I am posting another Case Study I submitted to Venu ji here, for your comments and feedback. The client’s request was a bit rigid, but the topic was very profound. I’ve seen many women suffer with this type of issue. I have experienced this in my life also during a certain period as well.
Thankyou in advance.
VERBATIM REPORT OF PLRT SESSION (VISUAL CUES AND OTHER COMMENTS INCLUDED)
THE CLIENT WANTED ME TO REGRESS HER TO HER EARLY CHILDHOOD, AND THEN MAKE HER TRAVEL THROUGH HER CURRENT LIFE TILL DATE, IN ORDER TO UNDERSTAND THE REASONS FOR THE FOLLOWING ISSUE: HER NEED FOR VALIDATION FROM MEN WHO HARM HER PSYCHOLOGICALLY.
This is not your standard PLRT case, but since it involved travel across her current lifetime, it falls within the boundaries of what I have been taught as a PLRT therapist. Hence, I accepted the case.
T: What the therapist said
C: What the client said
[ ] : Therapist’s observations and notes.
Note: In the [ ] text, therapist refers to Client as “she” and to herself as “I”.
[I started with the Dave Elman Induction, followed by Progressive Relaxation. I used the staircase and garden visualisations. I then asked the client to go to a happy moment in her childhood]
[The client is silent for a couple of minutes.]
C: I remember being at my Nana’s house.
T: What are you doing?
C: I am playing. My Nana loved me a lot and I was given a lot of importance in my Nana’s house.
T: OK. You felt love and importance.
T: Is there anything else you’re aware of?
C: Not really.
T: OK. Maybe you can travel even further back into your childhood now. Let your mind go wherever it wants to. I’m going to count back from 3 to 1. When I get to 1, allow your mind to travel to where you feel your issue began. 3,2,1.
[The client is silent for about 3 or so minutes]
C: I’m in my house. I think I am 3 years old. My dad is beating my mom. Their door is locked. I am crying. I am knocking on the door and screaming “Kholo, kholo”. (“open, open’) My Dada (paternal grandfather) is there. He tells me to go away. He doesn’t do anything.
T: How are you feeling?
C: I was feeling very anxious. I didn’t want my mom to get hurt.
[the client has tears rolling down her eyes. I wipe them off]
T: That must have been a very difficult experience. Did your dad beat your mom often?
C: No. There was verbal abuse, but not beating. But my mom would be OK after that and my parents would come back to normal very soon.
T: OK. So there was no physical abuse again. Only verbal abuse.
[Client concentrates for a minute]
C: It happened once again when I was older. My dad beat my mom. I told her why she is laying out dinner for him when he beat her? She said that these are things one has to deal with, and that when I got older I’d understand.
T: How do you feel this message impacted you as a child?
[Client is quiet for a while. She is still a bit shaken up. I give her some more time. I reframe the question – I take leeway]
T: Do you feel you grew up thinking that beating is an acceptable part of a relationship?
C: Yes, I think so.
I just remembered……… my college boyfriend slapped me once. I had forgotten about this all this time. I still continued to be with him. I would do all his homework and do whatever I needed to make him happy.
T: OK. Where do you feel you observed this behaviour in your childhood? Someone doing whatever they needed to do to make others happy, even if they suffered abuse – emotional or verbal?
[I realize I am leading a bit. However, I feel the client really needs clarity given her state of mind]
C: With my mother.
T: Are you aware if your mother ever told your Nana and Nani about the abuse?
C: She did. But they did not interfere. They said she had to handle it on her own.
T: OK. Let’s move further in your life. What was your next key relationship?
C: My marriage.
[Client got divorced after 2 years of marriage]
T: Ok. Breathe deeply and relax your body. We are now going to travel from your young adulthood to the married phase in your life. When I count from 1 to 3, allow you mind to travel forward to the time of your marriage. 1, 2, 3.
T: Tell me what you are aware of.
[client is silent for a minute]
C: I was not happy. It was abusive.
T: Did you ex-husband beat you?
C: No. There was verbal abuse.
T: What kind of verbal abuse did you suffer?
[client is silent for a minute]
My ex-husband would say things to me :
“Yeh Kachra mein kahan se utha laya”
(“Where did I pick up such trash from”)
He shamed me a lot. His family would not let me sit in the puja with them because I was not a Brahmin. They always made me feel like I was below them.
T: What do you feel is the reason that you allowed this to continue for 2 years?
C: I thought that they were my family and I was supposed to take care so that I could change things.
T: Are you aware of the reason you felt this way?
[Client is silent for a while]
C: My mother.
[she waits for a while. She is processing]
C: I think I got it from her. From watching her behaviour.
T: How did your marriage end?
C: My ex-husband was cheating on me. My mother found out and confronted him. He said he was on my mother’s face.
T: How did your mother react?
C: She told me to pack my bags and come home.
I remember I was crying. I was not ready to leave. I told her this is my family. I can’t leave.
T: What happened then?
C: My mom said that she was going to take me home for a week and that then we would decide what to do.
T: So your mom made you come back home?
T: How did you feel when you came home?
C: Traumatized. It took me time to get over the failure of my marriage.
T: I understand. Take some time to relax. Breathe deeply. You are completely safe here.
[I can see stress on the client’s face after reliving this traumatic phase. She has tears streaming down her eyes. I wipe them off. I give her a couple of minutes to feel calm]
T: Do you feel ready to travel forward in your life?
T: Ok. Keep breathing deeply and relax your body. You are now going to travel from the time after your marriage got over to when you started dating again. When I count from 1 to 3, allow you mind to travel forward to this time. 1, 2, 3.
[client is silent]
T: How do you feel?
C: I am very low on self-esteem. I opened a dating app and swiped all the men right. I felt happy when they all swiped right on me. I felt happy that they thought I was a good match.
T: Did you date anyone at that time?
C: Yes. But I protected myself. I was Ok with things being temporary. I didn’t want to bear the trauma of marriage that I had been through.
T: I understand.
C: Are you aware of any any abusive relationships from that time?
C: Yes. One. He accused me of stealing. I kept trying to make him believe that I hadn’t.
T: How did the relationship end?
C: I was having difficulty to end it. A friend helped me end it.
T: OK. Let’s move to your present now. I’m going to count from 1 to 3. At the count of 3, allow yourself to move to the present while maintaining this self-aware state, and continuing to keep your eyes closed. 1, 2, 3.
[client takes a few minutes]
T: How do you feel now?
C: I am disturbed. My mental health is poor.
T: What do you feel is the reason?
C: My ex-partner still keeps on disturbing my mental health.
T: How does he do that?
C: He shames me a lot. About my clothes, my behaviour, who I go out with.
T: How do feel when this happens?
C: I feel guilty. Confused. I feel like I have to convince him that I am a good person and not what he thinks.
T: OK. Imagine that you are watching your life from afar. You are detached. You are an observer.
T: What do you feel is happening with you right now?
C: I have lost my self-esteem. I am full of self-doubt. I keep asking my friends if I am right or wrong about what my ex-partner says.
T: Where do you think this feeling is coming from?
C: I think from my mother.
T: Do you remember a time when she was full of self-doubt?
C: Yes. I remember once my mom went out to get ice cream for my dad to surprise him. Instead of being happy, he started getting angry with her. He told that she had wasted money and she didn’t even know that he didn’t like this flavour.
My mom started crying. She told me that it was her fault. She should have checked with my dad first. It was her fault my dad was upset.
T: As you evaluate this memory from a distance, do you feel it was your mom’s fault that your dad was upset?
T: Are you aware of the reason she was still full of self-doubt, just like you are right now?
C: Because my father used to judge her a lot.
T: Do you think your father’s judgment of your mother was correct?
T: Are you aware of the reason for your mother still being so affected by it?
C: Because she had low self-esteem from being constantly judged.
[the client looks sad. A tear rolls down her eye. I wipe it off]
T: I know all this processing is difficult. Just relax. You are doing very well. You are being able to look at your life from a distance. Just keep breathing deeply. All is well. I am here with you.
[Client takes time to collect herself]
T: What do you think is the lesson for you after recognizing the patterns that are repeating in your life?
C: I have to distance myself from my mother and father’s relationship. I cannot copy it in my life.
C: I don’t have to behave like my mom. She was helpless. She wasn’t very educated. She wasn’t financially independent.
[client pauses for a minute. I let her process]
She always pushed me to be independent. She used to say that I have to get out of Meerut and be financially independent. I didn’t understand then, but now I understand why she pushed me so hard. That’s I am where I am today.
[Client is a highly paid consultant abroad]
T: How would she want you to live your life?
C: With high self-esteem and confidence.
T: How do you feel after having understood this.
C: I feel light. I feel hope.
T: Yes. Feel this hope vividly.
[I give the client a couple minutes]
T: Are you ready to emerge now?
T: Ok. I will count from 1 to 10. As I do, feel yourself becoming more and more alert. You will be in full control of your mind. You will feel relaxed and peaceful when you finally open your eyes.
10, 9, you’re slowly becoming more and more alert. 8, 7, you are emerging from this deep relaxed state. 6, 5, you are feeling more alert, and you remember your lesson. 4, 3 you’re about to come to the present moment. You are going to feel relaxed and peaceful. 2, 1.
T: Slowly open your eyes. How do you feel?
C: I feel like I have clarity. Thankyou.