How Sofia Beat Suicidal Depression and Became an RTT Therapist
How Sofia Beat Suicidal Depression and Became an RTT Therapist
Posted on June 27th 2019 by Letara Buckley
This is Sofia Megzari, an RTT™ therapist from France living in Denmark. Sofia has always enjoyed observing the world around her in a bid to try to understand other people’s experiences. Her constant search for understanding the human race led Sofia on an academic path where she achieved three Master's degrees in Cultural Anthropology and Linguistics. She said that it was a fascinating journey, which deepened her understanding of how people unconsciously learn to perceive and experience their own world.
Despite looking like she ‘had it all’ with an impressive academic background, a happy marriage, and a beloved son, Sofia has previously battled crippling depression for more than 25 years and had suffered regular suicidal thoughts since her childhood. In a bid to overcome it, Sofia had tried conventional medicine, psychiatry and many other therapies, but nothing had worked.
Sofia’s life completely changed from the day she found out about Marisa Peer’s Rapid Transformational Therapy™ (RTT™), through listening to a TED talk. Marisa’s unique method completely blew her away and so much of what Marisa said resonated with Sofia. “She talked about how your mind is geared to keep you alive. Its job is not to keep you happy, but to keep you surrounded by thoughts that are familiar,” Sofia said in a recent interview.
After a week of indepth research, Sofia decided to book an online session with an RTT therapist, Kerryn. Sofia said that she first did an introduction call “where Kerryn taught me about the rules of the mind. At the end of that coaching session, she did a quick hypnosis to relax me and give me some great suggestions. That in itself already had a great impact on me. Our real RTT session happened 3 or 4 days later.”
During Sofia’s regression stage in the full RTT session, an unknown trauma was revealed from her childhood and everything suddenly made sense. Each piece of the puzzle came into place. RTT ultimately brought Sofia the hands-on method to change her current reality for good. Ten days after her first session, Sofia was on a plane to New York to train as an RTT therapist with Marisa Peer.
We interviewed Sofia to find out more about her life-changing and transformational experience, which she bravely shares openly and honestly now to help others.
Could you tell us a bit more about your experiences with depression?
I started experiencing depression as a child. I was probably around 8 years old when it first began. It wasn't taken seriously by my parents and always dismissed as "normal low mood episodes like everyone else." It got worse with the years, but was never addressed by anyone.
I had to take it seriously in my mid-20's when it became completely debilitating (I stayed in bed and was unable to move or do anything for several months and one day discovered there was something called depression - those were the early days of the internet).
I went to the doctor, was put on antidepressants and begun my journey to psychologists, psychotherapists and psychiatrists. None of it helped and it only made me worse. I felt like I was literally stripping down naked every time I had to introduce a new therapist to my life, without ever feeling like they had any compassion for me or understood what I was going through. Never giving me any sign that they could actually help. I was being totally consumed by my past, trying to make sense of what had happened in my childhood that could explain my situation. I was in a constant loop of negative thinking, going over and over every unpleasant episode of my life, and reading every book about mental health I could find.
I tried lots of different medications before deciding to stop it, as it was taking away the only power I felt I had in my life: knowing how I felt. With antidepressants, I never knew if a good day was indeed a good day, or just the medicine masking my feelings. Suicidal ideation was a recurring thing. I had lost hope and felt this excruciating pain within: the feeling of despair. I couldn't see how to ever stop it, and so suicide felt like the only viable exit for me, because continuing like this was intolerable.
Of course, there were ups and downs through all those years, and I sometimes would find some idea giving me hope that things would get better. But it always went back down eventually, which was the most painful thing of all. This constant realisation that no matter what I thought would help, no matter how much I felt like I might be on my way back up, it never lasted. There was always yet another wave of despair proving me that my hope was misguided and crushing me even more. This realisation, that I was consistently failing at life, was making me fall even deeper into hopelessness and despair, losing any kind of faith in myself and in life.
Being a mother was the only thing holding me from giving up completely. No matter how much I wanted to end things, I just couldn't leave my child to grow up without a mother. However, at the same time, this made me feel like I was trapped: wanting to end my life because I couldn't handle the pain anymore, but feeling like I didn't even have the freedom to do just that.
One of the worst things throughout all those years was never feeling understood. Everyone around me was telling me to just "get over it", "focus on good things", "ignore my emotions", as if they simply couldn't relate to how it felt for me. Everyone had a story for me about how they too felt low for some time, but then they… (insert anything here: "started exercising” or “pulled themselves back together" etc) ...and were all good again. Implying that I should just do the same. This kept adding to my feelings that I somehow was "broken", "created/made differently than other people".
My symptoms were very physical. Most of the time it was as if there was lead in my feet and legs, so even getting up to go to the bathroom was sometimes beyond my power. I was literally stuck. Unable to even move at times.
In the end, I had accepted that I was born flawed. That everyone else had been born with the ability to cope with life, and I just wasn't. The smallest thing could break me. A cashier not responding to my greeting, a stranger on
the street "looking at me funny". The world felt dangerous and threatening, and I felt incredibly fragile and unable to survive like a normal person. Let alone thrive.
What had you already tried in a bid to overcome depression, and how many times had you attempted?
Money was always an issue, so seeking help was mostly limited to what social security could offer me. I tried many different kinds of antidepressants, some of which offered benefits and made me "almost normal". However, they had their share of side effects and made it impossible for me to trust myself (was I really feeling better?).
I saw psychiatrists, psychologists and psychotherapists. 5 sessions with one, 10 sessions with another. It was all on and off for about 18 years. I was never given the hope to ever feel better. Rather it was explained to me that I could learn to cope and should always take medication. Before I discovered RTT, the only therapy that made some difference was art therapy. It helped me change some feelings and gave me relief for a few months. However, it wasn't long-lasting and wore off quickly.
How is RTT different to other approaches you have tried?
RTT is radically different to anything else I had tried before. RTT believes that it can uncover the root of a condition, and change the beliefs that created it, thereby eradicating the condition.
Every other approach I had tried either believed in me accepting my condition as chronic, that I was genetically predisposed to, or that one day (after years of talking) I would suddenly realise what the cause was, and it would disappear by magic in that instant. The latter was exactly what was keeping me stuck in a loop of negativity: the belief that I had to keep revisiting my past until it made sense - which it never did.
RTT was offering hope, and a clear path to transformation.
What made you pick Kerryn, your RTT therapist?
When I looked for an RTT therapist, I initially contacted 2 women, and booked a discovery call with each of them. I was worried about choosing the wrong one, as I had previously had so many bad experiences with therapists in the past, always feeling they made me feel naked and expressed no compassion or gave no warmth.
I really liked both of the therapists I spoke to, but Kerryn stood out because of her energy. It was like she believed in me and in her ability to help me, which I allowed myself to believe in. Her face was bright and shiny, and she was full of hope and joy.
How did listening to the audio recordings help after the one-to-one sessions?
The audio recording was like a gift from above. It had such incredible power over me and could instantly change my state of being. If I felt myself becoming weaker, being affected by external factors, feeling the old familiar thoughts and feelings creep back in, all I had to
do was take 20 minutes and listen to my recording I was like a brand new person. It was literally reprogramming my mind every time I listened, making me think positive thoughts and feel good things about myself. I was always smiling when listening to it. I actually still listen to it sometimes today, almost 15 months since my first session.
How do you feel now as a result of RTT? How has your life changed?
My life has been radically transformed as a result of RTT. I am no longer trapped in a dark pit of despair, believing that I am a failure, doomed to keep failing forever and ever. I feel better and better about myself every single day, I feel hope and joy every day, and have now reached a place where low feelings don't affect me anymore. I can feel sad, frustrated or angry without it taking over my entire being. I can recognise these human feelings as what they are, and no longer allow them to make me forget who I am. I believe in myself, and finally feel like I am living life like "all these normal people" I used to look at. I can cope with life. I am resilient. I don't identify with dark thoughts anymore, and I am growing and thriving every day. My life is radically different.
I used to feel like I would never have a career, because I was unable to sustain a job. Today I am an RTT therapist! The one thing that used to keep me going through those years of pain and suffering was the thought that I one day would find a way out of my misery, and then be able to help others out of their misery.
As soon as I experienced RTT, in one single day, I went from wanting to jump from my balcony to skipping and dancing in the park, I knew I had to learn how to do this. I was on a plane to NYC about 2 weeks after my own session, ready to meet Marisa Peer and learn RTT from her.
It is sometimes hard to fathom that only a few months later, I was owning my own business and charging clients to help them. It is something that I would never have believed or even dared imagine only months earlier.
Marisa Peer says that transformation can be immediate, cumulative (as we learn through repetition) or retrospective – when you look back now, what would you say was your experience?
I would say that my experience was both immediate and cumulative. Uncovering the root cause of my depression was a huge eye opener. It gave me an understanding of why I was the way I was, and finally justified my pain. I wasn't a weakling who just couldn't handle life. There was an explanation and a good reason. That gave me instant relief, because I could let it all go. That is why I literally went skipping in the park hours after my session.
However, waves of the old familiar feelings would keep reappearing as new layers were being uncovered. I received other RTT sessions on other issues such as guilt or fear of success, until I felt like the old familiar had been completely eradicated. That journey has been cumulative.
I never went back to feeling powerless and doomed or to experiencing the excruciating pain of despair and hopelessness after my first session.
Would you recommend RTT? What would you say to someone considering if they should try it?
Of course I would recommend RTT to anyone willing to believe that they can be helped! What I would say is that they will finally be able to understand what has caused their issue, and that this knowledge is invaluable! I would say
that if they are willing to take a leap of faith (because many of the people who have lost hope like I had, don't even dare believe in help and change, because the fear of being disappointed is too threatening to them) and to commit to this process by opening up and investing time into listening to their recording and taking the appropriate action, then I believe that there is no limit to how far RTT can take them. It can truly lead them to their dream life!
Have you had any depressive thoughts since completing your RTT sessions? How long has it been?
Yes I have. I even have had fleeting thoughts about suicide whenever I felt low. But the intensity had nothing to do with what it used to be. I could recognise that this way of thinking and feeling had been so very familiar to me for so very long that it would take time to form a new habit of thinking and reacting. I did at times fear that I was going back to my old ways, because any reminder of that past pain was really scary. However, the pain and intensity was so much milder and manageable. I could always turn it around by simply listening to one of my audio recordings, or by having another RTT session to work on the issue I was struggling with.
Today it is nearly 15 months since my first RTT session with Kerryn, and I can confidently say that depression is no longer a part of my life. Suicidal ideation is no longer my knee jerk reaction when life gets challenging. I have better coping skills than I ever imagined possible, and can handle 1000% more stress and pressure than before. I no longer feel threatened and affected by other people's words and actions, and I am loving and praising myself more and more every single day.
Additional thoughts from Sofia:
Over the years, I received several different diagnoses from doctors and therapists. Things like dysthymia, major depressive disorder, chronic depression, bipolar depression, and even borderline personality disorder. All coupled with a healthy amount of anxiety and panic attacks.
For years I used to think that finding the "correct diagnosis" was the key, and so I would spend countless hours reading up about all types of mental health disorders. Today I believe that they do a lot more harm than good. Locking people in a box and making them believe that they will never be able to change, and that they must "accept their fate".
When working with clients today, I know that when I can make them drop their label and look at their issue as something they created for a reason, instead of a condition they are born with, half of the journey is already done.
What Exactly is RTT?
After three decades of practicing therapy, when it came to creating her own method, Marisa Peer wanted to produce something powerful and transformational. She also wanted to share the successes from her career, so that she could empower others to achieve the same. Marisa has dedicated her life to studying the very best principles of scientific research and practical application, including hypnosis, CBT, psychotherapy, psychology, healing and neuro-linguistic programming (NLP). Rapid Transformational Therapy™(RTT) is a one-of-a-kind, unconventional approach that is revolutionising therapy. Instead of needing to spend years talking to a therapist about all your problems, RTT is rapid. With the right therapist you can become free of personal issues like depression, anxiety, addictions, weight problems, fears and phobias very quickly and for good.
How Does it Work?
RTT uses many of the positive aspects of hypnosis and hypnotherapy including regression, however, it goes beyond traditional methods. RTT actually gets to the root cause of the problem and alleviates it by rewiring the mind, using a principle known as neuroplasticity. RTT therapists are able to reach breakthroughs via hypnosis that would not be possible if they were simply trying to reach their subconscious mind via altered language and self-talk.
How to Train to be an RTT Therapist
Many people pick a career with the intent of helping people or providing a certain type of service only to find that they can’t deliver in the way that they want to, or perhaps they don’t feel fulfilled in. Marisa’s RTT™ training teaches you a unique method where you can make a profound difference not only to your client’s lives but also to your own. You don't need any prior therapy training or experience to benefit from the course. All you need is passion and the drive to succeed. 50% of Marisa’s graduates have had no prior therapy experience or training; they simply come offering excellent people skills and a desire to learn this life-changing method.
Students can choose between training online or live in person with Marisa. You can find out more here.