By Suzanne Lerner, PhD
Many people don’t realize how traumatizing it is to receive a doctor’s diagnosis. There can be feelings of overwhelm, fear, helplessness, hopelessness, and shock that all need to be cleared. This was the case with “Charlie.”
Two years before he came to me, he had been diagnosed with stage IV leukemia and told that he had to have chemotherapy that same day, else he would die in a few months. He was also told that it was only going to get worse and nothing could help. The chemo would only slow down his inevitable and painful death.
The chemotherapy did initially help, but then the cancer returned.
He tried many alternative treatments, but his white cell count continued to rise. Now, however, he had just received a new kind of alternative therapy. He was responding really well but was surprised to find himself feeling more anxious than relieved.
Like many people dealing with life-threatening illness, he was feeling optimistic but also very fearful that the illness would return. He was intelligent enough to realize that this fear could become a self-fulfilling prophesy and so he arranged to work with me. He was feeling alternately very optimistic and pessimistic. I suggested that we could work to help him find a more creative and healthy balance.
Charlie was very grateful to be feeling new energy and vitality, but it was a shock. Having been ill for so long, he almost didn’t recognize himself healthy! Still, he rationally knew he was much better and preferred to be healthy.
I explained that he had probably felt overwhelmed by the whole experience, without the time to process it all, and that we could use my “Inspired EFT” approach to help him process the experience of the diagnosis and illness and clear his fears. This would help him think better so he could make important decisions about his health.
From a place of ease, he be better able to tune in to the choices that were best for him.
I find that the shock of the original diagnosis often has to be cleared. So we went back and gave him new resources to deal with the event of receiving his diagnosis. Tears came, as he was finally able to release all the terror. He released the torment of having so little time to consider his options. We then addressed his guilt about some suicidal thoughts he’d experienced. After several tapping rounds, he was able to forgive himself. He could now see that the suicidal ideation had been his way of trying to regain a sense of control in a seemingly uncontrollable situation.
I had Charlie then return to the diagnosis scene and imagine having a kind of TV remote in his hand. This helped him regain a more healthy sense of control. He could pause the scene, run it forward or backward, repeat a section so he could understand what the doctor was saying, or put the whole thing on “pause.”
Layers of grief, overwhelm, and shock were released.
I also helped him clear several additional fears, including the fear that he would become completely dependent on others, and that he might be devastated by the cost and side effects of the treatment. We did some rounds on this old memory, helping him to recognize that he was now safe and that he had survived.
Once his SUD levels were reduced, I asked Charlie what he wished could have happened in this scene. He said that looking back, he wished that he could have just had an hour to do yoga and ground himself, so that he could be in a better place to make decisions, instead of being so rushed. I asked him to experience that vividly, choosing the most beautiful place he could imagine to do the yoga.
He saw himself in the Caribbean, which he had once visited on vacation. He began enjoying the beautiful blue of the ocean, the rhythmic sound of the waves, and the smell and feel of the refreshing breeze. I encouraged him to feel these feelings at an even deeper level...to feel it in every cell of his body...soothing and refreshing him.
Then he tuned into what color would feel most healing, and he surrounded this image with a healing blue light, which we then imprinted, using the Matrix Reimprinting protocol.
Charlie now was fully able to release his overwhelm, fear and lack of control.
He reported feeling a new sense of peace and gratitude towards himself for all that he had been through. As he resolved some of the conflict between his optimistic and pessimistic parts, he discovered that they could work better as a team, creating a more balanced perspective.
Charlie noticed with some amazement how much more relaxed and at ease he felt. The events of his diagnosis no longer haunted him. He felt he could take all the time he needed now and choose the best healing opportunities available. He actually found himself getting excited about exploring these new options and also sharing them with others who could benefit from his experiences.
We know from the field of psychoneuroimmunology, that when we reduce stress and emotional trauma, the immune system can function more effectively to support our healing process. Charlie was now back in the driver’s seat, ready to move forward and embrace his healing and greater well-being.