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Steve WellsBy Steve Wells

"Say yes to life in spite of everything."

- Victor Frankl

In our Stuttgart workshop I had the privilege of doing a PET Session with an 81-year old German gentleman named Guenther. Guenther was blind, the result of being wounded in the trenches in the second world war when he was serving on the front line opposite the British and Australian armies. He was just 19 years of age at the time. He’d spent many years since the war working in the world of therapy as a psychoanalyst and participating in many many therapy sessions. And now at age 81 he came along to a workshop on Energy Techniques being run by a couple of mad Australians! I’ve often wondered what it was that attracted him to this new, alternative approach.

Guenther looked a very old. tired man as he was led, hunched over, to sit next to me for the session. Seeing as he was a military man and seeing the harshness and hardness in his body and hearing it in his voice as he started to talk about his problems, I found myself adopting a similar language style where I began delivering mock “orders” to him. This was balanced by the fact that I was gently tapping on the points for him, which I said I was only doing because he “couldn’t do it properly”.

The session was about Guenther’s lifelong quest to answer one fundamental question: Yes, or no? By which he meant to live, or to die, to be, or not to be. Of course, in PET we go to the dark side (in an exaggerated, perceptive way, whilst maintaining a loving connection and rapport), which inevitably allows the person to consider the light (as opposed to approaches which invalidate the client’s negative feelings and attempt to drag them into being more “positive”).

Here, the positivity is “called out” from within the client as the negative energy progressively disperses through the humour, tapping, and loving connected energy. Paradoxically, validating the clients dark thoughts and feelings within an atmosphere of trust and rapport begins to allow them to loosen their hold.

At one point the juxtaposition of my soothing tapping style combined with the provocative language led him to state: “I love your tapping, but I hate your f#@%ing philosophy!” This was a significant moment in the session, since he knew on one level that my “philosophy” was really an exaggerated mirror of his own negative internal thinking and feeling. In his voice tone as he said this was the first of some small signs of humour, which, to a PET practitioner is the sound of victory.

As we continued to tap while “tuning in” and with me humorously exaggerating this destructive inner philosophy, borne out of his mother’s failed attempts to abort him, his harsh treatment at her hands as a child, his subsequent blinding in the war, and other negative events and aspects, he actually started to soften, he began to laugh spontaneously, he became more animated and started sitting up in the chair, and by the end of our session his face was actually glowing. The wizened old man had come back to life.

During our feedback after the session, Guenther was asked how he felt. Perhaps some in the audience were wondering what he would say given that my provocative language style at times from the outside may have sounded quite harsh. His reply: “After this procedure I feel a deep openness and love for life.” A deep openness and love for life. Wow.

Guenther went on to explain that his first encounter with an Australian was when he was in the war opposite the Australian and British armies in the trenches on the front line of the battleground in Italy, where he saw and heard the Australians every day. Then he was blinded. There was a particular Australian major who was on the other side of the trenches on the day he lost his sight. Some years after the war, he was able to meet that man and, he said, (and here I knew he was also talking to me), “It was great to touch each other”. Later, he spoke to me directly: “It feels good to be with you.” And I with he. It was a moment of great mutual love and warmth that I’ll never forget.

It is sometimes hard to explain to people how you can use a provocative style where you seem to be saying the opposite of what is “supposed” to be helpful, and yet you can end up with a beautiful outcome like this. That’s because the key is never in the words which are spoken or the images which are portrayed but is really in the underlying energy and feeling and love which is being communicated at a deeper level. Antoine de Saint Exuprey said it best: “It is only with the heart that you can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye”.

We talk about energy because it is a convenient metaphor to make us seem all important and clever and act as if we know all about quantum physics. But it’s really love that transforms. What we are really doing is creating an opening to allow love to flow through us. That’s what creates the real healing, not the techniques we use.

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