Occupation: Retired, Financial Consultant
Venue: Barnstaple, Devon
Dates: September to December 2007
Presenting problem / s: Diagnosed Depression, Suicidal ideation, Relationship breakdown, Grief related to loss of pet Dog.
Treatment plan: Weekly sessions, incorporating a cognitive approach for immediate problem solving, and Energy Psychology EFT / TAT, for bio-chemistry / brain wave change.
The above named man was referred onto me from a former client, it was suggested that I may be able to assist this man who was going through a marriage breakdown / divorce after 36 years of wedlock, to compound matters his elderly dog and best friend, a Golden Retriever was going to be put down in some weeks if the medication for the Animals illness was not successful.
I met with Derek over 12 sessions each one lasting for 75 minutes.
Derek described himself as a “self made man” he was a retired financial consultant for a major worldwide organisation, he lived in a large house in the country, and was the proud Father of 3 successful healthy grown up children, Derek said that he had plenty of money to see the rest of his life out, described himself as fit, playing competition tennis until recently, and had a liking for fast old fashioned sports cars. His wife had recently filed for divorce, her reasoning was she had fallen out of love with him, and there was no other person involved according to Derek.
Subsequently the house was for sale, his life had stopped, he was thinking in very serious terms about ending his life. Derek had been recently diagnosed with depression and was taking SSRI anti depressant medication. Derek was for the first time since he was a Child, in a position where he was not in control.
Derek described his former “thirst for life” and any of his interests had gone, dried up, he had absolutely no interest in anything at all, however he presented as articulate, measured and in control, somehow he relished the idea of being able to block any of my input, my sense was he wanted a therapist to consolidate and reinforce his notion that his world had died.
My first intervention was to give him a mantra, an affirmation which would raise his desire to enter life again and enjoy. Derek was an intelligent man who never had to think to far for answers whilst we worked together. When I suggested the mantra to raise his desire for life, he created the affirmation which I firmly believe blocked the slide into despair and gave him an air of autonomous oxygen “I want to want the want”, he simply wanted the “want” back in his life.
The trauma of losing his wife to nothing, the trauma of losing his beloved house, his dog, his status amongst his peer group, the disintegration of a well respected and feared businessman, into the labyrinths of depression and tablets was too much for Derek.
I explained we would be using Energy Work to create a harmony in the brain wave activity which was being re-coded with hugely negative thinking patterns, there was so much trauma, that the way we found to work was to encapsulate everything into a sentence, which was “I want to want the want” when I asked Derek how much “not having the want to want” distressed him from 0 – 10 he instantly replied at least 10, the absence of desire sent his anxiety thru the ceiling. I decided against asking him from 0 – 10 how much he wanted to want the want as this was an entirely new notion for him and at that moment in time it would likely be low, through my supervision with Willem I learned that to give back or allow the desire to happen, that the desire would likely counter the depression, and the obstacles he had would just melt in time.
We met 8 times before he moved out of the family home, each time we parted I would set Derek with a task to work upon in the space between the sessions, each week I was faced with an increasingly more focussed man, after 4 weeks he had literally had stopped his SSRI’s, neither gradually nor with the GP’s advice.
The suicidal preoccupation was no longer a viable alternative for him, he had worked this out. We used TAT “the 4 step procedure” each time we met, “everything that led up me losing the want to want has happened” etc. etc.
When he moved the following week his beloved dog was put to sleep, Derek did not waiver, he just kept ploughing on with re-building his life. After 12 weeks our work was at a point where Derek really did not need me any more, this self made man was back on his feet, he was seeing his wife again possibly with a view to reintroducing romance, he was happy in his new house, busy re-decorating, had changed his car to a faster car and a newer one, was still off the SSRI’s, was not presenting as depressed, no thoughts of death, eating well, going out and socialising, and was busy enrolling in a course at a local college to learn how to restore antique furniture.
After one month a follow up call from me found Derek telling me things were accelerating as above but getting better, the “want to want” was back in abundance, he did not use this phrase anymore, the original 10 / 10 was something he did not want to think about, he said “that is in the past I am here now”, I have tried to think about it but cannot put a number to it, it seems like it never existed”. I contacted Derek after three months, Derek said he felt good, for the first time in his life, he felt in control of his feelings toward his wife, they were beginning to get increasingly more attached, he was socialising, driving, making furniture, no medication and no thoughts of suicide, he was happy in his new home. Thinking about the original SUD’s was not something he said he could do, as they were no longer relevant.