Andrew* is a 23-year-old man, who lives with his parents. Because he suffered from depression and anxiety, and was ill at ease in social situations, holding down a job was a challenge. He suffered social isolation, claustrophobia and developed dependency on alcohol and a gaming addiction. His family was unaware of the extent of the problems he was facing, until he alerted them to it himself, at which point they supported him in finding a solution.
He described himself as “lonely and isolated”, “disconnected”, “not looking forward to anything, not being interested in things happening around me”, “little confidence” and “feeling blank and not being able to follow conversation”, “afraid of meeting new people”.
He had been experiencing these feelings since his early teens, when his gaming addiction developed.
Andrew comes from a loving, supportive family. When Andrew was in utero, his parents were living in a war-torn country, with bombs going off outside their apartment, and his father worked in security services. His early years were filled with the fear and violence naturally experienced when living in a war zone, and a sense of the innate hostility of the world was a part of his world view.
Andrew’s family moved to Australia when he was three. Along with this, came a sense of not belonging.
Andrew had seen a psychologist for several months, with CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) being the preferred treatment. This had helped him develop some positive habits, but had not resolved his anxiety, depression or sense of social isolation.
Andrew wanted to feel confident and socially connected, and comfortable in social situations. He wanted to experience a positive outlook on life, renewed energy, and a sense of purpose, and to feel comfortable in his own skin. He also wanted to be able to create meaningful friendships which were not based around alcohol or drugs.
Andrew completed the homework exercise, outlining the most stressful events in his life, and a list of desired outcomes. His homework highlighted a life characterised by feelings of danger, and isolation.
He then went on to undertake 3 sessions of TRTP (The Richards Trauma Process™), each a week apart.
Andrew listened to a recording of Session 1 three times until Session 2. He had been asked to listen to it daily. After Session 1 he felt little difference to his mood.
After Session 2 Andrew felt a sense of relief and calm, and a sense of freedom from distressing events from the past which had continued to affect his life.
Andrew reported an increased sense of positivity and purpose, and calm. (From my point of view, as his practitioner, he presented himself in the session with increased energy and easy enthusiasm. He looked clear and well-presented, his “fog” seemed to have lifted, and he was easily able to engage.) His sleep patterns had improved, and he no longer dreaded the day ahead.
1.5 months after our last session:
Andrew followed up 1.5 months after our last session. He reported feeling more at ease in social situations, and actively sought them out. He was building positive new friendships. He was feeling positive and enthusiastic about life, and found healthy habits (mostly centred around sleeping, exercise and eating) had begun to form quite naturally. He had started an online course in technology, and had begun to work with a business partner to build a business. He no longer felt the need of support from health professionals.