Jack talks with Etienne Gravel about his Anti-Virus for the Mind system which specializes in helping people deal with depression by focusing on the unresolved conflict, he calls a ” mind virus,”.
Similar to a computer virus, the person has issues that revolve around whatever caused that problem in the first place. Without the proper tools, people can’t fix the feelings surrounding the root cause of their problem. The symptoms, experienced on a daily basis, are what people call depression.
Etienne explains that every memory has an emotional counterpart to it, or a “charge”. So a negative memory would have a negative charge associated with it. People encode information in the same way: eyes, ears, feelings, touch, sound, etc. and it’s possible to reprogram, distort or change the charge and the feelings associated with negative memories and experiences in the mind.
Jack:Okay. We are back with Influencers Radio. And today’s guest, I’m really happy to have him on because I’ve actually been reading some of the work that he’s been doing, which is so really simple and effective that it’s almost, he looks at the whole problem.
He helps people in the area of mental health, specifically depression. And it’s something that really opened my eyes around the whole core of depression, but not necessarily. You know, depression’s such a big and broad-stroked word, but he really puts some very detailed things around depression that identify the root of why people are depressed or get depressed.
But more importantly, is how that root actually affects their lives. And he’s come up with a system that’s called Anti-Virus for the Mind, which I think is a really appropriate and clever name for this system. So I’d like you to welcome my guest, Etienne Gravel. How are you doing, Etienne?
Etienne:Pretty good. Yourself?
Jack:Fantastic. Very happy that you could come on today because throughout my life I’ve known people that have experienced depression. And when I say depression, I don’t mean people that are kind of down in the dumps. You know, everybody gets down, but I think there’s a point, probably, where people recognize, okay, this is a little bit more than me being down or they can identify this.
But you help people with this really simple and effective system. This Anti-Virus for the Mind and I want to go deeper into what that is.
But first of all, I want to find out how you came up with that name, Anti-Virus for the Mind.
Etienne:Well, I have a background in working in systems and computers, as well, and so it seemed to me that a good analogy or metaphor for what people are going through is almost like a parallel with a computer virus. So when a computer has a virus, there’s nothing really wrong with the hardware or the machine itself. It’s just not doing what the user wants because the virus has been chewing away at what’s in the machine.
And so with the person, if they have an unresolved conflict, which we like to term a mind virus, the person has issues that revolve around whatever caused that problem in the first place.
So if someone experienced some form of relationship trauma, when they’re experiencing something similar in another relationship, that mind virus will typically show up and cause a problem for the person in the new relationship.
And so it seemed to me that it was a good parallel to use. And so we called the program the Anti-Virus for the Mind. It’s like getting rid of mind viruses for people.
Jack:And that right there is a perfect analogy because there’s a difference when you’re using the computer. When you have too many things open and you have things and your computer is sluggish, that may be more an analogy of people that just having the blues or being down for a day.
But the virus is something where there’s actually a root cause of this problem. And what is it that separates people from just having the blues, being down, which everybody experiences, to actually falling in that category of depression or having some issue that is that unresolved issue? What would some of the categories of that be?
Etienne:You mean how would someone know if they have something similar to depression?
Jack:Yeah. What is it that would cause, what are some of the root causes? You talked about relationship trauma. What are some of those other things that people would recognize that, oh, this is a root or this is why, you know, something that I really can’t stop thinking about or something that is really bothering me?
So there’s relationship trauma. What other categories would someone recognize that this is probably the root of why I’m feeling this way?
Etienne:Any form of trauma, be it physical or emotional, could cause that kind of problem. Basically, what it is, is something the person went through that left a negative feeling with them. And by a negative feeling, it could be any kind of negative feeling. But they can’t get through it.
So they have this thing going on inside their mind that they just can’t get rid of. So, for example and this is one of the worst case scenarios, if someone goes through a sexual assault or a rape. That’s something that stays with you until you get rid of it. And it’s not something that’s easy to get rid of, unless you know how to do it properly.
So the root cause, the unresolved conflict, is that the person went through a sexual assault and what’s left with them is all of the negative feelings that are associated with that and how it affects their daily life. It will affect their ability to have a relationship. It will affect their concentration levels. It will stop them, perhaps, from sleeping properly. At night, they’ll wake up thinking about that and trying to get rid of those feelings.
But without the proper tools, they can’t do it. So the root cause of the problem is what they went through. But the symptoms, which are what they’re experiencing on a daily basis, are what people call depression.
Jack:And that can be that replaying in the mind and I guess this can happen at any level. I can think back when I was a child and I had a pet die. One of our cats. And it just kept replaying in my mind, the whole scenario. And it’s something that’s tough to get away from. And I’m sure that that happens, occurs at all different levels, whether it’s relationship trauma, abuse, any type of separation. It’s something that is embedded deep enough that people can’t stop replaying. And I think what I got from reading your report was that it’s something that goes on to affect their daily living. It affects the decisions they make and how they interact with others. Would that be accurate?
Jack:All right. So let’s think about this. You’ve given some examples of sexual assault. A lot of people have different ways of dealing with this. There are some people, and I know this from experience, that even though deep down they know that they have this problem, they won’t, haven’t even visited a doctor to see this. They haven’t seen anyone about this.
There are others that have seen people about it and depending on whether they want to a psychologist or psychiatrist, they may be on medications to help relieve this.
Does anything that you do conflict or contradict with that? Or is it something that, I think we’ve even talked about how you’ve had folks that have been able to get off their medication and where you’ve actually spoken with their doctors about easing off of their medication.
Is this something that’s an alternative or something that actually can work alongside in concert with people that are already seeking help? But can it also be something that people that haven’t sought any help can use as that first step to a solution?
Etienne:It’s available in any way. If someone was to come in and they are on medication, we take that into account. If someone comes in and they’re not on medication and they’d like to talk about it, we can work with both. So the one thing that I usually let people know is that the medication only masks the symptoms. So if you get off the medication without fixing the problem, the problem comes back.
What we deal with is the root cause. And so once the root cause is gone, which is the actual problem, the symptoms tend to disappear.
Jack:And so the root cause is kind of a specific event. Do you find that that’s generally the cause, that there’s an event or a series of events or something that’s happened that is embedded in someone that keeps this replaying for them?
Etienne:That’s correct. The person doesn’t have the proper resources, be it education or coping mechanisms or perceptions or understanding, to be able to actually handle the event properly.
So the easy way of explaining it would be if you were one year old and you lose your favorite teddy bear, it’d be a catastrophic thing. But if you’re twenty years old and you lose the same teddy bear, it’s just a teddy bear. You can go buy a new one because you have different resources. So you have either money in the bank or you have a spare teddy bear. Things are different because you have a different understanding being at twenty, than you do at the age of one.
Jack:I think that’s a perfect analogy. The event didn’t change. You didn’t change the event. Or the way the event occurred. But you are helping them change the way that they feel or the importance that they place on that event.
Etienne:That’s right. So every memory has an emotional counterpart to it or a charge. So a negative memory would have a negative charge associated with it. And so when we go back through those memories, if we change the resource that the person has at the time, or the actual emotion that’s associated with the memory, it won’t bother them anymore.
Jack:Now, that is, I think that right there is very powerful and it makes a lot of sense because, especially there are things. You know, they say time heals all wounds. But there are some that are very tough to get over. But I guess the logic behind time heals all wounds is that your feelings or the importance you place on that event change or fade or something like that.
Now, one of the really interesting things is that you often hear from people, especially dealing in these types of situations is, well, you can’t make what happened go away. You just have to learn how to deal with it.
And I think that’s one of the things that you help folks do. But you actually said something when we were talking earlier, that you’ve actually helped people in a sense make an event go away. And if I’m overstating that or changing it, let me know. But that’s what it sounded like is you can actually kind of affect or mix up that event so that it’s not something that’s on their mind or that they can recall with ease.
Etienne:That’s right. What happens is for a severe or very heavy level of trauma, when someone, for example, accidentally took a human life or someone was put through a sexual assault, the memory itself can be a problem to deal with. So what we’ll do is I’ll ask the client, is it all right if we distort the memory? And so we can change anything we want in the memory because basically it’s just the person encoded it visually or auditorily, each one of those components can be changed.
It’s like searching and replacing a word in Microsoft Word or in your computer and replacing it with another word. You can do that with almost any area of a memory.
And so if someone really has a problem at that degree and wants it completely gone, you can even give them amnesia. It’s like learning someone’s new phone number. You don’t necessarily remember their old phone number. You would just replace their old number with the new number.
Jack:Exactly. I think about that, even my own phone numbers. I’ve had several phone numbers throughout my life and at different periods of my life, I could have recited that to you without even thinking about it. But I couldn’t tell you what those numbers are now. So I guess would that be an example of how a memory can be distorted or removed from being able to be recalled?
Etienne:That would be replacement.
Etienne:If you want to distort a memory, we would actually set it up so that the memory can’t make the person feel bad anymore. I’d use strategies that sound simple but showing someone how to turn a very, very traumatic memory into a cartoon, so that they don’t have to live with the problem and emotional that comes with that memory.
Jack:That is, you know, the human mind is something that is truly remarkable and being able to understand it to do that. And I see that and I’ve seen evidence of that working and some of the examples that you’ve told me. It’s really remarkable.
Now, let me ask you this. There’s one thing that I know a lot of people think about, is that, you know what? This sounds great that this kind of thing is available. Maybe they didn’t realize this kind of thing is available. But a lot of people feel like, you know what? My situation is different. What happened to me is unique. I’m not sure that this would work for me. What would you say to that?
Etienne:Right. I would say everyone is unique. Each and every person on this planet is unique. And it’s fair to say that the way they went through something, no one else could go through the same way.
What I’d add to that is that people encode information in the same way, though. So you have eyes. You have ears. You have a sense of feeling, a sense of touch. And those are the same sensors that everyone has. So the code that gets put inside of someone’s mind, the structure of the code that goes with the memory is the same. And that’s what we work with.
Jack:And I think by that you’ve obviously seen so many different variables and so many different solutions and your ability to influence folks, not only to change the way that they think and feel about events, but you’ve actually influenced and inspired folks to share this information. To share this solution with others, which I think is just like a virus happens. By the folks that you’ve helped and them allowing you to share that opportunity and that this kind of thing is available to other folks, I think is extremely powerful.
One thing I like to find out is, from our influencers, is what influences the influencer? What is it that maybe you’re reading or maybe you’re studying or paying attention to now that influences you, not even necessarily in mental health directly, but just in doing what you do and the way that you help people and you educate people and really are an advocate for their recovery and getting over this stuff?
Etienne: I’d have to say I have a fascination with success. So I like to read a lot of stuff on Napoleon Hill. People like Warren Buffett. Anyone who I would see as a coach or a mentor that can actually help other people beyond the scope of just mental health.
Jack:And it’s interesting, cause a lot of those folks, especially Napoleon Hill, that even from the tactical and strategy side of what he talks about, the core of actually making that a reality goes back to mindset as well.
Jack:And I think that right there is proof of how powerful the mind and the mindset it. And how it can affect your life and your health, both physical and mental, just from how you view things that are in a negative or positive way.
And that’s one of the reasons the report, your Anti-Virus for the Mind report that I was reading, just really opened my eyes around how this can help folks. And I know that there are a lot of people out there, you said, that one of their biggest obstacles to getting help is that they don’t want to relive or they don’t want to talk about the event.
And you do these evaluations. You help folks with evaluations. And you said that if they don’t want to, even if they don’t want to talk about this event, it’s not necessary for them to talk about the event. How does that work?
Etienne:That’s right. The way it works is usually we’ll get on a call or on a chat and I like to just find out how it’s affecting their life. We don’t really need to know what they’ve gone through. It is part of the beauty of what we do. We look at the structure of how things work. So when we change the structure of what they went through, they won’t be able to feel the same way about it anymore. And we already know that.
So when we get on a call, it’s just a matter of finding out how it’s affecting them and to see if they want to move forward with getting something done and helping themselves out.
Jack:That’s, yeah, I think that right there is one of the great things that you do and what truly makes you an influencer, is people’s ability to break past that first obstacle of even seeking help or discovering what kind of help is available, by making it that easy for them to be able to schedule one of these sessions with you.
But also you have an incredibly powerful report that you are offering. How do folks who want to find out about your session and also download this report? And we’ll also put the links on the site here as well for them to go to get to that.
Etienne:If they’re interested in reading the report for themselves, to just kind of find out where things are at, the link would be at report.antivirusforthemind.com. And if they’re interested in getting on a call and talking about stuff and seeing how things are affecting them, we have another link, which is consultation.antivirusforthemind.com.
Jack:All right. Fantastic. We will put those links there. For the site, I would encourage anyone that something struck during this call with Etienne, to take a look at that and realize that there are solutions out there and realize that there is a difference between just having the blues and really having a root cause of something that affects the way that you live, it affects your daily living. And this is a perfect opportunity, if you haven’t found the strength or a comfortable option, to find out more about this, that you take advantage of this.
Etienne Gravel, you truly are an influencer. I want to thank you very much for being on the show today. And I think that your reach is going to spread and you’re going to definitely have a big impact on folks. And I’m glad to have been a part of that. So thank you very much.
Jack:All right, folks. That was this episode of Influencers Radio. You can listen to it, download it and share it. Great information with some of the top influencers and it’s also a way for you to influence folks by sharing the Influencers.
We will see you next time.