What Happens at an Empowerment Intensive?
Every Empowerment Intensive offers a lot of group support, safety, and a confidential environment to help you blast through your pain. We create a new, loving family in which your new self is born. Each Empowerment Intensive is totally unique. Our processes, based upon the needs of each individual participant, often include the following:
- Rescuing your Inner Child from violent, sexual, or mental abuse or neglect.
- Finding new inner parents who become permanent resources for providing you with positive core beliefs to change your life.
- Bonding with your Inner Mate, the key to lasting romantic fulfillment in the inner and outer worlds.
- Ancient shamanic rituals of soul retrieval, death/re-birth, initiation, and soul travel.
- Profound group journeys into past lives
- Ritual initiations into leadership, healing power, and life purpose.
Heres are two skeptical participant's descriptions of their journeys through the Empowerment Intensive.
Joseph McMurry of Butler, PA says:
"I've just had the most transformative and inspiring experience of my life. This weekend took my previous experience of therapy, combined it with deeper feelings, memories and resources than I've ever felt and put it all down into the cells of my body.
Yet, I arrived skeptical of David Quigley's claims. How could this work be that powerful? The processes were familiar to me from my studies of shamanism, but seemed utterly bizarre.
Then my turn came. With drums and rattles keeping me in the primitive "feeling" brain, and other group members acting out priests and nuns, those of us who had been raised in Catholic schools joined in an army against religious shaming. I reclaimed my body from the forces of sexual shaming that had stolen it from me. Afterwards my rational mind still reeled from the methods, but the new feelings of power and joy in my body were unmistakable.
By the third day I was fully enrolled. We found that many of us there had been beaten with belts by our fathers. When one person began his releasing, within minutes every corner of the room was filled with others releasing their own deep rage. When I finished my work, I encouraged the others. In this powerful ceremony, we found our "Inner Warriors" to help us reclaim our bodies from past abuse. This wasn't just a mental image, but a power that entered into every cell, muscle, and bone of our bodies. We also communed with the forces of love and nurturing as we held and cared for each other. We opened our bodies and hearts to the love of our new inner mothers and fathers and the emerging family of the group, bringing that love into every cell. I found my body dancing with a new freedom and expressiveness. I received with every cell the knowledge that":
"No less that the trees and the stars, We have a right to be here."
Here is another student's experience of an empowerment intensive
I am one of Brigitta D'Amato's long term clients and trust her Hypnotherapy completely. So it was with great enthusiasm that I entered into her 3 day intensive group workshop called Personal Empowerment. Imagine my surprise when I found myself fearing for my life when the time came to enter trance and to ask my Higher Self what most needed to be healed during this "process". As soon as I lay down, my whole body started trembling, afraid in my deepest core that I could die right there on the table. Under Brigitta's guidance, this fear reached its peak, and suddenly my body let go and dropped into a trance. In a last ditch effort not to lose control I begged Brigitta and all my fellow participants to reassure me that I would not die. This they all did with great warmth and support. And so I felt safe enough to surrender.
Once in trance, the first memory that came up was of me being molested at age 8 or 9. I described it in detail: the place, the man, and especially my overwhelming powerlessness to escape (even though I might have been physically able to run away since this took place in a semi-public place). I was filled with gut wrenching shame and unable to share this incident with anyone, not even my parents, because it somehow seemed to be my fault. I also recalled many other less dramatic molestation's like having men expose themselves to me on the street and frequently being groped by men on the subway. Again I had a lot of shame and fear around these incidents.
Brigitta wondered out loud if I could have lost my ability to escape and to say "No!" at an even earlier age. The instant this question left her lips, I started choking, gagging and retching... and I made the most horrible noises trying to say: "It's in my mouth!" Brigitta placed a gentle but firm hand on my throat which amplified this gagging sensation. Something was in my mouth and I could no longer breathe! I couldn't feel clearly what was in my mouth, yet suddenly I gasped: "It's a penis." What ever it was, it was deep in my throat and I was powerless to get rid of it. I gagged and retched and screamed until I coughed it all up and out. By now I was crying and sobbing uncontrollably. I wondered how could they do this to such a little girl? I may have been pre-verbal or at least very young, unable to communicate the experience or ask for help. This led to feeling unprotected by my parents. My mother would teach me to be a "good girl" and to be a virgin until I got married and yet she did not protect me from all those perverts! I felt betrayed. My father didn't do much better.
He "abandoned" me to serve in the war when I was a mere 6 weeks old and didn't return until I was four. But by then I was too angry with him for leaving me so thoroughly unprotected and - although I'm sure he did his best to win me back - I rejected him. I could not recall many moments of fatherly intimacy with him, as he was very involved with his work as an MD.. and did not give me nearly the attention I needed.
As I lay in trance, all this background history surfaced and I recalled the major rift I had with my father at age 16. I was a very wild teenager, running around with men twice my age. This was my secret life which I hid from my parents. They knew something was going on and were very worried. To find out what I was up to, my father resorted to reading my diary...! Confronted with the facts of my secret life, he completely lost it and in his frustration he put me (16 years old!) over his knee and spanked me like a little girl. He had never hit me before. I was deeply shamed and humiliated and in an attempt to fight back I refused to speak to him after that. I kept my silence almost until his death, when I was 19.
One of the most profound realizations of my Personal Empowerment was that deep down I had assumed responsibility for my father's anger and frustration. It must have been my fault or surely he would not have hit me. I was shamed again. This incident had grave emotional consequences for my future. It set me up perfectly to become the wife of a batterer. My husband would not only not support or protect me, he would actively abuse me! All this became clear as I was gently ushered through my life, from the earliest abuses all the way through my painful marriage of 20 years and into the now. I was able to recognize that I was operating from a belief system that insisted that the best I could expect from a man was lack of protection and certain abandonment and the worst I could be sure of was brutal abuse. I cried so hard I was sure I would drown in my tears.
Brigitta asked: "Are you ready to express how you really feel about these men?" When I agreed, she got me off the table and facilitated anger release through swinging a plastic bat. Amazing power and energy grew in my body as I started to express my pain, frustration and anger at my father and ex-husband. I felt more strength and determination in my body than ever before - comparable only to the times I gave birth to my babies! I knew this was a psychodrama with a dumb plastic bat, yet my body yelled: "I am Super Woman!"
I cannot emphasize enough the incredible feeling of release and Empowerment as I swung that bat. It felt like every cell in my body broke its silence at once and all that old pent-up anger came rushing out of me. Needless to say, throughout this anger release I kept on yelling at my father and my ex-husband all the things I had always wanted to tell them, and I cannot remember having ever been this open and honest and courageous. The moment came when I was done. I was exhausted and it felt complete to me. If only Brigitta hadn't asked me one of her cunning questions: "I wonder if there might be just a small trace of anger left about your ex-husband abusing your children...?"
With my next breath all exhaustion evaporated and my secretly bottled up rage exploded. I became a lioness fiercely protecting her cubs. "I am a lioness", I screamed, "and nobody will ever hurt my children again!" I roared, spat and growled and attacked with that bat for each child - remembering an incident when their father had hurt them. I would protect and defend my children to the death. Brigitta and my fellow Empowerment participants cheered me on and passionately applauded every blow I struck in the name of my beautiful children. I laughed and cried as all the remorse, guilt and sorrow about not having been able to protect my young began to heal. I could literally feel that great sorrow leave my body. And then it was suddenly over. I was led back to the table and as I lay down again I felt totally spent - but curiously not exhausted, I was just emptied out.
The men in my Empowerment group formed a protective circle around me as the women performed a spiritual cleansing ritual: they gently cleansed me with water from the sacred "Healing Pond". They washed away the charge around all the memories of abuse and violation. I felt deeply clean and refreshed.
Brigitta asked me if I would like to meet my "Inner Father". A father, she explained, who would always love and protect me, a perfect father, the kind of father I had always wanted and always deserved. Of course, I did. But first, she asked the question whether I was ready to meet a brand new "Inner Father" or was I inclined to give my "real father" - who had been dead for almost 40 years - a second chance. I was intrigued. Could I really visit with my dead father wherever he was? And that's exactly what we did. But first the entire Empowerment group gathered around me and described to me in glowing colors what kind of a father I so richly deserved. It was like in a dream, all these caring, compassionate voices telling me of a new Dad who, they were sure, was awaiting me. I couldn't help getting excited and eager to meet this new Dad. And Brigitta's voice took me to a place deep inside of me, a place she called my inner most sanctuary. It was a beautiful meadow and sure enough, my dead Dad was waiting for me! I realized instantly that he was much changed, that he had evolved greatly in the many years since his death. He took me into his arms and assured me that he would like nothing better than a second chance to be my loving Dad. All he wanted was to love, cherish and protect me and for me to be happy. I knew this was perfect for both of us and I gladly accepted.
Now came that wonderful part in the psycho drama when one of the men took on the role of my loving Dad and physically held me in his embrace so that my body could experience the warmth, safety and love of a nurturing father. At the beginning of my "process", I had pre-selected a kind young man to play my father and he now stepped into his role of channeling that protective fatherly energy for me. However, he burst into tears the moment he held me and started to beg my forgiveness for having been such a distant and otherwise lousy Dad. Suddenly I found myself in the position of care taking him rather than he taking care of me. I remember patting his shoulder reassuringly and saying: "It's not so bad, Dad!" It was very funny and everybody laughed. And then I had a tremendous break through: this wasn't what I wanted, this wasn't working for me and courageously I said so. "I want George to be my father!", I said, "I want someone to be there for me!" George (Brigitta's husband) was perfect. He held and rocked me and lovingly told me all the things I had always longed to hear from my Dad when I was growing up. I totally relaxed and was able to receive his safe and nurturing love. I didn't know it then but this feeling of being loved would stay with me, deep inside for the rest of my life. Since my Empowerment my Dad has made himself present in the sweetest ways.
My personal Empowerment session ended with a jubilant "group hug" and my favorite song. The moment I stood on my own two feet again, I was blessed with a real surprise: for the first time in many years I was "in my body"! I felt firmly connected and grounded! At the time of this writing it has been several weeks since this discovery and my new sense of being fully present in my body has remained with me. I feel emotionally balanced and no longer have to overeat in order to feel grounded.
I experience my body as light and safe at the same time, and I have slept safely and soundly ever since. I feel happy and blessed to be exactly who I am, living this very life, and I wouldn't want to be anyone else. A new mantra came to me as an additional gift a few days after this event: "I am enjoying my life!"
And so I can easily say that the three most important days of my life were the three days of my Personal Empowerment with Brigitta and George.
Brigitta D'Amato is an Alchemical Hypnotherapist and Certified Empowerment Intensive leader who lives with her husband George in Philo, California. She has had a busy practice in Alchemy since 1995, and has had 4 years of experience on the staff of our Institute.
George D'Amato is a compassionate, astute therapist, George has a deep understanding of the entrapment of having to be in control and to be self sufficient at all personal costs. On his personal, spiritual journey, he began to live and breathe the philosophy: let go and let God. His clients experience this stance of his heart in the total absence of any advice. George refuses to even guess what solutions might be appropriate for his clients. He sees himself merely as a skilled introduction service to their own internal guidance. Specializing in Somatic Healing as a result of a miraculous healing he experienced for a badly injured knee, he introduces a collaboration among his client's inner guides, particularly in the wisdom of the inner healer.