Editor’s note: This is a case study submitted by Humi Kobayashi for the FES Certification Program. It has been edited extensively for this presentation.
Consciously moving away from father's suicide, his own suicidal tendencies and addiction patterns
KA, a writer, actor and bartender, is a 31-year-old white man who felt stuck in his life, seemingly held back by his father’s suicide 16 years ago. He also had a drinking problem and appeared to be bi-polar; he was often up when around and helping others, but down and directionless when alone.
KA wanted to heal from the past trauma in regard to his father, and be able to
KA’s goals included focusing his time on writing, acting and directing, instead of bartending and hanging out after work. He hoped to go home earlier at night so that he could wake up to play sports or go bike riding, and have a more healthy mind and body. KA also wanted to find a theater company and have an opportunity to act, write, and find like-minded people with whom he could share his creativity.
At the end of flower essence therapy, he had lost weight, joined a theater company, and began to have productive days. He also stopped weekly appointments with a psychotherapist.Breaking the pattern of trying to please other people
KA seems very confident during the session, as if he was just fine. At the same time, because he was so confident I saw a lot of resistance or fear to taking flower essences. We talked about his work situation and what he wants to do in his life.
He used to have more intensive work as an engineer, and now he works as a bartender, which most of the time makes him feel drained after work; and, he feels stuck. He works at a place where many times the same people show up, and he feels that he needs to entertain them. Also, lately, he feels his boss has been demanding a lot of his time and thus he feels that he is not going anywhere in his life.
He finished acting school, and he thinks now is the time for him to be actively looking for work, but he feels conflicted between looking for work and going home to visit his family as is their wish.
We also spoke briefly about his father’s death for which he continues to feel deep grief. We didn’t discuss much of his father’s death at this time. In the end he said he just wants to have better work, more reason and meaning to live, and he wants to be the best that he can.
Goldenrod – for well-developed individuality, inner sense of self-balance with group or social consciousness; easily influenced by group or family ties, inability to be true to oneself, subject to peer pressure or social expectations
It seems, or according to him, in order for him to be productive in the daytime, he’s going to have to have determination to go forward in his life, especially where he works. It is a sort of local bar where the same people hang out and drink. For him to be motivated he will need some sort of strong force to leave that scene. Simply, the challenge is for him to take the essence four times a day.
KA came in with more light in his face; he said he feels more human now than before. He talked about his father more at this session. He misses him very much; he wishes that he were still alive to see and talk to him. He also feels regret that he couldn’t stop him from committing suicide. I simply told him that it is not his fault nor was it his responsibility to save him. As I said that, he started to cry heavily. I felt some release from him but at the same time I felt that it was not the time to talk more about his father. I felt that this subject was still too sensitive for him to talk about before he used some supportive essences to enable him to feel more secure and share how he feels.
Baby Blue Eyes – for childlike innocence and trust; feeling at home in the world, at ease with oneself, supported and loved; connected with the spiritual world
KA had some good insight as a result of taking the essences, and especially liked Baby Blue Eyes. He also said life had continued to be “up and down.” He feels quite stuck at work and feels that the bar scene somehow interferes with him being able to deal with his emotions about the past, and prevents him from being in the here and now. He has started to get theater work and he wants to get more involved with the company. He also said the theater company is considering him as a member, about which he was very excited. He realized that he didn’t have time to waste just hanging out, and was happy about that.
Since he had started to feel better, and safe enough to say what he feels to people with whom he interacts, he decided to stop therapy for a while. He has started to get to know more about who he is without “masking himself.” He knows when to say “no” to requests when he feels the need to do so.
Agrimony – for emotional honesty, acknowledging and working with emotional pain, obtaining true inner peace; for anxiety hidden by a mask of cheerfulness; denial and avoidance of emotional pain, addictive behavior to anesthetize feelings
KA seems different, lighter. Every time I see him he seems lighter. He also has lost weight as well. He said he feels good and that he feels he has become more of a loving person. He said he has not been drinking for two weeks, about which he feels very good. Though sometimes he feels sadness, he now wants to move on. Since he needs to move to a different apartment while his own is being renovated, he thought it was a good chance for him to get rid of things that are not useful anymore. He even is going through boxes that he hasn’t opened since he moved to Manhattan over ten years ago. He also was excited about the fact that he started to go bike riding in the morning, and he wishes to continue to do so every day.
At this point, he wanted to also work on his smoking of cigarettes when he’s stressed out. He said that he’s going home to visit his family and he’d prefer his family did not know that he still smokes cigarettes – perhaps this would be a chance for him to stop smoking.
Yerba Santa – free-flowing emotion, ability to harmonize breathing with feeling; capacity to express a full range of human emotion, especially pain and sadness; constricted feelings, particularly in the chest, internalized grief and melancholy, deeply repressed emotions
This was a quite challenging case, yet I am so grateful to have experienced it. It was challenging because of KA’s past, but because he had an open-minded attitude toward using flower essences, it resolved well for him. I could see tremendous progress for him, as though he blossomed just like a flower. A lesson for me was understanding that people with intense trauma first need protection and support so that later they are able to resolve the trauma they experienced and learn to cope. This is an analogy for what I learned from this case: instead of asking someone to take off clothes because they are no longer necessary, it is better to warm up the room first so that they choose to take off the clothes because they are no longer needed.
Humi has studied flower essences for over 10 years. In 2007, she attended the FES Professional Course in California. A NYC restaurant owner since 1998, Humi, also is a BTB Feng Shui practitioner, focusing on combining Feng Shui practices with flower essences for clearing environment spaces. In addition to business design, Humi uses this unique combination for counseling with individuals.
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