Effective Learning

Jean Covert Sauer, MD

Through my many years of practice as a psychiatrist (I was board certified in 1972), I’ve become very familiar with just about every tool we mental health practitioners have at our disposal. My goal has always been to give each patient the best possible chance to overcome their ailments, to be both mentally and physically healthy, to be happy, and to be a productive and positive presence in their families and their communities. Sometimes I was lucky and was able to help a patient make wonderful progress with the application of just one or two of these tools. More often, though, progress required several forms of treatment over many years.

One tool that I have always found to be reliably helpful is the relaxation and positive programming delivered by your excellent audio programs. I became aware of your audio programs while working in private practice and often shared them with my patients. They have always been a great supplement to – and occasionally an effective replacement for – other treatments I provided.

Sadly, I feel that the practice of psychiatry, in general, has become too dependent on medication and has moved away from therapeutic approaches that can provide more permanent solutions without the negative side effects.

I shared some of your programs with the VA outpatient psychiatry unit – where I personally served for about 8 years – and the VA medical center. While their strict protocols did not allow them to include your audios in their formal treatment plans, they did make them available for veterans to sign out for home listening. Soon they were using the programs almost exclusively because they were popular among those experiencing PTSD, general anxiety, and depression problems. The staff even used these programs in place of intravenous Pentothal.

I believe that one reason your programs are especially effective with veterans is the fact that these men/soldiers often resist talking about their feelings because it’s perceived as a sign of weakness. Your programs allow them to just listen and calm their minds so the positive programming can help them.

I had the privilege to speak with Otto Raths who was a 3-star general in WWII. In his experience, he found that veterans often get hung up on the service and view their experience as the greatest thing they’ve ever done. So veterans can get “stuck” on this experience and do not mature beyond it; do not grow and learn as “normal.” He was someone who always advocated for the soldiers and did all he could think of to benefit them. He, too, was a fan of self-help programs like yours and often recommended them to veterans.

For many years I have also given your programs to medical students who are recipients of the annual scholarships that I sponsor. I think it’s good for them to learn alternatives to drug therapy. Some of these students are wise enough to realize that these programs are not only for patients but they are something that they can use themselves to help them relax and sleep. Their positive feedback tells me that they, too, will find your programs to be helpful in their service to their patients.

Thank you once again for your wonderful programs. Please let me know what I can do to help you reach more people who can benefit from them.

Dr. Jean Covert Sauer, MD
August 17, 2012