It's a pleasure to meet you. I don't know if your comments here ever got answered or picked up anywhere else, but that doesn't matter. I just wanted to say nice to meet you after reading your profile. What an inspiration. You might not see it that way, ...I hope you do. I think you're awesome for being so honest.
People call and email SAI all the time asking what ages the therapy is for and/or what ages are the group members. The first part of that is easier - the therapy series is for all ages, assuming one is old enough to digest the material. But we don't get many toddlers calling anyway... Certainly parents ask about their children - high school, college, and I say yes to both assuming that it is that person's desire to do the therapy and not someone else hoping that they do it. I'd rather a person educate themself by looking at our information online and feeling for themself if this is right. My opinion is that if they really read all our articles and stories from other people, that person will know what's best for them.
The second part, what age are most of the group members. Well that's not easy to tie down, because they have been from high school to, at least in my group, a retired person in their late 60s. Everyone seems to think they must be the oldest person contacting me, and maybe no hope left somehow. I just spoke to a series user from Iceland who felt the same way. That's why I posted on the forum asking if there were any other people in Iceland using the series, on that member's behalf. I had great fun talking with him. I might say the average age that comes to the international groups is around 30, but that's not based on real statistics. Also, you gotta think - people tend to finally break down and seek help around a certain time. For many, that's after school and after some amount of working, and then can that person afford to break off three weeks and visit possibly another country for a therapy group? So, there's no good data to answer them. And unlike in my day, kids are learning about social anxiety a lot younger because the information is out there now.
Speaking of which, the person in Iceland also told me how much he liked the songs. It made me laugh really because I expected most people wouldn't pay attention to those songs. Don't get me wrong - I was here when we made those songs - and recorded them! Yikes. I can honestly and rationally say that we sound awful, and it was a lot of fun recording those songs. Three guys who couldn't sing. We had to do a lot of takes to get to those final cuts. There was a lot of flat notes and laughing involved and one of those guys came up with all the lyrics himself for all the songs.
Why did we make those songs? Dr. Richards says that in a very early group, one of the international groups, there was a particular person who put the therapy to music, into her own song, and that group really thought it was a great idea. Too bad we didn't have her to make our songs! You know how laughter counters anxiety, and how music hits a different part of our brain, so the idea was to get the therapy into certain jingles that might help people who actually listen to them. Sometimes I'm asked by a series user if they have to listen to them. No, of course not. If they help you, great, and if not, or if you think they're silly, take a pass. But you are one of the proud few who like the songs! I'm happy they helped someone. You and a person in Iceland have something in common.
But please!... Don't feel you need to memorize those songs. You can if you like, you can even make up your own jingles. But you aren't failing a test if you don't memorize those songs. Okay?
It's a real pleasure to meet you,