As a Psychological Counsellor, I mostly apply some cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) techniques in my practice. I do enjoy to explore other therapy techniques, mostly those on, what I would refer to as, the alternative end of the therapy spectrum. I love having them used on me so that I can see if I gain any benefit from them. I then feel safe and confident to offer them as additional therapies for my clients. I do not believe that therapy is a one-fit-for-all solution and am open-minded enough to know that I am not the alpha and omega to a better life for my clients.

Counselling, being Talking Therapy, depends on a client’s ability to communicate what is going on for them. It sometimes happens that, for various reasons, the client cannot readily access the issue to be dealt with. This can lead to the counselling process taking longer to produce the desired results, sometimes leaving the client (and even the counsellor) unsatisfied.

I believe that being aware of and open to other forms of therapy, and being able to explore such options on behalf of my clients, is a way of assisting my clients to experience relief more readily than just continuing with talking therapy.

I have, over the years, used psychiatry, breath work, inner child word and trauma work with great success in conjunction with therapy.

I recently wrote an article, for which I do not own the rights so I cannot publish it here, on Eye Movement Therapy. My research included watching some videos about this and found it truly fascinating. It seems to be quite successful in the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD) and depression. At the same time, I started to get to know an old acquaintance a lot better.

I got to learnt that she is an amazingly interesting and wise soul. She is what I would refer to as “healer” and uses more techniques to mend the body and soul than what I know of or can reasonably comprehend.

Two of the healing techniques she uses are EFT (Emotional Freedom Tapping) and Matrix re-imprinting. When Janine told me about EFT, I immediately connected it with eye movement therapy. On reading about this a bit more, I learned that eye movement and EFT do indeed are related in some of their basic principles.

I wanted to know more about this and Janine offered to do an EFT and Matrix re-imprinting session on me. This would allow me to see what it is about and to experience its benefits. I am a sucker for any form of therapy that can help me in any way and when a therapy session is offered for free, I am there on the trot. That is how it happened that Janine and I ended up in my therapy room a few weekends ago - for a change me being the client.

I sat comfortably in a chair. Janine started off by asking me if there was a particular issue in my life that I specifically wanted to focus on. I recently had a professional setback, in that the company I was contracting for, due to no fault of mine, had to end my contract. I found that quite traumatic and realized that, at the ripe age of 50 and being a white Afrikaans male, alternative options were not exactly pouring in. It dawned on me that it is time for me to put my big boy undies on and, like a real adult, take responsibility for my life. It was time for me to put my lack of self-belief and low self-esteem behind me and start believing in me and what I have to offer. I thus told Janine that I would like to work on my self-confidence and belief in myself.

She started reciting some lines to me, which I had to repeat after her, while tapping myself lightly with my fingers on certain strategic spots on my body (as guided by her), mostly on the pinkie side of my hand, my forehead above my eyes, temples, under my eyes, under my nose, on my chin, on my heart and flanks. I also had to lightly massage the area between my pinkie and ring-finger (between the two bones running up to my wrist). I was told to massage my finger-tips and lightly pull them. It was all light and non-intrusive tapping, rubbing and pulling. Some of the phrases I had to repeat after her were things like “I deserve the best for myself” and “I am a wonderful person”. Frankly, I find these affirmation-type rituals quite embarrassing and frustrating, as I do not necessarily believe the things I have to say, but I kept an open mind and went with the flow.

A few minutes of the tapping and reciting later, I was asked if I would mind to move to the couch for meditation. I made myself comfortable and was then taken on a powerful guided meditation.

After some general journey taking and visiting my safe place meditation, I was instructed to invite all my ancestors, family and friends into a circle around me. There I asked them to free me from their imprinting a negative self-image on me. Basically I had to ask them to stop thinking negatively about me and thus exacerbating my negative image of myself. What I found fascinating, was that, in my mind’s eye, all these people were glowing a golden yellow colour. Janine instructed me to accumulate the negative thoughts in me like a pile of wood and set it alight. Which I duly did. This fire burnt in an intense maroon. I then cleared away the ash and was instructed that I could dispersed my entourage. Two figures did not want to leave me though. One was me, at age 5 (my inner child - whom I know well, as I have done a lot of inner child work previously) and a me of about 25, whom I have not encountered before. This young-man me was most delightful, confident and quite assertive. A me I either did not recognise or just could not remember. The message he gave me was that I used to be him and asked me what has happened to me that I have lost my confidence. He asked that I embrace him in support of our inner child in order to build up his confidence and show him unconditional love and acceptance.

This sounds slightly crazy, but it was extremely meaningful and powerful. I do not do drugs, so I was not hallucinating.

Coming out of the meditation I felt very different. I felt as if I have lost something, but at the same time gained so much more.

Janine explained that the colours have quite a significance in that yellow represents shame, while maroon symbolises that you do not allow yourself the best in life.

It dawned on me afterwards how symbolic the meditation was. I lived my life in shame of always believing that I was just not good enough and in fear of always disappointing my family. I further came to recognise how my addiction has robbed me of my confidence and my energy for living life. I distinctly felt how this matrix re-imprinting is giving me the opportunity to re-connect with the dormant confidence inside me.

I was left feeling that I have given up my shame and that I do deserve the best that life has to offer me. I can honestly say that I feel that my life has changed as a result of this amazing and strange experience.

I have asked Janine to write a second part to this article. In part two, she will explain more about the work she did on me. She will give more details on the fundamentals of EFT and matrix re-imprinting as well as how and why it works. I must say, I am looking forward to that, as I am still a bit in the dark on these details.

Today I am infinitely grateful not only for the work that Janine did on me, but also for my open-minded take on healing which allowed me the opportunity to experience this alternative to traditional therapy practices.