Holistic Centre for Body, Mind & Spirit

30 March 2012

Case study – Maggie

All of the case studies you will read here are the experiences of real Anam Cara clients. They have asked for their real names not to be used to protect their privacy but all of them wanted others to know that problems can be overcome, whatever they are.


By society’s usual rules, I was a successful person – in my work and in my life. But below the surface, I was actually low in confidence and realising that at the age of 50 I didn’t really know who I was or why I behaved as I did.

It all came to a head when several major challenges arose all at once. I reached the big five-0, which is quite a moment for a woman as your body’s changing, your best years are behind you and the shortness of life really comes into focus. Accentuating that shortness of life was the fact that my father had died only two months earlier and on top of all this, I had recently been promoted to a job within a profession I hadn’t been in for long and it was all very different, new and unfamiliar. I felt like an idiot and I expected to fail.

So one day I decided I needed to speak to someone so I simply went to the phone book, found Anam Cara and rang. The strange thing was that usually when I ring (as I’ve learnt subsequently), it goes to answerphone but this first time, Sonia answered herself. She sounded lovely so I went along thinking I’d give it a couple of sessions and I’d be sorted. Two years on and I’m still on my journey – but I know I’m doing the right thing.

Learning about me

Talking to Sonia, I soon learned that throughout my life I’ve been managing my expectations – and other people’s expectations of me - by putting myself down at every opportunity. I can remember doing it as far back as school where I never expected to be picked for the netball team or as a dance partner.

It all stems back to my childhood when I was told I was a nightmare by my parents and I was the reason they didn’t want another child. You can imagine that if you’re told that often enough then you believe it, and believe you’re not good enough. As it turned out, my Mum had received the same message from her parents...I’ve been at pains to ensure my children are the ones that break the cycle.

I was definitely a bit frustrated at the start when it became clear that this wasn’t all going to be sorted in a couple of sessions. However, with time came the realisation that actually I wasn’t stupid and I was worth exploring.

In the past I’d have said I wasn’t interested in the kind of stuff Sonia brought up - the more spiritual side of things – but I’m coming round to it more and more. In retrospect, I have always had a strong intuition but not enough self-belief to follow it. And then, of course, I’d punish myself for not trusting myself.

Looking deeper

As well as speaking to Sonia, after a while I tried a few other treatments available at Anam Cara. I had acupuncture and remember one session in particular which was amazing. I had had terrible problems with heartburn for months but during this session I actually felt the heartburn move down through my body and out through my feet – and after constant problems before the session, it was another year after that before I experienced any heartburn symptoms at all.

The treatments that had the most impact, though, were meditation and Deep Memory Process. I’d never done either before. The meditation was like being in a dream state where things come to you and which you then explore afterwards. Meditation, and the discussion afterwards with Sonia, played a really important role in helping me actually take control of my mindset and move away from my usual patterns of dealing with situations. For example, if someone throws something challenging at me at work, my usual reaction would be ‘Oh my God!’ but now I can immediately follow that up with, ‘Hang on...first, you don’t have to be perfect and second, yes you can do it.’ I won’t settle for absorbing other people’s negative energy.

During the meditations, I had become familiar with a voice inside my head – an inner demon - always telling me I was stupid. It was the voice of my mum shouting at me for being naughty. Sonia recommended Deep Memory Process (DMP) to address this problem and in the very first session I found this demon, ripped it out and squashed it. I had two subsequent sessions and ever since then it’s like the volume on that voice in my head has been turned right down. I can’t hear it any more.

The DMP sessions were a real turning point that left me feeling refreshed and in control. It’s easy to be sceptical about these things – and I was, but not any more.

And now...

Now, among many changes, I feel I really appreciate living - and living in the moment. I’ve just had to reapply for my own job in a round of redundancies and I got my first choice job. Two years ago, I’d have gone for voluntary redundancy. In relationships, I think I’ve actually become a bit of a challenge because I’ve finally found my voice and become more self-assured. It’s meant things are not always easy.

In a way, I don’t actually want to lose all the less confident part of me because it was that which made me determined to work hard and be the best I could be. It’s a balance. But I’ll continue to explore.