There is nothing better than a traumatic brain injury–often shortened to TBI–to kick start your inner expert. I should know—my 2007 brain injury resulting from a horseback riding accident has been an unwieldy and weirdly inspirational boot in the a**; it forced me to call upon cleverly evasive resources to figure out how to climb back to the ranks of normal.
The most highly trained and sought-after neurologist can’t do much for a brain injury that falls in the mild-to-moderate range. More often than not, what’s prescribed is the passage of time; “you’ll fell less foggy and more functional after a week or two (or a month, or a year),” a TBI patient might hear.
This leaves you to figure out how to turn “patience into a verb” and root around in the recesses of self and on Amazon.com for something to do as the days tick by. Since I had a previous interest in mind-body-spirit, I veered from the Amazon path to a philosophical one. I read up on parallel realities and further investigated the connection between belief and experience to guide me back to my old norm.
After a month of not working, I phased into a paltry 10-hour week. I slept a lot. Frustrated with a brain where all the
neatly tucked away bits of knowledge were yanked from storage and strewn about, I silently ordered confusion to “be gone” like an exorcist purges evil spirits. My efforts went unrewarded. I encountered teetering cognitions and moth-eaten memories as I tried to get back up to speed. Frustrating work errors and constant fatigue convinced me that I could not make a go of it at my group practice. A scan of available options made my outlook as dim as the headlight I should have changed with the other one that went out months ago. Stay with the group practice? Reduce my client load with the accompanying financial difficulties? Continue my current workload with my ability to remember and sustain attention at a low ebb? I picked the most navigable option (where I had the greatest financial control and the least distracting environment) and set up my own practice.
Three years rolled out, and fresh approaches successfully applied in my own healing felt
like horded resources. I wanted to give them away to other interested parties. I talked in soothing tones to an anxious part of me who projected exclusion by the psychotherapy community should I share my “alternative” (and frankly, “out there”) philosophy that thoughts create your reality. This totally went against the grain of standard scientific dogma.
Conquering a near phobic fear of this sort of honest disclosure, I began to cautiously impart these new healing strategies to my own clients. I invented a client “curriculum” of self-examination to locate and exchange limiting thoughts for those with some muscle, and marveled at the results. I gave it a silly name: Gootugo. The goofy name seemed to take some pressure off.
Not satisfied with this dissemination to client’s and trusted confidants, I took another cautious step beyond the boundaries of my own practice, and started this blog.