Twaddle? Now I'm not so sure

14th October 2005 at 01:00
Let's get a few things straight: I'm a cynical hack with a distrust of spiritual therapies. I also have an intense dislike for organisations that offer miracle cures and false hopes to the unwell.

What's more, The Journey's promises to release "cellular memory blocks"

strike me as pseudoscientific twaddle.

But, to find out what it was really like, I went for a Journey session with Joel Young, one of the first British therapists to be trained by the technique's creator, Brandon Bays.

The session lasted nearly three hours, which I spent with my eyes shut in Joel's Harley Street clinic, which smells heavily of incense.

Luckily it transpired that I did not need to discuss any of my "previous lives" as I don't believe in them. Nor did I need to pretend I was flying in a magical spaceship.

However, the adult Journey is essentially the same as that for children, just longer and more intense. You are quizzed in depth about emotional or physical hurt that you feel, then asked to choose a mentor figure. You then imagine a visit to a camp fire where you discuss the specific pain with the people who caused it, your mentor and a younger version of yourself.

The mentor I chose was my sardonic old English teacher.

"What's your mentor saying now?" Joel asked.

"He's not saying anything, he's just rolling his eyes."

"Erm, I think you need a friendlier mentor." Joel suggested.

The session was an unexpectedly emotional experience. Particularly upsetting was a section where I had to imagine key painful events being shown on a cinema screen then discussed by the group round the camp fire.

By the end I felt drained and raw, yet strangely calm.

Joel said that he enjoyed his work because people arrived at his clinic feeling low, and walked out on to crowded Oxford Street with a lighter spring in their step. Much to my surprise, so did I.

* michael.shaw@tes.co.uk

www.harleystreetjourneyclinic.com

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