening session we usually use Affirmational Havening at the end of a session so that the client is feeling optimistic and has some clear aims in mind. However when we look at the principles of affirming we can notice that when the client shares their concerns (Presenting Issue) they are 'affirming' and have been 'affirming' this often.

And this give us some clues to their landscaping. We can wonder 'what did they learn that informed this 'affirmation'? And if we ask about that, if the time is right to do that, they may well be able to identify the primary learning experience. 

Let's look at the Principles and then at a case.


Let's have a look at a case where understanding affirming and using Affirmational Havening played a key role.

Presenting issue

The woman does not want to live anymore. And has not been eating and is ill. She has been seeing medical and mental health support teams for decades.

Exploring together

In her favourites, her dad figures strongly, sweets, interior design and privacy and, patterns of movement, rituals.
She affirms constantly that she is too big, too heavy, too tall and too strong, yet this is not logical to her as she works as a professional sportsperson.

By exploring this affirming, she identifies the first time she thought she was too big. She had been in the school gym and had looked down at her leg and thought it was 'turning into a man's leg' because of the Meaning she made of this (loss of her dreams) and the Inescapability of the four requirements of EMLI came together.


Deliberate Landscaping
After learning some ideal skills for Havening, she used Event Havening and experienced a successful result.

She then used HH, IH, AH


Further sessions and uses HH, IH, and AH daily, other learning and a return to enjoying life, many successes and eating well.

Let's look at this sequence in diagram form.

Nutshell - optimism, healthy, understands her biology more

Presenting Aims

Starts learning and using Havening
receptors depotentiation.jpg

Presenting Issues

Nutshell - pessimism, loss of health, fear as illogical

EMLI -age 12

Project: Affirmational Havening

Project: Affirmational Havening often involves using something added by someone else. For this project, choose an affirmation you make naturally, which stemmed from the input of another and start using it with Affirmational Havening.

Let's say you were affirming something someone said about you. I use an example here from when Ron said, 'I was a rock, and I kept everyone steady and connected to the basis'. I noticed I was musing on this because I had never thought of myself as a rock. My thoughts went something like this.

'I was a rock'
This felt rather curious (a new idea and a new CASE), so I added Havening Touch and started Affirmational Havening. Noted that normally people say I am like a 'big sky' and have not thought of myself as a rock before.

'I was a rock'

'I was a rock in the group'.

'I kept everyone stable and steady'.

'I am a rock'

Repeated x 6 and started accessing examples of why he might have said that and started laughing.

'What kind of rock?' (idea accepted)

Continue this exploration with a Havening practitioner.

'I could be a black red rock' (I come from an area of red sandstone)

Noted and amused at how my brain uses the information it has encoded (landscape)

The practitioner says, 'A crystal? I think you are like a crystal.' 

This interrupts and the idea is considered. I know of books which give properties to stones.

'What properties might I have? Could I be a crystal?'
Think of many and cannot choose. Process jams and stops.


During a difficult experience where I see my husband struggling not to cry, I think, 'I can help him. I am a rock. I am heavyweight enough, stable enough to steady him and the vet and the dog, and it is what everyone needs. When I check in with this again, I notice that this rock-like quality has become 'heavyweight', and I ponder again what the Cognitive visual is for me. I accessed an image of a huge rock on the beach I lived next to as a young child. I called it 'wonderful rock', and it was black and grey streaked, sitting on silver sand and was warm like a radiator from the sun. It had an unusual pool in it, and as a child, this pool and its inhabitants were like a world. 

What fascinated me about this is how our brain uses the information we encode. And that sometimes, when we draw on it, we judge it from a viewpoint shaped by other information.  In this example, two practitioners added something, and although the first self-havening exploration and the second engagement with practitioners seem to peter out, changes did occur.  It's interesting to note that a more general suggestion, 'rock', caused much googling of my mind and  'crystal' less so. Both were useful, but 'rock' fitted more with my learning experiences of playing on rocks. And these changes became evident in my self-perception and my predictions.


Project: Metaphor and Identity

If I was a character from a fairytale, I would be .....................

because .....................


If I was an animal, I'd be a .....................
because .....................

If I were a colour, I'd be .....................
because .....................

If I was a season, I'd be.....................
because .....................

If I was a superhero, I would be .....................
because .....................

A metaphor of your own
If I was ................, I would be

Some inspiration

What did you discover?

I hope this inspires you to explore Affirmational Havening. I would love to know what you discovered. Let's connect in our Messenger group and share.

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