I came to Karyl knowing deeply and intensely that I had to make a change in my life. I was an angry man. I had low self esteem (although, I did not know that). I had a chip on my shoulder the size of Everest. I was not nice to the people who were close to me - although, those who knew me to some degree thought I was the boy next door. Life, one day, gave me the punch in the stomach I needed - my wife left me for someone else - she really left me because there was no love in our relationship, only anger and pain. The next day, I showed up on Karyl's doorstep.
The next several months, and thankfully, years showed me a world I did not think existed. To this day, I thank my ex-wife for the decision she made and the courage she showed. It was the greatest gift I have ever received.
Today, I feel like my work with Karyl facilitated my self exploration resulting in a very fulfilled life. Hey, my life is not perfect - thank goodness for that. I have control of my feelings, embrace personal challenge, have dear friends and loving relationships. My relationships are not without challenge, but they are real, honest and dealt with as an adult. No matter what, I believe I will be OK because of the work and self exploration I did while working with Karyl - it was the best decision I have ever made.
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What can I say to convey the changes in my life? When I think on it at
all, my life is divided in two. I think of it as "before Karyl's" versus "after Karyl's".
The difference is like night and day or twilight and dawn. I have changed
and grown in so many ways, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. I
have acquired for the first time in my life, self-love, self-worth and
emotional maturity to name just a few of the gifts to myself. In addition, I
have acquired the tools to better manage the challenges that appear in
everyone's' life. An amazing revelation to me is that I no longer see them
as challenges but as opportunities to learn and grow. My life is now
one of continued growth and I am grateful to Karyl for starting me
along my path.
I look forward to my life with excitement and hope, two ingredients
missing from my life before my work with Karyl Pope. It is with
sincere gratitude that I thank Karyl for her guidance and the
opportunity to transform my life.
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Karyl asked me what the work we did together has meant to me. It has helped me to become who I am. It helped me to see what the past made me and helped me to choose to be other than that. I am alive because of the work we did.
I was in Karyl Pope's Thursday night group therapy for 4 years. During that time I explored who I was from what my family had made me and gained skills to make me who I wanted to be. I had never learned these skills from my family or extensive traditional schooling. I joined the group because I had broken up with the fifth man in my life who abused me mentally and emotionally; I was never happy in a relationship- I kept picking men who put me down mentally and emotionally even though I was smart and intelligent (I had a PhD to prove it!). I needed Karyl and the group to make me see that I kept picking men like my father, who mentally and emotionally abused me. I am now married to a man who is more than I ever wanted or thought I deserved.
It was hard work- those four years in group. There were nights when I drove home feeling as if I were adrift in a sea that tossed me back and forth- no anchor or safe familiar harbor, but those were the times when I made new internal connections and learned new ways to think about myself and other people and new ways to react. I found my inner child and reclaimed her, reconnected to her. In my family I learned to be invisible, to expect ridicule and embarrassment, and to be so fragmented that I did not know really who I was. I am whole now and connected to all aspects of myself - my mental, emotional and spiritual being.
During that four year period I also discovered that the cause of my pre-cancerous condition caused by what I had learned as a child- that women were inferior beings physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Why would I want to be a woman? They could do nothing in their life that would validate self worth. Doing was the only way to love but nothing I ever did was enough. Only by finding and addressing these issues did I finally clear away what was causing the pre-cancer. It has never come back.
I am now at a point where I receive guidance internally and know that I am on the right path to be the woman I was meant to be in this life. Internal guidance that is not from what my family wanted me to be and do, or what I thought they wanted me to be, or even what society expected me to be -guidance to be who and what my spirit, my soul is.
Thank you Karyl and group members,
Mary Elizabeth Hedding
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If you met me five years ago you would have seen a seemingly confident, successful, happy person. You wouldn't have known that inside I was crushed, insecure and in an abusive relationship. When I first walked into to Karyl Pope and Associates, Karyl saw right through my false front. Even though I didn't want to believe what Karyl said to me, I knew she was right. She gave me the hope and the tools so that my life could get better. Through one-on-one counseling and attending one of her weekly groups, I worked through much of my past history, became more aware of my current behavior and literally transformed my life.
Today I am a different person. I can't imagine what would have happened to me if I had not met Karyl Pope & Associates. Looking back, I was on a one way road to misery. Karyl stuck by me, challenged and encouraged me to take another path. I have also watched her work with other people and assist in bringing about miraculous changes. Karyl truly cares and wants the very best for her clients. She is a shining light.
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Note from Karyl: This woman traveled approximately 100 miles every month to see me, (with a few breaks in winter) until her work was complete.
I am back to my old self, thanks to you and am busy practicing what I have learned and getting a life. Jane is no longer estranged and we are just starting to get a relationship built on mutual respect. John is sober for longer and longer periods of time. He is very quiet and a gentle side is presenting itself. He told me he did not know me anymore. I told him he needs to be who he is and I have to be who I am. His crazymaking is not working with me anymore. He is still here and we are working through most of the stuff. This is who I really am and I am back to stay. I am thinking that this change has been the result of my discovery of my own co-dependence and my declaration to myself, that I no longer am going to be like that. I have gone back and discovered when it happened and cut myself some slack and accepted that it happened and now it is time to move on.
As far as my painting is concerned, the universe just gave me another shove. When I went to register, I found that that my instructor and I are on the same path and she suggested that I take some seminars with her. The first one is this coming Sat. and the next one is in October. I am reading and practicing about four hours a day. I have started a collection of photos as reference material so I can work on my own originals. I am also writing a book about my life. Another thing I discovered is that I have had a "thing" about money. I had picked up on my mother's fear of being poor, adopted it and took it as my own. I was amazed to notice that my friends and my daughter do not have this fear. They are able to get what they want if it is within their means and they do not seem overly concerned.
After exploring all this, I made an executive decision to make this house into the picture I had of it when I first saw it. John and I sat down and made a priority list. Hopefully this year my studio will be finished so I have my own place to paint, and the house will be more energy efficient. That leaves only the landscaping. I think it is time for me to try my wings as they were out of commission for a very long time. Robert's death and my son's illness did me in. I dug a hole and climbed in and got lost in the darkness. I had no idea that it could cause such pain. With your light you showed me the way back and I will be eternally grateful.
If I had to write anything it would be that of everything I learned through all the reading and revisiting my past it would be that no meaningful change could take place until I stood up to the plate and took responsibility for my life. Blame shifted to significant others in my life kept me locked into the valley of my despair. Once it got through to me that I had created my own reality and that I was responsible for my own life and had options I was well on my way to discovering who I am. One of the problems, as I see it, is that I was all too willing to accept the perceptions of others as to who I was. Their perceptions, of course, were colored by their life experiences, as were mine. It is now of no consequence to me how others see me. The most important thing is how I feel about myself. If I had to try and put it into words, I would borrow from Shakespeare, "This above all, be true to thy self and thou canst be false to no man." It is a shift in perspective. It is no longer giving up my rights as a human being to please others and I do not expect them to do that for me either. I do expect them to honor my rights as I will theirs, but no longer at a cost to me. The price is too high. A quote from Fritz Pearls now governs my relationships: "I did not come into this world to live up to your expectations, and you did not come into the world to live up to mine. You must be you and I must be me, and if we meet and love that is beautiful, if not so be it." There are probably more "so be its" than not, but I have chosen to surround myself with the beautiful. Another saying that really means something to me now, in a way that I never knew before, is that this is the first day of the rest of your life. It is now my path that I am walking on, and I am willing to take responsibility for that.
As a child, I had no rights. Because of that, I felt as an adult that I had no rights. My perceptions were distorted. The path to insight is as varied as there are people. For me it took the objectivity and unconditional acceptance of a person I felt I could trust. That person, Karyl, was you.
Together we explored my life and as I grew I had your support. To others, all I can say is the more pain, the more gain. I had to be willing to go into some of darkest hours of my life, and sometimes wallow in them, before I could move forward and you were always there for me. You were therapist, mother, and most of all I consider you friend. If you would think it would be of benefit on your web site, you can post this. This is my life and I can now accept all of it.
I would like to be of any help to others in any way I can. I had to chuckle when you spoke about people not realizing that the work we do with you is work. If you wrote an article about it you could title it Life and Death. At some point in everyone's life, we reach the bottom. It is at that point we have to make a decision as to whether we stay in the Hell of our own making, or get down and dig ourselves out. The only way to do this is to go inside where all the answers lie. It is work, it is painful, it is embarrassing, and it is the only way out. It takes a commitment to yourself, and a belief that you are worth it. On the other side of this is self realization, self acceptance, and a huge relief that most of your greatest fears were based in fantasy. The real turning point for me, the moment of hope that there was such a thing as inner peace, was when I lost that edge that I had always felt, that waiting for the other shoe to drop. It was at that time that I began the upward slope of the circle - the journey out of darkness and into the light, so to speak. I can now, most of the time, see things as events that just are. They are nothing more than that until I put a label on them, and sometimes I do, but they just don't have the same significance for me. I am just comfortable in my own skin. The reading made me realize that I have not walked this road alone. There are others who have gone before me and there are those that will follow. The real tragedy is there are people out there who will never give themselves the opportunity to walk it. If you feel it would be any benefit to anyone, I would be glad to talk to them. They can contact me through fivesoothe@AOL.com and and in the Re: space they can type in Kyrene. That way I will know it is about your work. We are all a part of this great thing called humanity.
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I worked on my personal growth over a period of five years through both private counseling and group work at Karyl Pope's. One significant comment I remember Karyl saying early in our association was "What we are doing here is saving lives". I remember at the time thinking "Well that's a bit of an exaggeration. A few people are physically in danger due to potential suicides or abuse from a spouse or severe substance abuse. Most people are here because we're having some difficulties with our partner, unhappy with our career, uncomfortable socially but our lives aren't in danger."
As I continued to grow and become more conscious and I realized how wrong I was. Far more people destroy their health and die long before their time because of unhealthy choices in their habits and relationships. My work at Karyl's began my process relearning how to take care and respect myself and others. Many people spend most of their lives only partly alive. My work at Karyl's gave me new living skills to make conscious choices that enhance the quality of my life and allow me to properly appreciate it. Quite literally my work at Karyl Pope's "saved my life". The work is not always easy but Karyl and her excellent staff provide all we need to help us on our journey.
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I have been consistently impressed with the positive changes I have seen clients of Karyl Pope & Associates make in their lives, and with the new insights and skills they have acquired.
Gwen Solodzyk RN, Employee Health Services
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This work has helped me to find my sensitivity and compassion and shown me the way to integrate these qualities into my personal and business life.
DC Business Executive
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Working together at Karyl Pope & Associates has brought about permanent healing in our whole family.
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I know of no therapist who has more completely, perfected the application of self, intuition, spontaneity and personal response in psychotherapy. While she is widely read and extremely well trained, her first response is always personal.
Rev Ron Owsten- Clergyman/Psychotherapist/Director of Community Agency and Training Centre.
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I have a great deal of respect for Karyl. She is committed to her own growth and to that of her clients. Her integrity is beyond reproach.
Ross Johnson- Psychotherapist
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Karyl has developed a unique process of group work which greatly increases effectiveness in terms of results and in terms of cost.
RC- Human Resources Executive
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