We’d like you to meet Rema and Sheela. These are two ladies who have phenomenally turned around their lives with therapy sessions. These are real stories of Real patients with their names changes.
Rema came to Therapy after trying multiple techniques to help her combat a severe phobia of needles. She had tried aversion therapy, counseling, and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, but none of these had worked. Rema later developed a medical condition that required regular self-injections of medication, meaning if she didn’t overcome her phobia, her life was at risk.
Rema’s phobia emerged from a traumatic childhood experience of involving an injection. The fear and negative thought processes that were associated with this experience were etched deep in Rema’smind. This brought about a “flight response” whenever she had to deal with things or situations where needles were involved.
Sheela was involved in a car crash following which she grew anxious and uncomfortable while driving. However, driving was central to Sheela’s job. Therefore without overcoming the anxiety provoked by the car crash, Sheela’s career was at high risk.
Sheela was diagnosed with PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder). She came to therapy to overcome her anxieties with driving and to get back to feeling like her confident self.
How Therapy helped change the lives of these women.
After their initial telephone assessments, both women agreed to therapy with their respective therapists. With Rema’s and Sheela’s problems stemming from traumatic experiences, their therapist decided to use an appropriate therapeutic approach effective for phobias, depression, PTSD and anxiety.
It sometimes happens that when we experience something traumatic, the mind does n’t process this information thoroughly. This can lead to our thoughts and emotions becoming imprinted on our minds even though the memory itself may have faded. This results in painful feelings of anxiety, panic, despair or anger continuing to be triggered even in the present. Therapy helps create the connections between the brain’s memory network. As a result of this, the memory of the traumatic event gets processed naturally by the brain.
Although usually when we refer to trauma, we think about extreme events and experiences, however, in reality, any situation which can be unusually disturbing or distressing can cause it- these can include job loss, grief, and divorce.
How does Therapy work?
With both of the ladies above, they met the therapist for a series of sessions. During their first meeting, the therapist worked with them to find out the root cause of their trauma.
In Rema’s case, this was her distressing early childhood memory of needles, while for Sheela it was a more recent car crash. In both cases, the discussion centered around the feelings these memories aroused in them as well as other related ideas that were connected to them.
The courage demonstrated by both women was an essential element of the recovery process because it primarily involved facing the fear head-on. Further to this the reprocessing of their experiences with the help and guidance of the therapist enabled them to experience the distressing memory with balance and clarity.
How are Rema and Sheela now?
Both ladies have completed their sessions and have experienced incredible results. Rema is now able to administer her own injections to deal with her medical condition. “I would never have done this without Therapy.” she says, “My therapist listened to me deeply and helped me understand what exactly was going on which led me to have the feelings I did.” To celebrate her life-changing breakthrough, Rema now has a tattoo!
Sheela, on the other hand, has begun to drive, “My experience was so amazing that I would recommend therapy for anyone struggling with issues.” One step at a time, I started to feel better, and now I feel like myself finally.”
Therapists find such experiences gratifying as they have been instrumental in helping clients achieve what means to them so much.