Case Study: Alleviating PTSD through AAIT
Marianne’s journey with complex PTSD landed her in my office after more than fifteen years of rambling her way through talk therapy. Committed to her own well-being, she took a risk to try something different, AAIT.
Her brilliant and structured mind took to the principles, phases and processes of AAIT. She saw how this approach could help her untangle from the energetic charge associated with her traumatic past.
Within a short time, she learned how to access and cultivate steadier states of being by engaging in an embodiment practice at home. As for many, this practice has led to a gradual increase in awareness and a rich collaboration making those steadier states easier to find and stabilize in.
Our collaboration includes email. She emails me changes that she notices, identifies points of tension that inhibit her daily life and intrusive content; thoughts, images, emotions and sensations. She points to any changes she’s noticing (directed awareness) which helps me tweak her home embodiment practice for even greater gain.
Our clients typically see us ONLY once and if they are lucky TWICE a week. By embracing an embodiment practice at home, Marianne has empowered herself to untangle from the pain inhibiting her presence of being in a more rapid and deliberate way.
Recently, she sent me an email laying out several problems. Among them was a kind of startle response waking her most nights. This response was accompanied by not feeling safe. This startle stress formed a filter through which EACH DAY began.
Despite the ferocity of the cognitive distortions that were running rampant, in my opinion, sleep is fundamental. Addressing the issues around sleep makes a HUGE impact. She had already cleaned up her sleep cycle and was doing much better on that front. This left us with the unsafe startle response awakening her.
We decided to treat the startle fear as an energetic influence. She felt it keenly as she identified its shape, size, color, weight, strength, temperature and location. She felt it as a dark, almost comet-like shape extending from and attached to her heart area. After establishing a “dialogue” and engaging in a strategic exploration of the associated goals and decisions of this energy, Marianne became aware of a strong feeling and thought, “Don’t take her away!”
The energetic influence abated and disappeared. Marianne shared an insight about when this likely started, what “don’t take her away meant.” This insight came unbidden without any historical excavation and free of tension. In the space where the fear startle used to live, Marianne streamed light, filling her whole being with light. She then rested in the spacious emptiness that often follows an integration.
In a subsequent email, Marianne reported that she had been free of the startled unsafe feeling for more than two weeks. She also reported that she had been free of nightmares and her sleep had improved.
Using the brilliance of her gifted mind, she gave me an update on other issues and enumerated possible entry points for work. This saves us so much time. It takes me minutes to read so that when she arrives, I have a pretty clear picture of what’s going on and where to start.
From Marianne’s point of view, “email collaboration has the benefit of allowing me to gather the ramble of thoughts into important facts using the executive function of the mind to organize which ALSO serves to calm the distorted parts of my mind especially knowing that help will be coming.”
I’m thrilled to mentor therapists and other healing arts practitioners and watch them get the same reliable results with their clients. PM me to discover how you can shift the energy of suffering with AAIT.
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