Getting the Embodied Emotional Survival Strategy

  • Gernot HaukeEmail author


Survival Strategies are cognitive-affective schemata. They describe learned behaviour paths that in the course of life have often led to the desired satisfaction of needs. They are offered as behaviour options by our Impulsive System in certain situations as they have already proved themselves effective on a whole range of occasions. This “offer” happens very quickly and unconsciously, i.e., one doesn’t give it any further thought. It secures the emotional balance in the short term, and preserves a minimum of ability to act and feeling of competence. In condensed form it provides essential information on how a person “ticks” in problematic situations. We are dealing here with a “schematic” answer. Although it often fits and leads to the desired satisfaction of needs, the schema does not take into account the special features of new situations, e.g., when a certain type of interaction partner enters the equation. Then in the long term, even an increased input of energy will not achieve the target. Over time this gives rise to various symptoms: stress and exhaustion, burn-out, withdrawal, physical symptoms etc. soon appear. The Survival Strategy conveys not only a fundamental understanding for the client, but also gives the therapeutic intervention direction, structure and content. For this reason it is worked out as far as possible within the first 3 h of the therapy. Clients generally bring sufficient occasions for this to the session. These tend to be about their everyday, practical problem situations that push them again and again to the limits of their available behaviour repertoire.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Embodiment Resources Academy (ERA)MunichGermany

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