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-   -   What's Holding Me Back?! (http://www.behavior.net/bolforums/showthread.php?t=930)

glitterbug September 19th, 2006 06:13 PM

What's Holding Me Back?!
 
I've been in therapy with my therapist for a few years now. I have clinical depression, GAD, and PTSD. I have some dissociative problems (at times spacing out, feeling unreal, distinct feelings of having an "adult" and "child" part inside) but they are not severe (no losing time, etc.). I have had childhood traumas, including sexual molestation by a neighbor when I was 8, a father who drank alot, emotional abuse, and some neglect, but no physical abuse of any kind. I have alot of problems managing anxiety, have low self-worth, and much shame.

From time to time, my therapist and I have done EMDR. But for some reason, I seem unable to tolerate it. Either I get blocked and cannot process (feeling too afraid to feel emotional pain) or I go ahead and participate in the EMDR process, but end up getting too emotionally overwhelmed and feeling traumatized. Many times, my therapist and I have stopped EMDR and have returned to doing ego strength building or practice of coping skills.

Still, after a period of weeks or months, when we think that I have enough stabilization to proceed with EMDR, I run into problems again! My biggest problems are that (1) either the SUDS number doesn't go down or (2) I have trouble containing distress after the session, which results in my destabilizing somewhat between sessions and having to contact my therapist to avoid a crisis. We have a very difficult time trying to break my traumas down into manageable small "pieces" so that I don't feel overwhelmed. Sometimes, I wonder if I am not mentally hardy enough to do EMDR, and it makes me feel angry at myself. I don't know why I'm having such difficulty with it!

I have thought about just giving up on EMDR and living with my traumas, but I can't. My childhood traumas are constantly interfering in my daily life and in my relationships. It is like I am "stuck" in the past and feel the same fears and needs with people today that I felt as a child. I know enough to realize that I am re-enacting or re-living dysfunctional stuff that is old, but I don't know how to stop. If I don't find a way to process these traumas and heal, I'm afraid I will struggle for the rest of my life with my fear and neediness, triggers and flashbacks. What should I do?!

My therapist and I have also worked with my self parts and I thought they were all finally agreeable to doing the work. But I still have a very strong critical inner voice that has a way of agreeing and then going back into defense mode and putting up walls due to trust issues. My therapist has done everything she can to be trustworthy and she is. But it's like I still have some part of me that refuses to be vulnerable enough to open up. Deep down, I think I am afraid that if I let the pain come out, it will prove to be way too much for me to deal with.

Can you suggest anything that would help me? I am so frustrated!!!

Sandra Paulsen September 19th, 2006 08:14 PM

Re: What's Holding Me Back?!
 
I can't do a case consult here but I'll make this general comment.

In my experience, many times a critical voice is an introjected parent. I speak directly to the mother or father part of self (or grandfather or whatever) -- what do you want us to know? and they are usually worred about losing power. they came for protection, by allying client with parents perspective gains crumbs of attachment. They arechild parts in parent clothing.

Don't know if this applies.

Therapists often benefit from consultation.


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