Discover Neil del Strother’s distinctive perspective as an accredited Journey Practitioner since 2002, shedding light on the profound effects of the Journey process:
Within each of us, there lie traumas, both obvious and subtle, stemming from our early years and life’s subsequent trials. These traumas hold the power to significantly shape our present existence, casting shadows of emotional, physical, and sometimes even health-related struggles. Moreover, they keep us entrenched in detrimental behavioral patterns.
The Journey process emerges as a guiding force, skillfully leading us to these often concealed traumas and orchestrating their permanent release. Remarkably, this transformation unfolds within merely three sessions or fewer, liberating us from the weight of emotional, physical, and psychological burdens. It offers a swift, direct route to reawakening our body’s innate healing prowess and life vitality. This newfound liberation empowers us to live more wholesome, spirited lives that resonate with our authentic selves.
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Can you explain your understanding of the journey process and its core principles?
Indeed, the journey process is essentially a versatile tool, with its application being at the discretion of each individual practitioner.
The primary reason I embarked on this journey is its direct approach to addressing and healing through releasing internal emotional trauma, whether it be conscious or unconscious, impacting us profoundly. This is the core essence of the journey process.
Could you please elaborate on what you mean by ‘principles’ regarding the journey process? Provide us with more insights into its fundamental aspects.
In contrast to more traditional therapy methods, which often involve extensive verbalization and intellectualization, my personal experience led me to seek a different path. Growing up in a culture that discouraged open emotional expression, particularly for men, I found that conventional talk therapy encouraged me to be overly analytical, detached from my emotions, and constantly seeking explanations.
The journey, when expertly guided and grounded in its principles, delves deeper into our emotional landscape. It often commences with emotions such as anger, commonly comfortable for men, and progresses through various emotional layers—such as hurt, blame, guilt, sadness, fear,
rage, etc. Ultimately, it leads to a profound, connected, and holistic inner state, transcending ego-driven concerns.
The journey’s initial phase focuses on heightened body awareness, although not necessarily physical sensations but a heightened connection with one’s bodily experiences. The Journey tunes into the wisdom of the body and the traumas that are held there. While the classic Journey process follows a particular pattern each individual Journey is completely different, with facilitators skillfully addressing emerging content.
Memories, both monumental and seemingly trivial, may surface during the journey. These memories serve as entry points for exploring and resolving emotional experiences. Through a Gestalt-like approach, participants engage in a dialogue with their younger selves, their present selves, and relevant figures from the past. This dialogue often releases a flood of emotions, including anger, sadness, shame, or guilt.
Navigating the intricacies of this process can be challenging to describe in granular detail because its true efficacy lies in the holistic experience, rather than isolated components. The journey involves a significant amount of emotional unburdening and collaborative problem-solving. In my role as a facilitator, I prioritize a collaborative approach, valuing the equal participation of both parties.
Ultimately, the journey leads to forgiveness, focused on releasing the emotional burdens that we carry. This form of forgiveness is a profound act of self-liberation, as it allows us to let go of internal dynamics that no longer serve us.
In conclusion, the journey process offers a distinct path to emotional healing and self-discovery, a path I’ve personally found transformative. It enables individuals to release emotional baggage, leading to a more harmonious and fulfilling life.
Can you describe a specific client case where you facilitated a transformative experience?
Yes, I’d like to delve further into the idea of a top-down approach. We all face challenges in life. When I initially sought therapy as a client, I had this misconception that some people had perfect lives and had everything figured out and so they could somehow solve my issues through some sort of magical osmosis.
My perspective is one of humility, not arrogance. I don’t take on other people’s issues; they are theirs to address. However, I approach my role with an open heart and a willingness to help. We’re all on a journey to embrace life more lovingly and understand it better.
Often I work with individuals when they are at their most desperate. This frequently happens with people facing illnesses like cancer. It’s important to note that the journey process doesn’t cure diseases, including cancer. Instead, it opens up a person’s body, potentially allowing more energy for their own healing. There are no guarantees, but it releases the energy that had been trapped by trauma.
Ultimately, our bodies, minds, and emotions yearn for healing, and repeating patterns often signify a call for addressing unresolved issues. I recall a case involving a man with cancer. We embarked on an intensive journey, involving family dynamics and more. Afterward, he had an extraordinary cathartic experience, encountering what he described as angels, helpers, or spirits. Miraculously, his cancer went into remission.
I want to emphasize that the outcome of his healing had nothing to do with me and everything to do with him. He embraced the process, and there was an element of grace in his healing journey. While we are not all-powerful, we can tap into the potential for transformation when we open ourselves to the process.
How do you establish a safe and supportive environment for your clients?
In the journey, practitioners vary in their approaches. Personally, I take a straightforward approach to the journey process. I place my trust in the process itself and focus on building rapport.
Often, our sessions are conducted online, so I don’t have the opportunity for extra embellishments like incense or music. It’s a practical, direct, and sensitive approach, much like our current conversation.
Before embarking on a journey, I have a brief 15-minute conversation with individuals to gauge if we connect. I want them to feel comfortable with me, and I also consider whether I feel a connection with them. If it doesn’t align, that’s perfectly okay; there are plenty of other practitioners available.
My approach is open and supportive. I aim to create an environment where individuals can delve as deep as they’re comfortable. I emphasize that everything they bring to the session is welcome, especially the messy and unacceptable aspects. Healing often resides in those neglected corners, the parts we reject or deny.
In essence, the journey towards healing involves integrating what we deem unacceptable into our whole selves. This includes embracing our shadows, which contain both negative and positive aspects. It’s about becoming whole and accepting our imperfections, letting go of the idealized image we might hold of ourselves—something children can quickly remind us of.
Can you provide an example of a challenging client?
I’d like to share an instance where I believe I fell short. Early in my practice, I had a client who seemed reluctant to be there. It appeared she had been pressured into seeking help, but her heart wasn’t in it. I recall her entering my treatment room with an unmistakable disinterest. It was clear she had no intention of delving into the process.
She seemed uncomfortable and closed off, possibly finding the whole concept strange or fearing what might emerge. Interestingly, some people express fear of discovering their hidden issues, but the truth is that those issues already exist, whether acknowledged or not. People often express fear of uncovering their hidden issues, but the truth is that those issues already exist, whether acknowledged or not, and cause more problems when they are repressed. Indeed, in my experience, it is always healing to release them.
In her case, I couldn’t break through her resistance. What I learned from this experience is that willingness to engage in the process is crucial. I always emphasize this to individuals I work with—willingness is the key. The process isn’t about achieving perfection; it’s about embracing imperfection.
I want to emphasize that I don’t possess magical healing powers. I can’t heal or cure anyone. The journey is a collaborative effort, and it’s ultimately up to the individual to commit to the process. If there’s no willingness to engage, then the journey won’t be effective because it’s not something I do; it’s something we do together.
How do you train, practice, and improve?
Every three years, practitioners of the journey participate in a program called ‘mastery,’ which serves as an update on techniques and approaches. While these programs can be deep and fulfilling, I engage in ‘journey swaps’ on a weekly basis.
In these swaps, I facilitate a journey with another practitioner one week, and they facilitate one for me the following week. This practice is essential to me because I view the journey as not just a technique but also a practice of emptying out.
The underlying awareness is that what’s perfect already exists within us, but it’s obscured by our personality structures, belief systems, and other constructs. The process involves letting go of what obstructs this inner perfection, like a sculptor chiseling away at a block of marble to reveal a beautiful statue within.
I firmly believe in the principle of continuous growth and expansion. When I first started practicing journeys, I had the notion that someday I’d reach a point where everything would be fine. However, I’ve come to understand that it’s an ongoing journey, a process of deepening our awareness.
Even individuals who are exceptionally evolved and ‘enlightened’ still experience thoughts and feelings, but as they are deeply connected to what we might call higher consciousness they are not triggered in the same way as most of us. So, in our lifetimes, it’s about continually shedding what no longer serves us.
For that reason, I engage in bi-weekly journeys, both on my own and with another practitioner. This consistent practice keeps the process alive and reminds me that the journey is not just a destination but a continuous path of self-discovery and growth.
How do you maintain ethical boundaries? And how do you handle situations where their progress as a client is what you perceive beyond your expertise?
Ethical boundaries are a crucial aspect of my work, and I want to clarify that I’m not qualified to handle individuals with severe psychological illnesses or conditions like schizophrenia. While I have compassion for their situations, it’s just not my expertise.
In terms of ethical considerations related to confidentiality, I’ve never encountered a situation where I needed to report something to authorities, and it would be a context-specific decision if such a circumstance arose. My primary focus is on providing a safe space for individuals to explore their inner experiences.
Regarding the frequency of journeys, they typically don’t occur weekly. Instead, they stand alone or may be conducted in a series over several weeks. Some clients return after a month, six months, or even years. Additionally, the journey can complement other therapeutic approaches like counseling, providing a unique and effective combination of support.
In my experience, the journey process doesn’t require extensive ongoing support, as the body has its wisdom and it knows how far it can go in any one Journey session. While traditional counseling often emphasizes the need for extended support, the journey can facilitate profound breakthroughs without the need for years of ongoing therapy. However, it’s important to note that this is my perspective, and individual experiences may vary.
Lastly, I work in a way that respects the client’s comfort and boundaries. If someone is uncomfortable with a particular aspect of the process, I would explore their feelings and, if necessary, adjust the approach accordingly. It’s always the client’s journey, and they have the agency to communicate their needs and preferences throughout the process.