Strasbourg terrorist attack: how AIT helped me to heal
I met François Rey (an AIT Therapist) in a totally different setting from the one in which he currently practices in psychotherapy. I gave him great professional and personal credibility, which has been further strengthened since the AIT experience and which I discovered by chance.
During one of our exchanges, he told me about his activity and his work in the associative world, which aroused my curiosity and interest but without seeing any concrete application. And it was while consulting the website of the association Qi-congruences for my personal culture that I discovered that AIT could treat and get rid off traumas.
This time, it particularly echoed a personal problem I had just experienced a few weeks earlier. Indeed, I had just experienced a particularly shocking event since I had found myself at the heart of the terrorist attack at the Christmas market in December 2018 in Strasbourg, as I was attending a seminar with colleagues. I was confronted very closely with the killer but with the immense chance of having survived it. Which inevitably raises questions about why others and not me.
This has caused me to experience sensations that were previously unknown to me and uncontrollable: unexpected anxiety, fear of being alone or in public places, fear of never seeing my children again, heightened sensitivity, difficulty controlling my emotions.
I therefore spoke about this event to François who suggested that I deal with the subject with AIT. I think it is very important to specify that a priori I am not very open to this kind of therapy. The education I received, associated with my very Cartesian personality, makes me initially rather cautious and dubious about these approaches. Nevertheless, I accepted François’ proposal to attend a few sessions in order to treat my trauma. I accepted because of his credibility in my eyes and for his professional, caring and open attitude.
So RV was taken to start my first session. I was cautious but determined to try.
François had previously asked me questions about my family environment, my possible beliefs, my state of health and especially about what I had experienced, my perceptions and feelings.
From the situation I had experienced and the feelings felt at that very moment I described to him; François wrote sentences. These sentences summarized the situation experienced, the progress of the actions as well as the feelings, sensations felt during these moments.
If I agreed with the sentence, that I could modify in my own words, if it evoked something in me, he would ask me with what level of intensity I felt the associated emotion and in what part of the body I thought it was located.
I answered sincerely, sometimes saying that it meant nothing to me, that the sentence was not true to what I had experienced or felt. We adjusted it when necessary.
Then the work really started with the repetition of the sentence by passing the hand over each chakra. As many times as necessary. As a result, the traumatic load and emotional level had decreased very strongly and finally completely disappeared.
It is a very gentle process, even if we necessarily plunge into painful events, it has never been aggressive or violent. On the contrary, I only had benefits.
François asked me to describe the sensations felt in each sentence process. At first I thought nothing would happen but I have to admit that I felt different sensations in different places.
From the little bubble that was tingling in my belly to the sudden sore throat through my tight heart or even what I described as a feeling of hunger, I can’t describe them all, but the fact is that without being able to explain why, I found myself calm, as if my pain had suddenly disappeared.
In the days following the sessions I was much better and especially with a tenfold increase in energy, as if my inner strength had returned.
We did 3 sessions, at the end of which I can say today that he healed me of my wounds. Of course, I will not forget what happened, but thanks to AIT, I am once again serene and I feel real and very concrete benefits.
I have a distance from this incident that I didn’t think possible because I was affected (and myself surprised by so much inner violence) by the emotional cataclysm that had invaded me at that time.
It is important to note that the effects are long-lasting because I finished my sessions several weeks ago. I feel like “I put this in a corner of my head”, like something that has happened but with which I can live very easily now. The memory is present but absolutely not obsessive as it was.
As proof, another attack occurred (in retaliation for the death of the terrorist killed in Strasbourg). I was surprised by my lack of reaction, by the detachment with which I handled this information, while a colleague who was present with me that day was shocked, distressed, revolted and relived the scene of the attack. There was a glaring difference between our 2 reactions even though we had lived the same experience and our states were similar before my AIT therapy.
Another example: I had planned a trip in February for a few days to New York alone with my children, two months after the Strasbourg event. I approached this trip with serenity, not questioning how it was going to go, about the state I would be in when I arrive in the city.
François had the excellent idea to ask me about how I was going to approach this trip. I hadn’t even thought that NYC’s frenzy, its history related to the 2001 attacks, could make the emotional load important and the stay difficult.
When he told me this, I realized that it could indeed be aggressive for me or cause me anxiety. He suggested that I work on the subject beforehand in order to prepare well for these few days. He built a few sentences that we worked on together. By telling them the traumatic charge was actually present and disappeared completely. We went to NYC and during the trip, not a second of anguish invaded me.
In addition, when I went to the Ground Zero Memorial, my reaction surprised me positively. Empathy for the victims, yes, of course, but I didn’t feel any kind of negative emotion, any unpleasant memories. I believe I felt as most tourists do when visiting this site!
In summary this therapy has had enormous immediate and lasting benefits on the treatment of my trauma I think through the sentences and treatment of the connections between symptoms and facts. This allowed me to break the link and also to highlight some past issues that preceded the trauma and to better understand how emotions and traumas that had long been ingrained in me also led me to these reactions.
I can say that it raised my self-awareness and made me realize that the treatment went beyond that and had benefits for me.
Many thanks to François who knew how to accompany me, listen to me, reflect me, make me laugh, take distance and give me confidence in this approach since she had undeniable and spectacular benefits on this trauma that I thought I could not get rid of.
Lyon, 30 April 2019