This is the second part of a two part series; the first part is ‘Tis the Season – Part I.
We’re discussing strategies for helping us to get through our breaks in therapy (of any length!). We left off at journaling and the strategies are continued below. Continue Reading
This is the first part of a two part series. (It got a little long! 🙂 ) Life has settled down considerably but- of course- I am now working six day weeks because of a very demanding release going out the end of the summer. So I am re-engaging but would appreciate patience with my response times to comments and emails. But it’s really good to be back, I’ve missed everyone! Thank you all so much for you’re understanding and support while I have been away. Continue Reading
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
Alex asked the question below over on the Ask AG page and I am going to offer my take on it.
I am wondering if you have any insight on a psychotherapist’s role when a patient is demonstrating persistent, self-destructive behaviors? I’m referring to damaging, non-suicidal behaviors that artificially regulate emotions– such as self-injury, eating disordered behaviors (restricting, purging, etc.), reckless impulsivity, or drug/alcohol abuse (though this last one might be slightly different, I guess, since it compromises your mental capacity more extremely).
This is a really excellent question and in some ways goes to the heart of what therapy is about. I do want to be upfront though in that I am still working through my own behaviors with food so I approach this topic with fear and trembling. I would recommend approaching this post with some skepticism, dear readers, as I may be speaking out of the wrong orifice. 🙂 Continue Reading
I saw BN today. The day did not start well. I was holding down a lot of terror because despite knowing better, there was a deep feeling of dread about what I would find when I walked into his office. I knew I was overreacting by being convinced that the relationship was beyond repair, but try telling that to my hamster amygdala. Which is also deaf, I believe. 🙂 And as if the terror was not enough on its own, I woke to a continuation of a difficult situation with which I have been dealing. I do not mean to be coy, dear readers, but this particular problem involves not just my privacy, which I have every right to set aside if I wish to, but also other parties for whom I cannot make that decision. So if I sound a little vague at points, you’re not imagining it.
So I drove to BN’s office in a very focused manner, as when I am feeling this scared about an upcoming session, I have this habit of overlooking a necessary highway change, the correction of which can be quite costly in terms of time. I was running a little late because I had stopped for a cup of coffee at what seemed to be the most popular drive through for a 50 mile radius judging by the line of cars. But I had been so nervous, I hadn’t really slept all that well the night before and we were out of caffeinated coffee at home. I was not going into the lion’s den unfortified, or even worse, unconscious. 🙂 So when I arrived, I headed upstairs as quickly as possible and settled in the waiting room. Continue Reading
Preface:This is going to be a bit of gloom and doom as I am in the middle of doing some fairly heavy processing of which this post is a part. When I am doing this kind of work the past rides close, which means that I will be struggling with bad feelings about myself. I know they’re not all, or even most of them, true. I also have a number of lovely friends and my husband who have been supporting me through this with care, kindness and love. So don’t take the gloom too seriously. Yes, this is not fun, but it’s also not insurmountable or unbearable and I am not alone in facing it.
This has been a really long crappy week. I’ve been dealing with a couple of different situations in which I’ve had to work very hard to keep my boundaries clear, work very hard to examine myself to sort out my own stuff and in most of the situations draw a hard boundary which has either not gone over well or has left me feeling like I’m kicking puppies or even worse, becoming my father. At one point this week I was actually wondering if someone had hung a sign somewhere on my person that said “please tell me what a crappy human being I am.” Since I am quite capable of doing that on my own more often than I would like, I honestly could have done without the assistance. 🙂 Continue Reading
This post is a continuation of a series started in But therapy can take us a long way: Learning Developmental Skills Part 1. In this post, I want to talk about learning to identify and express your needs. For most trauma victims, this is most definitely a skipped part of development. Because the caretaker is putting their own needs ahead of the child’s when abusing them, by definition the child’s needs are being overlooked and pushed aside. How do you learn to identify and express something that is not even acknowledged to exist?
A long-term trauma victim often becomes hyper-vigilant. They learn to watch their abuser and observe their behavior in minute detail in the hope of getting some warning before an episode of abuse. So they’re paying a whole lot more attention to the abuser’s feelings and needs than their own. Add to this the fact that many victims of long-term abuse believe and/or are told the abuse is their fault, so they are also watching the abuser for cues about who they need to be and what they need to do to “finally” make the abuser happy with them and stop the abuse. (This serves the function of providing some sense of control in a situation in which you are powerless and have none.) Your own feelings and needs fade to insignificance in the face of needing to survive. Continue Reading
|Attachment Girl on Boundaries, Dependence and…|
|Attachment Girl on Erotic Transference|
|SARA R PAULSEN on Erotic Transference|
|Patti on Why can’t the past just…|