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ReSPITE® Relaxation Sessions

(A Random Sampling)

The following true stories are excerpts from a collection of ReSPITE® sessions from over the years working with individuals with common, everyday neuroses, the negative symptoms of stress, some that linger on far into adulthood. Do you know someone with one or more of these symptoms, and have they found help that has brought back some sense of normalcy to their life?

1) Every Time She Got Behind the Wheel of a Car

2) She Couldn't Lose Weight, No Matter What She Tried

3) Why Do I Have These Feelings of Same-Sex Attraction?

4) The Doctors Couldn't Help Him With His Splitting Migraines

 

1) Every Time She Got Behind the Wheel of a Car
Close friends of hers had noticed and commented to her that any time she got behind the wheel of a car she would go white knuckled and begin to perspire. She finally acknowledged that it was happening, but was unaware that the feeling was uncommon, and wondered what, if anything, I could do to help.

After helping her reach the “relaxed” state of mind, a simple suggestion that she bring back to mind her most recent experience driving home from work that evening seemed to instantaneously bring on that air of tenseness and anxiety in her appearance. Her demeanor changed dramatically as she reached up, as if holding onto a steering wheel, and began going through the motions of driving her car.

As I suggested that she pay attention to these feelings and identify where in her body they were made manifest, she took a deep breath and placed her hand over an area of her chest. With that acknowledgement, I placed a direct suggestion to her that she now allow her mind to take her back to the very first time that she had ever experienced these identical overwhelming feelings.

Almost immediately she began to describe playing innocently with some toys in the back seat of the family station wagon. She was seemingly oblivious to anything or anyone else around her, except the fact that her 16-year-old sister was driving them all to the store—this was all being expressed in first person present tense, and with a voice that I can only describe as a young girl’s (the subtle characteristics of a child’s voice were very obvious in her expressions).

The next thing she described was the confusion of screaming sirens and flashing lights and strange people asking her question after question making absolutely no sense, and then seeing her sister’s bloody face as she was being taken away in the ambulance. Her older sister had made an error in judgment and hit another car head-on forcing her sister’s head into the windshield causing minor head trauma. Blood was everywhere; a terrifying experience for what I assumed was a 5 or 6 year-old child.

Having had her relive the experience, once, I then took her through the experience once again, this time, however, as her adult self looking on, watching, as it were, as a bystander. This was a simple but most effective technique that I found worked wonders for her and for numerous others with similar seemingly forgotten issues or events in their lives, quite often from their earlier childhood. It, and various versions of it, allowed each to finally heal and move on in life, leaving behind the burdensome baggage they had been dragging around with them for so long.

2) She Couldn't Lose Weight, No Matter What She Tried
One particularly memorable consultation that drove this point home was that of a neighbor who so desperately wanted to understand why her lifelong attempts to shed those unwanted pounds were never successful. Similarly with my friend’s driving experience, once she had reached the relaxed state, I had only to ask her to focus on the issue at hand, in this case to consider her weight problem and what feelings were associated with it. After a few moments, I asked her to place her hand on the part of the body where these feelings seemed to be sourced.

I was used to seeing people I worked with place their hand somewhere on their chest or their lower abdomen, but not so this time. She reached up and placed her hand on her forehead, pointing to, I could only imagine, some troubled thoughts. So I went with her unusual response, and told her to now allow her mind to take her back to the very first experience where she had ever felt these things.

Once again, I found myself talking to a very small child, five or six years old, max. She was playing dolls, alone, under the kitchen table, a favorite hiding place I came to learn. But it wasn’t long before she heard loud talking and laughing coming from the direction of the door leading to the backyard, and before she could react, in walks her father and three of her uncles, completely oblivious to her presence.  And because of the awkward situation, she kept quiet and still under the veiled cover of the tablecloth.

Unfortunately, for such a young mind, what she heard next seemed to only bewilder her narrow perspective on life and relationships between boys and girls, men and women. Out of the mouths of men she had no reason to mistrust came words and descriptions that were mystifying, at best, but that sunk deep into her innocent and impressionable mind.

They described, in the rankest detail that only brothers would use amongst themselves, the ill-fated rape of a local woman in town and, in lurid expressions, depicted her as nothing better than a tramp, referring repeatedly to her immodest dress and her slinky and shapely figure. Much of what was said did not seem to register at all to her, but apparently enough to utterly alter her all-too limited impressions of femininity.

My neighbor friend had lived a majority of her life, since that consciously forgettable day, under the flawed, yet impassioned, reality of life as her father and uncles had understood and described it. Almost as if instinctively driven to be a little on the heavy and unattractive side, just so that no man would bring upon her the same misfortune as the unlucky woman of her home town; unwittingly protecting herself from a non-existent, yet formidable, enemy.

She came to learn, as her wise and experienced adult self was given the opportunity to help the young innocent child more completely understand, that these regrettable incidents happen to all shapes, sizes, colors, and ages of women and men, and had little or nothing to do with her appearance. She didn’t have to punish herself any longer with the burden of weight or appearance, but could now live a normal, healthy life for the good of herself.

3) Why Do I Have These Feelings of Same-Sex Attraction
If you’re as stunned by the natural defensive mechanisms of the mind, as I was, and find it difficult to grasp  such an incredible account of this woman’s overweight problem, I will share an analogous, yet contrasting experience with you, this time of a male co-worker of mine, who wanted to more fully comprehend his same-sex attractions. The steps I followed for him were the same—help him into the altered state, have him focus on the issue, and then have the mind locate the very first memory of the occurrence.

He was the youngest of nine children, several of whom were already grown with families by the time he was born. He was very young, maybe four or five, at the most, and began to describe being in a very comfortable and familiar place, in a rather large storage shed not far from the main house, surrounded by one of his brothers and several of his friends, laughing, playing, and just having fun.

Then he started to describe, as only a young boy can, feelings and sensations that he couldn't quite explain, but that felt exceptionally good. What he saw consciously for the first time was that a few of his brother's friends were introducing this naive little boy to his first contact with homosexuality, without even knowing themselves much more than the physical and emotional highs that it brought.

There is no need to go into any more detail than this. It is sufficient to point out the innocent beginnings of these life-long neuroses. Whether it is what we consider to be the simple and common problems of overweight or the complexities of sexual preferences, the unconscious mind is the purest source of truth we have to bring us to eventual and ultimate freedom from our consciously burdensome baggage—baggage that can sometimes lead to much more than we can realistically sort out ourselves.

4) The Doctors Couldn't Help Him With His Splitting Migraines
I will never forget the remarkable encounter with one young man who seemed to carry the weight of the world, not on his shoulders, but squarely on his mind. His wife gingerly opened the door to my office, where we agreed to meet, and ever-so slowly helped him in and sat him in the recliner chair. He was in the throws yet another of what had come to be a daily occurrence, a severely debilitating migraine headache.

His doctors had given him every known test over the past year and a half of treatment and found absolutely nothing physically wrong. It was finally determined to prescribe powerful medications to control the pain, but to no avail. All the drugs could do was make him sleep, which gave him nothing of what he considered was a normal life with his wife and two children. He was now willing to try just about anything, as he sat there in this miserable stupor.

That day was the first time since the diagnosis of these incapacitating headaches that he was willing to go without his pills, and he was having to deal with, once again, every bump in the road, each jarring vibration in his own footsteps, and all the throbbing sounds along the way. There was never anyone that I had ever worked with, or since, that was more ready for an immediate solution.

It is not difficult for me to work with and understand how a person with what I might call light to moderate neuroses is able to focus their mind on something sufficiently to distract them from all that’s going on around them in the world in order to reach an altered state of mind. It is still amazing to me, however, just how the mind is capable of helping such person hindered by so much mental anguish to defocus from his problems long enough to fall into an altered state. But he did just that, and very quickly.

Not only were we able to expose the unconscious roots of his overly stressed and worry-laden life style, but in the process, the constant mental pressure of the headache that he came into my office with had, in his own words, vanished. At that moment, he became a free man in every sense of the word, in fact, using his own choice of words—precious, precious freedom!

There is no greater high, in my estimation, than the personal thrill that comes from actually helping a fellow human being with issues and problems that they can not seem to consciously deal with themselves. I felt whole for the first time in my life; I had found my reason for being, my purpose, at least I thought I had. I was as happy as I had ever been as I saw such definite and positive changes come over the people I worked with, and their lives begin to normalize, but this was, as they say, only the beginning.

 

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