We had a lovely 2 part chat. I think the most optimum way to make change is find a space of calm and acceptence. This state is the springbard for real change. After I interveiwed Dr. Dashtban about T.E.A.M therapy, I realized that this is why this therapy is so affective. It creates this state. This is not your ordinary cognitive therapy! If you are interested in learning about this approach and have the time, this is a great place to start. I already used some of what I have learned to help people grow and feel safe and heard. This seems like a really empowering model, which is very compatible with Emotionally Focused Therapy I use and help others learn. To find out even more about Katie and her team, check out this website.
Testing: In each and every session we use a measuring test to read scores of depression, anxiety, anger, suicidality and even positive feelings and relationship satisfaction.
And at the end of each session patients give a score to the level of empathy they received from me and the helpfulness of the session.
Empathy: Using highly specific techniques of empathy we seek to deeply understand the way my patient is experiencing a heartfelt or a challenging situation. We convey empathic understanding with my patient and check to see if they feel heard and understood.
Agenda Setting: Arguably the most challenging part of the course of therapy. Patients often feel stuck with the proposed changes ahead of them for reasons that are actually quite understandable; in fact even have very awesome and neat reasons not to change. So, letting go of a proposed mood issue might not be that easy if one feels the outcome might not be that desirable. Likewise, the process of healing is in and of itself is challenging for many patients, so we use a paradoxical approach, which often helps patients see the worth of stepping up and rolling up their sleeves to change.
Methods: All based on Cognitive and Behavioral approaches, but also uses any technique that might work nicely for a given patient. In fact there is a tremendous amount of “Role Plays”, that reminds me of Gestalt Therapy and there is a good amount of compassion based, and even humor based techniques, a fair amount of exposure techniques, all borrowed from the wisdom of a variety of therapeutic approaches.
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This came through on my emotionally focused therapy listserv. I listened to it and thought it was really good and a great resource for people to begin to figure out whether or not they are dealing with or bumping up agains someone with possible traits. Well, worth the listen. The couch Podcast.
This is what we work on first in couples therapy. We help a couple come together and fight against the negative pattern that has over taken them and caused distress. Once this is accomplished deep rebounding and healing of the relationship can occur. The cycle de-ecalation stage is the usually the longest part of the therapy. Identifying and calming the cycle seems easy but for true de-escaation several things need to happen.
Partners need to be able to:
1. Identify their own position in the cycle
2. Own their position
3. Access softer emotions underlying their position
4. Own their softer emotions
5. Place the softer emotions into the cycle
6.Link partner's behavior to their own attachment emotions and their own reactive emotions
7.Link their own behavior to attachment emotions and partner's reactivity
8. Have a coherent story of the negative interaction cycle as the enemy
9. See partner as more fearful and dangerous
10.Identify cycle in the here and now
11.Interupt the cycle in a way that allows them to fight it together
Once a couple can become a team against the cycle deep bonding can occur.
Yup. It totally happened to me. Before I knew it I was slimed. It happened at yoga, which really threw me off. I went to a crowded yoga class, and this person would not move their mat so I could get in. I even asked the individual in question to move so I could fit in. They moved all right! In a manner that made it even more difficult for me to fit in. My very sweet and nice yoga teacher stepped in and moved her mat totally off the floor so I could practice. Unfortunately, the sliming had already taken place. I was angry and took on a foul mood.
So what the heck is being slimed anyway? My definition of being slimed, not a very technical word but you get the drift, is when you let someone else's bad energy, words, mood, attitude, or behavior totally take over your disposition and ruin your moment, your day, even your life. More clinically I think this would fall into the category of intrapersonal and interpersonal boundaries and how they intersect.
Why does this happen to us and why so fast? I believe it is a flight or fight thing. It happens when we perceive threat. I think it is because we all have internal values and boundaries from our upbringing and culture. When those values get crossed we go into protection mode. I have a strong internal value around being polite. I was taught to say please and thank you growing up. As well, I was encouraged to share. When I think someone has crossed what I perceive as appropriate, I react. I perceive rudeness and take that energy on internally. But, I have choices.
So, what can I, we, and you do about it? Well, first be aware that it happens. We sometimes let other people affect us and in some not so good ways. Second, we can also work hard to not assume the other is trying to threaten us or do us "wrong." There is no way to know what is going on with others unless we ask and they tell us. Most behaviors have an explanation. Most people have a story. Other things we can do are to talk to a buddy who understands us (I did this), or forgive the offending person for offending and yourself for reacting. Finally, we can remember, being human, we've probably slimed someone else without being aware of it.
However, if this is a chronic reactive state, you may want to look at yourself and reflect on what is making you be so reactive. Are you overworked, stressed, or feeling generally unsupported in life? Ask yourself, "Who am I and what does this reaction say about me right now?"
And importantly, if another person repeatedly acts in concrete ways that you perceive as disrespectful, you may have to decide whether or not talking to that person about the problem is warranted. Talking it out takes courage, but you'd be surprised at how healing it can be.
This is the first of many FB lives I hope to do. This one was on grief. I interviewed a local therapist, Angela Topcu, who has done extensive work with hospice. She has a great passion for helping those who have lost a loved one. It was great fun and I learned a lot. And I even figured out how to embed it onto this blog!
George Faller explains from personal experience what happens when a couple fights. What we do that makes the other feel alone, abandon and rejected. This is a great Youtube!
Evelyn Schmechtig -Cochran