Going back and telling the story is simply reliving the emotions. Why? It brings our emotional center (our amygdala) online.
"The amygdala is an almond shaped mass of nuclei located deep within the temporal lobe of the brain. It is a limbic system structure that is involved in many of our emotions and motivations, particularly those that are related to survival. The amygdala is involved in the processing of emotions such as fear, anger and pleasure. The amygdala is also responsible for determining what memories are stored and where the memories are stored in the brain. It is thought that this determination is based on how huge an emotional response an event invokes." (source:http://biology.about.com/od/anatomy/p/Amygdala.htm)
To release the stored (traumatic) energy, it's best to keep the amygdala off-line. Then the energy can be release without the reoccurrence of the event. I believe the Sedona Method does this well with Welcoming, Diving-in and the 5th way. I think Larry does this well by releasing from CAP.
When telling the story, and thereby reliving it, the amygdala is brought online and all those neural connections associated with that memory are firing. It really feels good. Makes us feel alive, even if it's in a bad sort a way. In a sense, we have become identified with that event. It makes up who we think we are. "It's got to be me, else why would I have this emotional charge in my body-mind?"
I remember one participant in Hale's IC-4 recording who went on and on about her struggles with her sisters. Even Hale, in all his brilliance, couldn't snap her out of her identification with this traumatic story. Why? She couldn't, for the life of her, knock her amygdala off-line. She kept reliving the memories emotionally. Even she admitted that in previous retreats she's been able to see past her stories, but this time she just couldn't. Doesn't make much sense, unless you consider that she couldn't let go of this particular story because she found it so enthralling that her emotional center (the amygdala) couldn't help but come online, firing all those neural connections. Near the end of this particular retreat she announces that she had made progress, perhaps due to shear exhaustion, and she thanked Hale and the audience for their patience.
I've even felt this myself, as I'm sure you have. You're at a seminar or listening to a SMaRT recording and all of a sudden the fog clears and you're present. How did that happen? From what I've learned about trauma, I believe at that instant you've bypassed this amygdala thing. I was in a seminar once and grew angry because I thought Hale was spending too much time with a particular member of the audience. I was so caught up in my story that I took the microphone next to express my outrage that I spent this good money and I'm taking up my Saturday to sit here listening to this and... well, the emotion overwhelmed me and I couldn't speak and handed the mike to the next hand that was raised. It so happened that sitting next to me was was a SM coach and she helped me release my pent up energy just like that. I went from anger to acceptance in a matter of seconds. Holy crap! How did that happen so quickly!! That person helped me flip the switch so my emotional center was now off and I simply released. It felt great!!!
And that might be the real secret to why so many people flock to the retreats. For whatever reason, by being surrounded by so many other people doing the same thing, it is so much easier to knock our almond shaped friend, the amygdala, off-line. And I also believe this is what we are training ourselves to be able to do. That's why it gets easier with time to release, to the point of being able to release 24/7. When Larry says that if we were to sit down for 30 days and did nothing but release, then we'd be free. I believe what is happening is we're simply becoming the master of our emotional center (our amygdala), rather than it being the master of us.
If you want to say our identity to our story is a 'hook', then with SMaRT we're being schooled in how to 'unhook' it and lesson number one is; Don't tell (relive) your story.