How the Personal Retreat Program Changed my Life
By Joanie McGovern, CHT
I graduated from the Alchemy Institute’s Professional Hypnotherapy training in the summer of 2012. Several months later I contacted my teacher, David Quigley, because I was experiencing a fear that I did not understand. Even though my new Alchemical Hypnotherapy practice was developing beautifully, I was hesitant to charge money for my sessions.
My new practice was busy with clients; I was getting good feedback and feeling confident in my skill as a new practitioner - yet the thought of charging money made me strangely uneasy and fearful. It was almost like I didn't think in my subconscious mind that I could morally justify charging for sessions.
After explaining to David what was going on, he suggested that I try a Personal Retreat Program. This was four hypnotherapy sessions, given over a two day period. David told me that each session builds from the previous one, giving all of the sessions a powerful momentum for healing and transformation. And this is exactly what happened for me.
As with all Alchemical Hypnosis processes, the subconscious mind produces the memories we need to examine. In the first session I was brought back to a specific childhood memory when I was about eight, and a new girl had joined our dance class.
For some reason I felt very threatened, ended up quitting the class and felt regret about that. It felt like I couldn't handle challenges and would cop out when presented with confronting situations. In our session, David suggested that I bring in my new inner mother Bella, who coached me and supported my feelings. I had felt jealous of this new girl and hated myself for even having these feelings. David and Bella explained how natural my feelings were! They talked directly to young Joanie, explaining that my feelings were quite natural and that I could get through it. When we transformed the memory (a revolutionary Alchemical method developed by David) young Joanie ended up staying in the class with her inner mother’s support. This created new feelings of confidence in my courage and dedication.
In the second session I met with my real mother. A memory emerged of her saying that I was too intense and she wished I would stop being such a problem all the time. I was about ten at the time. My mother really loved me and I don't think by telling me this she was trying to hurt me. She was just overwhelmed herself because I was number nine out of thirteen children. My adult self could easily imagine that having a young child this intense could be difficult for a busy mom to handle. Nevertheless, I had internalized what Mom told me and carried it with me for years, fearing my intensity and especially those unwanted "intense" emotions. I also saw in this session that I had never had the chance to be a "girl" in my family. You see I had six older brothers; it was a male dominated household, where the expression of emotions was not acceptable. Much of my childhood experience was about fierce competition and an associated anxiety of being a girl with the “undesirable" feelings of my gender.
David spoke directly to young Joanie, telling her that her emotions and her enthusiasm were not too much. He helped her to understand that her mother was just too busy raising all those children. Again my inner resources came to the rescue as David invited me to transform the memory. This time, my inner parents brought me to a new inner home, one that was set up just for me! There were dolls and toys and a closet full of dresses, where I could be…a girl! I came away from my second session with a new understanding about expressing my true feelings (no judgment of good or bad). I now understood that it was by suppressing and not expressing my feelings that made it feel like they were too much. I ended this second session rediscovering the joy of feeling, the joy of expressing my feelings, of understanding how positive self expression is essential, and of course the joy of being a girl!
In our third session David anchored all that we had done the day before, including a lengthy journey through my life as a girl in my new inner home with my inner parents. It was so fresh and alive for me. My subconscious mind and conscious mind seemed to be working harmoniously together. This third session was so powerful; it felt like I took in all of the suggestions on a cellular level. The change that was happening within me was quite tangible.
I was wondering about the fear that had brought me to David in the first place. What did all this have to do with my fear of charging money for sessions? Well, the best was yet to come. In our fourth and final session, we addressed the gut feeling of it being “wrong” to charge for my services.
During the session, David suggested that I could return to a memory of the very first time I felt this way. I regressed to a past life as a doctor in the 1500’s during an epidemic of bubonic plague. Everyone was dying. I was a successful doctor at the time but all my training and status as a physician were powerless to stop this terrible disease. My son died and my wife blamed me for this. She was also resentful that I was still seeing patients, trying desperately to save them without success, when instead we could have fled as most of my well placed colleagues had done. Unfortunately for me and the entire world at that time, there was no cure. I ended up dying (of the plague) feeling like a failure because I didn't know how to cure my own family and patients despite all my skills and reputation. I felt like a phony!
Next, David spoke about the history of the plague and how it finally came about to be cured, pointing out to the doctor that scientists didn't even discover bacteria or antibiotics for hundreds of years after this doctor’s lifetime. He told the doctor that there was no way he could have saved anyone with the knowledge of medicine then in its infancy.
The doctor expressed a fear that, “Joanie may also be vulnerable in her practice today to such a universal disaster.” David explained to him that the world in 2013 is a very different place and also that hypnotherapy is quite different than being a medical doctor. He explained that doctors now have all kinds of new methods for conquering diseases and that I would not be solely responsible for my clients’ survival. That as a thoroughly trained hypnotherapist, I would be a part of a healing team that worked with doctors and their patients on the modern plagues of cancer, addiction, obesity, arthritis and degenerative diseases. And that for this modern plague I would be well equipped to achieve results in conjunction with medical doctors. (My Alchemical Hypnosis training specializes in this kind of complementary medicine.)
Then I suggested that I could audit some upcoming classes with the doctor present just to show him how well trained I am. It seemed that this really made the doctor relax and trust that after auditing I would definitely be ready to begin charging clients and more importantly, to believe in my healing ability again.
The results? I audited the classes and am now happy to report that charging for my services is no longer a problem. Also, my confidence and self expression is way up. I feel in many ways like a whole different person. I also feel very connected to the former doctor who is a very important figure in my inner world; his new found confidence is helping me to claim my professional identity, and open my mind to new learning. And my new inner “Girl” is alive and well as never before. Like David says, solving the presenting problem is only the tip of the iceberg compared to the changes these two days wrought in my life.
I recommend this experience to anyone. Please contact me if you have any questions about this experience.
San Francisco, CA
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