To Whom It May Concern,
This letter is a statement of my experience with Dr. Roger Callahan’s THOUGHT FIELD THERAPY (TFT).
A few months ago Dr. Dolly Langen referred me to Dr. Caroline Sakai. I have been a patien of Dr. Langen’s for about four years. During that time we tried a series of antidepressants to treat what appears to be drug resistant depression. Prior to seeing Dr. Langen, I had been under the care of a Seattle psychiatrist for 6 years. Drug therapy for my depression began in 1988 with consistently poor results: either intolerable anxiety, or a brief time of effective treatment followed by regression into a deeper depression than the last.
Prior to seeing Dr. Sakai I had been taking Luvox for almost a year. For several months the result was favorable but in the late summer and fall of 1998 I began to experience the familiar regression. This time the symptoms were crushing fatigue and anxiety along with severe depression. Dr. Langen prescribed Ritalin and made the referral to Dr. Sakai. I continue to take Luvox, Ritalin and Trazodone today. As an aside, tests for thyroid and glucose function are within normal ranges.
In our first session Dr. Sakai listened to the description of crushing fatigue that I experienced each morning after breakfast. She asked about my diet and I told her of my sugar craving. She suggested TFT for control. She spoke briefly of Dr. Callahan, relating how he based TFT on eastern medicine, had developed it years ago (only to be shunned) and how it was his success with patients that finally drew attention to his work. Dr. Sakai also spoke a little of her training in TFT and related a few success stories including her own, which involved conquering an ice cream craving. She did not state that TFT would work for me or make any promises about the therapy.
It impressed me that there was no requirement on my part to understand how the therapy worked. There was no mental preparation other than brief visualization in the course of diagnosis and initial training. Dr. Sakai made her diagnosis and produced a piece of candy. My craving for it diminished each time we ran through the therapy. The immediate result intrigued and motivated me.
At home I experienced a strong sugar craving and placed a cookie in front of me. I ran through the TFT sequence a few times until I no longer wanted it. Soon, I realized that visualization alone while doing TFT controlled the craving. Over time I realized I was doing the TFT less because my craving was diminished.
In subsequent sessions Dr. Sakai diagnosed and formulated specific TFT protocals for anxiety, depression and obsessive worries about what others think (in that order). Treatment sequences were given separately in sessions several weeks apart. For this reason I can state with certainty that reduction of sugar intake and diminished anxiety are not related. The effect of the (third) TFT (specific for depression) is more difficult to assess for two reasons; 1) I had already experienced some relief from taking Ritalin and, 2) Dr. Sakai cautioned that it could take some time before this TFT might be effective.
In looking back I feel that Dr. Sakai was wise to first address a problem such as sugar craving because of the immediate effect of TFT. Addressing anxiety in the next session was also helpful for the same reason. Such positive results are strong motivators to continue TFT for more resistant problems. My hope is that the routine practice of TFT for depression will work preventively against severe depressive episodes.
I believe that TFT has been of significant value to me. Based upon my experience, I would recommend evaluation for TFT to others who struggle with persistent or recurring mood disorders such as obsession, compulsion and depression.