Rueben was a thirty-one year old Hispanic male. One of his presenting complaints, in addition to depression, was rage and a tendency toward violence. His Target List, identified by muscle testing, is shown below.
- PAST OR CHILDHOOD TRAUMA
- Age conception to five. Dad beat up Mom repeatedly.
- Age one to thirteen. Dad beat Rueben.
- Age eleven. Dad deliberately cut Rueben’s hair too short, over Rueben’s protest, and the other kids picked on him as a result.
- Throughout childhood. Dad physically and verbally abused Rueben’s brothers and sisters.
- Throughout childhood. Rueben was beaten up constantly by his older brother.
- GRIEF AND LOSS
- Age two. Mom grieved when she was separated from Dad when he left the country.
- Conception to birth. Mom felt pain and anger when she was sexually abused by Rueben’s uncle.
- SEXUAL ABUSE
- Age nine to eleven. Rueben was sexually molested three times by the same older boy. There was no one he could tell about it.
- Throughout childhood. Mom was sexually abused when Dad forced himself on her against her wishes.
- TOXIC SHAME
- Age thirteen. Rueben started to smoke marijuana with his brother and friends. He felt guilty, but it was a function of his need to “fit in.”
- Throughout childhood. Rueben attempted to comfort Mom who was being abused by Dad. He attempted also to comfort his sisters who were being abused by his older brother.
- THE ORIGINAL BASIC INCIDENT
- None. (We must have got this one earlier.)
- ABUSIVE RAGE
- None. (This may have also showed up earlier, given what he said about his father.)
- SEXUAL ADDICTION
- While Rueben admitted at the start that he was a sex addict, when we got to this category there was nothing there, likely because we had cleared the sexual molestations above.
- DYSFUNCTIONAL COMMANDS
- Dad said to Rueben repeatedly, “You’ll never amount to anything.” (Rueben added later,
“I didn’t want to be like him, but I was turning into him.”)
- DYSFUNCTIONAL IDENTIFICATION
- Despite the abuse, Rueben identified with his Dad, and took on many of his violent tendencies and sexual acting out.
At the outset, Rueben said he wanted to accomplish the following:
- Develop more self control where his rage and violence were concerned.
- Eliminate his depression and be happier with himself.
- Create a new social life and leave his old friends behind.
- Be more financially responsible.
- Heal his “stuff” with his father.
- Show his affection to those close to him.
On each of these treatment goals he at the start tested weak. In other words, they were all valid goals because he had not yet achieved any of them. On depression, anger, rage, and violence – items that at the outset I usually test for in such a case – he was also weak, meaning that they were unresolved.
We spent seven long sessions together clearing his entire list. At the end, he not only felt a lot better, but he also tested strong for each goal, indicating that they were all now true for him or at least becoming true. On anger, rage, and violence, he was also now strong. When I also said, “Think about your depression,” he tested strong.
As we parted, he said he felt like a different person. In fact, someone had challenged him to a fight, and he walked away, quite pleased with his new behavior. He was excited to realize that he didn’t have to respond with violence anymore. It was a validation that he’d broken the old pattern.
Sam, 28, had broken his wife’s nose. It was the most recent of his violent outbursts. She had left him temporarily, and he didn’t want to lose her permanently.
On “Think about your rage and violence,” he tested weak. His top priority item took us back to age eighteen. He immediately knew what it was. He had been out drinking one night with his best friend. His best friend got a ride home in a truck. The truck never made it. When it rolled over after missing a curve, both the driver and his best friend were killed.
Sam blamed himself – he suspected the other driver was too drunk to drive. As soon as he told me this, he started to cry. He said he’d tried not to think about it. He was so upset he hadn’t gone to the funeral.
I told him to write a goodbye letter and with tears streaming down his face, he complied. Then he said, “I feel better now.” On “Think about your grief and loss over your friend’s death,” he tested strong. On “Think about your rage and violence,” he was also strong.
I was stunned! We hadn’t even done any clearing. He didn’t even share his letter in group. I re-tested him, and got the same results. He said he felt a huge relief. It seemed that only the insight and tears were necessary – his system cleared itself somewhere along the way.
Interestingly enough, when we went to work on his codependency, which had been weak before, he now tested strong on that also. He explained the connection as follows – since he had failed to take care of his best friend that night, he had at some level decided to make up for it by taking care of everyone else afterward. After that session he described himself as becoming more self-oriented in a healthy way, and added that he didn’t have to take care of other people like he used to.
At the end of our work he said that he felt a lot better. A three month follow-up revealed that he and his wife were doing fine without any further rage or violence.
Mat was a government employee who had become homicidal toward his supervisors. He had also been physically abusive to his wife, and she was ready to leave. He as often overcome with attacks of uncontrollable rage. “I take nothin’ from nobody,” he proudly explained, adding that he never apologized.
But now he desperately wanted help. He could lose his wife and children. On “Think about your rage and violence,” he tested weak.
Major items on his Target List were:
- In the womb. His father was physically and verbally abusive to his mother.
- From three on. Father emotionally abused Mat, calling him stupid, swearing at him, calling him “Pumpkin Face,” telling him he’d never amount to anything.
- Age five. Father pointed a loaded gun in Mat’s face, threatening to shoot him.
- Age nine. Father beat Mat, kicking him down the stairs.
- Age ten. In a drunken rage, father tried to shoot Mat and his brother who were hiding behind the furnace, but he missed.
- Age eleven. Mat got beaten by his father when he tried to break up a fight between dad and mom.
- Age fourteen. Mat’s older brother, who had also suffered constant physical abuse from his father, hanged himself.
Mat elaborated on how his father abused him:
“My Dad used to toss me across the room like a bird, every time I got a bad report card, or didn’t clean up, or didn’t take out the trash, or even if I didn’t wear the right shirt. He used to drop me on my head. Most of the time when he beat me, he’d use a board or a fan belt or a stick. Mostly he’d hit me in the head, because he’d say that I couldn’t hear him talking in my head so maybe he could beat that into me.
We cleared everything on his list. The first sign that something was different occurred when a woman complained about some noise Mat was making. “I waited for myself to get angry,” Mat told me, “but the anger never came. The next day I apologized to her. What’s come over me?” he asked with a smile. At the completion of our work, Mat said:
I feel like a weight has been lifted. I used to suffer from these massive headaches, but after what we did together, I actually feel that something lifted off me. I never could talk about my brother’s death before, but it’s easier now. My chest feels lighter, too. You’ve done me a world of good. For the first time I feel I’ve got something to give my children.