The “Guardian” Response

Certain individuals may exhibit what is called a "guardian" response. This refers to the maintenance of one or more of the physiological responses at a high level of arousal while other responses decrease toward a deepening relaxation state or low arousal. Thus, the client maintains a full measure of consciousness as certain of the physiology relaxes. The guardian response(s) appear most often in those individuals who, on some level, fear the loss of critical screening as arousal lowers. For these individuals a deepening of the relaxed state means an increased vulnerability and possible harm. NOTE: Such individuals can offer resistance in a number of ways:
  1. Showing a guardian response.
  2. Sudden twitches or myoclonic jerks.
  3. Sudden feelings of panic ("I felt closed-in.")
  4. Laughter
  5. Feeling a sudden nausea or other aversive physical symptoms.
  6. Intermittent verbal comments.
  7. Complaints about some aspect of the L/S, the chair, or some other aspect of the immediate environment.
  8. Making derisive comments about the procedure.
  9. Unusual itching or painful sensations.
  10. Experiencing frightening imagery from within.
  11. Need to go to the rest room after the session has begun.
  12. Having guilt or fear because of certain religious beliefs.
  13. Having a racing mind or compelling, intruding thoughts.