The Murray Method, Trauma Eggs, and The 30 Task Model
“The Murray Method is unsurpassed in its rapid ability to reveal the past in the present. By accessing the right side of the brain, implicit memories sequestered long ago are revealed and regulated. This powerful process facilitates neural integration necessary for long-term change. Everyone should experience this modality!”
– Alexandra Katehakis
Clinical Director, Center for Healthy Sex, Los Angeles and Senior Fellow, The Meadows. Author, Sex Addiction as Affect Dysregulation: A Neurobiologically Informed Wholistic Treatment.
If you’re a certified sex addiction therapist, or someone who has been through sex addiction treatment, you may be familiar with the concept of the trauma egg. It plays an important role in the completion of Task 9, Acknowledge Cycles of Abuse, in Dr. Patrick Carnes’ 30 Task Model of sex addiction treatment.
Its use is not limited to sex addiction treatment, though. Completing and sharing a trauma egg in group therapy or with a therapist or sponsor can be a very empowering activity for any one working through the aftermath of emotional trauma.
The trauma egg was developed as a tool for treating emotional trauma by Marilyn Murray, an internationally-recognized authority on trauma, abuse, deprivation, and its consequences. Along with The Circles of Intimacy, The Scindo Syndrome, and The Survival Bricks, it makes up what’s known as The Murray Method, which she has developed and expanded upon throughout her more than 30 years of experience.
Marilyn’s work inspires and complements the work of our some of our own therapists and Senior Fellows at The Meadows. That’s why we feel especially honored that Marilyn herself has offered to facilitate a Murray Method Workshop at The Meadows Outpatient Center in Scottsdale, Arizona. It is the first time in more than 10 years that Marilyn has offered her training in the United States.
The Trauma Egg
Completing a trauma egg allows a person to take an inventory of emotionally traumatic and painful events that took place throughout their lives from birth to the present day. More importantly, the activity helps them to begin to identify the traumatic personal beliefs that resulted from those events.
For example, if a child experiences a lot of abandonment, he or she forms a belief to explain why they were abandoned. The belief they create may be that there were not good enough or that they were unworthy.
Traumatic beliefs are disempowering and painful, and they prevent people from understanding their real emotional needs. Those who don’t understand their emotional needs often don’t know how to fulfill them in healthy ways, and may turn to drugs, alcohol, sex, or a variety of other substances and activities to try and fill the emptiness left behind by their unmet emotional needs.
Through sharing the trauma egg with a therapist or therapy group, a person can gain a new perspective on the events in their lives, and begin to challenge and change their core, traumatic beliefs. This is the key to recovery from addictions and many other behavioral disorders.
The Murray Method Workshop
The Murray Method workshop is a four-day training session that gives therapists and mental health professionals the opportunity to complete a trauma egg of their own and to develop deeper insights about the effects of trauma and abuse on their patients and themselves. CEUs are available for those who complete the course.
Shereen Hariri, MFT, attended one of Marilyn’s Murray Method workshops and says it really enhanced her perspectives on trauma and treatment:
“We were using [the trauma egg] a little bit with our intensive outpatient clients who were coming in for sex addiction and love addiction, but when I took the course with her… I just really got this experience of getting it….If you want to the full experience, go find Marilyn and do the whole thing with her.”
Ralph H. Earle (MDiv, PhD, ABPP, LMFT, CSAT) of Psychological Counseling Services in Scottsdale, Arizona says he also recommends Marilyn Murray and her Murray Method without reservation.
“I have used the Murray Method both personally and professionally. The method impacted me in terms of my own growth—most importantly, I was “Marilynized” almost 30 years ago when Marilyn was developing her method. It also impacted me in terms of my relationship with my son… The Murray Method has literally been used every day in our practice by all of our therapists.”
Although the workshop is geared toward professionals, all are welcome to attend. Mostly anyone could benefit from spending time thinking about their core beliefs and how they may be holding them back. One of our Intake coordinators would be happy to help you determine whether this workshop is right for you.