Hereby I describe my own experience regarding psychological therapy conducted by Jeanette Niehof psychologist / cert. psychotherapist ViduNova Trauma Expertis Centrum Malmö .
I have been unfortunate in my life and forced to live under very severe circumstances, a life threatening, physical as well psychological harsh experience. There was no possibility for me to get out of this state and I had no relations to the war stricken region I was sent to. It happened in my teens and continued for 10 years.
For about 50 years I suffered from some symptoms as described below. These symptoms were very vivid after my return to normality and decreased in force within these 50 years, though never disappeared.
First at all I had horrifying dreams, every night. That was the only one symptom that I realized as not being “normal”.
Other symptoms, that I was not aware of for long time, were: flashbacks, continual fear, hyper-vigilance, exaggerated startle response, emotional numbing, avoidance of places, avoidance of talking or mentioning of places, feeling tense, no interest in enjoyable activities, detachment of others, insistent tiredness, having angry outbursts.
- Waking up at nights at every noise, especially those in the staircase, mobilizing my body for an action although I am aware that there is no danger. Taking a while to relax and fall asleep again.
- Avoiding to follow friends to restaurant, visiting friends at home and other positive activities, feeling to be trapped without possibility of escape.
- Terminating all friendships, cautious to establish long lasting relations, not to be forced to tell about myself, though I am ashamed and in agony that I betray my friends.
- Even considered to acquire a weapon, for safety reason.
- Continuously thinking of bad memories, repeating these on and on, causing physical upheaval.
- Etc etc.
To ease these feelings I became a workaholic, I exercised several hours a day and used as well alcohol to numb my thoughts and feelings.
One female acquaintance, I met very seldom, told me that I was behaving strangely and said that there is some dark story in me. After several years I shared part of my story. She urged me to get professional help, obviously I refused at the first thought but after she had pointed out several bad, obnoxious behaviours, I started to consider to seek help.
I looked for a trauma specialist on the internet and found very swiftly ViduNova Trauma Expertis Centrum Malmö. Jeanette Niehof’s experience, her long practice in the field, specialist in trauma therapy, her thorough introduction of herself on the Website, all that gave me confidence and courage to contact her. A lot of courage is needed to take that step. I emailed her and in no time I received an answer for an appointment.
Jeanette made a very professional impression on me at our first meeting. After an introduction, she asked me to tell her why I seek help. I told her a modified story, a cover up tale. Jeanette did not interrupt me, let me talk, just here and there she had some clarifying questions. I left the clinic with good feelings and trust. Trust is imperative in this context.
I agreed willingly to continue the treatment. In the following double session I said it all, from beginning to the end. It was very emotional for me, probably the story was told very chaotically. Jeanette listened very carefully, helped here and there if needed, patiently waited until I was able to continue. After this session I was relieved of lot of burden.
Upon my question regarding the treatment, Jeanette clarified that she uses the EMDR method, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. I had read about EMDR previously and was impressed and interested in that method. That Jeanette used this modern EMDR therapy and had experience of more that 20 years applying it, made me confident that I might get better.
The Next session started with the treatment. First, Jeanette explained what EMDR is all about. Then she asked me to concentrate on one specific painful memory, chosen by Jeanette. I should imagine the situation and get as many details as possible. Slowly, it takes some time to sink deep in memory, I felt as I am in that situation. I would compare it to an hypnosis. I could clearly see it happening. Jeanette directed me deeper and deeper and very seldom asked a short question, and told me to concentrate further on. I must admit that lot of tears were shed, first time in all those years. An amazing thing happened after almost one and half hour. Suddenly I started to smile, I was very conscious about my smiling. I started to perceive that situation in totally different manner. I was the “good” man in that situation, no one and no thing bothered me anymore, I was in control and in peace. Persons and the environment stepped back and moved away to a background, some kind of a shade.
I was very tired on my way home, headache, restless, my mind drained, physical tenseness. These symptoms lasted for about 24 hours.
To my outermost surprise I was free of my bad thoughts. That came directly after the session. All that bad feelings, malicious thoughts, the endless repeating, all that disappeared at once. Amazing and astonishing. I did not believe that it would persist, waited for the memories to return, but they had vanished and gone away.
We continued with another four double sessions. Jeanette asked me to dive into four other horrifying memories. The first treatment did change a lot in my mind and therefore I had some difficulties to bring out other rough remembering. I had to put much more effort to dive deep down in my memory, from treatment to treatment it was obvious to me that the recollections were fading away.
Today, after about two months after the last treatment, I am still free of the symptoms. Today I have to put some effort to bring up these memories, as a test, almost not believing that I had lived through these circumstances.
I am extremely grateful to Jeanette Niehof, can not thank her enough. I would recommend Jeanette Niehof to anyone who experienced trauma. In very short time she could treat my trauma, determine and diagnose my problems and conduct professional treatment. In no time my burden vanished.
I do remember her question: “Why did you wait 50 years to get help?”