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I went tentatively to my last session, having cancelled the previous. It actually went better than I thought it would though.

The topic of the hour was how I feel after sessions. I’d cancelled my previous week’s session because it took me so many lost days to recover from. I tell Ron that I need to know how this pain I feel after sessions is helping. Also that I need some kind of framework for understanding what is happening. The way I feel does not really seem to relate to how upset or not I become in a session. Ron says he has not been able to determine what it is that sets my despairing feelings off. Sometimes we have one kind of session, sometimes another. It’s not clear what is going on.

I once again talk about the newer ways of approaching trauma, and recommend the book The Body Keeps the Score. Ron says he is working in a different paradigm – it’s as if I was trying to explain homeopathy to him and he was practicing Western medicine. And I argue back that knowing some of this new research doesn’t mean he has to act a certain way. It’s just good knowledge to have. For instance, the way trauma can led the nervous system to swing to extremes, and that it’s a good goal to therefore try to find a middle path between huge emotions and shut down.

So there was that discussion. I started to feel like it was an argument, which then made me uncomfortable, but Ron said he didn’t feel it was an argument – we were just having a discussion. When I used to argue with my father, he ended up completely rejecting me, shunning me in the family. So I’m not that comfortable with argument, because I think I will be rejected.

At some point, Ron hit on the idea that it may be our relationship which is triggering off my hopelessness after session. Which just gave me pause. This could be. I hadn’t really thought of this. So we were supposed to discuss our relationship, which to tell the truth, I didn’t know how to do.

We discussed a bit how I felt about him. How younger parts are very attached, but that I personally feel detached and indifferent.

I actually think this is true or at least part of the truth. I somehow feel rejected after sessions. Since Ron is not rejecting me those feelings must be coming from me. I feel like it’s the end of the world, which as a young child, maybe I felt like when my father rejected me. I loved my father very much, whereas I didn’t bond very much with my mother.

This time after session I felt better. I let myself feel supported by Ron, and there are traumatized parts of me that are so thirsty for acceptance and care, it’s scary to feel them. The next day, I was again very sad, but I kept reminding myself that Ron cares about me and is on my side. And by Sunday, I was fine again.

I’m not sure how to talk about a relationship, but the little I did seems to have helped. This is such a new thought for me. It feels hopeful, because this explanation does make sense to me of something that I couldn’t make sense of and that seemed destructive and not healing. We’ll see. Maybe we can continue somehow by talking about how I’m feeling about my therapist.

It’s funny because I have no trouble believing he does care, once I let myself do so. It’s not like I have to argue myself into it. Maybe for whatever reason, where other people assume an important person cares about them if they act in trustworthy ways, I do not assume that. I assume that anyone close does not care about me at all. Assuming someone cares would make the therapy feel better I’m sure.

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Not a fan of mother’s day. The day here has been beautiful enough I suppose – clear blue sky, trees in blossom, sunshine but not hot. But I have had a crappy day. Weather can’t make up for sadness.

My brother texted me earlier in the week that he was organizing a dinner for my mother at a restaurant, would I come? This meant I had to miss my 12 step group, which I haven’t been able to get to for a while. However I felt guilty so I said OK.

He didn’t organize very well. It turned out to be simply a whole family dinner including my dad and my brother’s girlfriend. He left reservations too late and they were booked. Then the next restaurant that he reserved online unexpectedly closed. We ended up in a Thai place.

My parents are in their eighties and their hearing is no longer the best. The restaurant was small and noisy, and my parents basically sat at the end of the table and did not say a word. They couldn’t understand the conversation enough to join in. I was sitting right at the other end of the table, so I nudged my brother, who sat beside my parents, to talk to them for god’s sake. So he did try, he asked my mother a few questions and she responded politely. His girlfriend, who I think is odd, sat beside my mother and didn’t make a single effort to say anything to her.

Anyway. My family is extremely socially awkward. They are so boring. Everyone is afraid to say anything, because it could be criticized presumably. Only my brother will chat a bit. It reminded me of the pain of growing up, where nothing was ever discussed, and chill silences filled the hours.

However, I also felt kind of grounded and tried to be helpful and accepting. For years I was kind of sullen and angry, but I feel I’ve grown beyond that. So I was pleased with how I behaved.

My sister sat right across from me, and we do not get along at all. However, we were being polite. Then, she ended up screaming at me, then turning to talk to the girlfriend and ignoring me entirely.

It was stupid. The waitress came by after the meal, asking if anyone wanted tea or dessert. We all said no, but my sister didn’t seem to notice the waitress was there. My brother and I raised our voices, calling to her to see whether she wanted dessert. I genuinely thought she hadn’t noticed the waitress. My sister stopped her conversation, looked only at me, and yelled – I never have dessert! Leave me alone. And kind of made that angry grimacing face. She didn’t yell at my brother, who had also been trying to get her attention. Then she ignored me again immediately and returned to this pointless conversation with the girlfriend.

At the time, I just let it slide. I figure she’s pretty damn fragile, I’ll let it go.

But today, I keep thinking about it. I see now that she was purposely ignoring the waitress, my brother and me when we tried to get her attention. That’s a classic passive aggressive move that she excels in. I didn’t get it at the time at all, but I should have. This is typical for her. It’s not at all typical of her to yell at anyone, though if she was going to directly express anger, I’d be the safe person to do that to, since I’m kind of the family outcast anyway. She’s been training to be some kind of art therapist to special needs kids(!), so maybe in the course of that someone has told her that it’s good to express anger directly. Could be. Of course, she would do that in this weird way where it’s not clear what she is angry about, and in a way that you can’t have a conversation about, because you don’t know what is going on.

My sister also was raised in my family, and is damaged as much as I am. However, I’ve spent years trying to heal some of this damage, while she has not. I was in more pain IMO.

As is the way in my family, I immediately pushed this incident out of my mind and carried on. I could have said something about it to my brother after, when we happened to be walking together, but it didn’t even occur to me that there was anything to discuss, until today.

So, that happened. Then today, I had planned to go to a board games afternoon event, then didn’t go due to headache. So I’ve been alone all day. I’ll be alone tomorrow also.

Then, my ex called. He’d gotten into the usual mess he makes of his life, he’d missed a big concert his brother was giving that he’d wanted to go to and had promised to attend. I gently pointed out what he could do next time, but he wasn’t real interested. He’d done the same thing last year it seems, and is not too interested in changing his ways.

But, I know this bothered him. Then he launched into a harangue about my son’s plans, how they were to be financed, how he’d be wasting a ton of his money, how everything he is trying to do is the wrong decision. He raises his voice, talks faster and faster, has everything all figured out, and my role is to listen to all this. I hate this. I don’t respect his opinions much, and I resent having to spend half an hour listening to his tirade. It was very upsetting and a lot of his anxiety and fear was just offloaded onto me. It also reminds me of how awful he was when we were together. At first I tried to discuss it with him, as it is important stuff, but after a while I noticed I was becoming more and more upset, so told him I had to go.

I’ve spent the rest of the day trying to feel better. I know I attracted this kind of person into my life because of the depressed and helpless space I was in when we met. I am better now, and would attract a better type of person. He always thinks he is more clever than anyone else, and it’s up to him to solve other people’s problems, and then he dumps all this really boring rationalization all over everyone.

Aargh. I’m angry.

I’ve also been struggling again with insomnia, but thankfully, today was a day where I slept enough that I was not feeling the weight of fatigue pressing down on me every minute. Hopefully that will continue. I am trying to get up at night when I wake up and sit at my table for a while with a book. That seems to help me get into a deeper sleep than lying there dozing all night.

Well, onwards. I did go to a knitting circle Saturday. I feel more confident there than I used to. I feel like some of the women like me now and I feel more accepted. I just put myself out there a bit, ask a few questions, but don’t get into anyone’s space. Plus, I like the scarf i’m knitting. It’s a variegated yarn, very soft and thick. The colours are nature colours, like you might see on a Canadian lake in winter – grey, white, olive green, tan. I’m putting in ribs, so I have to pay attention and try not to make too many mistakes. So I did accomplish this at least this weekend, despite the disappointing rest of it.

 

I’d missed the previous week session, because I woke up on the day of with a severe back ache and wanted to go to the doctor instead. Even though it was same day notice, Ron didn’t ask me to pay for the session. He’s nice that way. I get the impression he is completely unmaterialistic at heart.

This Friday’s session was one of those that severely trigger me. I can barely remember it really, and nothing earth shattering was discussed at all. There was a lot of not speaking, of me drawing, and saying a few things. I was feeling encouraged because I’d just had a coffee friend date with a new person, a woman from my writing group whom I rather look up to, as she is a really good writer. She wanted to tell me a story from her life that a piece I’d submitted to the group reminded her of. A love affair gone wrong basically. She’s interesting and well spoken. She practices a kind of Buddhism that meditates by chanting a particular chant – it has a long name which I forget.

Anyway, she’d asked me if I wanted to meet, and that almost never happens. I feel that if I’m going to be friends with anyone new, I have to chase them down. And I don’t want to do that anymore. So I’ve been down to one or two friends the last few years.

I went to my session right after meeting this possible new friend, and felt all optimistic. I told Ron a bit about this. He never says much in the way of encouragement, like that’s great or seems like you’re getting more social. He just listens quietly.

And then what? We speak a bit about going out even when I’m triggered, and I tell him it’s too severe at that point to do that, but that I do go out many times when just feeling blue or down. I still feel like he doesn’t get it, but he doesn’t argue.

I remember saying something about my mother, how although she may seem calm as she is so withdrawn, she’s actually very anxious, which you notice if she has to make a decision or if you try to talk to her about anything.

A child part of mine spoke to Ron for maybe 5 minutes about meeting this woman for coffee. Not crying or upset at all.

That’s about the whole session. More must have happened in the 50 minutes but I don’t remember what.

The next day, I woke up very confused and sad. Which basically continued until this afternoon. At times, I’d lie down curled up, where all I could do was breathe, it seemed like the pain was so intense. I was in all this emotional pain, my thoughts all cloudy, and furious with Ron for once again putting me into this triggered state. This is what I pay him for?

This afternoon the pain receded. It was like a fever breaking, or when you wake up after being very sick and the world seems so beautiful. I felt kind of calm and relaxed. I was no longer angry at Ron and no longer wanted to quit therapy.

I do not know what happens to me or why it stops happening. I did do a guided meditation this morning on accepting and softening towards painful feelings. It didn’t seem to help at all, but maybe the effect was delayed?

Luckily I am working from home and they can’t really tell that I was unable to work this morning. As long as I press a keyboard key once in a while.

I do not know if this is good or not. It’s not the case that therapy has no effect on me. I don’t know if this is a beneficial effect. I wonder if Ron’s empathetic sitting there affects child parts, who then come forward and spill all kinds of pain? Is it good that this pain comes up? Or is it useless suffering?

 

 

Last session was better, but hard to describe. Maybe this only makes some kind of sense if you struggle with dissociation as one of your main difficulties.

A comment on my last post from Ash hit home – over and over, I am triggered by therapy to the point where I cannot function for days, and yet, this is not discussed or explained. So this time, we spent all of our time on this.

I explained how after the last two sessions, I’d been so very sad, I had to stay home all weekend. Since I live alone and am working from home, that meant I wasn’t able to build on any of the small social connections I’m trying to make. I’m just sad at home alone again. What else is new? But what I’m trying to do is go out and do a few activities with other people. I don’t want to be alone all the time. So therapy seems to be making me worse.

So that’s why you cancelled last week? Yep.

Ron asked me what my explanation or hunch is about this situation, and I said I don’t really understand. I wasn’t deeply upset last session, I wasn’t crying.

Ron thinks a part of myself is always this sad and in despair.

Um, OK. It could be. So then how does it help to have that part take over after therapy?

We really dug in and considered this for a long time. I’d brought my drawing stuff, and Ron reminded me that I like to draw in sessions. I’d forgotten to draw the last two sessions. So I pulled out my paper and crayons and doodled while we talked. I do find the drawing relieves a part of me somehow.

I’m not going to write the whole discussion. There were a lot of silences and waiting.

I actually think now, though I wasn’t clear on it in session, is that what has happened is that the adult, verbal self that I was bringing to therapy isn’t the whole story, or even the major story. So then maybe these other traumatized parts, that get no attention, then freak out at home and take over?

One reason I think that might be it is that didn’t happen so much last session, and I was sad at home for that day, but was able to get it together on the weekend to do some things. We didn’t discuss my life at all. So there was lots of space for a part to be there, just sitting and drawing and not saying a whole lot. Which seemed somehow better than trying to talk things through as an adult.

I think Ron still does kind of think it’s fine for me to be triggered into these states by therapy. While I now believe that being triggered is not healing. Healing is different. But he did see the problem of not being able to go out. He suggested I could still go out, even if I was sad. But the thing is, it doesn’t really work. First, it’s very hard. Second, people don’t respond well to me in that state. Socializing is always hard, but when I’m in this deep depression, it’s like I repel people. Or something. I did go to church as my one effort on one of the weekends, and not one person talked to me. I just felt worse after going.

I remember I got angry or at least impatient with Ron a couple of times. The first time, I was outraged that his therapy was putting me into this state and he didn’t seem to think it was a problem.

First, I was sitting there and shutting down completely. I literally wanted to lie down on his couch and go to sleep. My body felt heavy, my eyes so tired, I had no energy to speak about anything. Then somehow, I start ranting about how his therapy is making me worse. Then we speak about something else, and I suddenly notice I don’t feel sleepy anymore. And I don’t connect it to having expressed anger. We are speaking calmly about moving the session to the beginning of the week so I can go out on the weekends, and I’m explaining how that won’t work for me. I notice I’m not longer sleepy. He asks what has changed, and I say maybe it’s the calm discussion about scheduling. And Ron says he thinks it’s because I expressed anger.

I am so surprised to remember that I did. Oh yeah. That happened five minutes ago.

I say something about so I can come here and get angry at you and feel better – good for me but not so nice for you. Ron said it’s fine with him.

In general in this session, I am trying not to push other parts away, but also, not to become them. I need to be open enough to hear them, but do not need to be taken over by them, in my view. And I kind of did that, and so the session felt possibly helpful and at least not harmful.

It is too bad though that Ron can’t really lead me through this, because psychodynamic therapy doesn’t work that way. However, he is open and not dogmatic at least.

At the end, Ron talks about how I could still go out even if I’m sad. I feel so irritated by this. I tell him I feel irritated, as if he doesn’t get the severity of the state I get into. I try to explain how I see it – think of it as if some really bad thing has happened to you -someone died, or some other really bad event happened. It would be natural to stay at home, or only speak with people close to you. You wouldn’t expect someone in that situation to go out to some social activity and behave as if nothing was wrong.

Or think if you were talking to someone in a severe depression, so bad they have trouble taking a shower or getting out of bed. Would you tell them to go out anyway?

Ron says he does have depressed clients and, while he doesn’t tell them what to do, he suggests a ‘third option’, (I forget to ask him what the second is), of going out despite feeling bad.

We speak a bit about the difference between depression and dissociation. I think he says depression is where too much is bottled up in one container, while with dissociation, you are forever jumping between containers.

In this session, I did feel like I was jumping between containers. I went through that very distinct shut down phase, then an angry phase which I pretty much forgot about as soon as it was over, and a calm but reticent adult phase.

I do not have depression, but I have parts that are very sad, and I have a tendency to get stuck in parts.

And the session is over. And my weekend was OK. I was able to do a few things I wanted to do.

I’m not sure whether to go to the next session or skip it and go next week. I can’d decide if we’re getting anywhere.

I am speed reading the Janina Fisher book on dissociation as it’s due back at the library. It’s interesting, even though the writing is sometimes pretty bad. But the theory is so different from what Ron is doing, and then I start thinking, I should be working with someone who understand trauma as a physiological process as well as psychological. But then, the relationship I have with Ron is good. That’s important.

That’s all I know at the moment.

 

I skipped therapy this week. I just gave 24 hours notice too – I usually try to give a lot more so he can fill the slot, possibly. Selfish.

I wanted a weekend where I was not too sad to function, where I could go out and do things I’d planned, and maybe even speak to someone. I worked from home every day last week and had no meetings, so I barely spoke all week. It just seems too much to be disabled by sadness every single weekend.

Well, that was the plan. I felt sad when I cancelled my session, but I did not really miss going, and I definitely did not miss the aftermath. However, we have a strange winter storm that hit precisely on the weekend. Freezing rain is one of those circumstances where I like to stay nice and dry at home. So, I’ve been on my own anyway. I guess I might as well have been sad and recovering from therapy.

I think therapy is making me worse. It’s been eight years, so it’s not really the kind of worse where you’re opening up new emotions. I don’t think. To tell the truth, I’m not sure what is causing my distress after therapy. The sessions do not seem that intense. I don’t cry. I don’t have conflict with Ron, for the most part.

I’m thinking of going every two weeks. That would keep the attached parts calm, while giving me every second weekend to get things done and go out a bit.

To change the topic a bit, I’ve been on a physical health kick. I got a book from the library about adrenal burn out/thyroid issues. It’s got a whole plan for how to help, focusing on diet, with exercise and stress reduction, and supplements. I bought a fancy(ish) blender which is now taking up a big chunk of my tiny kitchen counter, so I could make the breakfast smoothies this plan recommends. The general idea of the diet is that a lot of fatigue, illness, and weight gain is due to the adrenals or thyroid no longer functioning optimally. The plan attempts to ‘reset’ your hormonal balance. Part of this is having limited carbs in the morning, some carbs at lunch and more carbs at dinner.

The smoothies are interesting. I’m putting in spinach, and trying for the right amount of berries, also a small scoop of white beans, a fat, and protein powder. I am eating way more veg and fruit than usual this way. I’m not feeling quite full all morning from this though. I’m not really doing this to lose weight anyway – I just do not have much energy and am hoping this will help.

I’m also pretty regularly going for a thirty minute walk before noon, which I can do because of working from home at the moment. That gets me out into bright light and also some exercise, but not enough to trigger off my symptoms.

I was thinking, what if my collapsing after exercise is at least in part because of a hormone issue? Apparently if you’re on the far end of being burnt out, any vigorous exercise makes you feel worse. Maybe I have a physical issues as well as the mental one.

My lack of energy rules my life to a large extent. So I’m hoping this helps. At times, I think it is already helping. Just I’m still getting triggered and collapsing quite a bit.

I really like that I’ve started various activities and they are important to me. I go to knitting circle, writing group, choir, church group once a month, ACA group. But I’m needing to miss an awful lot when I go to therapy and then can’t function anymore. I feel sometimes I’m getting more out of the activity groups than I am out of therapy.

Now I feel guilty I’ve said that. Because I do have a close relationship with Ron. I know he’s done his best for me year after year. I just don’t quite think he’s helping me anymore.

That said, I’ve gained a lot. I’m able to be nicer to myself. I can hear various parts and I try to take care of them. I am nicer to people – I didn’t come from a ‘people pleasing’ problem, so for me, it’s good that I can be nicer now, consider how the other person is feeling. I don’t date or have a relationship so I’m not sure if I’ve improved in that area. Possibly.

It’s good to remember I’ve made some gains from this huge investment of time, money and energy.

 

 

 

I’m still attending therapy. Still working.

Work is OK. This time I have no conflict with a boss whatsoever. This boss is fairly nice. I want to listen to her and understand from her point of view. That’s new. But I’ve realized that I don’t know this organization or what her life there is like. I am trying to listen more.

Mostly though I am working from home. It’s kind of lonely. But, in one way less stressful, as if I don’t sleep well, or am not doing well for any other reason, I don’t have the stress of getting myself together early in the morning, flinging myself onto the subway and coping with an office all day. So there is leeway to feel down while still earning a daily rate. Which maybe sounds bad, but really, a lot of office work is spinning in circles anyway. I’m probably average on productivity.

Therapy continues to be very hard to recover from. I’m actually not sure why. Last session, we did not get into trauma or any parts work. I discussed the family Easter dinner, that actually didn’t go badly. A few glitches of course. Maybe even mentioning my family is majorly upsetting. I did not cry or feel any deep crazy emotions in the session. It was adult. We also discussed the difficult reaction I’d had to the previous therapy session where I’d gotten stuck in a child part.

Sometimes strange things catapult me into trauma reactions. One of them happened the week before. I’m following a new health diet and had ordered a blender online. Picked it up on foot from the post office. That blender is huge – you can’t tell from the online picture. So I had to carry this huge and heavy box about a mile back to my house. I rested a few times, and made it in the end.

That night I couldn’t sleep at all. I felt completely blank – I couldn’t feel or think about anything. It’s one of the states that happens to me after physical exercise sometimes. So very aggravating. Ron suggested when that happens again, I could try using my mind to plan something, like a trip somewhere. A mental project. He thinks that might help get my mind online again in this situation.

I like the idea. I think it might help and i’m going to try it next time the blankness happens.

Meanwhile, I tell Ron I’ve decided to avoid things for now. I’m trying not to get triggered, because I want to have a life. So I’m avoiding exercise beyond my daily half hour walk. I try to avoid my family. Because these trauma reactions are consuming so much of my life. The Easter weekend I was mostly unable to function for instance, though I did get out to Easter family dinner.

Because I want to have a life. Not hole up in my apartment while I wait for whatever trauma has been triggered to wear off.

However, unexpectedly my session last Friday once again put me into a place where I was so very sad, I couldn’t do any of the things I’d planned on the weekend. So very frustrating. I can’t say it’s Ron’s fault either – he’s not pushing me to talk about anything in particular. And even though I avoided talking about the past, I ended up in this overwhelmingly sad place.

I’m thinking I’ll cancel for this week and see if I can have a weekend of some kind. I didn’t go to anything I’d planned, so spoke to no one. Now I’m back to working from home where i also don’t interact with anyone. I feel I can’t stand the loneliness of this.

I know I can’t avoid things forever. But wow. I am having no life at all if I keep going to therapy like this. And I’m not entirely sure the therapy is helping anyway. I respect Ron, he’s good to talk to, he doesn’t insist on his way. But I can’t seem to make it work. I don’t know why I get so sad I can’t function after therapy. Ron doesn’t know either. So maybe a little vacation from therapy will help.

 

 

An update. Work is not bad (for a change). The manager is nice, normal and positive. I’m working from home a lot, which really takes some pressure off of me, because going in to a corporate environment day after day takes such a toll on me. On the downside, it can be tough to motivate myself sometimes, as the work is often not engaging. And I’d like co-workers, but don’t have any on this contract. But – I’ll take it. So relieved to have paying work once again. It’s like a little bit of peace inside, just this knowledge that I have money coming in and don’t need to worry, at the moment anyway. So yay! Focus on the positives.

I continue to go to therapy. It’s so painful and confusing that I’m not sure how much I want to share about it. I haven’t felt like quitting since that session three weeks ago, so that’s positive.

I had been having sessions that focused on the adult, as if I didn’t have any parts. Which was OK. Just I’d feel, in parts of myself, that some essential things were missing. Which I suppose is the parts that didn’t get time or attention. Then I hope that I don’t actually have parts and am more normal. But it’s also painful.

Last session I went in and didn’t want to chat about my life. I’d had a massage, so talked about that. Then some exercise I did stopped me from sleeping. And I stayed with the parts of me that don’t function well. And that led back to different parts expressing themselves. And I don’t really know what to say about it. These child parts are definitely there and I think now are the source of a lot of the feelings I have – the shut-down feelings, anxiety, sadness…But also, a child part seems to hold a lot of playfulness and feelings of OKness.

It’s hard to switch back at the end of the session. I kind of manage though.

After, I felt that the adult had been missed. I had a sense that the session passed in about ten minutes, which is disorienting. I can remember it, but somehow still I have the sense that no time passed.

I’ve forgotten anything Ron said. Surely he had points to make, but I can’t remember. Mostly I’m left with the strangeness of being in all these parts. I really really don’t want to believe it.

I also re-read today a paper I had downloaded to my desktop previously –

The Treatment of Structural Dissociation in Chronically Traumatized Patients

Janina Fisher, Ph.D.

And the reason is, I desperately want some kind of roadmap as to what to do if you’re in parts. OK, I can see that I am, but I need some kind of plan. Something. Ron is kind of exploring what the situation is, but he’s hazy on what an approach might be to help this situation.

I love this paper by Fisher. Especially the last third of it, where she discusses how to treat dissociation. Her approach is all about strengthening the adult part, who then builds bridges and cares for younger traumatized parts. To me this makes a boatload of sense. I’ve always been weak on keeping the adult in charge, sometimes approaching life as if I were a child, which works badly.

Therapy sometimes seems to encourage child parts to take over. I then get stuck in a traumatized part and can’t function until that part recedes, which can take days. According to this article, this is not helpful. I also just think this is not helpful. The idea of the adult taking steps to try and soothe the parts makes a whole lot of sense.

It’s different from other therapies which encourage sitting with feelings. Fisher says that right out also. You are trying to refrain from shutting down feelings though, but you’re also trying to soothe and comfort so you feel better. Just switching into the part with the feeling doesn’t necessarily help by itself – you don’t move through it, the way you might for a feeling that’s not dissociated.

I’m considering sending Ron the article but also hesitating. He very much dislikes any kind of medicalization, so I’m worried he will reject this for that reason. She does have a kind of medical type style, with vocabulary for symptoms….My own view is that when you reject a whole category of work because you don’t like anything that seems at all ‘medical’, you throw out a lot of helpful information. No need to adopt the vocabulary of this to find it insightful.

I’ll see. I’d be so pleased if Ron read this and wanted to try the approach. Even if he just read the second half, where she discusses treatment approach, and skipped the first part, which is more theoretical, with ways of speaking that may be irritating.

Being in parts is a big problem. I really want to be working in some way that might help.