My Favorite Patient

Call him Tommy. He wandered into my group “by mistake,” (if you believe in those kind of things.) It was his last inpatient day. He had been admitted for major depression– so depressed he could not even go to work. He had attended countless groups, individual sessions with his therapist, meetings with his psychiatrist, and nothing had helped. He was on five antidepressant medications, and he was headed for a course of electro-convulsive therapy. (That is, electric shock!)

Someone said, “Show him the arm thing.” (I was doing arm testing at the time.) He knew about three of his issues. One, his parents divorced when he was about five. Two, after that he felt abandoned by his father. Three, he could not stop the physical abuse his stepfather later inflicted on his younger brother. Muscle testing confirmed that these issues were still unresolved. But there were two others, revealed by muscle testing, of which he was less aware. One of these was that his mother, after the divorce, had given him and his younger brother to her parents to raise. He felt abandoned. The other one was the arguing between mom and dad prior to the divorce.

Since this would be my only chance to work with him, I boldly asked his system if we could clear all of these five issues at once. His body said yes. I took him through the clearing process, helping him to heal the inner child who had experienced all of those traumas, and suddenly he started to cry. I mean, buckets of tears. Standing in front of the group with me, his body was completely racked with sobs. And he kept crying and crying.

While the group was very supportive of Tommy, it was now noon and time for lunch. So they left. Further muscle testing indicated that Tommy wasn’t done! But I knew, intuitively and instinctively, he just needed more time to let the results settle in. So I stood with him for a good ten minutes or so in the midst of his tears in the otherwise empty group room until he finished. Then he thanked me as best he could and left. I never saw him again. He was discharged the next day.

But I was curious about the outcome. So I got his chart, and called him at home about two weeks later. The first words out of his mouth were, “Dr. Brad, can I do a commercial for you?” He was no longer depressed! He was back to work. He did not need the shock treatments, so he didn’t get them. He was tapering off his antidepressant medications. He asked me if I could be his outpatient therapist, but I politely declined. (I would have loved to continue working with him. But he had been assigned another therapist by the hospital, and I feared that taking someone else’s client might have serious repercussions.)

I wasn’t all that surprised by what you might think was a remarkable recovery, because I had seen cases like that before with e.c.c. Only the results were more gradual. But then he added that since our work together some other really interesting changes had taken place. Instead of eating five slices of pizza, he now only ate two. (I have found this sometimes to be true in other cases as well. When someone is overeating for the wrong reasons and, using e.c.c., you remove those reasons, they don’t have to overeat anymore. See the video result with Barbara.)

Also, his fingers no longer trembled when he read in his Bible study group. And he didn’t get nervous anymore when he went to the corner store to buy a newspaper. Some of these things led me to believe he may have suffered from social anxiety disorder as well, although I never read that in his chart. Whenever, I think about Tommy’s case, I wonder what other therapeutic technique could accomplish that—resolving five childhood issues and alleviating major depression in a single session?!