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01.01.1970 01:0000    Comments: 0    Categories: You Asked (Text Files)      Tags:

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"I am curious about the Level Two training. The material taught on the existing tapes seems to be working pretty well. I have added a technique or two I learned in the IATM journal, and I understand that the methods are dynamic and will always be updated with new understanding. However, since there are no Level Two apprenticeship seminars, and we have been asked to not use the previous material, it sounds like something is wrong with the previous/existing Level Two training. Is there any reassurance that what I am doing is still OK?"


Ed Smith's response:


I may have previously addressed this question, but let me comment to bring clarity.  I removed the Level II training from the web page because I have learned many things over the last few years that are not reflected in this material.  I plan to offer a revision in the future.  However, I will probably not do a video series but rather an interactive workbook.


One of the main things that changed over the last few years was not the content of what I taught, but rather the perspective from which it was presented. When I first encountered a person reporting SRA memories 8 or 9 years ago, I had no place to file what was being reported and found myself filled with disbelief and confusion. Nevertheless, as this person's sessions continued, more began to unfold. I was then and continue to be careful to avoid making suggestions about people's memory content. As more and more of the story unfolded I was amazed by the consistency in the story line and the enormous amount of pain that was expressed. I was also amazed by the willingness to embrace this pain and own what was being reporting, and how the Lord brought truth and resulting peace. I watched the person's life transform in many ways.


Later others came reporting similar memories. What really concerned me was the uncanny similarity of information that was coming from many different people who did not know each other yet had the same sordid details. I had read what the skeptics and critics were saying, but I could not dismiss the deep pain these people were manifesting and the consistency in their story lines. Much of the stories they shared were not about childhood abuse (as many critics seem to indicate) but rather what had happened to them as adults (and for some what they believed was still happening.) The more I heard, the more I became convinced that the stories being reported had some measure of truth. (I said "measure of truth" because I do not assume that all details of these reports are accurate.) Skeptics and critics of the reality of SRA want to blame these reports on unwary therapist implanting this thinking (which may indeed occur in rare cases) or simply dismiss it since there a shortage of court proof evidence. I do not know how these people have come up with what they report but nevertheless, they do and there seems to be supporting traumatic symptoms to match what many are saying. I am not willing to write these people off as fabricators of non-reality, diagnose them as deranged or tell them that what they are reporting is false when in fact I really do not know (nor does anyone else). However, I do know that they are in great emotional duress and in need of genuine love and compassion. I can offer them Jesus and leave the diagnosis to people who may be able to figure it out.


Nevertheless, I immediately became impacted emotionally by these people's realities when I first heard them. I embraced what they said as fact even though I did not have "court proof" evidence to prove it. However, there was much circumstantial evidence that made it impossible for me not to believe that something was indeed troubling these people. However, because I did emotionally embrace these people's reported reality as "the way it is", (which is very hard not to do) I was influenced to present my training from this perspective rather than a more accurate "this is what is reported" perspective. I have gone back several times and listened to myself (on the video tapes) and I can see how I was emotionally invested in the journey I was sharing with these hurting people. Some might say this was a good thing. In part it was an unavoidable thing, but it also was influencing how I was teaching what I was learning. The truth is, I do not know if what they have shared is in fact completely true. I believe that it is in some measure but I cannot prove to what degree. I have come to realize that I only know what I know. Does this invalidate these people's stories? Not at all. I can still offer effective ministry even if I cannot "prove" that they have been and may continue to be hurt. I can do ministry in the context of the person's reality without the need to prove one thing or the other. I think it is important to search out what is true to the degree that the person is willing and desires to do so. I do not think that it is my place to make them confront, communicate to their believed abuser, expect reconciliation, or enter into any level of dialogue with anyone unless this is their choice and direction. If you have not read through the SRA guidelines that I released about a year ago, I encourage you to do so. They are in the IATM Theophostic Journal and available on the website. I have also listed these in the new revised Basic Seminar Manual (2005). These guidelines are reflective of my position today. I try to operate in my own reality (what I know to be true) and avoid getting caught up in another person's reality. When I finish revising the Level II material I feel very confident that what it will contain will be "user friendly" instruction that is founded in what we know to be true and how to best minister to those who bring the unbelievable into our ministry offices.


I hope that this helps


Ed Smith

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