I have had a couple of experiences with Heilkunst treatment in the past, but my experience with Carol-Ann has been of a very particular nature. I have been thinking for days what it is exactly that sets this treatment apart, and I think it lies in the fact that Carol-Ann is really a little bit punk rock. I’ve felt confident in her thorough understanding and application of Heilkunst methods and schools of thought, but even more than that I’ve felt confident that I would never receive from her a textbook response. For me, one of the most important aspects of her thoughtful engagement with Heilkunst is that it is just that, an engagement, and never a rote following of rules and doctrine that didn’t consider who I was and what I was experiencing. I trust in Carol-Ann’s treatment in large part because I sense that she is entirely open to change and evolution in her practice, and that she will always be willing to take a radical stance should the need arise.
I began treatment with Carol-Ann during a year of many changes in my life – I moved to a new city, left behind friends and community, and began a new, serious relationship (the first of such a kind in many years.) The biggest concerns I brought to Carol-Ann were issues around anxiety and emotions – my difficulty in feeling able to contain my emotions, and the fears I had around how this lack of containment had negatively affected my relationships.
I found that Carol-Ann has a light touch with hard questions, sometimes leading the conversation in such a way that I would only later realize she’d been guiding me toward a new understanding. I think the way in which she honors feelings of desire and anger and grief and fear is enormously important. The fact that my dropper bottles would read “For fear of being too much” was emblematic of this approach to me – that I would never be treated for BEING too much, but rather for my FEAR of it. Such an approach is more radical, and rare, than it would seem. Prior to beginning this treatment, I had sometimes, in desperation, thought of finding someone who might prescribe me some kind of drug that would help with these issues, even though to do so would have affirmed a perspective on emotion that I intellectually disagree with. But therein lay the problem – I knew what I didn’t agree with, but I didn’t know how to articulate a way of thinking that did feel right. My sessions with Carol-Ann have led me to a place where I have stopped pathologizing myself, and instead feel more focused on what it might look like to find containment for myself, in a way that is not confining or judgmental. That I can view my emotional reactions as a sign of health – that I can FEEL and isn’t that wonderful – is the most important paradigm shift I think I’ve ever experienced, and it is this shift in perspective that has allowed me to really begin to work on how I can feel like my best self.
My sessions with Carol-Ann would leave me feeling affirmed and resolved. I think what I initially wondered, as I began to reflect on our treatment, was how to articulate the series of seeming contradictions she embodies as a practitioner – like how to be uncompromising and yet not judgmental. There is a firmness to Carol-Ann and the challenges she puts forth, but there is also, about her practice, a gentleness. Gentleness, empathy, and the best kind of punk rock attitude.
5 Feb, 2013
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