January 17th, 2020
Article by David King and Bill Yarborough.
In the past four issues of the Diablo Gazette, Bill Yarborough of Clayton recalled his shocking time as a young child, age four, in what he concluded was the CIA’s notorious MK-Ultra program; an experience he endured with his brother and sister. MK-Ultra was a secret mind-control program operated by the CIA in the 1950s. In the previous articles, Bill discussed how journalistic and governmental investigations exposed MK-Ultra, the manner in which his own repressed memories arose, and how writing about these incidents had a therapeutic impact. He has written a novel inspired by his experiences for which he is seeking publication.
Due to his extensive healing journey Bill has been able to live a successful life working in the financial industry and as president of two nonprofits. As the New Year brings about resolutions and hope for a better life, Bill shares his healing experiences that may also be helpful to others:
With my therapists I initially focused on the repressed MK-Ultra memories that I had recalled. We then worked on techniques to help free me of the anxieties and fears plaguing my life. Here are some approaches I found particularly helpful.
One of them is Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). Many people are uncomfortable speaking in public, but my fear of speaking in group meetings, particularly on controversial topics and in the presence of authority figures was extreme and made it hard to speak up. My boss at the time pointed out that this shortcoming was a significant hindrance to my career.
So my therapist suggested I learn to use EFT to tackle the problem. EFT is based on Chinese acupressure and involves tapping on a set of energy meridians to relieve emotional and physical issues. I used EFT before tense meetings, and after a year passed, my boss said I now articulated my opinions better than anyone else on his team. EFT is an easy method to learn, and there are many sites on the internet that demonstrate its use.
Another technique I found useful is a form of hypnotherapy. Due to my childhood MK-Ultra traumas, I suffered from a significant fear of authority figures. In hypnotherapy sessions with my therapist we revisited some of those terrifying experiences where I was allowed to let out my fear and fury, offer forgiveness, then re-invent those experiences as if they happened in a different and better way.
After I retired, I wanted to learn more about healing techniques and enrolled in a training program to become a Certified Hypnotherapist and EFT Practitioner. The participation was therapeutic in itself, but I also witnessed how hypnotherapy can help people deal with all forms of addiction, such as overeating or smoking. And I learned how self-hypnosis could place you into a relaxed state to better address and find solutions to difficult issues.
Another tool I found helpful and fun is sand play. You let your heart guide you to pick out items from an array of figurines, models, stones, and other articles and place them in a sand tray to tell a story. Often the story can help you make connections you might not otherwise see. It is great for children—and the wounded child within you.
Of course, we are all unique individuals and the effectiveness of different healing techniques can vary from person to person, so there are many other helpful tools like EMDR, NLP, Reiki, journaling, etc.
A discovery I made on my healing journey is that often there is a resistance to doing healing work, even when we believe it can be useful. My first therapist warned me of that. At some level, I knew I might change for the better if I healed. But a part of me was attached to the way I was. It was familiar territory. I knew how to react conditioned as I was. And to enter the unknown can be scary, even if it’s better.
Several things helped me break through that resistance. When the pain of my current circumstances grew so great, it out weighed my fears of change. And when I did my work, I obtained glimpses into how much better I felt as I healed, which created a powerful motivation.
Which brings me to the key: persistence and force of habit. Early in my healing journey, when a healing modality did not result in an immediate improvement, I abandoned it. However, I came to realize that’s a bit like going to the gym and working out once, then quitting because you didn’t lose weight.
Last but not least, the help of a professional practitioner is invaluable. I know that costs money, but teaching practitioners often have interns who charge minimal amounts to work with their clients using multiple healing modalities. If you have any questions, please reach out to me at my website contact page at billyarborough.com.
The January Diablo Gazette issue can be found at the link below; this article appears on page 13.