I'm a musician, comedian and therapist from Sydney, Australia. I write songs to vent my repressed anger and rage. Other people find them hilarious and healing, so it's a win for everyone.
Here are the highlights from my life story:
Graham Stoney gave up a successful career in Computer and Biomedical Engineering to become a Comedy Therapist Rock Star.
His parting words at the farewell from his last full-time place of emploment were "See you. I'm off to the beach!"
At the time, he had no idea what life had in store.
After experiencing overwhelming anxiety in his mid-30s and then developing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, he both experienced and studied a vast array of therapies for healing his own nervous system. By taking a System Engineering approach to the human brain and nervous system he identified the root cause of the problem: unresolved childhood trauma.
Using what he learned in this process, he created The Confident Man Project, an online resource for helping men with similar backgrounds. He worked as a freelance Confidence Coach and Trauma Therapist, helping men and women all over the world overcome anxiety by resolving their latent troubling unconscious childhood memories and experiences via Skype.
"I really enjoy working with my clients, and I'm great at helping people with anxiety because I've experienced so much my myself", he says. "I once wrote a poem during a panic attack. It's a real crowd-pleaser."
After helping many clients overcome the adult effects of unresolved childhood traumas ranging from controlling mothers and passive fathers to chronic illness and repressed grief and anger, Graham concluded that the key element in healing virtually all mental and even many psychosomatic physical illnesses, is empathy.
"Every person I've ever talked to who suffers from anxiety, depression, bipolar or any other mental illness still has unresolved childhood trauma stuck in their nervous system. In my case it was emotional abandonment, parental conflict and schoolyard bullying", Graham says, "But the problem is that in modern society we generally aren't taught what trauma is or how to heal it. We lack the basic emotional literacy for dealing with our feelings, especially feelings of emotional overwhelm."
The solution, Graham realized, turns out to very simple:
Learn to express your emotions in a loving, emotionally safe environment.
At the same time, Graham recognized that if he was to truly overcome his own anxieties... he'd be a Rock Star. I mean really, who wouldn't?
While studying acting and comedy, Graham saw clear parallels between many popular actor training techniques and somatic trauma release exercises. He became interested in using humour as part of the trauma healing process; something that has traditionally been taken very seriously.
And hence the role of Comedy Therapist was born.
Graham had a lot of spare time on his hands while recovering from CFS, and used it to learn to play guitar. Suddenly he realized what all the fuss was about. Plus it was a great way to meet girls; something he hadn't been so good at as a Computer Engineer.
A traumatic incident at his first solo musical comedy gig left him needing a way to overcome his own stage fright on the path to comedy rock stardom. So with his newly acquired love of playing music, Graham decided to study Music Performance full-time at the world-renowned bastion of Sydney music education: Ultimo TAFE.
In the process he learned to vent his own inner rage musically by writing, recording and releasing the chart-topping 2018 Triple J Hottest 100 winning song Everything Is Fucked, with the support of many talented fellow musicians from the college.
With his newly awarded and framed Certificate 3 in Music Performance on hand, Graham performed his sell-out Difficult First Show at the 2017 Sydney Fringe Comedy Festival, featuring songs from his upcoming album interspersed with hilarious stories about people who irritate the fuck out of him.