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Silent Mind Technique™ ('hearing voices') treatment results
December 16, 2009
Below are the results by two people who used our Silent Mind Technique™ (SMT) in 2006. The first client had a severe case of 'hearing voices'. The second client was a typical person who simply wanted to improve their mediation practice. The process typically takes less than 6 hours, and the effects are permanent.
Certified PeakStates therapists use this technique with clients on a ‘pay for results’ basis in their offices. (Clients who use anti-psychotic medication or have a more serious problem are referred to our clinics.)
Gina's Story (2007)
"Imagine about thirty drunk students camped out in the lounge room of your mind, yelling at each other while watching bad daytime TV"
[Editor's note: This striking testimonial was written a year after the Silent Mind Technique™ (SMT) treatment. This person was a good example of a completely sane schizophrenic. The client heard obtrusive voices - making them schizophrenic by definition - but was not 'delusional' in any other way. This person is an excellent example of the range of the problem, and our misconceptions about it. Most people have 'voices' to some degree or another, but we just think of it as 'random thoughts'. After the SMT is used, even a typical, 'healthy' person finds that their mind becomes permanently quiet, as if they were in deep meditation at all times.]
"So you’re wondering about the silent mind process?
Before I had the process done I had no idea how badly I needed it. Sure I couldn’t meditate if my life depended on it, and my internal life was very chaotic, but wasn’t everyone like this? I talked to myself a bit (ok, a lot) (ok, all the time) and sometimes my whole day would somehow vanish in a stream of endless conversations, all in my head, but they were lucid conversations. They just never stopped. Ever.
The inside of my mind was noisier than my 1988 university lodgings. Imagine about thirty drunk students camped out in the lounge room of your mind, yelling at each other while watching bad daytime TV, with the stereo blaring at the same time. Oh yeah, and they’re all chewing pizza with their mouths open. Loudly. Imagine trying to study, work, live, love, relate and sleep in the middle of that.
Welcome to the first thirty six years of my life.
Getting to sleep was torment. I‘ve been an insomniac since I was a small child. My mind would race, churn and wind back, chattering to itself all the way. It would talk itself into countless loops. I’d eventually drift into a broken half-sleep and wake heavy, listless and unrested. It got so I’d postpone going to bed, later and later, anything to avoid lying there not sleeping, talking to myself again. I read literally thousands of books, as this was the only thing that ever shut the voices up (ok, kids, it’s storytime!); I read until I was so tired I’d fall asleep with the book open.
The thing is, I didn’t know any different. It’s just always been like that.
I’d tried to meditate many times, without success. ‘Just let the thoughts rise, and fall away,’ the meditation teacher would say. Yeah, right. My thoughts didn’t fall away, ever. They’d start their own commentary on the teacher, the technique, and then they’d be off rehashing old conversations, creating new ones until it was the thought olympics instead of zen silence... ‘…guys, pay attention, I’m s’posed to be meditating…’ I’d mentally hiss. There’d be order for about two seconds, then they’d start again, the unruly, undisciplined buggers. I think I managed to meditate once for about seven seconds, before the kindergarten chatter started. World record. Gold medal. Woo hoo.
It had been like this my whole life. I thought it was normal, and I was just a bad meditator, wasn’t trying hard enough, wasn’t focusing.
Because I didn’t know any different, the voices were just background noise to the soundtrack of my life. They never told me nasty things, or were hostile or particularly mean. They were just…talkative. Helpful. Cheerful. Incessant.
I am a bodyworker, and anyone in the healing arts will tell you that being present is an important part of the healing process. But for me being present meant hanging out with the noisy students in their non stop party. So I developed an ability to split the awareness of my mind and body so my mind could chatter away to itself while my body got on with doing the work. I am still amazed my clients achieved any results, considering I was barely there most of the time. My body seems to really know what it’s doing (after twenty years of practice, I guess it’s figured a few things out) and sometimes I’d ‘come to’ at the end of a session and think ‘oh, no, that must have been terrible, I don’t even remember it’ only to have the client thank me for the best session ever. Go figure.
However there was a limit to how deep I could go with people, and I knew there was more, just had no idea how to get to it.
An intensive healing search brought me to a Peak States 1 workshop in Jan 2006. On the eighth day, I achieved Silent Mind (with much-needed help from Tal… my voices weren’t too thrilled with the idea of losing their identities and created havoc while I was trying to run the process. Apparently I had a stubborn version of this problem.)
The process worked.
I cannot even begin to convey what it was like to lie there with my mind echoing to a beautiful cathedral-like silence. For the first time in my life, I could hear the radiant emptiness of peace. I wept. ‘They’re gone. They’re gone.’ I wept some more.
I walked around in wonder, listening to the silence outside, the leaves whispering against each other, so distinct, so clear. I reckoned if I listened long enough I could hear the moon.
I haven’t stopped smiling, and it was a year ago.
The quality of my life has completely transformed. I am unrecognizable.
I sat a 10 day vipassana meditation course and meditated beautifully. My yoga practice has deepened. The healing work I’ve been doing has changed profoundly; not only have I incorporated some of the whole hearted healing and EFT techniques, but the level of presence I bring to each session now is solid and silent. Clients are achieving results I couldn’t dream of a year ago. I am achieving results in my own healing that have never been possible before.
I sleep. Oh, goodness, how blissful is it to say that and mean it. I sleep.
My relationships have changed for the better with everyone, including my family. I am calm pretty much all the time, and the manic edge which fueled every waking minute has eased. I am much easier to be around, according to everyone I love. I am sane (well, I think I’m sane. Sane-ish?)
I love the silence. I adore the quiet. I cherish the stillness. I won’t watch tv, listen to the radio or play cd’s. I don’t want to break this beautiful, blessed silence. Sometimes I lie under a tree and listen outward in concentric circles, seeing how far I can hear. As I write this the only commentary I hear is the fridge, humming away. No voices.
This change has affected every single aspect of my life in a positive way. I was in prison in a straitjacket looking through a window at freedom, with no way of touching it. Now I’m walking around in that freedom, still pinching myself that it’s real.
Every single day I am grateful to Grant and Tal and the whole peak states team, to everyone who has contributed to this body of knowledge, to those who have sacrificed everything to bring this level of healing to us.
Thank you for the precious gift of silence."
~ Gina Chick
Lars' story (2007)
I did the silent mind process over two times. The first time was probably only 50% result, even so my head felt calm and quiet. My meditations improved 100%.
Then after completely entering the silent mind state, so many voices and thoughts have gone, and instead a wonderful peace have spread. I do not anymore have these unnecessary incomplete projects existing in my mind. Meditation still gets better.
A before and after testimonial from a schizophrenic client who was on medication (2007)
[Editor's note: This person is a good example of a person with schizophrenia who is able to control the problem with antipsychotic medication, but the drugs had side effects and not all the symptoms were eliminated. The first part of this testimonial was written just before the first session, before any treatment with us, and the second half was written the day after, before the treatment was completely finished.]
"I am presently using prescription medication for schizophrenia. The voices I hear are intermittent these days. Many days, I don’t hear anything from them. I tend to hear if I’m doing something creative - yesterday I drew an image and heard feedback about it… A month ago I was frustrated during a carpentry job and heard comments… I was feeling annoyed another day around that time and talking about it in my head, and there was response to that."
"On a good day I hear nothing, but the sense of being observed stays with me. I haven’t had a really bad day with them since I was hospitalized in November. Generally the voices are more helpful or kind seeming - but too many times they’ve become brutal in the past."
"I feel I have no privacy and my ability to be intimate is severely curtailed."
"I don’t notice any ambient noise in my head."
"Five years ago I had what’s been called three psychotic episodes over one years time. During this time I had many blissful experiences which turned ‘demonic’ and quite terrifying. I had to balance very extreme energies. This took all my focus and energy, leaving me exhausted and unwilling to connect with the world for two years. These experiences were brought under control with antipsychotic medication."
"There were not upsetting experiences with voices for three years until last November, when I began hearing voices again. For 2 weeks they were friendly, encouraging and quite pleasant. One night they became quite threatening - saying they were going to ‘teach me a lesson’. The basic idea was that the world would go to war, millions would die, because of my songs. This sounded unrealistic to me, but the voices were persistent and convincing. They continued to harass me and attempted to intimidate me. I stayed in hospital for 10 days or so, until the voices were once again non-threatening."
"The issue of privacy has been seriously compromised. While having showers, I would hear male voices commenting on my body. This would bring up a lot of anger and feeling violated. I also felt I wouldn’t be able to be in an intimate situation again, as there was always an ‘audience’ watching and commenting."
[Editor’s note: The next section was written after the first SMT treatment session. We were training a new therapist, John, in the procedure. He needed to do two sessions to completely eliminate the client’s voices, taking a total of about 3.5 hours spread over three days. The following was written after the first session.]
Yesterday afternoon, I underwent a 2 ½ hour session of SMT with John, Paula and Grant. At first I had difficulty focusing due to the chattering voices that had become so familiar to me. The emotion I felt was mild, predominantly anger and a sense of violation I feel at having these voices in my head. We took a few breaks to check in. At some point after the second check in there seemed to be some sort of static, then the voices went silent.
Later in the evening, while I was trying to see if I could hear the voices, there were some - but at a greater distance, as if there were a barrier between us and I could perceive the echo of their voices.
I awoke early this morning and felt quite energized and the idea that I could be free of these voices filled me with hope and thoughts of a friend I have who has suffered terribly from schizophrenia. This process has given me more relief and confidence in the outcome than 5 years of anti-psychotic medication which never completely silenced the voices but at higher doses would induce much needed sleep and helped with the anxiety the voices provoked.
[Editor's note: At the end of the second session, she could no longer detect any voices or feel any presences.]
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2.0, December 16, 2007: Deleted the letter from the VIHA at their request.
1.0, October 23, 2007: Put a testimonial from a voice hearing client who used our process. Put up a letter from the Vancouver Island Health Authority describing a demonstration we did on two of their clients in June of 2007.