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The Hero's Journey and The Biofeedback Neurofeedback Practitioner's and Client's Stories

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The Mentor: The hero, ready to cross the threshold, encounters a mentor, often an old, wise man or woman "the mentor archetype, who helps make the crossing and find the way in the new world. Therapists, healers, coaches, practitioners play the role of the mentor for clients. Obi Wan Kenobe played the role for Luke.

Road of Trials: Once the protagonist crosses the threshold he or she can expect to face a series of trials, to face dangers, dragons, and to reach a point where he or she almost dies, facing a mighty, dangerous antagonist. But also, during this time, the hero begins to acquire new skills, tools, weapons, knowledge, allies and other resources. Clients face new stresses, new challenges to their weaknesses, and in the process, learn greater self and psychophysiological awareness, self regulation, relaxation, focusing and attention techniques, and perhaps, new cognitive and behavioral skills, They encounter fear, anger, anxiety, depression, as they let go of their old habits, old medications, and face a new life without symptoms, with greater awareness and self responsibility.

Battle with the Dragon and symbolic death or dismemberment

At some point in the journey, the hero faces a frightening, huge, dangerous dragon-like monster, fights him, her or it, and barely survives. The hero Celebrates with a party, and then must face another, even more life threatening conflict. I've suggested that if a therapist hasn't killed her patient, she hasn't done her job. The client, who is seeking change, must face the fear of change, the flaw we've avoided or the issue we need to resolve. This is the monster. But upon fighting the monster and coming close to death, the heroic client is reborn as a new, stronger person. The last fight is a reminder not to finish the therapy, coaching or training too soon. Luke fights the thing in the trash compactor, then fights in the death star, only to watch his mentor killed.

Transformation and Enlightenment once the hero "dies, he has been transformed and becomes awakened to a new, enlightened state. Clients finally "get it in terms of the mental, physical emotional and spiritual changes that they've been working on. Lukes returns, having saved the galaxy and his planet, as a respected hero.

The Return The hero returns to the ordinary world with the "magic elixir he has acquired on his journey, and he uses it, as an active member of the community, to help heal the world. Clients leave therapy and return to their lives with freedom from symptoms and new abilities to embrace life with strength, calm and courage.

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One theme has run through my work for the past 40 plus years-- a desire to play a role in waking people up, raising their consciousness and empowering them. I was the organizer founder of the Winter Brain, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology and StoryCon Meetings and president of Futurehealth, Inc., with interests in (more...)

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