A Note from An IADC® Experiencer
Dr Al –
I am sitting here at the airport marveling at the depth and breadth of raw and unbridled emotions that have thundered and rolled through my body in the last 36 hours, or so. That I can be on this side of the experience and also report that as deep as the pain, sadness, guilt and anger seemed to go, they were each met at their peak with nothing short of pure grace. The story was surrendered, not because there was a conscious decision to do so, but because there was nowhere else to go but dissolution, it seemed. At one point there was simply nothing, nothingness. And then in that spacious experience one could feel what seemed only natural to feel, peace. At that point my son could step in to be heard and offer the most unconditional experience of love I have ever experienced. I am walking this day as a new person – as Callin said, “Mom, this is Life.” I knew in that moment that he meant that this is how we are supposed to live, without the burdens of the past but free in each moment to feel the love that is simply present if we can be uncluttered enough to allow it in.
I know that I will return to the worldly demands of life when I step off the plane but I also know that I have had the privilege to touch something beyond this world that has forever changed my relationship to this earthly place.
Thank you, Dr Al, for giving me the safe and compassionate space to allow my deepest sadness and fears to rear their ugly heads and be transformed. You must have many angels at your side – many grateful angels! To bring joy to both sides of the veil is quite a remarkable calling! You and your work are profound gifts to this world.
Thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart.
With love and gratitude,
An IADC® Experienced by a Reporter
An article about IADCs®, Al Botkin, and an actual IADC® the reporter experienced follows, reprinted from Conscious Choice (http://www.consciouschoice.com), November 2003.
Grief Relief: Visiting the Dead
by Julia Mossbridge
A friend of mine died when I was in college, and I blamed myself. Josh was not sure he wanted to come to the dance I was deejaying with his sister, but when I flirted a bit during a phone call he decided to make the drive. He never arrived at the dance — he was killed by a truck on the freeway. I had mentally tucked away this episode until I heard of a new technique that uses communication with the deceased as a way to heal unresolved grief.
I was pretty sure I didn’t have any residual grief about Josh’s death. If anything, I felt only guilt about the role I played in it. Nonetheless, I wondered if I could ask Josh’s forgiveness for my role in his death. So I called up the doctor who developed this technique, Allan Botkin, who does his work in Lincolnshire, Illinois.
When I walked into Dr. Botkin’s office, I was a little taken aback. I guess I had imagined some sort of high-tech machine in a darkened room presided over by a lab-coat clad, bearded, and eccentric character. Instead, the first thing I saw was a two-foot long white stick with a blue marker cap on it. Now really, I thought — is this it?! A magic wand for seeing dead people? And Dr. Botkin himself, far from a mad scientist type, looked like he belonged at a softball game, giving tips to kids in an avuncular, arm-around-the- shoulder sort of way.
Despite my misgivings, I sat down and listened to his description of “Induced After-Death Communication,” which he developed by modifying a biofeedback technique in which the eyes quickly go back and forth. The theory behind this approach is based on the observation that during rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep, the brain is able to make associations and process information more quickly than during normal waking hours. Imitating REMs in the waking hours is believed to activate the same sort of speedy processing and associative leaps that were previously only attainable during dream states.
Drawing on the decades he spent at the Veteran’s Administration treating soldiers with severe grief and trauma, Dr. Botkin explained that each client must be moved from the more superficial emotions — anger, guilt, and shame — into the core sadness that he believes is the root cause of the other emotions. He claimed that using his modified technique (www.induced-adc.com) people can safely move through their sadness and release it. Further, about 70 percent of his clients experience after-death communication (ADC) — reconnecting with the bereaved person in a realistic, joyful, inner vision.
As he described the methodology for me in his frank, no-frills way, every one of my intellectual bells went off to tell me that he was pulling my leg. At the same time, I had a strong gut feeling that said he was onto something. Being a good scientist, I trusted my gut. I let him do a short session with me, even though I told him I had no grief.
One minute later, after simply looking at the moving wand and listening to him gently ask me to get in touch with my grief, I was filled with images of my last fateful interaction with Josh. I watched some more waves of the magic wand and started to cry, seeing images of his death. As my sadness began to wane, I got in touch with a happy memory of Josh. Then I closed my eyes and actually had an ADC.
Simply, without pretense, I saw Josh walk out from behind a door. My friend jumped around with his youthful enthusiasm, beaming at me. I felt great joy at the connection but I couldn’t tell whether I was making the whole thing up. He told me I wasn’t to blame and I believed him. Then I saw Josh playing with his sister’s dog. I didn’t know she had one. We said good-bye and I opened my eyes, laughing.
The experience seemed too simple, too light. There were no trumpets, no bright tunnels, just a conversation with Josh. Dr. Botkin had mentioned that people are surprised by how “normal” ADC seems; I certainly was. He also mentioned that neither the therapist nor the client has to believe in the validity of ADC for it to heal — grief is resolved through the reconnection, whether real or imagined.
Later I found out that Josh’s sister’s dog had died, and it was the same breed as the one I had seen in my vision. Yet I still don’t know what’s real. What I do know is that when I think of Josh, I no longer dwell on the images of me calling him or of his car getting hit. Instead, I see Josh walking toward me, laughing and playing with an angel dog. For now, this is the only kind of proof I need.
Julia Mossbridge, a Chicago-based writer, is also a mother, cognitive neuroscientist, and author of Unfolding: The Perpetual Science of Your Soul’s Work.
The following cases were taken from the therapist’s notes of sessions in which the IADC® method was used and participants experienced IADCs®.
A Daughter Heals Her Grief by Reconnecting with Her Father
“I just cry for no reason,” Sally wept, clutching a wet handkerchief. Her depression wasn’t responding to medications so she was referred to me. As we talked, it became clear she was deeply in grief over her father’s death five years ago. She had stayed by his side for months while the cancerous growth on the side of his neck grew, sapping his life away, day after painful day. She wept bitterly. The images of her father dying with the cancerous growth on his neck wouldn’t leave her.
When she was ready, I performed the IADC® procedure, she closed her eyes, and the IADC® began. “He looks healthy again. He looks happy,” she said. I knew she was experiencing her father. She smiled and paused. “Grandma and grandpa are with him,” she told me excitedly. “And two of my aunts and my uncle. They all died some time ago.”
She paused, gazing inwardly. “They’re just partying, laughing . . . Oh, they’re enjoying themselves. They’re in a room with bright white light.”
She opened her eyes and looked at me. “I could somehow feel their happiness.” She talked excitedly, “I was wishing I could be with my father . . . I don’t mean suicide. I just wanted to be with him now, but I know I can’t.”
I started another IADC® procedure while she held that thought in mind and she closed her eyes. The same scene came back, but there was more. “He walked right up to me and said he was still with me in a very important way, that I should continue to take care of my children, and that he would come for me when it was my time.” She smiled warmly through gently falling tears.
When Sally left my office that day, all of her grief and pain over the death of her father was gone. As she was leaving, she said, “That was absolutely amazing. I know that was really them. I’ll have to tell my brother about this. I know he’ll think I’m a raving lunatic, but I don’t care; I feel great.”
Sally did much better over the next few months. Finally, the depression went away too.
A Woman Resolves Feelings She Abandoned Her Grandmother
Death often creates feelings of guilt in the survivors, for every imaginable reason. “I wasn’t loving enough.” “I wasn’t careful enough.” “I should have been there.” The guilt oozes darkly along the margins of consciousness, miring thoughts and memories that touch it. It never goes away; it only retreats into the shadows momentarily, waiting to taint memories when they appear.
There is no way to salve the guilt. Only forgiving words and a loving smile can assure someone all is forgiven; but the deceased can’t speak the words or smile the smiles. The guilt has no resolution. At least, that is the way it has always been. Therapy has tried to help people understand the irrational nature of the guilt feelings. But talking about them rationally doesn’t make them go away; they’re not rational.
We know now that it doesn’t have to be that way. The patient can have the experience of feeling the deceased person forgives or doesn’t feel anger or isn’t blaming the survivor. The guilt and grief are relieved quickly by that experience.
That is what happened to Linda. Because Linda’s immediate family had not been part of her life growing up, her grandmother had become her mother, father, and companion through her childhood and adult life. The two had no other family relationships. The love they shared was deep and committed; they were joined spiritually and emotionally.
Linda grew into a successful professional with her grandmother’s encouragement, traveling extensively and sharing her experiences with her grandmother after each trip. Linda was in Europe when she received the call; her grandmother had suddenly fallen gravely ill. She took the next plane home, rushing to the hospital. But when she arrived, she learned she was too late. Her grandmother had passed away.
Inconsolable, she turned her grief into self-blame: “I wasn’t there when she needed me most.” Nothing could turn her away from her dark, inward tumble into depression and guilt.
Linda came to me for a different issue, but it became clear as we talked that guilt was consuming her. She believed her grandmother had died a lonely, painful death and she was to blame. She wasn’t there at the one time in her life when her grandmother needed her. Now, nothing could be done. A part of Linda was dying because she was sure her beloved grandmother felt she had abandoned her.
As we talked, it became clear to me that reconnecting with her grandmother would allow her to resolve the guilt feelings. I asked her whether she was willing to undergo an IADC®. She was skeptical, but agreed.
I completed the IADC® procedure. Linda closed her eyes and sat stoically at first, but then her expression changed. She began describing what she was seeing: “I see Grandma, but she’s young and healthy. I don’t even have a memory of her that young.” She was immersed in the experience, forgetting her earlier skepticism. “She’s thoroughly content and happy.” She paused and opened her eyes. “She just told me she died peacefully in her sleep, that I must not feel guilty about anything.” Linda wept with happiness.
I continued the session with her, taking her back into the scene with her grandmother. Afterward, through smiles and tears, she explained, “I felt her real presence; it was more than just words. Grandma said ‘I love you, Linda,’ and I said, ‘I love you too, Grandma.’ I could feel her love for me.”
Linda looked at me as though I would be amazed by the remarkable experience, but I just smiled and encouraged her to go on. She continued, “She said she was proud of me, and happy about the changes I just made in my life. Dr. Botkin, she described what’s happened to me since her death. She’s really been with me.”
The session ended with that joyful sense of her grandmother’s presence. Linda was deeply moved by the experience and all of her feelings of guilt, as well as the other problem she had come in with, were resolved.
A Man Reconnects with His Infant Daughter Who Had Died
Perhaps no grief is stronger than that felt by a parent who has lost a child. That includes the grief for lost infants and the unborn, who have little time with their parents but have nonetheless been loved deeply for the hours they lived. Parents who have lost infants are left with few memories—only brief moments and the vague images of a lifetime of potential that was not realized.
Until now, parents who have lost children could not feel the peace of knowing that their deceased children are doing well. With IADC® therapy, however, parents are able to reconnect with their children—infants as well as older children.
This is the story of Jose’s reconnection with the infant daughter who was with him for only two months.
Jose was one of my post-combat trauma patients. He had come to me because he couldn’t concentrate and had recurring images of war, nightmares, depression, and alcoholism. We worked on his post-traumatic stress syndrome symptoms, but one day we began to talk about his infant daughter who had passed away at two months from multiple birth defects. With tears rolling down his cheeks, he agreed to do an IADC® to reconnect with her.
I performed the IADC® procedure and he closed his eyes. After a moment, his face changed. He looked a little surprised. “I see her, but she is a healthy, happy 15 year old girl. She is surrounded by a bright soft light.” He paused for a moment. “She says she is fine and happy. She wants me to be happy too.” The tears had stopped and he was relaxing in the chair with a wide grin on his face.
He opened his eyes and said excitedly, “Dr. Botkin, she reached out and gave me a hug with both arms and said, ‘I love you.’ I feel like a daddy again.”
Jose ended the session by saying that before that moment, he never would have believed that what happened could happen. He was sure that was really his daughter. He hugged me and walked out thanking me over and over. Later, he told me he had his best night’s sleep in 30 years.
Healing Guilt and Sadness over Killing a Young Enemy Soldier
Few human beings can kill another without feeling great remorse, even in the heat of battle. That is especially true when the soldier can see the face of his enemy, the living person carrying photos of his family, hoping to return home to them at the end of the war—a hope ended by the soldier’s bullet. The face becomes a permanent image in the soldier’s memory that will appear again and again for the remainder of his life, wherever he goes, at every age. And when the veteran arrives at a maturity where regret over the killing is too great to suppress, the image creates unbearable sadness, often masked by rage and guilt.
That is what happened to Mike.
Mike arrived in Vietnam a few days before his first major battle. The battle went on for some time and when his unit started running low on ammunition, Mike was intensely afraid they were all going to die. Just when it appeared all hope had faded, a helicopter arrived with supplies. As they were unloading boxes of ammunition, Mike looked up and saw a young enemy soldier running towards them. He could see his face clearly. Overcome with intense anger, he shot and killed him. Even though it was the first time he killed another human being, he felt exhilarated and in control of his fate. When the battle was over, Mike was congratulated by other soldiers, and he felt fully trusted and accepted by his peers. He didn’t think much more about the event for the remainder of his tour.
However, when he returned home, Mike experienced nightmares of the event that continued for the next 25 years. He repeatedly saw the face of the young enemy soldier he killed and began to wonder how old this enemy soldier was and whether he had a family who grieved his death. At times, he could retrieve his combat anger to justify the incident, but at other times he felt great remorse and sadness. “I just feel terrible. What I did goes against everything I have every believed,” he said to me in my office. It was clear that Mike needed to confront his sadness by fully grieving the death of the person he killed.
I performed the IADC® procedure and he closed his eyes. He described what he saw. “I can see him, the young soldier’s face, but it doesn’t like the face I saw in ‘Nam and what I see in my nightmares. I see him smiling and happy.” Mike sat quietly for a moment, then opened his eyes. “He communicated to me that he was very content where he was, and he understood that I had to do what I did.”
After a few minutes of describing what happened, he ended by saying, “I’m really surprised that the person I killed would have such feelings. This is really strange. I feel like he and I are not just OK with each other; I feel like we’re friends.”
After that session, the look on the enemy soldier’s face before he died that had haunted Mike for over 25 years was replaced by the smiling and happy face he experienced in his IADC®. He told me at the end of the session, “I’m trying to bring up in my mind the old image of his face I always saw in my nightmares, but I can’t.”
A two year follow-up revealed that Mike’s nightmares of the incident had vanished from that day on, and he felt only “an important connection” to the enemy soldier he had killed.
Conclusions about IADCs®
It doesn’t matter what you believe, what we believe, or even what the experiencers believe. The IADC® experiences we have induced in thousands of patients result in dramatic life changes that heal grief and trauma in a very short time and are sustained long-term. The technique has worth because it works; it doesn’t need for us to agree on a belief system or theory about the source of the phenomenon to support it.
One conclusion is clear: the IADC® induction procedure offers the means to alleviate a great amount of human suffering. There is no greater pain in life than losing a child, a battlefield buddy, or a spouse of many years and feeling disconnected, forever. We lose a part of ourselves when we lose someone so important to us. Now, we can routinely heal this deep pain as well as anger, guilt, and the other emotions resulting from the loss.
1 NOTE: The IADC® procedure is reliable under these circumstances:
- It is administered by therapists who are fully trained in IADC®.
- The therapist follows the IADC® protocol.
- The client engages in at least three sessions:
- one for the history and to allow the therapist to have a good sense of the issues and individual dynamics
- one for IADC®
- one for follow-up
We do not suggest a source for the phenomenon. It is the act of perceiving the connection that results in remarkable healing of grief and traumatic loss.