Freeing the Butterfly

Thirty years ago, I embarked on the exciting journey from voluntary counsellor to trained professional. I began my postgraduate training in clinical psychology. I had already co-founded a service for women with eating disorders, after being anorexic myself, but now I would be faced with anything from agoraphobia or severe depression to compulsive handwashing or phobias. It was a challenge I relished – but looking back, I wish I’d had the tools I can offer now, from inner journeys to energy psychology. I could have been so much more helpful and empowering.Despite training in psychodynamic psychotherapy, I was probably worse than useless for many clients, often re-traumatising them by talking through painful experiences from the past without any effective tools for releasing trauma. I could help them understand their issues, which can be reassuring, but I rarely knew how to help them change and move on. It was often achingly slow work. What I did offer was unconditional love – and, of course, that is a powerful transformative tool in itself. And sometimes, it was enough.

After ten years, I resigned from the Health Service – knowing that I could no longer be confined to working in a system which denied our spirituality, which separated mind and body, and which saw emotional dis-ease as a ‘problem’ to eradicate, rather than as a helpful pointer towards personal and spiritual growth. I felt like a caterpillar trapped in a chrysalis – and it was time for me to become a butterfly.

Releasing trauma at an energy level

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Twenty years on, we know so much more about the impact of stress and trauma, why patterns tend to repeat themselves, and (crucially) how to release trauma at an energy level, and to build new habits and beliefs into our subconscious. A vast array of energy healing modalities has emerged – from EFT and Matrix Reimprinting to Eden Energy Medicine and The Healing Codes – all of which recognise that the bodymind is an integrated system, and that ‘talk therapies’ work slowly, if at all, to shift the neural pathways set up by trauma and dysfunctional family patterns. (My CD, Healing Your Family Tree, offers two inner journeys which help to release these limiting patterns, and find new support from your family tree.)

As a young clinician, I remember seeing a woman with ‘thunderstorm phobia’ for several sessions. I was little help to her. Today, EFT would probably have healed her phobia in a single session – while also giving her a self-help technique which she could use for the rest of her life.

Energy healing can also awaken the soul. As we release resistance from the past, our vibrations rise and our consciousness expands – and many people embark upon a spiritual journey as a result of using energy tools to heal emotional or physical dis-ease. Once they are aware of the impact of the invisible realms – thoughts, beliefs, emotions, ancestral patterns, energy flow – people often move naturally to seeing the bigger picture of their lives, and asking bigger questions. Soul questions. Using acupuncture, homoeopathy or EFT can remind us that reality is more energetic than solid, and that energy-consciousness is the guiding force in everyday life. Change your thoughts, or shift your energy, and your life begins to shift – often in quite magical ways. Energy healing can help shift people into the new paradigm.Tracking down limiting beliefs
These days, talking with a client is simply my starting point. It helps to track down the underlying patterns of resistance, limiting beliefs or defences, and early traumas which set the scene. What is keeping this unique caterpillar stuck in its chrysalis? For many people, their ‘story’ about what is wrong or why they are trapped is exactly what is keeping them stuck – such as seeing themselves as a victim, or believing that a ‘good’ person always puts others first – and their story is what needs to be re-framed and re-evaluated. Then energy tools can be used to help her (or him) dissolve the old patterns, and move towards their vision of the future. Crucially, I use methods which people can take home and use: self-help techniques for releasing the past, stepping into their own power, and aligning with their higher (or future) self.

What was good about the ‘good old days’ of talk therapy? Sometimes people simply need to tell their story. They have not been listened to, or have withheld the truth, and being deeply heard is all they need in order to heal. I remember seeing a woman who had been raped as a teenager – and forty years later, she simply needed to tell someone. Not even her husband knew. An hour of talking relieved her chronic anxiety. Talk therapy can also show that symptoms have meaning and purpose. Seeing that your eczema flares up whenever you feel undermined as you did as a child, for example, can help you see that the body is always your friend. And any good therapist will offer unconditional love to their clients – accepting them as they are, not judging what they are feeling or experiencing, trusting that everything is perfect, and so allowing them to unfold their hidden potential in a place of warmth and safety.

A greater wholeness

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If you place a hundred small pendulums in a room with one giant pendulum, the smaller ones gradually begin to swing in resonance with the giant pendulum. For me, a good therapist-healer acts like a giant pendulum – seeing not what is ‘wrong’ with someone, but seeing the bigger picture and their true potential for health, happiness, love and creativity. Since we get what we focus upon, it makes sense to focus upon a positive future. (My CD, Your Future Self, helps you release limiting old voices from the past, and receive guidance from the future self of your dreams.)

We can still hold on to what was good from old-style therapies. We’ve simply expanded around them. Therapist-healers can now offer more effective routes to health and well-being – and as Gary Craig, founder of EFT, said, ‘We are still at the ground floor of the new healing high-rise.’ Who knows what the future will hold?

Sometimes healing still takes months or even years, depending upon the depth of transformation – but hopefully it is a meaningful journey. It is a journey of the soul. Healing comes from holos, meaning whole – so true healing is not a return to the past, but a movement towards greater wholeness and expanded potential. It means freeing a stuck caterpillar from its chrysalis, so that it can become a beautiful butterfly.

With love and blessings, Gill

www.livingmagically.co.uk
© 2011 Gill Edwards