When things are not working in a relationship, there are many skill sets, modalities and many tools that you can learn to use, so you get better results.
Skill sets are valuable. You can learn them.
You can learn to communicate better. You can learn to make it safe for each other to speak and be heard. There are mirroring skills, conflict resolution skills, and they’re very practical tools that you can use to build the relationship you want.
Learning to drive a car is a skill you can learn. So is creating a good relationship and a happy home. You can change the way you think, feel and behave and there are practical ways and therapeutic interventions you can experience, to help you do that.
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) is one of many examples.
A committed relationship with a partner can be a wonderful arena where you can both do that. Imago Relationship Therapy and The Gottman Method, are just two examples of effective Couples Therapy approaches.Our personalities were formed in relationship.
We were wounded in relationship. We are healed, only in relationship.
Emotional Trauma often needs specialized treatment.
It is also true that sometimes there are deeper issues at work, that need to be identified and addressed. You look back and see a pattern in your past relationships, or in your life. You keep getting the same results again and again.
You notice that your trust is continually betrayed. You keep getting cheated on. You keep getting bullied, neglected, or pushed out. You keep getting the same sorts of results, again and again.
Now, when that happens, it’s useful to identify what might be going on between your ears. We know that a computer has a virus by the way it functions.
When the same destructive pattern keeps repeating itself in a person’s life, we suspect there might be a brain based ‘virus’ or emotional trauma at work which keeps telling our brain what to do and what to expect.
In the lives of some well-known celebrities, we know many of the factors that shaped their life while they were growing up. And in some instances, details of their life from the cradle to the grave are well documented.
They give valuable clues on how early emotional trauma can play itself out in destructive patterns of later behavior.
Can we identify the destructive ‘viruses’ at work in our computer like super brain?
Wouldn’t it be nice to identify, earlier rather than later, what these so called mental ‘viruses’ are telling our brains? Wouldn’t it be nice to minimize the negative effects of those viruses?
I remember once hearing of a woman who had four children from three different husbands, each of whom abused and cheated on her. For her, changing relationships without healing earlier trauma, was no solution for her or for her children.
The good news is that we have evidence based therapeutic interventions that can heal the effects of trauma, so that we experience a more fulfilling and satisfying outcomes in areas that are important to us.
Four questions to identify destructive ‘brain based’ viruses.
In your key developmental years, while the personality was being formed ( 0-5; 5-12; 12-22 years) how would you describe the relationship:
- With your mother
- With your father
- Between your mother and your father
- What were the most distressing incidents in your life, from 30 minutes ago, right back to before you were born?.
The answer to those four questions can give us clues.
A four year old boy’s mother abandons him in distressing circumstances, and he never sees her again. What might be happening within his brain?
The intense energy released after the atom bomb exploded over Hiroshima, caused sand to fuse into glass, metal to liquefy, mix with other material and then hardened into all sorts of shapes and combinations after it cooled.
Something similar can be happening within the 4 year old’s brain in the presence of his intense trauma especially, but not exclusively, because his brain is still developing and is at a particularly vulnerable and impressionable stage.
In the presence of intense emotional distress, he dissociates emotionally. To protect him from experiencing more pain, the brain moves him from connection to his body into more cerebral processes.
“From his heart, into his head”.
The brain’s function is to keep him alive. His tiny almond shaped amygdala, ever alert to danger, floods the limbic system of the brain with cortisol and a message is neurologically embedded in his brain. What might that message or life script be?
Here is one example:
“Whenever you love someone and want to be loved; whenever you are vulnerable, dependent and need someone, your heart will be broken”.
And his brain, ever obedient, ever alert, ever listening, ever spectacularly willing and able, like the genie in Aladdin’s magic lamp, replies: “Your wish is my command. I can arrange that. Done”.
The brain then proceeds to create that reality in the person’s life, without fail. Again and again. Until the message is interrupted and altered, at its source.
This process is very powerful. We can see it expressed in the lives of some celebrities whose details of life experiences from cradle to grave are well documented.
We see it in client case study after case study, with people we have been privileged to collaborate and work with over the years. And of course, we can often see it in our own histories and families of origin.
We see the brain producing that that same result again and again and again, and it’s powerful.
What is the good of just treating symptoms, without addressing the root cause of the problem?
For example: If there is a crack in a wall that is caused by contraction in clay foundations during the summer heat.
In this case, what good is filling the crack with a ceramic crack filler and then painting it over, just to make to make it look good. The crack will keep appearing whenever the temperature soars. Wouldn’t it be more sensible to address the problem at its source?
Now the good news is that there are evidence-based, practical ways of minimizing and in some cases really quite dramatically altering, the message that the brain gets in the face of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other mental health challenges that we can face. There are a number of strategies.
One of several therapy modalities that both Patricia and I have been trained in is Comprehensive Resource Model (CRM). This is a trauma therapy model that employs physiological safety as the foundation for healing.
You’ve probably heard of Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), Cognitive Therapy, Systems Principles, Eye Positions, Pattern Interrupt and the use of breath.
As expressed by a medical doctor who is also a psychiatrist and eminent practitioner in the field of treating trauma, CRM has integrated elements from many different sources, including, neuro-physiology, EMDR anthropology and various other brain-based therapies.
It makes use of many therapeutic tools, including, cognitive therapy, hi-precision systems principles and therapeutic metaphor. It is effective, highly practical, and just one of the tools that are available.
It really is good news indeed that we do not have to live with trauma and deep-seated early childhood destructive processes that continue to repeat themselves in our lives, again and again.
Identifying the barriers and destructive ‘viruses’ and brain based messages that live rent free between our ears, and then neutralizing and replacing them with more productive processes, can give us the love and life we want, in the sort of relationships, families and fulfillment we long for.
If you can relate to any of what we have been discussing above, and would like to take action to get what you want, you can make an appointment with either Jean or Olivia our PAs, on 08 93839799, or email us at [email protected].