I have many very interesting case studies, as this Analytical Therapy can be both fascinating and intriguing. I sometimes consider myself to be something of a mind detective when connecting the various retrieved memories to fully understand what exactly was creating the symptom.
Here are a few interesting case studies, names of clients of course are changed.
The lady sitting in front of me was obviously very concerned. Sitting alongside her was a man in his forties, who as she explained was a close friend.
It appears her friend had started to behave in a strange way which had been investigated by the medical fraternity without success. Various medical tests including a brain scan had all failed to find a cause for the symptoms afflicting this gentleman.
The initial consultation revealed symptoms of very poor sleep, panic attacks, and as these symptoms are being discussed the third symptom revealed itself, for suddenly his head began to slowly fall forward and his speech became distinctly slower and quieter, and then head on chest as if asleep he began moving his hands upwards, as if pushing someone, or something away, and repeatedly saying, "get off, get off". Very interesting, let us see if we can locate a cause.
Analysis revealed many interesting memories from the earlier years, amongst these were memories of almost drowning, being beaten up on more than one occasion by other boys, and indeed having both of his eyes blacked. Soon David began to sleep better and the panic attacks subsided considerably, but the main symptom persisted. Then more interesting memories emerged.
On occasions he would stay over at a friends house, they would share the same bedroom, his friend would tell him that the house was haunted and that a ghost would frequently appear at midnight, he was so afraid he would hide under the covers. On another occasions he recalled having seen a ghost in his own bedroom. It had occurred to me that these memories may be the source of his symptoms, but alas the symptoms persisted.
But those recovered memories did serve to take us closer to the real source of the problem, for in the following session he began suddenly to shout "they're crushing me, get off, get off" and then the repressed memory finally emerged.
It was a simple matter of boys on the school playing field piling on top of each other shouting and laughing, poor David was on the bottom and he was getting crushed and his breathing severely restricted. He was calling out "get off" to no avail and eventually lost consciousness. It was a very frightening experience, few things would make us panic more than thinking we may be about to die!
Janet was a lady in her early fifties, for thirty years she had battled with symptoms of panic attacks, hyperventilating, being nervous when driving, and a fear of red traffic lights, for each time she had to stop her car at a red light she would go into a blind panic wanting to abandon the car.
Many memories were uncovered in the first four sessions, and then in session five, something very significant emerged. At the age of about nine she remembered walking across a field alone, suddenly a man appeared and began to chase her. This of course is a very frightening experience for someone so young, even though she had managed to get away from him. This memory, she told me had not been in her conscious awareness for many years.
When she arrived for the following session she told me that there had been a significant change, and that all of the symptoms had apparently ceased. I was then able to offer her the following explanation as to why that had come about.
When running away from that person you were moving faster than normal, so driving a car ( moving faster than normal ) was causing a subconscious memory of that frightening chase. The last thing you wanted when being chased was to be stopped, hence the fear of red traffic lights, and of course you would have been in a real panic, and out of breath, ( hyperventilating ).
The whole thing incidentally had been triggered off all those years ago when one of her own children han been ill and this had triggered off the subconscious memory of her own danger in her childhood.
Molly was a young woman in her twenties, she told me she lived and worked in Andorra as a ski instructor. Her problem was high blood pressure whenever she was a passenger in any vehicle. This she told me was related to an accident some two and a half years previously in Andorra when she had been a passenger in a car and serious injuries had been suffered. The Doctors were unable to help and she was in England for two weeks only. I explained that although the accident would appear to be the sole cause of her dilemma, it was likely to be related to something from the early part of her life. So let’s see what we can do in one session.
Following the induction, I regressed her back to the time of the accident. She explains she is a front seat passenger, there is a male driver and a male passenger in the rear seat, they are driving in the snow looking for a parking space. Having indicated to turn right the car is stationary when a bus smashes into it, (she is now very tearful). When she regains consciousness the driver is slumped over the wheel and there is blood everywhere. Passers by help them from the car, she has serious head injuries, and a broken ankle and mangled foot. In this serious state she crawled away from the scene and took refuge in a block of flats. When she was found there by the ambulance crew and they wanted to take her to hospital she became hysterical, saying “I’m not going to hospital”… “and you’re not going to hospital because”….”they’ll stick needles in me” now she’s really hysterical. So utilising all of that emotion I then used the affect bridge to regress her back to a time when she first experienced those emotions, and surprise, surprise, she finds herself in hospital, aged twelve, about to have an operation on her feet. The anaesthetist has put the needle into her wrist told her to count to ten and she will fall asleep,…. “and I counted to ten and I’m still awake”…. now she is becoming hysterical again,… well that happened another twice before they finally got it right, and each time she became more and more hysterical.
I followed up with a few suggestions about how she would now enjoy being a passenger in any vehicle, etc, then counted her up. She sat up, tear stained face and puffy eyes, and promptly burst into laughter. I remarked that I hadn’t realised she had enjoyed herself so much. “I’m laughing” she said “because I realise now as bad as that accident was, it was nothing compared to my fear of those needles!"
I have a multitude of interesting case histories, as I’m sure all experienced therapists have, but this following one is included simply because the symptom was unique to me.
This lady left a message on my answering service late one Sunday night she sounded very depressed. Presenting herself before me at the consultation was a lady in her fifties, her hands and fingers distorted and twisted with severe arthritis. She was obviously very timid, lonely and unhappy. She explained that she had been suffering for a long period of time because she had a great fear of noise. This meant that she was becoming more and more reclusive, falling out with neighbours, frequent changes of address, all to try to escape from something she could never escape from. Things had at one stage become too much for her and she had attempted suicide, and she was at this time thinking along those lines again. She was living in a flat at the present time and told me if the neighbour above dropped some object on the floor this would have her scurrying off to her bed were she would hide under the blankets, head covered by a pillow, quaking with fear and panic.
Right lets get her started right away, if she goes away to think about it she probably wont return, she must also pay for the next session in advance.
Much of the following Analysis was centred around senior school and how big and noisy it was and how she would walk around holding hands with her best friend because all those children would charge around like a herd of Buffalo and it would frighten her. Of course all of this was merely compounding something that had happened earlier in her life and in session six it emerged.
The family lived in a Terraced house when she was about five, new neighbours had moved in next door, a man and his wife. The man turned out to be a nasty piece of work who would frequently beat his wife, she could frequently be heard screaming through the walls. On some occasions when these beatings were taking place she would bang on the wall with a hammer calling out to the girls Father “please Mr Jones help me” often followed by more screams and of course it filled the little girl with fear and panic.
She came back the following week saying what a wonderful week it had been, how all of the symptoms had gone and she just could not stop smiling, then she showed me a tattoo that she had just had done on her shoulder, it was a butterfly. I asked her why in heavens name she’d had that done, she said “I’m free now”.