Magical Thinking Healing is a fast and simple new way to discover, release, and reverse the effects of negative self-images, limiting identities, personas, and fearful psychological, emotional, and spiritual states of Being that keep us from being happy and fulfilled in life. Conceived and developed by artist and healer Brad Silberberg of The Mesa Healing Center, Magical Thinking Healing is a form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), a branch of psychotherapy that is based on the idea that our thoughts cause our emotions and behaviors. These feelings and habitual reactions arise from within us in response to outside influences which simply trigger those reactions and do not directly cause them. Like other forms of CBT, Magical Thinking Healing can help us change the way we are thinking and feeling without the need to alter outside situations. By doing so we can change how we operate in the world while still participating in it.
Magical Thinking Healing (MTH) grew out of our Send Back Technique, a way of locating, resolving, and healing life-limiting beliefs we have accumulated from experiences, upbringing, ancestry, and past incarnations. Like Send Back, Magical Thinking Healing uses Kinesiology (muscle or resistance testing) to search out mental and emotional patterns that stop us or hold us back in life, but there is a difference between what we BELIEVE about ourselves (and the world around us) and the (negative) identities we PERCEIVE for ourselves. While belief and perception are interdependent parts of our internal operating system, either one can be the driving force that cause us to feel or act in fearful or distressing ways. Where Send Back brings healing through releasing beliefs, Magical Thinking Healing holds a mirror up to the ways we are perceiving, judging, and identifying ourselves and exposes them to the possibility that they are neither objective nor true. What we see and understand in ourselves as undesirable self-images, identities, or states of Being (“I am stupid.”) have a crushing effect not only on how we feel, but on what we are willing to face or attempt. The very act of reviewing them can bring about their dissolution and greater emotional freedom. That freedom can lead to greater feelings of safety, self-confidence, competency, and sanity.
While science and medicine would like to think they know all there is to know about how Human Beings function, once we enter the watery world of emotions we move into the mystical domain of the inner (“unconscious”) mind. That part of us may be wholly spiritual in nature and function multidimensionally and exponentially. There is just no predicting what will happen inside of any given person when faced with a particular situation or even as a result of their thoughts about the simple possibility of it. The good news is that with Magical Thinking Healing we have a way to communicate with our inner mind and give it other options as to how to deal with our inner reality.
What is “Magical Thinking”?
The answer to that question depends on who you ask. To the “science is the only way” crowd, “magical thinking” is what the self-proclaimed “debunkers” call a belief in anything that they (in their logic-only view) see as superstitious or lacking in physical proof. This includes such things as belief in unseen forces that connect all living things, belief in a loving God, belief in our ability to manifest what we want in life, etc. To those folks, a belief in the existence of LOVE itself is magical thinking.
To Psychologists and those who study the mind, “magical thinking” is just part of the way our unconscious mind works. It’s something we all do to seek out patterns in our world. In this view, magical thinking is about how we mentally connect unrelated things as a result of our experiences. (“I had on red socks and our team won, so wearing red socks makes them win.”) It’s not usually “logical” but we do it anyway. When we are very young it can keep us emotionally safe in bad situations, but in the long run it limits us through fear of repeating traumatic experiences we didn’t understand.
To spiritually minded visionaries like Deepak Chopra however, “magical thinking” is HIGHER THINKING, transcendent thinking, and a way to change and heal our lives through the power of the mind:
“By magical thinking I mean the expecting of outcomes just by the mere desire to have them. We are all familiar with people who have a desire. When it spontaneously manifests in their life without any effort on their part, that’s magical thinking.”
This is what Magical Thinking Healing is about; expecting and getting positive change by dismantling the faulty associations we have come to construct in our minds.
What do you see when you look in the mirror?
Do you see yourself as smart, worth loving and caring for, creative, and successful? Or, is what you see of yourself from inside your eyes less flattering than that? Is your view of yourself really what you are, or have you confused the substance of your Being with stinging experiences and unflattering behaviors? Is what you see in the looking glass objective, or is it the criticism and judgment that has been drummed into you about yourself that you have come to accept without question as the very substance of your Being?
Much of what holds us back in life is how we have come to internally and illogically define ourselves as a result of trauma from the past. These self-images also occur as a result of our acceptance of direct or implied labeling from “authority figures” such as parents, teachers, or religious leaders. Many times we have come to negatively label ourselves, as a result of faulty self-judgment as we come to confuse our experiences, behaviors, or what we have been told about ourselves with who WE ARE.
The trouble with our self-images is that we don’t see that we created them and tend to live up (or down) to them. They may have resulted from a single frightening or embarrassing incident in early childhood only to “gain interest” as we were re-traumatized over time, finally solidifying into ironclad ways of Being. We see what our inner mind fears about ourselves as the truth about who we really are. As a result of how we define ourselves, we limit our opportunities for happiness and success in relationships, personal health, career, finances, and other areas of physical, emotional, and spiritual life as those self-images become self-fulfilling prophesies.
The Fragmented Self
We may like to think of ourselves as an “I”, but we are really more of a “We” psychologically, in that most of us have become very fragmented on the psychic and emotional level. As we grow and develop as babies our mental and emotional architecture begins to add energy and consciousness structures for dealing with different experiences, situations and relationships. If everything goes well, these structures work fairly seamlessly as a cohesive “self”, but when trauma occurs physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually, we psychically and energetically split off fragments of the self into their own little dimensions as measures to protect ourselves. This repeated splitting results in diffusion of our life force, weakening of the will, fear, and being at odds within ourselves. Many of our self-images and perceived Being states are operating fairly independently of each other, creating confusion and chaos within our minds and emotions that stop us from moving forward in life.
As we work to gather back in and reintegrate these far-flung parts of ourselves by helping them to release their trauma energy and negative view of themselves, we have more energy, feel more emotionally and mentally at peace, and are better able to handle whatever life throws our way. We have found Magical Thinking Healing to be one of the fastest, easiest, and most profound ways to rewire our mental and emotional landscape so that these dissociated parts of ourselves are willing to return to the fold.
How does Magical Thinking Healing work?
This elegantly simple, highly effective, and deeply emotional technique starts by using Kinesiology (muscle testing) to locate illogically held and falsely perceived self-images, identities, and states of Being. The process of muscle testing uses our physical body’s strength or weakness response to true/false or yes/no questions to gain information that’s not accessible to our conscious, thinking mind. It’s a way to peek into our inner (unconscious) mind, limbic system (which controls our body’s automatic processes) and cellular memory to get answers about what is happening inside of us on the deepest nonverbal levels. In this way we can communicate with the inner parts of us that have no language skills and find out how they are viewing things.
By using any of a number of methods of muscle testing to ascertain whether our inner minds agree or disagree with statements or answer yes or no to questions we can fairly quickly trace the root-cause issue of any given situation that is causing blockage, fear, or chaos. It’s a little like playing “Twenty Questions” with our nonverbal parts as they indicate their answers by our muscles resisting strongly or going weak as gentle pressure is applied. By having the client make a series of first person (“I am ____ .”) statements while muscle testing, we can find out how people are seeing themselves generally, or in specific situations. Most issues will usually trace to some negative and judgmental assaying of the self, (our “I AM-ness”) such as getting a YES muscle test for a statement like, “I am a failure”. We have found a statement like this to indicate the presence of what might be called a “Failure” Being state, as opposed to simply experiencing a track record of lackluster performance.
Our self-images, Being states, and identities each send out into the Universe a vibration that then has a hand in manifesting our life outcomes, often bringing us more of what we consciously eschew. Unpleasant outcomes are indicators of what is going on inside of us “under the radar” of our conscious thinking minds and often seem at odds with what we profess to “want”. We can usually come up with several possibilities to examine and muscle test for any un-, or less-than-desirable recurring situation. For instance, failure to find a relationship could be a result of self images such as “I’m unlovable”, “I am unwanted”, “People control me”, or “I lose myself in relationships”.
After we have determined what self-image, Being state, or identity we are dealing with, we then get permission and agreement from these inner parts of ourselves (also through Kinesiology) to be “re-evaluated by an outside source, the “authority” who will check to see if their self-descriptions hold up to scrutiny. We then administer imaginative, non-invasive, and lovingly choreographed “examinations” which gently mimic the way we experienced doctor visits when we were young. These “evaluations” are impossible to fail, yet shed light on how we have come to see ourselves. This gives our inner minds a chance to choose a new and different way of seeing themselves, instantly shifting energy and self image to a new and permanent positive state. Doing so results in emotional and mental relief, freedom, and the joy of allowing new possibilities for ourselves.
You see, most of us have never been allowed or taught how to validate ourselves. We have been told what to do and how to be what we were expected to be. We’ve been judged and criticized by parents, family, teachers, clergy, employers, co-workers, and contemporaries (not to mention Madison Avenue advertising) since we were young and became confused/brainwashed about who and what we are. We find that what people are thinking and feeling inside of themselves is something like: “I am ______ (something negative or distasteful) , RIGHT?!” The “RIGHT?!” the end of that statement is an indication of the confusion that is being experienced with between what we have been told and the knowing of our Souls. During Magical Thinking Healing “exams” we are supplying another possibility, a different and more positive “truth”. Imagine it this way:
Remember when you were young and went to the doctor? You sat on that table with the crunchy paper while the authority, The Doctor, examined you. He/she put that thing under your tongue and made you hold it there while they listened and listened to your heart. Just what were they listening for? (Could they hear your deepest secrets or what you were sad about?) Then they put that thing on your arm that squeezed it tighter and tighter. What could they tell from that?
After much poking and probing and a few “hmm’s”, he/she PRONOUNCED YOU SOMETHING. “Why, you’ve got bronchitis and need to stay home from school,” they might have said, or “You’re fine. You can go back to school tomorrow,” when you really didn’t want to face that spelling test or the bully who was taking your lunch money. You (on the urging of your parents) went along with what that supreme authority figure told you about yourself. Medical research is full of cases where people who were told they wouldn’t get well got sicker or died when they reached the “limit” set by their doctor of how long they would survive their diagnosis. Patients who are told they will surely get well, usually do.
With a bit of role playing and a little Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) style suggestive talk, the Magical Thinking Healing practitioner steps in for the “voice of authority” to help the client’s inner self/selves step back, take a look at themselves in a new light and say, “Wait a minute! That’s NOT right about me”.
Next, we pick up again with Kinesiology to determine what age these parts of us still see themselves to be; often less than ten years old. These traumatized fragments of ourselves are not just figuratively young, but are literally trapped in time still trying to comprehend and integrate some experience or situation they weren’t equipped to at the time, unwilling or unable to move forward until they resolve it. Just imagine trying to do your job at the office with a group of ten year-olds for coworkers and you can imagine what havoc these dissociated parts of yourself might be creating in your life.
After we have released them from their self-imposed prison with the Magical Thinking Healing “examination”, we ask these parts of us how old they are. These psychic fragments are often less than ten years old, but sometimes they claim (through muscle testing) to be older than the subject’s chronological age and appear to be from past life experiences. We then help these stuck parts of our psyche to literally “grow up” emotionally to our physical age (or come forward from a past life) in the suggested new way of Being. This falls under the therapeutic realm of “parts work” and consolidates energy and Soul Light as we give those holographic fragments of ourselves permission to see themselves (ourselves) differently and rejoin the greater whole. Some parts grow up dramatically in a few moments, while others can take days as they review and readjust how they have viewed themselves in the past. (We can use Kinesiology to track their progress.) Over time, we become less fragmented and conflicted mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and energetically. A final muscle test on the original statement will always change from a “YES” to “NO, I’m NOT that!”
All in all, the functional part of the Magical Thinking Healing process takes about 5-10 minutes per healing “exam” (once the self-identity theme has been determined through prior discussion and muscle testing) and up to four themes can be covered in a single healing session. The process is so fast and easy that we often train clients to work with their family members or include it in their own therapeutic practice.
We have also learned that when parts of us claim to be older than our physical age during a Magical Thinking Healing, they can be voicing ancestral self-images that reflect trauma in our genetic past. Just like past life experiences lingering as self-images on the Soul level, we can have negative or limiting self-images or ways of being that we have inherited from our ancestors. These ancestral self images are passed down and firmly entrenched in our cellular memory at the level of our very DNA. They became part of our makeup at the very moment of our conception and can act as frustrating, sabotaging forces within us with no mental awareness of their presence. It’s a little like walking into a dark room with no light switch. You can’t possibly turn the lights on, even if they are right there in front of you. Doing Magical Thinking Healings for these fragmented parts of ourselves not only repairs self-images we have taken on by unconscious choice, but also clears our genetic lines, repairs our ancestral energies, and frees us from the bonds of ancestry. This allows us to activate dormant parts of ourselves and also sends healing back to the souls of those who came before us, wherever they may currently be.
Magical Thinking Healing originator, Brad Silberberg, had a personal experience with an ancestral-image:
“My wife Kate and I had been struggling to find the level of success with our creative arts and healing center that we knew was possible for us. We had worked through all kinds of past life and personal self-images yet that abundance still eluded us and seemed to even push back against us at times. We had finally come across the whole area of ‘wrong vs. right’ within MTH and we saw that I in particular still had issues (like ‘taking action is wrong’) that interfered with our success. I knew that the next step for us was to create an online store for our website, yet with all the clearing we had done I was still procrastinating. When we muscle tested for me as to willingness to set up the online store, we got a ‘NO’. Further Kinesiology testing showed something puzzling, that I saw success as ‘wrong’.
When we did a Magical Thinking Healing for that theme of success being ‘wrong’, I felt a warm and tingling energy on my left shoulder after the MTH ‘test’ that began to spread down the whole left side of my body. When we asked that part of me that had been stuck in that self-image how old it was, it claimed to be older than my chronological age. We had come to assume that a ‘YES’ to that kind of question meant these parts of us were from a past life and didn’t always ask a follow up question to confirm it, but I was sensing something totally different in the energy I felt. I recognized it as the freeing up of ancestral flow energy, something we had discovered through our work with Send Back Technique. What this energy was claiming through the muscle test was correct; it was older than my chronological age of 56 at the time, but we confirmed its advanced age (between 100 and 200 yrs.) was from my ancestry, likely on my mother’s side judging from its appearance at my left shoulder, not from experience in one of my own past incarnations. Muscle testing to get additional information from my Healing Guides affirmed what we had found.
I remembered a family story that my mother told about her maiden name of Rokkoff. My grandparents had owned a general store in a poor black neighborhood in Baltimore. My mother had been told that her father’s last name may have originally been ‘Rakoff’ (pronounced ‘rake-off’) and my grandfather had changed it so that his customers would not think he was cheating them. It seemed totally possible that he had a guilty conscience about his own success when he saw such poverty all around him. This negative ‘success consciousness’ was evident in my mother, my siblings, and myself.
As it turned out, both Kate and I had been laboring under the negative Being state of ‘success is wrong’. Kate’s portion of this energy also turned out to be from her ancestors as well, in her case from 200 to 300 yrs ago.” Her siblings had also only experienced limited success in life.”
What’s it like to have a Magical Thinking Healing?
When giving a Magical Thinking Healing, the practitioner will conduct a brief, gentle, respectful, and non-invasive “exam” or “test” in one of a number of ways. They may wave their hands around or gently touch the person at a few places on their body, front and back, while carefully and seriously “looking for” the self-image in question, or use props (magnifying glasses, TV remotes, kitchen gadgets, etc.) as “detectors” to help in making the “exam” more “real”. While this is happening, clients often feel a disturbance or something shifting on a deep level of the psychic structure where these Being states are held. When the “pronouncement” is made by the practitioner that no outer evidence of the negative self-perception could be found upon completion of the “exam” the client may feel a sensation of rushing energy, great relief, or burst into needed tears.
The story is that people are convinced they “are” this or that negative thing and that immutable fact is immediately noticeable to anyone who sees them. In truth these supposed Being states or personas are like a “bad hair day”. Usually they go totally unnoticed by everyone else (unless it’s REALLY bad) but drive the one having it to distraction with shame and worry, in the end ruining their own day. With Magical Thinking Healing the practitioner helps the client to look into the mirror of the Soul and realize that it’s all an illusion that can be gently released.
Magical Thinking Healing works with change on a level most people are less familiar with, so some of the feelings or sensations may be new to you. There may simply be a resultant new and palpable sense of recognition about the self, but profound feelings of moving and swooping energy through the body or an emotional release of pent up energy during or immediately after a Magical Thinking Healing may also be experienced. In the days and weeks after a healing you will notice how different life seems as fear, anxiety, and self-sabotage drop away and you come to a greater place of peace and balance within yourself. Some people who have had just one Magical Thinking Healing session saw their stuck lives immediately shift into high gear. Others have been amazed at their increased energy and willingness to participate in the business of living. In the long run, life outcomes will also change and get better as you send out different energy and vibrations to manifest what you consciously desire. The greatest benefit of working with Magical Thinking Healing, however, may be the spiritual growth that comes with increased knowing and understanding of the cosmic nature of our magnificent Self and the realization that our experience of the outer world is simply a reflection our inner one.
Magical Thinking Healing changes people’s lives by letting them throw off the shackles of negative self-images and choose who to be. What have you been unconsciously choosing? Here are just a few Magical Thinking Healing “themes” we have cleared to help our clients:
- “I am/am not a Victim”
- “I belong/don’t belong”
- “I’m in trouble/not in trouble”
- “I am worthless/not worthless”
- “I am a liar/not a liar”
- “I am in control/not in control”
- “I am insane (crazy)/not insane (crazy)”
- “I’m just like my father(mother)/not like my father (mother)”
- “I am powerless/ powerful”
- “I am abandoned/not abandoned”
- “I am a burden/not a burden”
- “I have no confidence/have confidence”
- “I am dumb/smart”
- “I fail myself/don’t fail myself”
- “I'm a bad son (daughter)/good son (daughter)”
- “I am unworthy/worthy”
- “It’s my responsibility/not my responsibility to solve everyone’s problems”
- “It’s my job to change the world all by myself/not my job to change the world all by myself”
- “I'm a fake/not a fake”
- “I am a coward/not a coward (brave)”
- “I am a bad mother/good mother”
- “I am unwanted/wanted”
- “I can’t handle stress/can handle stress”
- “I am unacceptable/acceptable” Test
- “I don’t deserve to live/do deserve to live”
- “I don’t know what money is or how money works/ do know what money is and how it works”
- “I'm not loving enough/am loving enough”
- “I'm not able to accept things/am able to accept things”
- “I am judged/not judged”
- “The Church controls me/doesn’t control me”
- “I am criticized/not criticized”
- “I am ignored/not ignored”
- “I am too trusting/not too trusting”
- “I have no rights/have rights”
- “I'm a sinner/not a sinner”
- “When I succeed, I fail/when I succeed I don’t fail, I really succeed”
- “It’s wrong/right to succeed”
- “It’s wrong/right to take action”
- “It’s wrong/right to speak up for myself”
What people are saying about Magical Thinking Healing
“I don't know what I'm supposed to be feeling but I can tell you that I feel light, happy and carefree. I called my favorite Aunt today and she thought I had won the lottery because I sounded so different than when she had last seen me. ( I won something better than the lottery- I won my life back!)
My life has taken a 180 and I hope it continues.
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU
FOR GIVING ME MY LIFE BACK. I ACTUALLY LOOK FORWARD TO THE FUTURE!”
“Your creative and fascinating healing technique has opened up an untapped reservoir of energy in my life, eliminated a reoccurring compulsion for distraction and resultant dissatisfaction, and helped to veer me from a self destructive path. I clearly feel a renewed sense of vigor and possibility, both personally and professionally. Your work and mission truly touches lives.”
-Christopher A. Papa, Esq.
“I got back from the Magical Thinking session filed with thoughts and emotions, uplifted and energized, as if some new gates of perception have opened out for me. I have tried different modalities of therapy- mental, spiritual and body-work, from Reiki, hypnosis, meditation to professional psychoanalysis, and I find that this is one of the fastest and most revealing ones for me so far. I just want to thank you and encourage you to keep up and develop this great method. I feel that it is bound to grow, and I personally want to know more about it and even contribute with my experience and what I know about the unconscious.”
-D.S., Psychiatry Doctoral Student
Magical Thinking Healing appointments can be arranged through The Mesa Healing Center by calling 724-947-3097 or emailing.
We periodically teach Magical Thinking Healing classes at The Mesa Creative Arts Center so you can learn to help others or work with a friend to help yourself. Click here to check our current schedule of classes and events.