Affirmative Therapy Products

homeOvercoming Alzheimer's: Helping Wally

by Barbara Derrick, PhD

This article published on the AHHA web site, was the inspiration for Affirmative Therapy Products.

This is a true story. Wally's story also appeared in the July/August 2004 issue of Venture Inward [1], and his case history was presented at the 8th Annual Edgar Cayce Health Symposium in September, 2003.


Wally Decker is a widower who had cared for his wife of 52 years prior to her death. Though he was in his late 70s at the time, he took part in aerobics regularly and danced whenever he could find a partner. Like the hurricane that had once devastated the area around his South Carolina home, a storm arrived in Wally's life in 2002 at age 80. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. He saw this diagnosis as a fate worse than death. For most of his life he had enjoyed perfect health. His Christian Science faith had sustained him through years clear of the usual maladies that plague most of us. As a matter of fact, he didn't even have a regular physician until he reached the age of 67. Now, his diagnosis presented him with a disaster worse than an ordinary lifetime's accumulation of illnesses. Wally's symptoms manifested as confusion, short term memory forgetfulness, and trouble with directional information causing him to go off in the wrong direction. His cognitive ability was diminishing also.

Case Study

When Wally called to tell me a clinical psychologist had diagnosed him with Alzheimer's the tremor in his voice told me how defeated he felt. Aside from delaying the progress of the disease, medical science offered little hope. He had been told that nothing had been found to cure the disease.

About that time I just happened to be at the same place as David McMillin, M.A., program director at the Health and Rejuvenation Research Center (HRRC), a division of the Association for Research and Enlightenment (ARE) an organization that researches the body-mind-spirit connection and the readings of Edgar Cayce. [2]

David McMillin shared with me that the HRRC had just acquired a grant for an Alzheimer's research project to be titled, Suggestive Therapeutics Treatment and Protocol. The grant was funded by a private donor whose mother died from complications of Alzheimer's. After the protocol was formulated, slots would be open for those who qualified. One of the primary requirements for participation in the project was to have a medical doctor attest that a patient had Alzheimer's. The project's approach, focusing on assisting the body to heal itself, seemed to be a good match with Wally's early training in Christian Science. Our first step therefore was to get Wally's neurologist to attest that he had Alzheimer's.

When Wally and I went to his neurologist and explained the Suggestive Therapeutic Treatment Plan, however, his initial response was, "I don't believe in such stuff. And I don't want my name associated with anything like this." After some persistence on my part and hesitation on his part, the neurologist finally filled out the report and signed it.

We needed reports not only from physicians, but from family and friends who were asked to record their assessment of Wally's behavior. With my Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology and my psychotherapy practice I was also qualified to make certain assessments. I completed the reports and submitted all the color-coded papers. If requirements were met Wally could be a candidate for the Suggestive Therapeutics Treatment Plan and Research Protocol program.

As we waited for word of acceptance to the project, Wally began having doubts. Part of the program protocol required that he have a massage daily. This posed a challenge as he did not have anyone at home to do this and he could not imagine finding a massage therapist who could massage him each day. I advised him to wait for the decision of selection for the protocol and then try to conform to the protocol.

Finally, we heard that he had been selected. We reviewed the materials describing what was required to be part of the project. One important item was that Wally would need to have someone repeat an affirmation to him daily while he was relaxed. I thought of a way this could be accomplished. Just before one goes to sleep, there is a natural time of relaxation. He could listen to an affirmation at this time. I had used this pre-sleep intervention with clients many times and it had always worked well. Wally readily agreed to practice using the tape nightly if I made one for him.

My years of studying the Edgar Cayce readings had taught me that we should obtain approval before we offer a prayer or a meditation for anyone I wanted to be sure Wally could agree with every word. Working together, Wally and I prepared an affirmation that stated exactly what we wanted Wally to achieve. The affirmation read as follows:

As you relax, you are experiencing quiet, peace, happiness, and joy. You can feel God's love surrounding you. This allows you to rest in the knowledge that God's love is guiding you, helping you in every way to make each day good and purposeful. You have good, appreciative feelings for those around you, knowing that you wish every person in your life well and they hold you in high regard.

Your mind will move toward functioning well, and this will give you great pleasure. Your short-term memory is improving, your mind more alert and your recall of names and words improving day by day.

This time of relaxing will help to coordinate your nervous system and improve circulation through your body. The eliminating systems are removing toxins from your body. The foods that you eat will provide nourishment to your body.

You will be calm and cooperative to those around you at all times. You are self-sufficient. This makes you happy and proud. You will look forward to each day and enjoy life. Your short-term memory and your recollection of words and names are serving you well.

You are being healed -- you are becoming whole at all levels. The divine energy within you is rejuvenating your body, mind and spirit.

The voice he heard on the tape was mine. He trusted what I told him. That was good. I also knew if Wally told me he would do a certain thing, he would do it. He also had to keep a daily log of his activity relating to the program, which he did faithfully.

Wally began playing the tape each night just as he went to sleep. The meditation was repeated several times (for 30 minutes until the tape ran out) and he often fell asleep before the conclusion. But that was okay. He was still registering the words in his subconscious mind.

Up until this time, Wally had been falling asleep in front of the television, using a timer to turn the set off. In doing this, he had been opening himself to whatever happened to be on the television each night. In substituting the tape for the television news, his mind heard only the positive affirmations on the tape. Wally made a commitment to listen to the tape every night, get a massage every week, and follow the requirements of the Suggestive Therapeutics Treatment Plan and Research Protocol program.

True to his word, he found a massage therapy school in the area that would provide him a massage for a nominal fee. He obtained the required therapy regularly. As a matter of fact, according to the log sheet, the only three days he missed playing the affirmation tape were days when he was hospitalized for pneumonia. He compensated for this lapse by playing the tape for three mornings in addition to the usual evening tape.

During the period of time we were incorporating the affirmation tape and the massage into Wally's routine, he was told he had macular degeneration in his left eye. His doctor predicted he would eventually lose the sight in his left eye, which was his good eye. (The right eye had glaucoma). There was little the medical world could do, except to forestall the inevitable. He reconciled himself to the fact that he could not see well enough to drive at night. If he went out at night, he depended upon someone else to do the driving.

Assuming he would need to go into an assisted-living residence in the very near future, Wally decided to sell his house and began having repairs done. This independent man could soon become dependent on others because of his infirmities.

However, within 30 days of regular use of the tape changes became apparent in his behavior. He was happier. He looked upon others with a greater degree of compassion. He accepted the positions of others, even when he did not agree with them. He showed an unconditional positive regard for other people. Then Wally's eyesight began to improve. He was able to drive at night again.

A return visit to the neurologist brought good news. "I really thought you had Alzheimer's," the neurologist told him, "but now I don't think you have Alzheimer's after all." That was surprising. A clinical psychologist who does the testing for professionals in the area also agreed on this diagnosis. Wally asked him for an explanation but the doctor had none.

When Wally returned for a regular check-up by a professor in the department of ophthalmology at a well-respected medical university, he received more good news. This professor was the one who had made the diagnosis of dry macular degeneration in his left eye with the concurrence of another ophthalmologist. Now, he told Wally there was no longer evidence of macular degeneration.


The two illnesses that had distressed Wally so much were now non-existent. The affirmation tape purposely included the wider spectrum of overall good health as well as the Alzheimer's. He had been cooperative and diligent in his daily practice of using the tape, open to healing possibilities and followed the protocol to the full extent. It worked.

As of 2007, Wally is in his mid-80s. A recent check with his doctors confirmed that his condition is the same and they see few signs of Alzheimer's. He is still playing the tape, although not as often, is still driving, dancing and is self sufficient, living alone in his own home.

The results achieved by Wally through the Suggestive Therapeutics Treatment and Protocol have been replicated with other patients at the Mattie C. Hall Health Care Center in Aiken, SC (For details see article "Singing on the Alzheimer's Unit" by Barbara A. Derrick, Ph.D. that appeared in the September/October 2007 issue of Venture Inward. Used by permission, Venture Inward magazine, Edgar Cayce's A.R.E., The medical director has attested to the good results and benefits of the program. Dr. Mark Meyer attests to weight gain, positive behavior changes and psychotropic medication reduction. The final results of this program will be published in the September/ October 2007 issue of Venture Inward.

A full report of the Mattie C. Hall Health Care Center study, a copy of the affirmation used, and other CDs are available from the Association for Research and Enlightenment bookstore at (800) 333-4499. The next phase of this project is to find another health care facility willing to replicate the findings already medically documented in Aiken, South Carolina. Administrators and/or medical directors of interested health care facilities should contact Dr. Derrick.


[1] Venture Inward: Bi-monthly magazine of Edgar Cayce's Association for Research and Enlightenment (A.R.E.), at Virginia Beach, Virginia.

[2] Known as the "sleeping prophet" Edgar Cayce for forty-three years demonstrated the uncanny ability to put himself into a self-induced state of relaxation and meditation that enabled him to place his mind in contact with all time and space. From this trance state he could respond to questions as diverse as "What are the secrets of the universe?" and "How can I remove a wart?" His responses to these questions came to be called "readings." His readings contain insights so valuable that even to this day individuals have found practical help for everything from maintaining a well-balanced diet and improving human relationships to overcoming life-threatening illnesses and experiencing a closer walk with God.

Barbara Derrick, PhD is a Summerville, SC psychotherapist in private practice. As president of ABC Holistic Wellness Foundation, she is a writer, lecturer, and researcher of holistic methods. She has lectured at holistic conferences and her work has appeared online and in national periodicals. Her primary study in improving symptoms of Alzheimer’s patients has proven successful. She believes in the Edgar Cayce contention that brain cells can be restored. You can contact Barbara at (843) 821-6532 or

Reprinted with permission from Barbara Derrick, PhD.

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