Dates: November 2007
Presenting problem / s: Severe both chronic and acute residual panic attacks, limbic system hyperarousal.
Treatment plan: Sessional use of TAT until symptoms subsides.
Amanda is a 45 year old teacher, who had self referred to myself last November. She was experiencing as she described “terrible panic attacks” intermittently over the last 15 years or so, she believed this was due to a physical assault on her by a pupil, Amanda had tried different therapies during this time but nothing had worked, her panic could come on at any time, spontaneously, this was the issue that she brought along with her, her therapeutic goal was the total cessation of this debilitating state.
I asked Amanda how she would rate her panic attacks, she replied at least 8 out of 10. Amanda did not exhibit any negativity towards the person who had attacked her, in fact she could hardly remember the incident itself, however it was clear that there were no panic symptoms prior to the assault, the anxiety had somehow crystallised into some kind of free floating panic symptomology, a state which seemed to have no consistent pattern of trigger stimulus.
We did TAT using the 4 step procedure, which took approximately 15 – 20 minutes to complete, Amanda took approximately 5 minutes per affirmation before she released the points, to guide and support her I asked her what was happening for her during the poses, she said hardly anything, as though she was having a silent conversation with part of herself. Amanda looked visibly different between each of the 4 statements, her facial expressions were softer, less lines across her face, her eye energy was brighter and stronger, her body posture as with most clients I have worked with when using energy interventions was less tense. The statements were, 1. “Everything that led up to these panic attacks has happened”. – 2. “Everything that has led up to these panic attacks has happened, it is over”, - 3. “Everything that has led up to these panic attacks has happened, it is over, I survived, I did the best that I could and I got through”, - 4 “I am returning to being me again and I accept myself with love and gratitude”.
The work seemed to give Amanda what she wanted, she reported at the end of the session the SUD’s were down to a 1 or zero, it certainly had changed. The reintegration process seemed to be successful, Amanda looked very different indeed to the troubled and unhappy woman who had entered the room some one hour or so previously, my understanding is that the acupuncture points she worked upon, changed and reconfigured the rigid energy patterns which were holding the traumatic event in place, undoubtedly unresolved, fixed and rigid energy patterns of a hostile world in a specific moment of her time.
I rang Amanda the following week to see if she required another session, she said she felt easier and more relaxed, and that she did not want any more work on this trauma, as she had moved on. I rang Amanda one month later and she reported the same, no panic attacks, no increase in SUD’s, no further requirement for therapy. The 3 month “follow up” telephone call found a woman who had changed her perception about her life, she was considering giving up teaching and becoming a counsellor, and had not had a panic attack since we did our work. No original ratings of the traumatic SUD’s. To follow up in May for a final follow up.
My final 6 month follow up contact was interesting as Amanda was training to be a counsellor, she wanted to specialise in the treatment of panic disorder, her recovery was consistent with all of the other clients data used in this study.