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Volume 6, Pages 2080-2091
Case Study

Clinical Holistic Medicine: The Case Story of Anna. III. Rehabilitation of Philosophy of Life During Holistic Existential Therapy for Childhood Sexual Abuse

1Nordic School of Holistic Medicine, Teglgårdstræde 4-8, DK-1452 Copenhagen K, Denmark
2Quality of Life Research Clinic, Teglgårdstræde 4-8, DK-1452 Copenhagen K, Denmark
3Quality of Life Research Center, Teglgårdstræde 4-8, DK-1452 Copenhagen K, Denmark
4Scandinavian Foundation for Holistic Medicine, Sandvika, Norway
5Vejlby Lokalcenter, Vejlby, Denmark
6National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel
7Center for Multidisciplinary Research in Aging, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel
8Zusman Child Development Center, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel
9Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel
10Office of the Medical Director, Division for Mental Retardation, Ministry of Social Affairs, Jerusalem, Israel

Received 30 November 2005; Revised 19 January 2006; Accepted 20 January 2006

Academic Editor: Daniel T.L. Shek

Copyright © 2006 Søren Ventegodt et al.


When we experience life events with overwhelming emotional pain, we can escape this pain by making decisions (in our mind) that transfer responsibility from our existence to the surrounding world. By doing this, we slowly destroy the essence of our being, health, quality of life, and ability to function. The case of Anna is an excellent example of such a systematic destruction of self, done to survive the extreme pressure from childhood abuse and sexual abuse. The case study shows that the damage done to us by traumatic events is not on our body or soul, but rather our philosophy of life. The important consequence is that we can heal our existence by letting go of the negative decisions taken in the past painful and traumatic situations. By letting go of the life-denying sentences, we come back to life and take responsibility for our own life and existence. The healing of Anna’s existence was done by existential holistic therapy. Although the processing did not always run smoothly, as she projected very charged material on the therapists on several occasions, the process resulted in full health and a good quality of life due to her own will to recover and heal completely. The case illustrates the inner logic and complexity of intensive holistic therapy at the most difficult moment, where only a combination of intensive medical, psychiatric, and sexological treatment could set her free. In the paper, we also present a meta-perspective on intensive holistic therapy and its most characteristic phases.