In her book Listening for the Light and in her extensive writings on the importance of music therapy for the ear and brain, Laurna Tallman has not only focused her considerable insights on the healing of dyslexic syndrome, schizophrenia, bipolarity, chronic fatigue syndrome, and substance abuse, but also on the socio-economic context where many find themselves unable to access the therapies that may truly help them. What little I had absorbed about the Tomatis therapy (the starting point of her work), even after undergoing the therapy myself and devoting a chapter of my own book to it, was unclear and confusing. I had no idea why Tomatis therapy might be key in treating my son’s schizophrenia. Laurna’s book changed that. The Tallman Paradigm is a theoretical, neurological framework for behavior that builds on and extends the work of Alfred A. Tomatis, with an important contribution from Vilayanur S. Ramachandran.
Simply put, the Tallman Paradigm maintains that altering the right ear with music has a global effect on brain function by making the left-brain dominate in cerebral integrative processes. The stapedius muscle in the right middle ear controls the amount of sound energy that reaches the left brain. If that muscle is weak or damaged, the left-brain cannot maintain its dominance over the right-brain. In people with a very weak ear muscle, the hemispheres trade “dominance” every two minutes. That condition of non-dominance, she asserts, characterizes schizophrenia, autism, and the state of normal sleep. The illnesses can be healed by using high frequency music, which Tomatis appreciated for its power, and headphones modified by blocking the left earpiece to force right-ear listening. A very important added bonus for anyone wanting to do the Tallman therapy is that anyone can do the therapy. You don’t need to travel to an expensive Tomatis center to benefit. People of any income level, no matter where they live, can heal themselves cheaply. The only equipment needed is ordinary headphones, a few CDs of Mozart violin concertos or other classical violin music, and a CD player such as a walkman or a computer. Laurna‘s website is another instance of Internet distance learning that people can apply in their own homes. She has several publications for people wanting to dig deeper into her discoveries.
Interview with Laurna Tallman, author of Listening for the Light
RF: I devote one of the chapters of my book, The Scenic Route, to the Tomatis Method therapy, which my son first underwent for a total of 60 hours in 2009. In 2009, the therapy produced interesting small changes in Chris. Not being particularly enlightened as to why he should continue the therapy once he had completed the 60 hours, I thought once was enough. What I took away from my meetings with the director of the program was that Chris would just “blossom” in some undefined way over time. When I finished my book in the late summer of 2017, Chris and I had some free time to revisit some of the therapies that (a) were covered by our insurance and (b) had a somewhat documented body of knowledge behind them, which is the case for Tomatis therapy. Both of us did the therapy this time, for 40 hours each. I felt energetically rejuvenated, but came away none-the-wiser about what this therapy can do for people or why Chris and I should stick with it.
Laurna, I suspect that my impressions of Tomatis therapy are shared by others. Tomatis therapy is expensive. Tomatis clinics usually are restricted to large population centers and the treatment is not covered by a lot of insurance plans. Can you expand on any other of its drawbacks when it comes to schizophrenia and the other conditions and why you advocate using Focused Listening?
LT: Yes, I can. But, first, I want to express my appreciation for the genius of Tomatis that led to important discoveries and my gratitude for the kindness of practitioners who use that method to reach out to people in need. Four members of our family experienced some version of the Tomatis Method and each made astonishing recoveries from dyslexic syndrome or from chronic fatigue syndrome. Those healings were not permanent, however, which set me on my own road to discovery. I would learn that treatments affecting the ear cannot be guaranteed to be permanent because the ear is easily harmed, for example, by loud noise, by infections, and by other means.
When our son Daniel became schizophrenic shortly after his healing from dyslexia, in 1997, we were told by psychiatrists that the Tomatis Method had caused his severe mental illness. It took Daniel, in his dreadfully damaged condition, and me, in my ignorance, about nine years to realize that amplified high-frequency music was exactly what he needed to recover from schizophrenia. However, the Tomatis Method might not be sufficiently specialized for that degree of ear damage. When Daniel reached out for my headphones, I had a vague memory from having read in Paul Madaule’s book When Listening Comes Alive that Tomatis had thought the right ear was more important. Despite the fact that the Tomatis Method is binaural, I decided to focus music only on Daniel’s right ear. I blocked the left earpiece of the headphones with a thick wad of facial tissue. After about 4 weeks of listening to amplified music for two hours per day with his right ear, Daniel, in a single afternoon, lost all of his symptoms of schizophrenia. Two years later, when I researched the factors in his healing, I was able to draw certain neurological conclusions about his illness and about the healing process because I had limited the healing stream of high-frequency sound to his right ear.
RF: When you write in the book that Daniel, after having been cured of his dyslexic syndrome and schizophrenia, was starting to relapse into schizophrenia and said ” I’m dyslexic again,” what was the significance of that statement?
LT: In this case, Daniel was saying something about his illness that was so obvious to him that he didn’t understand how I could not know it. On page 241 of my book, I describe Daniel’s mental improvement following a reduction, in mid-November 2005, of his very small amount of medication. He begins to “awaken” but I do not yet understand there is a spectrum of left-brain dominance “levels” with a unifying reason for that gradation. I ask Daniel if he is dyslexic and he says, “Of course.” From his point of view, all levels of mental illness include all the lesser symptoms of the milder levels in extreme forms. I would say now that he had the same symptoms that became worse and worse, but I lacked that perspective in 2005. He might have thought, “I am dyslexic and schizophrenic. At that stage I did not recognize the bipolarity phases as such. I still did not foresee what focused listening would do for Daniel.
From the time Daniel became schizophrenic in 1997 until he picked up my headphones in late 2005, it had never occurred to me that his dyslexia, other family members‘ chronic fatigue, and his schizophrenia had a common origin. I thought different illnesses originated in different parts of the brain and that music somehow cured those unique parts—or something like that. My research led me to see that the cause of a range of illnesses is malfunction of the ear itself, which in turn affects the brain. We know that the color of the iris of the eye can reduce the amount of light energy entering the brain. Similarly, the weakness of a muscle in the ear can reduce the amount of sound energy entering the brain. Dark-eyed people are more likely in northern climates to have seasonal affective disorder (S.A.D.). These so-called “mental” illnesses—from chronic fatigue and dyslexia to schizophrenia and autism—are caused by sound-deprivation, most of them with noticeable losses of left-brain function, although both hemispheres suffer. Weakness in the right stapedius muscle slows the speed at which the two halves of the brain integrate to share their different abilities. I also learned that the left-brain has to dominate that integration process.
Dyslexia happens when the two halves of the brain integrate a little slower than normal. Bipolar II happens when the two halves of the brain integrate slower than in dyslexia. Bipolar I happens when the two halves of the brain can barely integrate. Schizophrenia, autism, and the normal sleep state happen when the two halves of the brain stop integrating. To cause normal sleep, the ear muscle responds to fatigue by relaxing temporarily, which relaxes body muscles and slows body processes, until it has rested and sound awakens it to rev the body into its awake condition. In schizophrenia, autism, and other disorders, the ear muscle is weak or injured and cannot spring back into life, so body systems remain in slow-motion. It must be exercised into strength. So, to be specific about your question, Daniel recognized in 2016 that he had arrived at the first part of that spectrum of left-brain losses, which he had experienced in its entirety. He knew dyslexia was the early stage of schizophrenia.
RF: So, now I understand better when you say that the use of antipsychotic drugs alongside Focused Listening are not ideal because what these drugs do is to tranquillize, forcing people to become less agitated by bringing them closer to a sleep state in which the muscles are already relaxed. A double whammy. I can also see why birds are the first things we hear in nature after awaking from a night’s sleep. They produce high frequency sounds that energize us to get out of bed!
LT: Exactly! And that is why SSRIs often leave people with SSRI withdrawal syndrome and it is why doctors raise medication levels and then play hop-scotch with other medications.
RF:The two-minute intervals that you write about, when the left and right cerebral hemispheres change dominance, is that what happens only when someone is extremely psychotic or is this characteristic of almost anyone who has a schizophrenia diagnosis, no matter how seemingly recovered they are? If one pays attention, does the language and logic falter every two minutes?
LT: My educated guess is that the impulse that shifts energy from one cerebral hemisphere to the other is a physiological phenomenon that occurs in all humans all the time. We recognize it when we turn aside from our left-brained work to allow the right-brain to daydream. Those are shifts in emphasis for people who are securely left-brain dominant, not total losses of left-brain dominance that make us psychotic. Total losses can occur in an illness that causes delirium, in reactions to prescribed medications, from excessive consumption of alcohol, or from recreational drug use. And, as I explained above, in sleep. Most people have ears strong enough to bounce back from occasional experiences like those.
RF: You talk a little bit about the mechanics of cerebrospinal fluid in your book. How does the flow reset the dominance achieved by the left brain?
LT: I cannot give as complete an explanation as I would like to. This explanation is based on information given to me by others and is somewhat speculative. A Toronto therapist who has studied a Polish method of treating infantile learning disabilities explained the dual pumps to me. That pulsing makes sense in terms of Upledger’s moving meninges, too.
Fuelled by the flow of sound energy, effort is spent by the left-brain to overcome the influence of the right-brain on rational thought and behavior during its two minutes of ascendant power. John Upledger, the doctor who developed craniosacral therapy, was impressed during surgery by how strongly the lining of the brain (the meninges) moved when he was instructed to hold it still. It was propelled by some unknown physiological process. The flexing of that tissue surrounding the brain may be part of the mechanism that pushes cerebrospinal fluid through the brain and spinal cord. The manipulation techniques Upledger developed as a therapy impact that hydraulic system.
My limited knowledge of the hydraulics of cerebrospinal fluid recognizes that two “pumps,” one in the middle of the brain and the other in the sacral region of the spinal cord, keep that fluid circulating. I assume those actions create a pulse rather than a steady flow and that the pressure where cerebral integration is taking place ebbs and surges. That process may be the persistent “reset” for the dominance achieved by the left-brain at about four-minute intervals.
You probably have noticed that four-minute cycling if you have some uninterrupted peace and quiet to contemplate a problem. One’s train of thought may be lively for a couple of minutes as the left-brain converses with resources in the right-brain, but the conversation tends to drift. If you write your thoughts, an antiphonal “pro” and “con” rhythm is likely to emerge as the rational brain and the emotional brain present their “sides.” People being taught meditation or prayer are instructed to refocus on the goal without “blaming” the self for the drift. I think that “self” that “drifts” is the left-brain or the right-brain, depending on which state of consciousness is your goal. Prayer goals are motivated more by left-brained states of consciousness and meditation goals are more right-brained, according to the states of consciousness claimed as “ideal” by various seekers I have listened to or have read. Of course, there can be overlap because those who seek states of consciousness are approaching their goals obliquely without knowing quite what will get them there and they may experience both cerebral influences.
In less contemplative environments, laughter, crying, yelling and screaming, hearty singing, glossalalia, lecturing, preaching, and other intense verbal expressions usually end—or rise and fall—with a sense of “release” or “peace” or a feeling of “emptiness” or what the Greeks dramatists aimed to achieve as “katharsis” of pity and fear in their audiences. We may think of those activities as “stress relievers.” I think that “stress” means tension between the left and right hemispheres that leaves the body muscles in a state of conflict and tension. Such outpourings usually leave the person with greater left-brain clarity and less intense emotions. I would digress too far to analyze each of those stress-relievers in detail here. I hope to explore various states of consciousness in the Spiritual Health through Music part of my website.
RF: How do people become rational, focused, attentive, and self-controlled if a physiological process is pushing back?
LT: I would add that the left-ear stream of sound also is “pushing back,” in a sense, by energizing the right-brain. The answer is: a cumulative altering of the infant and child’s neurology. We begin a teaching process from the child’s birth that involves feeding consistently organized sounds that we call “language” into the baby’s ears. That sound, as it comes through the right ear, neurologically favors the left-brain because the “communication loop” is shorter for the “right ear to left-brain to larynx (voice)” stream of sound energy. That stream of rational sound keeps the left-brain active, alert, and dominant despite that other physiological flow from the left ear that supports the right-brain‘s equal opportunity of influence but takes longer to arrive at the larynx to shape the voice. We call that social process “teaching” and we call the responses of the left-brain that dominate right-brain impulses “learning.” As I am sure you know as a mother, from birth the baby attempts to respond to what it hears. The psychologist William S. Condon’s observations, on film in the 1960s, of infants’ and their parents’ interactions at the “fraction of a second level” is fascinating as they reveal infants’ efforts to imitate the parent with voice and limbs within minutes of birth and with increasing skill as the infant grows. We communicate with one another as swiftly as the cerebral hemispheres communicate with one another for the obvious reason that both processes happen at the speed of sound through air and in nerves.
I am highly trained to listen with my right ear (and my left ear). But I can remain focused and attentive rationally for only so long before fatigue in both my ear muscles allows the underlying hydraulic process to carry me into the less focused state of consciousness called “daydreaming,” which is a step closer to sleep. Our cultures tend to place a very high value on focused, left-brain effort. We send people to university for six to ten years after high school graduation to refine those skills that come from intensely left-brain-dominant work. Education is cognitive behavioral training (CBT) on a grand scale. That brain work is driven by sound energy, as well as by oxygen and glucose. And that is why music aids study.
RF: You have lots to say about dyslexia, a term popularly associated with difficulty in reading because of mixing up letters and numbers. You rightly and properly refer to it as “dyslexic syndrome” because it has a wide arrange of psychological presentations and social repercussions beginning at a young age. Having a close relative with dyslexic syndrome, it was only after reading your book that I began to see subtle overlaps with aspects of schizophrenia. (Not everyone these days will know that dyslexia used to be treated by psychiatrists.) Today, it’s considered more of a learning problem, and I would speculate that these days sending a child to a language and speech therapist doesn’t really solve the complexity of this problem. Could you elaborate on what dyslexic syndrome is and why you consider it a mental illness, in the same category (at least on your website) as depression, bipolarity, and schizophrenia?
LT: All forms of mental illness are “learning problems“ because “normal learning” requires normal speeds of cerebral integration. I dislike the term “mental illness” because it perpetuates the notion that aberrant behavior begins in the brain. Aberrant behavior begins in the ear, whether the relatively mild forms of interrupted language learning called “dyslexic syndrome” or the severe forms of interrupted language learning called “autism” or the deterioration in already learned language called “schizophrenia.” To communicate with people who use the term “mental illness” I must meet them on that ground to explain how misleading the term is.
Dyslexia is a treatable ear problem, as are autism and schizophrenia and most other forms of “mental” illness. Of Bérard’s 1,850 dyslexic syndrome patients he cured 100% of them of their primary symptom, i.e., difficulty learning to read. His method was binaural stimulation with amplified music. He cured most or some of those patients of other symptoms. I think he would have had even higher levels of success if he had understood cerebral integration and had used Focused Listening for those patients who did not recover from all of their symptoms and if he had treated his patients for longer than two weeks, usually for a total of 10 hours. (He made exceptions in some cases, such as suicidal depression, and offered a second or third set of treatments).
Some language and speech therapists use music in somewhat limited ways, usually without amplification and simply to comfort and to make the client feel happier. Music is selected according to the tastes and preferences of the client—or of the therapist—without knowledge of the neurological effects of low-frequency sound as compared with high-frequency sound. Nevertheless, the American organization Music & Memory® uses headphones and is having predictably astounding effects on Alzheimer’s patients in nursing homes and other care facilities. One speech and language therapist, who writes about the Tomatis Method in a state-of-the-art text in that field, does not understand the mechanism of that method‘s effectiveness and does not quote the amazing data collected by Bérard in his work. I think the lack of an overarching theoretical framework for the great success of those French otolaryngologists was an impediment to the spread of their healing methods.
I know of programs for autistic children that use music peripherally, not realizing that it could be the primary healing modality for those children. I know of clinical experiments with music for seniors and for psychiatric patients that used low-frequency sound and merely put their elderly or already drugged subjects to sleep.
RF: While we are on terminology, why do you refer to bipolar disorder (previous known as manic-depression) as “bipolarity”?
LT: Often, I am using it as a collective term for bipolar I and bipolar II that almost fill the gap between schizophrenia and dyslexia or between schizophrenia and “the range of normal” behavior. Historically, Freud cultivated that territory between normal behavior and psychosis under the term “neurosis.” When a large enough number of “neurotic” patients revealed their different tendencies, the ones who had more extreme mood swings were said to vacillate between the “poles” of mania and depression. The manic phase was associated with the extreme of psychosis and the depressed phase was associated with more “normal” behavior. That notion of bipolarity later was refined into those manic-depressives who experienced hallucinations (in my terms, a slower speed of integration) and were designated “bipolar I,” and those manic-depressives who did not experience hallucinations, designated “bipolar II.” Since Freud and his colleagues were looking for experiential causes, they were less interested in seeking the physical reasons for the obvious spectrum of behavior they were carving up with increasingly specific terminology. Much more recently, bipolar people who experience extreme personality shifts were designated “borderline” personalities, as much for their inability to form a coherent personality and their tendency to self-harm, as for their “location” on the borders of psychosis. Since I have discovered that there is an identifiable spectrum of right-ear weakness (that can involve the left ear) and an identifiable spectrum of left-ear weakness (Bérard’s identification of the range of depressions), I have less reason to distinguish the current psychiatric categories. I am confident they all are treatable with Focused Listening and with follow-up binaural therapy.
RF: Mothers reading your book or wanting to read your book and who have a child with a schizophrenia diagnosis may question your premise that it’s a weak ear muscle that causes it. They may question this for a variety of reasons, for example, their child didn’t have ear infections, wasn’t given antibiotics, didn’t take legal or illegal drugs, was an excellent student, extremely athletic, etc.. My son’s characteristics don’t fit all of your criteria but some of them apply. He had low energy going as far back as pre-birth and (as reported by many mothers about their infants who later developed schizophrenia) had a lack of muscle tone (floppy). I could then see that a weak ear muscle could be the cause. Not enough energy was getting to the left cerebral hemisphere and the rest of his body. What is it about schizophrenia that indicates to you that a weak right stapedius muscle (non dominant left cerebral hemisphere) may be the source of the problem?
LT: From reading The Scenic Route, I widened my understanding of childhood symptoms that can set the stage for schizophrenia. Don’t forget that children of every age these days are exposed to the traumatic noise of airplane’s jet engines. They can be harmed in utero and at any age thereafter. I took our six-week-old daughter and our year-old son from Memphis to Toronto and back again by plane and I will always wonder what effect that trip had on them. I will restrict my answer to schizophrenia and not comment on autism, the non-dominance of an infant that bears a lot in common with adult schizophrenia where the symptoms are so extreme as to be obvious.
- Difficulty in decision-making (“choosing”)
- Settling on the poorer choice in decision-making.”
- In decision-making, obsequiousness is a version of that problem played out in relationships.
- Slowness to walk. Slowness to start running and skipping. Awkwardness with hands and feet.
- Extremes of shyness or extremes of extroversion with uncontrolled laughter, screaming, rages, hurt feelings, and tears. Shyness may include a tendency to isolate.
- A lack of interest in learning about letters, numbers, spelling, or reading. By school age, those issues will show up as dyslexic syndrome.
- Difficulty focusing the eyes; the gaze shifts away instead of holding.
- Difficulty throwing a ball straight.
- Dropping things too easily.
- Bumping into people in crowded spaces.
- Slouched posture, whether sitting or standing.
- Inconsistent ability to pay attention and respond when called.
- Inability to focus on some kinds of tasks. Extreme attention, i.e., perseveration, to other types of activities.
- Inability to grasp some concepts, such as gravity, that defines “up,” “down,” and “sideways.”
- Inability or unwillingness to follow directions.
- Difficulty ordering things in space, e.g., organizing clothing and toys. Or, extreme over-compensation, hyper controlling about organizing clothing and toys.
- Lack of endurance, tiring quickly.
- Difficulty relating to adults and their expectations. May be more comfortable with younger children.
- Inability, therefore refusal, to respond to age-appropriate parental expectations.
- Emotional extremes: inconsolable sadness; impervious, self-involved delight.
- Food allergies.
- Difficulty falling asleep. Sleepwalking.
- Poor immune responses or hyperactive immune responses.
RF: Why, in your opinion, does schizophrenia only become apparent in one’s late teens to mid twenties?
LT: I am not sure that I am qualified to offer a comprehensive opinion. I know why Daniel reached that point of ear damage at 16.
RF: By “that point of ear damage” you are referring to the fact that it was apparent at an early age that he was dyslexic, and schizophrenia only developed when he was 16 a week after curing his dyslexia at a Tomatis Center.
LT: Yes. He began life with the ear damage, to which I believe I contributed, by exposing him to unusually loud noise in utero. As a dyslexic child, he was dreadfully misunderstood at home and at school. The love and general happiness in his home protected him to a considerable extent until he was in junior school. He had barely adjusted to a new school in the US when the family moved back to a much inferior educational system in rural Ontario. The high school had no program for dyslexic students, many of whom have genius level abilities. His self-esteem problems became severe. He fell into despair and was victimized by older teens with similar problems and by the local drug dealer. By the time he was 16 he was addicted to cigarettes, alcohol, cannabis, and hallucinogens, in that order. He experimented with all kinds of substances but avoided needles and avoided LSD until he was handed a tab impregnated with LSD and was harmed before he could protect himself.
RF: I see from your answer that for anyone with an underlying ear weakness, but who has managed to cope thus far, it would take no more than a cold or the flu to further weaken the ear to bring on schizophrenia. I suspect that one possible explanation for the later onset of schizophrenia (in my son’s case, at least) was that he had taken a powerful anti-acne drug when he was in his mid teens. It is all speculative, of course because there is no “proof” of cause and effect. We have to start with the premise that the ear is weak, and then it makes sense that something happens to the muscle to make it weaker.
LT: Absolutely. Contemporary society is full of hazards to genetically weak ears and their effects can be cumulative, so your readers should watch out for these potential assaults on their ears:
- loud and/or low-frequency sound, e.g., industrial noise and air travel;
- infections (bacterial, viral, or yeast);
- head or ear trauma including surgeries, especially those for inserting tubes into the middle ear; auto accidents, falls, sporting accidents, violence from other children or adults
- chemicals in the air or in water (pollution);
- chemicals in foods (pesticides, coloring, other additives) and genetic modifications;
- certain medications (SSRIs, anesthetics, psychoactive medications, prednisone, other medications that affect muscles);
- swimming in cold water (swimmer’s ear), which can cause bony growths in the ear canal;
- oxygen deprivation (a difficult birth, carbon monoxide poisoning);
- hormonal changes.
RF: Many people maintain that 80% of most illnesses are psychological/emotional in origin, which, when you think of it, makes them “mental” illnesses. You have categorized dyslexia, for example, as one of the “mental” illness on your website. You also do not include, e.g. chronic fatigue syndrome as a mental illness, yet, if it can be cured the same way that dyslexia, schizophrenia, bipolar can be cured, by exercising the stapedius muscle, then wouldn’t chronic fatigue syndrome also be a mental illness? Another way of looking at this is that none of these conditions are “mental” illnesses, they are physical illnesses with a large mental component.
LT: Yes, that latter interpretation is more meaningful. In my revised website chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is included in the “Mental Health” section. The separation of “physical” from “mental” is contradictory to my paradigm. All so-called “mental” illnesses are physical and pertain to the health of a muscle in the ear(s). Many illnesses already considered “physical” have a component that involves the ear and may include symptoms that overlap into the “old” categorization of “mental.” For example, a Parkinson’s patient who hallucinates is not usually pigeonholed as “mentally ill” although the bipolar individual who does hallucinate, bears that “mentally ill” label. I try to start by using the familiar terminology and then move to teaching how “mental” really means a version of “physical” they have not known about. Something similar will be happening in the Spiritual Health section of my website when I get to it. Several experiences that come under the rubric of “spirituality” depend on the health of the ear.
RF: Do all of the conditions you write about require blocking or muffling the left earphone when listening to the music? The reason I ask is that the Tomatis therapy is binaural, and advertises itself for dyslexia (not dyslexic syndrome, I believe) and chronic fatigue syndrome.
LT: At my present level of learning, I am concerned about the left-ear phenomenon of suicidal depression. There is no doubt that it usually pertains to the left ear and right-brain, although the right ear may be involved in some way Bérard does not identify because “integration” was not on his radar. Depression more rarely occurs in the right ear, which should be addressed by right-ear Focused Listening. I encourage people to get audiograms, first, as a screening for life-threatening depression. Second, I want to see those audiograms to learn to identify the profile for schizophrenia and other problems not touched on by Bérard. In cases of primary (left-ear) depression, Focused Listening with the left ear would be the logical approach. Once the left ear’s audition is normalized, the right ear‘s needs can be addressed with Focused Listening with the right ear. Sometimes, when no audiogram is available, binaural listening may be the safest way to proceed.
I remind people that we are working on a frontier of human knowledge. Neither Tomatis nor Bérard had success treating schizophrenia, except to some limited extent in the infantile form as autism. I have replicated my success in treating Daniel’s schizophrenia twice since his initial healing in 2006. Four schizophrenics engaged in listening programs are showing early signs of desired changes. I have seen two other people with trauma-related psychosis improve greatly using Focused Listening. I have seen some borderline personalities improve with Focused Listening. Until some of these people have tapered off their medications, I do not expect dramatic changes. For them, even small, incremental changes are amazing!
RF: Having a close relative with dyslexia while growing up, I’ll admit that I never thought to link the two, until I read your book, Listening for the Light. Now, I wonder why I didn’t make a connection earlier. Huge loss of confidence, inability to trust one’s own judgment, deferring to others, slavishly following of people who are harmful to them.
LT: You are not alone, Rossa. I had lived with bipolar people all my life, studied dyslexic syndrome professionally, had a dyslexic and schizophrenic child, and still did not make all those connections until DANIEL reached out for music! He knew something I did not know. Together, we made a stunning discovery. We believe it will help others. Thank you for your courageous journey and for your splendid generosity in sharing our ray of hope with others!
RF: And thank you, Laurna, for doing your homework and letting it be known that recovery can be achieved for many kinds of conditions. You are bringing hope to a lot of people. In my own case, by doing Focused Listening for two hours a day, I achieved something quite unexpected. Not only have I become much more focused and energetic, I’ve managed to stop a life long nail biting habit. That was a big surprise! It’s been a real pleasure interviewing you.