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Re: Unknow what?........ Twinleaf

Posted by Solstice on January 16, 2011, at 21:14:30

In reply to Re: Unknow what?........ Solstice, posted by Twinleaf on January 16, 2011, at 19:30:00

> What you wrote is just wonderful, and very inspiring. It's such a clear description of how therapy can work for people with neglect or abuse in their backgrounds. My experience is very similar to yours - in particular, working through the ruptures and repairs, and experiencing being the "sparkle" in my therapist's eyes . It was all about him and me until recently; we were both very surprised (and pleased) when other people began playing important parts in the therapy hours. But a lot of very special things had to happen between us first.
> I want to print out your post to show him, as he is especially interested in what precise elements in therapy are the most
> useful and transformative. Thanks!

Twin.. I'm honored if there's something about my musings that's useful. I love what you said about being the 'sparkle' in yoru therapist's eyes. It's the perfect word for it.. and yes.. that is what I've experienced - over and over and over again with my T. You got me thinking.. and since I never felt I mattered in my early primary relationships, it took a looooong time for me to really believe I could trust what was taking place in therapy. Seeing that 'sparkle' created some painful dynamics for me. I would hide from it, ignore it, be dismissive of the inherent emotional intimacy coming toward me, and spent a good bit of time being really afraid of believing it was genuine.. of believing I was cared for and could count on it not arbitrarily disappearing. It really did take a long, long time. On my therapist's end - I think it had to have been demanding to be so consistently 'there' with such a long period of time with no sign that it was reaching those wounded places. I fought so hard against it.

I think that the specific things that were so effective in my case were:
1. My T created an environment that facilitated emotional intimacy that did not require me to do anything. I could turn my back on it, be afraid of it, disavow it, pretend it didn't exist. It never moved. It never changed. My reaction (or lack of reaction) did not affect its stability. THAT was powerful!
2. My T was profoundly patient, and equally important, T was NEVER defensive. I was never held responsible for repairing any problem that arose. For me, that was a big deal because of my history. It was also a component of the 're-parenting' feature. T modeled for me healthy responses to just about everything imaginable that came up between us. That was THE really powerful thing. One experience at a time, it chipped away at the lifetime of experiences I had collected from the beginning that left me so frightened, so anxious, feeling so worthless interpersonally.

If I were asked to identify the Most important thing a therapist can do - it would be to monitor their own defensive responses to anything their client/patient says. It's not about never making mistakes - but if they do make a mistake - they MUST address it, and repair the defensive mistep. My therapist's nondefensiveness toward me healed a lifetime of relationship trauma within me, and resulted in my tapes being re-written to the point that responding nondefensively comes so much more naturally to me... and feeling defensive feels foreign.





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