I had been in and out of counselling/therapy for nearly 30 years - since being in my early teens - as I found it very difficult to make relationships. This wasn't exclusive to finding a partner to have a relationship with - but everyday relationships with anyone at all - in fact other than the friends I have made since having therapy with Michael - I can honestly say that I had never had a friend of any description.
It stemmed back to my early childhood and being told "who would want to be your friend" by a teacher and everyone in the class laughing about it - and later being bullied and the bully saying over and over "nobody will ever be your friend" and making sure by bullying anybody else that tried to talk to me.
When I went to secondary school, this 'tag' followed me and if anyone made an attempt to speak to me - I would be crushed with fear inside - so I would ignore them/walk away etc which only made the situation far worse.
This very poor self image then developed into anorexia throughout my teenage years and then later in my mid-twenties I developed Mysophobia - a fear of germs - which eventually ended up with me becoming house bound and a recluse.
It was only when my social worker told me about someone she heard about from a friend - that had helped her son with a similar issue - that I agreed to see Michael. She told me that he used a technique called Havening, so I looked on the internet to find out what I could about it. There wasn't much, but I read enough to understand the concept of what the technique was designed to do so I thought 'It's worth a try'..
What happened when I met Michael can only be described as miraculous!
In our first session he gave me an overview of how the technique worked and discussed the things that had caused me to feel so negative about myself as a child and the incident that kicked off my Mysophobia. That is when my life changed beyond anything I could have imagined. He got me to use the Havening technique to alter how I saw the original memory of my teacher saying "who would want to be your friend" - the emotion that I felt when I thought about it was being abandoned and the level of distress that I felt out of 10 was 10 (it would have been higher if it was possible to say more than 10!) - but within around 10 mins the number had gone down to 0 - and I wasn't able to 'see' the memory in the same way any longer. In fact, it was nearly impossible to even see it as it seemed so distant.
The same thing happened with the incident that caused my Mysophobia - once again the unit of distress went from a 9 to 0 in minutes and I felt as if the iron doors that had been built around my heart broke open for the first time since I was a child. I cried for ages - but not bad tears - they were tears of joy. I felt free, alive and excited about what the future held for me - something that I had NEVER felt before - and this was after just one session! I know if you are reading this you may find it hard to believe as I guess I may have before it happened to me - but it is true!
Since then I am no longer house bound I have made friends easier than I ever could have imagined and I have got a voluntary job at my local charity shop where I have so many interesting conversations with people - as this is something else I never had the confidence to do. So to say that Michael helped to give me my life back is an understatement!
So I would like to say thank you for helping me to get my derailed train onto a 'new track' - one full of excitement and opportunity where there was none before. These words just don't seem anywhere near enough - but thank you from the very bottom of my heart.