Adam – a case study involving dialogue with a preverbal child
I’ve been in the healing field for over 15 years and there have been some miracles I’ve participated in that amaze even me. At this time of year, I like to remember some of those miracles and share them with you, to give us all faith that there is more to life than the visible. All we need is trust.
One therapy that I’ve practiced for almost my entire professional career is CranioSacral Therapy (CST). It’s light touch, relaxing, and can help with anything from stress to pain of all kinds because it gets your self-healing mechanisms moving. If you don’t think you have self-healing, remember that paper cut you got last week? Where is it?
Cindy arrived with her son, Adam, who was a bright 18 month old. Cindy had come for a session herself the week before. Adam was one of a set of twins and there had been complications during the birth. Cindy’s center stomach muscle had ripped during the delivery. The female twin, Elizabeth, was breach. The doctor decided to do a C-section.
The anesthesiologist accidentally punctured Cindy’s spinal canal while giving Cindy an epidural. Then, while administering a blood patch to the spinal cord to repair the puncture, they accidentally injected blood into the cerebrospinal fluid (the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord, separated from the blood by the blood-brain barrier). As a result, Cindy has suffered aseptic meningitis, high blood pressure and neurological problems including vomiting, skin burning sensations, sight difficulties and lower back pain.
After Cindy got some relief from her first CST session, she wondered if it would help her son, too. He was hyperactive, irritable, angry, and had tantrums often that lasted for hours. Cindy and Adam arrived and I had them both lie down on the massage table.
Adam was lying beside Cindy. I placed my hands on Adams head. I began to gently feel the placement of the bones of his head and I felt some severe pressures. I also felt pressure in his organs, especially his liver.
In the manor we are taught as CST therapists, I allowed his little system to slow down and rest. It was if he had been on overdrive.
When I did that, Adam spontaneously climbed up onto his mother’s stomach and arranged himself in the fetal position. This is a sign to an experienced Craniosacral Therapist that the child is revisiting his birth experience. I asked Cindy to close her eyes and imagine the birth scene. I addressed questions to Adam, and asked his mom if she would answer for him.
This is a common visualization technique that I do frequently to get at underlying problems. The client visualizes or imagines freely. I ask questions and they answer, kind of free association whatever comes to mind first. The unusual thing about this situation was that I was asking questions to a pre-verbal child. What the heck. We had nothing to lose. It couldn’t hurt him.
“The way this works”, I told Cindy, “Is just answer the first thing that comes to mind. Don’t try to think of the answers. And don’t edit.”
I asked Adam where he was. Cindy answered for him, saying he was in the operating room.
“What do you see?” I asked.
“I see the doctor walking into the room,” Cindy answered for Adam. “I see evil in his eyes.”
Cindy said, “Adam is totally enraged. It’s a panoramic thing. The doctor comes in and walks around the room. Adam is screaming at him ’Don’t touch my mom!’ He’s screaming ’Leave my mom alone! Leave her alone!’”
Cindy continues, “The doctor hears Adam and stops. The doctor looks at Adam and there’s a change in his eyes. Adam sees that the doctor is sorry. The doctor says, ’I’m sorry’ to me and Adam.”
I asked Adam what it was like in the womb. It was crowded and uncomfortable. He was aware that his mother was frightened and in pain. He had been angry with the doctor for hurting her. He wanted to help her, yet he couldn’t. He had only been able to watch and the situation had enraged him.
I suggested that Adam could re-do or imagine his birth and this time it would be exactly as he wanted it to be. Adam imagined himself with plenty of room, comfortable and warm. He had the womb all to himself.
I told him he could stay there as long as he liked. He said he was lonely and missed his sister. So he invited her in. After a time, he got into position to be born, wiggled off his mom’s belly, and we celebrated his birth.
Cindy was surprised that Adam had been so cooperative during the hour-long session. She was visibly moved by the experience.
I saw her a week later when she arrived for her own appointment. This is what she said:
“I can’t believe the change in my son! He’s like a different child. He’s happier. He hasn’t thrown a tantrum all week—not like before. If he got upset, it only lasted a minute and he was over it. Before, the tantrums lasted for hours and he’d get blue and his veins would pop out.
I saw a change as soon as we left here. He was singing. Usually, he hates to be in the car. He hates the confinement of the car seat. He just screams. But after we left, he sang when I put him in the car seat and then he fell asleep.”
As of Cindy’s next session, weeks later, Adam continued to be a happy child.