The Access Bars, Addiction And Mental Health
by Marilyn Bradford MSSW, MEd., CFMW
Armed with my license to practice psychotherapy, a ton of books and theories as well as an internship with the most prestigious mental health institution in America, I was sure I would change the world! I took it all very seriously, attending study groups, having very significant discussions, as well as continuing with my own years and years of being in therapy and addiction programs.
What happened? Certainly not as much as I had anticipated! Of course I had been taught that dealing with the issues of addiction and mental health took many many hours of identifying, dissecting and analyzing the childhood experiences, the feelings, the transference and counter transferences, as well as current situations and relationships. Wow! I get exhausted just thinking about all of that!
Were clients getting better? Yes, but very very slowly. In retrospect, I believe that the biggest factor in their change was not the application of theories, but that I was able to be with them in a space of non-judgment. (I had had so many of my own addiction/mental health issues – who was I to judge anyone else?)
It wasn’t until I discovered Access Consciousness® and began to have my Bars® run on a regular basis that I began to see that there was a different possibility. From the first time I had my Bars® run, I noticed that I was happier, and not going to the default place of “down” or depression that I often reverted to. Now that was interesting! I had spent so many years dissecting WHY I was depressed that the idea that these issues could be changed by having my Bars®run was startling! You mean this simple enjoyable body process could change what years of therapy hadn’t? I didn’t have to “figure it all out”? I could let go of the “why”? Talk about changing universes!
Accepting this was a bit of a challenge for me. On the one hand I was thrilled to find something that was so easy and worked so well. On the other hand, accepting what the Bars® could do meant that the years and years of the training and theory and all I had bought about what was required for people to move beyond mental health and addiction issues was, at best, a poor substitute!
Three things finally convinced me. The first was that as I began using the Bars® with my clients, they began to get better faster. The second was that clients began to be able to get off anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications when they were having their Bars® run on a continuing basis. The third was that I wasn’t having any issues with depression.
Depression wasn’t the only mental health “issue” that was radically changed by the Bars®.
At the time I discovered Access I was and had been in a 12 step program for alcoholism for many years. Was I happy with 12 step? Not really. While I didn’t drink, I was told repeatedly that I needed to follow a daily program that included discovering where I had been selfish, self seeking dishonest and afraid, (as in WRONG), as well as accept ideas that I was powerless and that I would always be an alcoholic. None of that sat well with me, but I denied my own knowing and took the 12 step program on as the only real option. I also encourage my clients with addictions to attend these meetings, as I didn’t know what else to do.
An interesting thing began to happen with my clients who had issues with addiction once I started adding the Bars®. Here’s just one example: I had a client came to me to work on his drinking. He had his Bars® run twice in a three week period. When he came for his next session he said to me: “I didn’t want to tell you this, but my other addiction was to masturbation. I was doing it compulsively, many times a day. After my first Bars® session, the compulsion stopped. I’ve waited until now to tell you because I wanted to be sure it wouldn’t come back!” (And – of yes – he quit drinking shortly after that with little effort.)
There were many other clients who also experienced a significant decline in their pull to engage in their addictive or compulsive behavior after having had their Bars® run a few times. These changes, and others that resulted from using the Access Consciousness® tools, were the impetus for the co-creation of Right Recovery For You with Gary Douglas, the founder of Access. What we know in Access is that if someone is truly willing to use the Access tools, any addiction or mental health “issue” can be ended. Bars are the very foundation of this change.
I’m often asked why the Bars® work so effectively. One of the greatest gifts of Bars® is that they teach people how to receive. When you get your Bars® run, you have to lie back and receive – there is absolutely nothing else for you to do! Receiving is not done in this reality. What I have seen is that the isolation and aloneness that comes from believing that you have to do everything yourself, and that there is no one or nothing that will gift to you, is one of the major causes of what’s gets labeled mental illness. It’s also something that drives people to choose addiction. Learning to allow yourself to receive is one of the most amazing process in the universe. For me, there was such an expansion of what was possible, and such relief of knowing I really wasn’t alone, but connected to everyone and everything, that it still brings tears to my eyes.
Releasing all of the thoughts, feelings and emotions that don’t belong to you, (and that’s about 99.999999%), is another incredible benefit of Bars®. Many people spend years in therapy trying to process and work through anger, sadness, hatreds and other awareness that they have assumed are theirs! Here’s the thing – If something wasn’t yours in the first place, you can never clear it!! Bars® are such a help with this! I’ve had clients who took on depression, anxiety and even addictions from other people. With a little accurate info and a couple of Bars® sessions, the “issues” were completely cleared up.
Try getting your Bars® run – I think you will be amazed at what this simple tool can do!