April 3, 2018

Seek And You Shall Find: A Pathway to Emotional Regulation

This week, I am happy to introduce you to Cedric Bertelli, Director of Tipi USA (a powerful technique for emotional regulation). In this post, Cedric shares what led him to leave his work in the corporate world and immerse himself in this healing modality.


For as far back as I can remember--even when I was in kindergarten--I have been an anxious person. I was filled with a swirling collection of fears, anxiety, anger… you name it.

As a teenager and young adult, I learned to hide this side of myself inside of my work ethic, high performance in school, lighthearted humor. But my bottled emotions found ways of expressing themselves negatively in my body and in my life: I was dealing with eczema, asthma, and crises at home.

After culinary school, I pursued a career in the restaurant business. I wanted to bring joy to people through food. I quickly became very successful in the professional world. But while everything may have seemed easy and smooth for me from an outsider’s perspective, on the inside I continued to struggle with a great deal of anxiety and fear.

In my mid-twenties, I decided to go on a personal “quest”: I wanted to overcome my anxiety and to obtain the tools that would make me a better leader at work. Although many of the modalities I tried were powerful, most of them required ongoing effort, time, and money. What’s more, their effects were not permanent--I felt like I was in a lifelong uphill battle against myself. I was looking for something better…I believe in sustained work, but I also believe in definitive results!

By my late twenties, I was ready to quit my job and leave the corporate world. But first I needed a purpose and a plan. Throughout my career in hospitality and through my own introspections, I became fascinated by how emotions rule our lives: the way we work, learn, relate, how we bond, whom we hate seemed to be controlled by invisible and seemingly uncontrollable internal forces. So, I decided to learn more about these forces. I cast a wide net in my search, exploring programs, classes, and teachings in the US and in Europe to find something that would excite me. That is when I found the work of a fellow French man, Luc Nicon, creator of the Tipi Program for Emotional Regulation.

What caught my interest was that Luc Nicon was not a spiritual teacher or a therapist. He was a researcher working in the field of education, with athletes and major companies as his clients. Another aspect of his work that appealed to me was the fact that any individual could learn it for herself and practice autonomously. I got a copy of his book, in which he describes the technique he built based on 300 cases, and decided that I wanted to learn even more.

When I contacted Luc to ask him about the details of his research and his discoveries, his answer to me was simple: "You’ve got to try the process for yourself: you can do so when you are triggered, when you are in the midst of emotional difficulty. The process", he explained, "will last a maximum of one minute; in fact, most of the time it will take 30 seconds. After that, the emotion you struggled with will be resolved permanently. It just will not be a part of your life anymore."

Hmmm, it seemed way too simple, a bit disappointing actually… To be honest, I did not think the technique would do much of anything. But I have tried much crazier things in the past in the name of self-improvement, so what the hell...I decided to give it a shot. The next opportunity readily presented itself. Every week, during our weekly work meeting, I was extremely triggered by the annoying commentary of one of my co-workers. This Friday afternoon, as usual, when Alphonse started speaking, I felt the anger rising up. Perfect! I excused myself, stepped out into the hallway and applied the technique Luc described during our phone conversation:

  • - I closed my eyes
  • - I paid attention to my physical sensations: my throat was tight and dry, my stomach felt twisted, and I was feeling abnormally hot
  • - I continued to observe these sensations without trying to change them or to understand what was happening. I just stayed present with them.
  • - I noted that my sensations began to change: what felt tight became loose, my temperature rose even more, then went down, my stomach untwisted, and I felt as though all my blood left out of my belly, and then came back to me as a nice, warm feeling.
  • - I allowed all this to happen without trying to do anything until I felt calm. Then I opened my eyes.

All this took less than 30 seconds. I went back to the meeting, feeling a little tired but calm. The fascinating part came in the following weeks when, at the same meeting, I was not at all triggered by Alphonse’s comments. Intrigued, I repeated the process for four other issues: road rage, a work-related anxiety, another trigger for anger, and jealousy. I gave myself six months to note whether the five emotions I had processed would return. During these six months I called several Tipi Practitioners in France to get a better idea about the program and the effects of their work.

After six months, I had to admit that the emotions I had regulated had never returned. I was baffled. Something powerful was happening. I didn’t understand it, but I knew that it worked. At this point, I decided to quit my job and return to France to study with Luc Nicon.

A new life was about to start… 

Cedric Bertelli, Director of Tipi USA, has been teaching the Tipi process for emotional regulation in the US since 2011. He was personally trained by Luc Nicon, the researcher who created the program in France. They continue to collaborate closely as this work gains worldwide momentum. Cedric is recognized as a CAMFT-approved Continuing Education Provider, he has been training therapists, Special Ed teachers and other healthcare professionals for 7 years.

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