Like Acupuncture for the Mind
By Michelle (Miki) Butterworth
Having regressed to my life as a 4-year-old—crouched, screaming and fighting off imaginary blows—I was hospitalized for the second time in 10 years. The first time, I had been released after four days as the safety of the hospital had brought me out of abreaction (the reliving of events as if happening at the present moment), and my functions returned to normal.
This second time though, the flood gates opened and spilled over my years of insistent denial. The physical, sexual and psychological traumas of childhood poured forth.
Many devoted healthcare professionals worked with me over the next 20 years. Blessed breakthroughs did come in the way of integrating the past with the present and changes in the way I acted out that pathology.
However, after trying every new therapy for PTSD that came along—the night terrors, flashbacks and regressions continued.
After retiring to Sedona Arizona, and though living a wonderfully rewarding lifestyle, I still suffered from PTSD. Just seeing something familiarly violent on a television show might trigger days of dissociation, self mutilation (the act of inflicting pain on self by cutting) and regressions.
Having learned over the years that PTSD symptoms are never completely eliminated, I dealt with these episodes as they came by staying recluse for periods of time. After one recurrent triggering event left me suicidal, I again sought help from the mental health community.
I was introduced to a therapist who, after listening to my story, asked if I would be willing to try an unconventional therapy that involved tapping on points of the body while recalling the trauma. I politely told her, “NO!”
Spiritually devoted and as open a person as I am, I was not going to spend time and money on some ‘Sedona Woo-Woo’ technique.
I suggested we stick with regular therapy.
Two sessions later, she mentioned she would be out of town for the next month (doing her woo-woo in some other country). (more…)