Place of residence: USA
Relationship status: married, marriage problems, four-year old son
Profession: leading position in a national company
Upon her arrival at the CALDA Clinic, Jane senses inner unrest and suffers from sleep disorders. The backgrounds: For three years, she no longer feels able to regularly do exercise and consumes alcohol excessively. As a result, she has also put on ten kilograms. She is experienced severe conflicts in her marriage. Her husband, who is 15 years her senior, has already been married twice and is a sober alcoholic with narcissistic personality traits. During her pregnancy, Jane feels an emotional distancing to her partner and finds out that he is living a double life. For years, he has been unfaithful to her with constantly alternating women and is living out this nature with increasing openness. Jane misses the protection that she so urgently needs and falls into post-partum depression after giving birth. She feels overwhelmed, is deeply hurt, begins smoking and drinking. Physical and mental heaviness and a lack of joy spread. She becomes anxious and nervous.
After some time in this condition, old wounds from her childhood are torn open again. For years, her father sexually abused her and sometimes disappeared with other women for months at a time. Early in life, Jane had to take responsibility for her mother, who closed her eyes to reality. As a chubby child, she used to be bullied in school.
Jane is trying to keep up the facade in her life, which is taking up a lot of energy. She wants to make everyone happy through flexible working hours. However, this double dose of stress ultimately wears her out completely. Her son takes up a lot of her resources and stops her from getting a divorce. After couples’ therapy, her husband is making increased efforts to save the marriage and family.
Objectives and Diagnosis
She wants to regain energy and strength, lose weight and quit smoking. She wants to give herself one month to regenerate and to regain her physical fitness and attractiveness.
Upon entry to the CALDA Clinic, Jane is diagnosed with an internal physical decompensation. Mentally, post-traumatic stress disorder, an adaptation disorder with psychosocial stress with a longer depressive reaction, alcohol and nicotine abuse and a status based on post-partum depression are present.
Our experts find a generally low anti-oxidative capacity as well as oxidative and inflammatory stress. The easily strained liver is struggling to remove toxins. The adrenergic response and the neurotransmitter profile are balanced. There are deficits in vital micronutrients. There are also diverse food intolerances.
After carefully checking all results, our team of experts develops the following therapy plan for Jane:
Detoxification, weight and vitality management with individualised micronutrient substitution, yoga and personal training tailored to her are developed for her. The detoxification process is initiated with a gut cleanse. In the evening, Jane takes a full bath with detoxification-stimulating bath essences, which additionally supports her sleep quality. A specific dietary plan completes these measures. Aside from learning relaxation techniques, psychoeducation and couples’ therapy, a trauma therapy is placed at the centre of the psychotherapeutic interventions. Equine-assisted psychotherapy supports non-verbal processes and the establishment of trust. Due to substance abuse, the coaching of the 12-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous is accompanied by a visit to a self-help group. Singing therapy, acupuncture and massage make the therapy plan complete. Jane’s feeling of self-worth is boosted through mental and physical interventions. Space is given to plan an individual post-treatment plan in the final week.
Progression of Therapy
At the beginning, the therapeutic focus lies on forming supportive therapeutic relations and learning to relax. In the course of the therapy, Jane receives an extensive explanation on the correlation between her childhood trauma and reversion by her husband’s unfaithfulness. Through alcohol and nicotine abuse, she tries to break down stress and inner tension and to overcome her problems. There is no dependency. Jane does not want to take part in a self-help group. She cannot identify with the 12-step program.
In the second week, psychoeducational work is carried out on the issues of trauma and substance misuse and the actual trauma therapy begins. Jane initially finds it difficult to let in the associated emotions such as anger, shame, sadness. Through her severe traumatisation as a child and young person in her original family, her feeling of self-worth is very low. Jane has learned to adapt to her environment and tries to make everyone happy. By giving a good scholastic as well as professional performance and focussing on her child, she is distracted from her painful feelings and suppresses them. As a child, she escapes to a fantasy world; as an adult, the forgiveness of her parents is the top goal. However, it is precisely this that, after years of suffering, leads to decompensation and alcohol abuse and makes it possible for her to be abused on another level in her marriage again.
The intensive confrontation with the painful past, recognition of own needs and activation of own strengths finally allow Jane to specifically formulate her wishes without fear of rejection. She learns to set boundaries. By activating resources, new life perspectives are developed and her inner strengths are noticeable. In the equine-assisted psychotherapy, she becomes conscious of the energy she radiates. The horse reflects her state of mind. Jane can relax, establish trust and control non-verbal signals better. Through breathing and vocal exercises, she is able to energetically protect and open up physically. Her voice gains clarity, depth and strength.
Conclusion and Continuation of Treatment
During the first half of her stay, Jane becomes accustomed to being satisfied with everything from the outside and grateful and always has a smile on her face. With time, she is increasingly able to express even resentment and through this, become more in touch with her painful feelings. Jane learns to sense her priorities and directly use her resources. She recognises that this stay only represents the beginning of a long internal process and that she has to learn not to use her work and son to escape or distract but rather view them as a source of strength and joy. It is initially the release from the entanglement of co-dependency to her husband that allows her to recognise what she really wants. Couples’ sessions cannot be carried out, as it is not possible for Jane’s partner to travel for several days.
Jane is very interested in orthomolecular medicine, the biochemistry of neurotransmitters and the negative consequences of nicotine and alcohol abuse. The personal training is intensified in the process and extended daily by two hours to promote fat burning. It consists of endurance training, stretching, interval training and power walking. Before breakfast, a morning cardio training session is established. The yoga sessions are designed with liveliness to experience energy and strength. The development of muscular strength and coordination lie at the focus.
After consistently abstaining from alcohol and nicotine for four weeks, Jane travels back to her family with renewed confidence. She has overcome her trauma. Self-hypnosis and yoga are continually integrated into her daily routine. The weight loss strategies are continued; particularly the morning outdoor training, as this daily time still harbours a sensitive moment relating to her craving for a cigarette. Jane has already lost four kilograms. Her craving for alcohol has completely vanished. The micronutrient substitution is checked and adjusted after three months.