After 26 years of suffering from PTSD Dr. Dave Bonanno came to the realization that traditional therapies and medications were largely ineffective and making his condition worse.
I created Waji because there is a better approach to treating & understanding PTSD, Trauma and Phobias. An approach that does not require years of costly talk therapy or pharmaceuticals that just don’t work well for PTSD, but rather, an affordable solution that works quickly to ends symptoms while providing long-lasting relief. A treatment specifically focused on the individual’s needs created by someone who has experienced PTSD firsthand. After a lifetime of pain, research and study I’ve worked with over 5000 PTSD clients to create and refine a better approach to treating PTSD, and now replicated the same great treatment digitally making it assessible anytime, and anywhere.
When I was a kid, my mom had a stroke, and then right after that, my dad got sick with cancer and died. It was incredibly sad. It was overwhelmingly painful. And, my mom became bitter and took it out on me and my brother. It was terrible and, I would have to say that, I was a very messed up kid.
My passion is working with people who, like myself, have PTSD and have been working to develop a solution that rapidly reduces the symptoms of PTSD without barriers. I have been in the mental health field since 1993, earned a doctorate, and trained under some of the best clinicians in America.
After countless ruined relationships, addiction, suicidal ideation, unbearable loneliness even when I was around other people… I took matters into my own hands.
I started seeing therapists when I was a kid. They made me talk about the worst moments of my life every week until I couldn’t take it anymore. I literally had to relive my traumas again and again. I was not not releasing my pain anymore, rather was rehearsing it. I tried SIXTEEN different psych-meds and none of them helped.
There were countless ruined relationships, addiction, suicidal ideation, unbearable loneliness even when I was around other people… I wasted so much money on things that I thought would make me happy. I went bankrupt.
I was so messed up, not confident and ashamed while all my friends were getting married and buying houses.
I did everything I could to get better, but nothing worked. I wanted to love myself as a person, have more energy, feel happier, be more confident, and have more money in my pocket.
I felt like I had hit rock bottom. I knew I had to do something about it and I would be damned if I couldn’t figure it out.
I decided to go back to school to get my doctorate in psychology. I studied every therapy, started practicing under some of the best psychologists in the country, met more and more people like myself, and then discovered a bombshell about myself- I had PTSD.
I learned most research on PTSD was limited & stale usually the definition would just be a list of symptoms. The breakthrough for me was discovering PTSD wasn’t just for veterans, trauma comes in many different forms and can affect anyone. Unfortunately, I wasn’t taught this in school. It started becoming clear what the real problem was; the psychological community truly didn’t understand PTSD and most importantly that trauma creates changes in the brain.
I was able to really start understanding what PTSD is and how to focus my research. I would become obsessed to finding a way to end my suffering.
Traditional therapies don’t work well for PTSD or trauma because most therapy only engages the logical side of your brain, but trauma is associated with the emotional side of your brain, a place most therapies just can’t reach.
In essence, your therapist can help you understand why you’re messed up (which might be helpful to an extent), but no matter how many talk therapy sessions you attend, you will still be messed up, and your wallet will be a lot lighter.
Then I learned of Rapid-Eye Movements therapy, a treatment that could interact with the part of the brain responsible for triggering your fight or flight response. I was excited about it, and decided to try it as patient. It helped to an extent, but I found just like talk therapy. The sessions were long and I still had to continuously talk about my worse moments.
It wasn’t perfect for PTSD but there was obviously something to this- so I got trained in it.
I started feeling what it is like to have more love, confidence, connection, and joy when PTSD doesn’t run your life.
With this new found energy, I was able to go all in on perfecting a quicker and less painless way specific to PTSD based on my own experiences, and those of my clients.
I opened own practice, and started using eye-movement therapy with my clients. The results were very positive, but as both a Psychologist, and PTSD sufferer I still identified areas where treatment could be improved.
I naturally began to refining and adapting my practices to be specifically tailored to my clients, who like me, are trauma sufferers. After this, the positive results my clients experienced went from good to great!
Treatment became shorter, more flexible, effective, and practical for people who didn’t want to spend the rest of their lives in therapy.