Archive for the ‘insecure attachment’ Category

Therapy isn’t enough Redux

March 25, 2014 88 comments

Greetings dear readers,
I am in the midst of a disruption, probably unknown to BN, of my own making and struggling with what to do. It is forcing me to re-examine my role in therapy and what I am trying to accomplish, and therefore, how I should proceed. I am writing this post to try and sort through my beliefs and feelings and see the best way forward. I would appreciate any feedback or perspectives that anyone wants to offer.

I had gotten very triggered by an event last week, that I took into my session last Friday. The event had triggered some very deep feelings – the early, primitive, inchoate, supremely disorganizing kind – which I wished to explore and understand in therapy. We did really good work. I was able to stay with the feeling without dissociating and put some words to what was going on (a deep-seated, primitive terror of abandonment as it turns out). BN was very connected and very encouraging and made clear, in a fair amount of detail, how well I had faced and handled the triggering event and had dealt with the feelings coming up. That he knew they were difficult to allow into consciousness and tolerate, but that I was doing really well with that and he saw improvements in a lot of areas. The session, while brutal, hugely increased my understanding of the dynamics involved and really helped reduce the pain and anxiety created by the trigger. I had a very deep sense of BN’s compassion and his approbation. Continue Reading

My Core of Shame

Greetings gentle readers,

I have been doing very intense work lately in therapy, mainly centered around shame. A deep, excoriating shame provoked when I go anywhere near talking about my body or my weight. In the midst of attempting to engage with the shame (which has been a slow, disjointed process because I just DO NOT WANT TO GO THERE), a situation occurred in my life that has triggered a massive amount of shame to be kicked up. One of those “coincidences” in therapy that neither BN or I believe in. Continue Reading


August 13, 2013 15 comments

We got back today after dropping my younger daughter off at college. I am finishing up a 12 day break from work that was a complete whirlwind. I had a nerve block, did a three-day trip to NYC, a block party, dinner with friends, then a two-day trip to Western Pennsylvania. I go back to work tomorrow, which is good as I think I could use the peace and quiet. 🙂

I also see BN for the first time in a month; I have a session at 11:30 AM tomorrow. Trying to get to sleep last night, I ended up worrying about walking into his office and seeing that my heart had been taken out of the box and that BN had let it happen. I then proceeded to imagine some highly dramatic exit scenarios. Needless to say, it took a while to get to sleep. Continue Reading

It’s not really about my mom

March 26, 2013 17 comments

Don’t want to leave everyone in suspense but between my schedule and the fact that I am in the midst of trying to understand what is going on inside of me, this will be brief (ok, admittedly, brief is a relative concept with me :)). While BN recognized that, of course, it hurt that my mother ignored my birthday, I was incredibly clear about the situation and completely understood what was going on. He pretty much nodded and uh-huhed his way through the beginning of the session. He told me later that he had not said a thing or offered any insight because I didn’t need any. That I was handling the hurt from my mom better now than in the past and that it would get better in the future. That maybe I was struggling to find compassion for her and maybe that would come easier in the future, maybe it wouldn’t but it was ok either way. Continue Reading

What I learned in therapy Lesson 5 – The relationship of love and pain

December 8, 2011 22 comments

This is lesson five of what I learned in therapy: Pain is not a part of love, love is the answer to pain.

This lesson actually came later in my healing and my work with the Boundary Ninja. I’m writing about it now as it’s been a subject that has been both coming up in a lot of conversations I’ve had lately and because I am learning to experience it as a lived truth. If forced to choose, I think I would pick this understanding as the most powerful that I learned in therapy. It is also extremely difficult to explain because at its heart is a mystery that lives at the heart of our existence. It’s not so much a truth that you understand, as much as you learn to accept. Continue Reading

But therapy can take us a long way: Learning Developmental Skills Part 1

November 23, 2011 4 comments

This was going to be the second part of a discussion on how therapy is not enough. I talked about how therapy isn’t enough to make up for the loss of the unmet needs of childhood which are impossible to meet now because we are no longer children and unable to take in the kind of love and care on a deep enough level to completely wipe out the loss. Even if someone was willing to re-parent us, the behavior a parent exhibits towards their child is not appropriate for an adult. But the second half of the equation, that I wanted to address here is the developmental steps that were skipped or distorted by not having our needs met or being taught certain skills because our parents did not know them either. This is also a big part of why therapy can be so painful even though no one is doing anything wrong this time around. I had been planning on covering all of the developmental learning in the rest of this post but as I outlined what I wanted to say, it became evident that the post would become a twee long even for me. So instead, this is the beginning of a series. 🙂 Continue Reading

Disorganized Attachment or Why You Think You’re Crazy But Really Aren’t

October 14, 2011 176 comments

People with insecure attachment: avoidant, anxious or disorganized, tend to have a much more interesting time in therapy than people who formed secure attachments in childhood. I want to talk about insecure attachment and its affect on therapy, with an emphasis on disorganized attachment since that was with what I struggled. Human beings are born unable to care for themselves in any way; they are totally dependent literally as a matter of life and death on their caregiver, usually their mother, but whomever it is that is responsible for caring for them as a child. (That’s so our heads are small enough so that a baby can be delivered. Can you imagine delivering a child with an adult sized head? Time out for all the readers who have delivered babies to wince and say “OUCH!” Okay, everyone back?) There is a biological imperative for the child to stay close and there is a corresponding biological imperative on the part of the caregiver to respond to the needs of the infant. Thus the two humans, infant and caregiver, form an attachment bond. Humans form attachments throughout their life, but none as profound or far-reaching as the one they experience with their parents. That bond, formed while we are developing, has the power to shape both how we see ourselves and the nature of the universe in which we live. Continue Reading