Frank is a successful sales manager. During his first session with me, he talked about a trip that he’d taken through South American many years ago. In Caracas, a criminal gang had enticed him into a dark bar with the promise of free drinks. When he entered the bar, he was mugged by a group of women. Only a combination of luck and dexterity allowed him to make a dive for freedom. As he broke away, the gang member who had enticed him into the bar was talking to two policemen out on the street. The same thing happened to his friend a few minutes later when he went into the bar to look for Frank.
This incident was too much for Frank: being robbed – and by women – while the policemen had a relaxed discussion with one of the gang members had a serious impact on his life and he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. The PTSD manifested in panic attacks, especially if he entered an unfamiliar bar. His memories of the bar in Venezuela were then reactivated and he experienced intense physical and emotional reactions, causing him to quickly retreat. Frank would have simply avoided bars in future if this had been his only problem. But he was also no longer able to approach people in a relaxed manner at work – a significant handicap for a manager working in customer service.
The cause of his panic emerged during the session; an unconscious fantasy while he was in that bar: ‘They’re going to kill me!’ A video clip played before his mind’s eye of being beaten to death with baseball bats. This fantasy was reactivated whenever he entered an unfamiliar bar or met new people. Frank responded with fear, rage and panic even when he was in a friendly environment. The video in his mind changed after he applied Logosynthesis. Frank now remembered how he celebrated his misadventures’ successful outcomes with his friend, on a terrace under the Caracas sun.