Prior to this case in 2003 I had refused to take on IBD cases, despite persistent requests, believing that it was a genetically related condition: I only take on cases when I know I can achieve significant or total success.
One IBD case however got through the net in another guise and as a result of the success I achieved with this and subsequent cases I have modelled the pattern of IBD related conditions and the approach to its relief. This work has culminated in a pilot study that is in progress at a leading university hospital.
To follow is the story of Ian’s case. In many ways this case is typical of my IBD case histories.
Resolution duration: 2 weeks
(Significant reduction in symptoms after 1st consultation.
Refinement in 2nd consultation.
3rd session spent on career choices.)
Consultation time for condition: 4 hours
Consultations for condition: 2
Ian’s condition had been suspected by his G.P as Crohn’s disease. He was referred to a consultant whose tests confirmed the diagnosis and considered that the symptoms were not yet severe enough to require surgery. The symptoms were extreme diahorrea up to six times a day, accompanied by severe sporadic abdominal cramp. This was clearly life restricting.
Ian came to see me about advice concerning new career choice, not about Crohn’s at all. He was 40 years old and wanted a change. It was only durung the analysis, exploring the criteria for a new role that the subject of Crohn’s, and its restrictive effect on his life, emerged: Anything that required travelling for any length of time was eliminated, as was pretty much any work or environment which restricted his access, at very short notice, to a loo.
My immediate response was that we needed to address the Crohn’s disease and see what could be done to alleviate the symptoms. thereby improving the selection criteria for new roles and lifestyle.
During the painstakingly detailed analysis that followed, we identified the conditions which were often likely to coincide with a diarrohea episode. As in all the intial analysis that I carry out, I look for generic issues that give rise to different types of symptoms. This is to ensure that we are dealing with the issue at its highest level, not merely at the symptom level. Using this approach means that the GROUP of symptoms, for which this issue is responsible, disappear when the issue is resolved, (including some which may not yet have been identified), rather than the specific symptoms individually.
These conditions which invarably led to an episode fell into generic categories of situations where Ian felt out of control, oppressed and taken advantage of. They were situations where he felt ill equipped to respond assertively. This rexplanation esonated well with Ian, who looked surprized like a light had turned on at his realisation. We also checked the diagnosis physiologically with his body, and yes, this was correct. For the other two – 2, and 3, the common link was physical stress – a different kind of oppression.
During the remainder of the first consultation I taught Ian short cut ways of taking control of his life and his body.
He was given very specific homework relating to physical and emotional behaviour, which he carried out pretty well.
At the beginning of the second consultation – 2 weeks after the first, he had had one day of episodes. We revisited what had happened, which enabled him to understand how he needed to have dealt with the situation. At the next consultation he proudly related that he had mastered control over his emotions and his body and was now exercising his new control by applying for roles which would have been unthinkable previously. His relationship with his peers and family improved immeasurably now he is more relaxed and in control.
Whilst this case is typical in terms of pattern, the duration and number of sessions required depends on the complexity of the underlying limiting beliefs giving rise to the condition. The BUDI program designed specifically to address IBD is usually 8 sessions of 2-4 hours in length and covers a comprehensive range of powerful skills. Each program is individually tailored to the client.