Nov. 1, 1999

To Whom it May Concern,

In 1971, as I neared the end of my college career, I had a seizure while I was sleeping. I actually got up in my sleep and walked into a closet where my roommates found me shaking uncontrollably. I woke up in the university health service several hours later, exhausted. This occurred twice more over the next few weeks. I had an EEG that was inconclusive and was scheduled to spend a week in the hospital over my break for more exhaustive tests. In the interim I functioned normally except for a series of "gray-out" episodes (later identified as 'psychomotor seizures') that occurred every day. These episodes would not cause me to lose consciousness, but I could not speak and I would contort my body slightly for about 30 seconds. They happened three to five times a day, usually while I was at rest and always as I was falling asleep at night. The hospital tests, which included spinal tap and EEGs, were inconclusive, but I was given Dilantin and Valium as a precaution.

I finished college a few months later and five months after that got married. From 1971 through 1985 I continued to have the small seizures daily. Medication was changed and adjusted several times during those years with little effect. In 1985 we met Dr. Elly Laser, a family counselor, to discuss some behavioral issues with our daughter. Dr. Laser asked if I would be willing to come in and see her on my own and I agreed. Over the next year, she and I worked on many different issues, and at some point, she indicated I might be able to get rid of the seizures I had been experienceing for so long through the use of hypnosis. I agreed and we started.

I have little recollection of the exact nature of our conversations under hypnosis. I was alert at all times, but the experience itself was so profound that the details seem unimportant. I began to work on feelings of sadness and upset in my life and much of it disappeared. At one point I began to notice that my seizures had been reduced to just one each night as I was fallinhg asleep. I continued to take medication, which at the time included Dilantin, Mysoline and Phenobarbital. Later, all my seizures stopped. I was not euphoric, but had reached a level calm and satifactiion in my work with Dr. Laser that was unprecedented. I stopped seeing her at this point in the therapy and continued to stay seizure-free. In January of 1987 I stopped taking all of the medication. I did not consult my doctor or anyone else. I knew in my body that the seizures were gone. After a week I told my wife what I had done, confident that I was correct. in the almost nine years since that time I have never had another seizure of any kind. Whatever they were to me disappeared in the hypnotherapy sessions.

I have absolutely no idea how it worked and frankly I don't care. For years I was medicated with depressant and anti-convulsion drugs. When, during that time I forgot to take them or ran out of medication, seizure activity increasede. But all the while I took the drugs I got no relief from the seizures. In addition my teeth werre pretty much destroyd by the Dilantin and I spent the better part of 16 years heavily seedated. Being free of them has been one of the miracles of my life, which I proably now= take for granted. Elly Lasers ood for my having control over that area of my life and I trusted her enough to give her permission to do just that. It worked. What the best neurologists in the Chicago area could not do, she did. The results were profound and they have been lasting. I have no concern abou them ever retunring. The hypnosis took place over approximately 10 sessions, possibly fewer, and the experience was terrific.

If this work has or will prove to be beneficial to others in similar situations I am grateful to have been involved. However, I am clear that my involvement was that of a lab subject who was willing and able to participate and had nothing to lose. Elly risked taking her work into a new area an the result was greater than I could have eve imagined. I will be forever grateful tfo the incredible contributino she has made to me and my family.

—Patrick McCann


June 18, 2000

Just a note to update you that I am still seizure-free. That's 13 years! Thanks, Elly. I love you.