Updated: Jan 4
When I was initially learning what is now known as the Insightful Change Method, I was looking for volunteers. Anyone that would let me help them change their negative outlook on specific issues of life. Anyone that would let me "practice" on them. That was 32 years ago....
In the beginning, I was my #1 Client. I had to get my own childhood trauma, and negative life experiences out of the way before I could help others. We cannot take someone somewhere - where we are not willing to go ourselves.
About six months in, working with these techniques, I got a phone call from a relative informing me that another relative was considering a murder/suicide, and could I help?
My knee-jerk response was...."I have never dealt with this issue! I'm not sure how to proceed"... then I thought... "If not me, then Who?" So I booked my airline ticket and headed out west. I had to at least try. All I can do is my best and hope for the best possible outcome.
Well, when my relative got wind that I was coming he was in a battle in his mind - "Do I hurry up and get this done before she arrives; or wait and let her try to change my mind..."
Later he told me that he was so moved that I cared enough to come out and try to help, that he would hear me out and once I left, he would carry out his intent.
I didn't know that was his thought process at the time, and it wouldn't even have mattered if I did know. I would have gone no matter what. I had to give it my best effort.
The day I arrived we got to work immediately. The session was 4-hours long and at one point this big 6'4" Texas tough guy cried his heart out like he had never done before. after which, he was exhausted and went to bed with the promise that he would do nothing until he had a good night's sleep.
I, on the other hand, barely slept. I slept on the couch and woke up frequently during the night to check on him. The next morning, he awoke refreshed and calm with a big smile on his face. He said he had never slept so soundly since before he went off to prison. He felt at peace for the first time in many years.
I observed him carefully during the rest of that day, and his change seemed genuine. However, the real test would come later when his soon to be ex-wife came by to pick up her clothes. As it turned out, they talked peacefully for some time; gave each other a big hug, then she went on her way.
I continued to work with him to overcome his troubled past. He had done a lot of bad things in his life, but wanted to let them all go. In time he left it all behind and had earned the respect of many as he moved on through life, eventually dying peacefully in his sleep.
* ICM = Insightful Change Method
If you would like more information on how the Insightful Change Method (ICM) works you can find detailed information here.