Case Study 1: ‘Ed Orange’ – A Case Study of Anxiety and Depression
Case Presentation Ed is a 35 year old family man who works full time. He was being treated by his General Practitioner for depression with anti-depressants and had recently just had his daily dosage doubled. Ed had been seeing a psychiatrist for over ten years.
Ed was feeling very anxious/depressed when he referred himself to me. He had a secret debt which he had kept from his wife but who had recently just found out and was furious. Ed having been divorced once before and didn’t want to go through being left alone again he loved his wife and their three children. He considered the whole situation as hopeless and had the belief that he was both worthless and useless. As a result he suffered from insomnia and was stressed from his workload at work.
Ed’s ex-wife had run-off with the ‘Best Man’ from their wedding. He felt that not only had he lost his wife but had lost his best friend as well. Ed had been very ill with a heart condition when he was born and wasn’t expected to survive. His mother seemed to have detached herself in readiness and neglected her nurturing responsibilities as a mother. Ed had decided as a child that he must be worthless as his mother never supported him.
There seemed to be a pattern. Ed had two wounds, main wound of being Rejection showing up as Panic Attacks, the fear of being pushed away. And Abandonment showing up as the fear of Solitude (left alone).
First we worked on his emotional state and brought down his anxious feelings to a manageable level using Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). This would put him in a more resourceful state for clear thoughts to take place and could practice at home or when required.
Using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), we then looked at Ed’s negative thinking styles and found he had two: “extreme thinking” and “mind reading” and looked at alternative positive thoughts. Seeing the big picture of how his thoughts affect his emotions which affect his behaviour he found enormously helpful.
CBT is a self hep treatment which focuses on changing how we feel now, a practical form of psychotherapy. It gives people the tools to make changes. Watch a short CBT information video below with a professor of CBT:
Ed began the process of un-learning unhelpful beliefs and learning to catch the negative thoughts as they occurred and after six weeks Ed is now FREE from antidepressants, is still happily married, sleeps well and as has more of a work-life balance. To his surprise his relationships with his children are noticeably better, he has more quality time to play and really be with them. He has a twinkle back in his eyes and a slide in his stride.
He’s now exploring new potential career paths that express who he really is and of course, always was.
“Johnathan has been a very strong influence in my life in past few months. I was depressed and could not see any way out of the dark depression. I had been to see my doctor who had put me on antidepressants and wanted me to see a psychologist, from past experiences I was reluctant to see a psychologist as I found it a very short term fix and unhelpful. I went for my first session with Johnathan and found it to be such a positive and motivating session, I started seeing him on a weekly basses and grew stronger in myself week by week, the tools that Johnathan taught me to use have been excellent and have helped me to reduce my dosage of antidepressants with an aim of stopping them all together, which I did after six sessions with Johnathan. The tools I have been given are not the short term fix I was avoiding but will remain with me for life and help me maintain the strength I have found within myself.” ~ Ed Orange
Case Study 2: ‘A Boy Aged Four’ – A Case Study of Feeling Sad
I had received a call from a young single mother who had a four year old son. At his school ‘kindergarten/reception’ class, her son was very shy and closed but was willing to join in the practises for the up coming festival. But when it came to showing the parents their showcase, he wouldn’t perform in front of the mums and dads despite really wanting to, he would get frustrated then angry which would then lead to some display of negative behaviour.
Her son was a delightful little boy, but there was one thing that was crystal clear. At this age, the cognitive process hasn’t developed yet, which meant the mental level approaches like CBT and NLP weren’t really the right tools for the job. Trying to find out whether it was a fear of performing school plays or getting it wrong or being laughed at, and any negative thoughts he may of had before any of those fears, wasn’t going to be very fruitful and nonsensical reasoning.
I decided to use Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) on the child and simply bypass thinking styles and challenging thoughts and beliefs etc.
EFT combines tapping on acupuncture points with words based on NLP.
He was able to tell me that he felt sad whenever he saw his mum in the audience. Curiously, I asked him what was he sad about when he sees his mum in the audience, he answered that he gets sad because she would leave again after the show.
I asked the mother where the father was and whether her son had been left alone in the past? The father had never been around much after the birth of their son, and after the son was three and a half months old the mother, who worked as a make-up artist, had been offered work at the Opera House and gratefully accepted the job in order to move out of the tiny rented accommodation she had and get a mortgage for a home. By age two and a half years old, the mother then was offered a feature film contract but meant more crazy hours up to 70 hr weeks! So her son stayed with his grandmother while the mother went to work.
At this age, a child needs Love & Attention, which no doubt the grandmother was able to give to her grandson. But the son not understanding why he was dropped off may have triggered a basic wounding of ‘abandonment’ perhaps feeling a little deserted. This can lead to the fear of being alone and would therefore cling onto his mother.
After tapping a mixture of ‘fear of being alone’ and ‘feeling really sad’, half an hour later we were done. We did the same again the following week for our second session.
One of the most beautiful things working with children is how quick the sessions are as they are very receptive and not argumentative as adults can be. By dealing with this now and making it fun, means he won’t have to deal with this particular wound in 20+ years time when his negative behaviours may have magnified to something much worse! He can now be his own healer and with his new evidence can form new empowering beliefs.
This is an email I received a week later from the mother:
“I took my 4 year old son to have EFT with Johnathan and have been utterly amazed at the results. After just a few days of ‘tapping’ he was no longer highly distressed when I dropped him at school but running in happy and carefree with barely a backward glance. He is starting to love playing at Kindergarten and is interacting a lot more with the friends he is making. A sight I have longed for and one that filled my heart with joy beyond words. The festival was a huge success, and he joined in with all of it and absolutely loved it. He had a huge smile on his face the whole time and kept waving. Very cute. He is so proud of himself and wanted me to let you know he had done it.
He immediately connected to Johnathan’s warm, gentle and compassionate approach and really enjoyed learning the tapping process.
After just two sessions with Johnathan he would tell me the emotion he wanted to tap and we would do it together at home as well…and in some slightly more extraordinary locations! We were at the top of a steep tunnel slide and he really wanted to go down but was too scared (he has always been scared of these slides and has only gone down one once before) He turned around to me and said, ‘come on Mama let’s tap the scared feeling away.’ After the first round of tapping he sat down at the top of the slide, after the second round he shuffled in about an inch, after the third.. a little more of a shuffle forward and after the fourth he started to giggle and said, ‘I don’t need to do any more tapping Mama, I can do this.’ He gave me a big smile and then after a slight hesitation…off he went…whizzing down the slide, whooping. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Absolutely incredible!
The part I like the most is how easy and effective it is for him to do; for him it has already become as normal as brushing his teeth! It is a good feeling to know he has a tool which will help him all through his life, should he need to use it. Something which will help him always be true to himself…not his fears. No matter how big or small. Thank you Johnathan, for teaching my beautiful son such a wonderful healing method with such warmth and understanding.” ~ T.M. Mother, Make-up artist and author
Johnathan Brooks, PG Dip, MAC, CBT, MNLP, EFT is a Cognitive Behavioural Coach who has trained in a wide range of treatment methods including the “Power Therapies” (CBT Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (postgrad), EFT Emotional Freedom Technique, Master NLP Neuro Linguistic Programming) and has a Post Graduate Diploma in ‘Coaching and NLP’ – passed with a ‘Commendation’.