I first came to Dr. Brothwell in the spring of 2001. It was two years after my 18 year old son had been killed in a fiery auto crash. I was broken and unable to comprehend the world. Nothing made sense. I was in so much pain that I had to leave the job I loved and go on Social Security disability.
From the very beginning, Dr. Brothwell’s loving and caring nature showed through. I knew that I was in a safe place to express my grief and pain. Often I would fall apart during therapy, only to be brought back to a calm place before I left. Dr. Brothwell let me talk about my love for my son and my feelings about my loss. She validated those feelings.
We worked hard each week, sometimes using EMDR to take the reliving of the events of the tragedy, and process them into memories instead of present terrors. Working with EMDR, the terrors often arose, the immediate emotions and panic of the death. But Dr. Brothwell always gave me a secure and caring place to feel those feelings. She would then bring me back to a better place before I left the session. After many months of work the terrors and grief turned into a place where I could think of my son without the intense pain.
Dr. Brothwell also recognized when I needed medical help for my depression and anxiety. She worked with my psychiatrist to put me in a better place to explore and deal with the devastating emotions I was feeling. She encouraged me when I was well and wanted to get off some of those medicines, and worked with my psychiatrist for that to happen.
Dr. Brothwell encouraged me to write the poetry which expressed my feelings, and she read and kept each poem I brought her. She encouraged every step I took toward spiritual growth, whether it was my traditional religion or my search through alternative spiritualities. She suggested ways I could find those alternative spiritual expressions in the community. She pointed me in many spiritual directions which helped me to heal. I can only believe that God led me to Dr. Brothwell so that Dr. Brothwell could lead me back to God.
It took a few years to feel happiness. But I needed to feel the joy that I had when my children were both alive. Dr. Brothwell helped me see this joyous world, through her own joy and love, through encouraging my attachments to family and friends, through accepting me just the way I was at that time. In time my joy returned and I feel gratitude in my heart every day.
After the deep grief and pain had left, I was often unable to know what issues I needed to feel or address. Dr. Brothwell used NET therapy to let my body direct us to where I needed work. I still attend therapy eight years later, but not because I have grief or depression. Instead, Dr. Brothwell now helps me to grow as a person. There is so much to learn about my path in life, and Dr. Brothwell helps me to tread the path that will lead me to that knowledge.
~Kathy M., death of child
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