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Alan Gordon June 9 Drop-In Chat with Alan Gordon, LCSW

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Forest, May 31, 2012.

  1. chumba

    chumba Peer Supporter

    Hi all, I've been working through this post and listening to webinar recording. I can't work out how the Jody's brain picture fits in. Could someone please explain, thanks.
     
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Chumba, it's a picture of the inner cycle of self-abuse that Alan was explaining to "Annie" - where our inner child is being abused by our parental bully. It doesn't matter if it's really your parents or not, as he explains later to Ginger (in Annie's case it's definitely her mother). (Probably true for Jody too)

    Did you get that Jody is a former patient of Alan's? And that this was a self-portrait that she made during treatment? (he said that she's an artist). He kept it with her permission because this cycle of self-abuse is such a common denominator amongst us. And because it's a really cool picture. :)

    Jan
     
  3. chumba

    chumba Peer Supporter

    Thank you, I missed the bit about Jody being a former patient, now it makes sense.
     
  4. Shanshu Vampyr

    Shanshu Vampyr Well known member

    Hi TMS friends,

    New to these drop in chats; are they every Saturday? Just listened to the "Ginger" segment per Alan Gordon's suggestion. It was really insightful and powerful.

    Is there a way to videoconference future Drop In Chats? Just spitballin' here...I Skype with Alan Gordon so there must be some technological way.
     
  5. chumba

    chumba Peer Supporter

    Just finished listening to the session, it gave me some huge insights. It's made contemplate finding a therapist but being downunder I wouldn't know where to even begin to find one. I certainly don't feel like the therapists I saw in the past were close to the mark for my issues.

    Thanks to all who organised and participated
     
  6. Shanshu Vampyr

    Shanshu Vampyr Well known member

    “I seem to create surrogates in my mind for hypercritical superego figures.” :D That part got a laugh out of me. I could have written those words myself. :D
     
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  7. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Shanshu, I don't know for sure, but that's the way my "internal bully" seems to act: indirectly, via self-created surrogates in my mind that I argue with all day. I think it's a strategy my mind has developed as a way to avoid directly confronting my hypercritical father and the inferiority complex he was trying to pass along to me (although he probably thought it was all 'for my own good'!) At least my dad loved me, but in his own peculiar tortured way! Better than the kind of dad who sits there in a drunken all-day stupor watching the boxing matches and telling you to get lost. At least my dad succeeded in making me into an over-achiever with a built-in inferority complex, which is better than my alcoholic uncle who made my cousin into a drunk, but either child-rearing approach has its own intrinsic limitations!
     
  8. Shanshu Vampyr

    Shanshu Vampyr Well known member

    :( I hope Alan's response was able to help you.
     
  9. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Well, at least Alan made me aware of the internal bully lurking behind the various self-constructed masks that people my wandering mental dialogs. I think his conclusion was short, instructive and to the point: "non-productive". I do notice that his critique did seem to snap me out of my mental constructions by making me aware of their true nature. My own conclusion: You have to address your internal bully directly without evading the bigger issues lurking beneath of the surface by punching at a cast of characters from your past who are really more like "sock puppets", alter egos of the real 'Enemy Within'. What's that Castenada says about "Being done with personal history"? I do notice that since Alan made that remark I haven't been able to engage in mental wars quite so easily with adversarial characters like Mike V. the application engineer from work who always criticized me; Mary, the back pain patient from P.T. who always gave me sh_t; Debbie, my Jesus-freak boss at a cable test company; the office bully salesman in Boulder; Jan, the high-school dropout maintenance man; the list of ghostly characters in nearly endless. All different versions of my late father criticizing me for years and years while I couldn't really fight back because he was bigger and had power over me. Once you've wised up to the game you're playing, you can't do it with the same kind of conviction and obsession as before someone like Alan pointed out to you what utter nonsense you were engaged in. I must admit: I still engage in those same sort of mental conflicts from time to time, but then I remember what Alan said and it's much easier to snap out of that kind of "non-productive" mental behavior and silence the disembodied voices arguing in my head.
     
  10. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    I intellectually felt the validity of the "inner bully" concept during the webinar, but I just couldn't relate to it personally until I finally listened to the whole program again this weekend (after this last Saturday's chat, in fact). First I "got" that it didn't have to be a particular person (unlike "Annie" whose bully was so clearly her mom). Then I realized that my bully was my anxiety, and I immediately visualized "The Scream" by Edvard Munch. Which isn't much of a stretch, as I don't imagine there are many people who don't have a visceral reaction to that painting, LOL - although I did get to see it in person when I traveled in Europe many years ago. Anyway, I don't think I even remembered that it was in the news recently, but there it was in my inner mind, so clear. I think I can work with it. We'll see...

    Jan
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Scream
     
  11. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Chumba, the question you asked, about practitioners in Oz, has been asked before - try using the search box to see if you can find some of those threads. We have several current and active members from down under right now!

    There are also some practitioners who will hold sessions via Skype - don't know how they do that, payment and so forth... but again, try searching on the term Skype.

    Jan
     
  12. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    I finally got a chance to listen to this and it was amazing! Thanks so much to Alan for doing this and Forest for moderating.

    Feeling feelings is one of my big issues--sometimes I have a hard time knowing what I am actually feeling, and on the flip side I often worry that I feel things way more intensely than I'm "supposed to." I like the idea of just feeling what's going on in the body and noticing feelings but not going at it by *thinking* about feelings (which is what I often do when I'm journaling or talking about feelings).
     
  13. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yeah, it's really great, isn't it?

    Do you wish that you felt less than you do? ... If so, do you mind saying why?

    I also like the idea of just feeling without either amplifying or diminishing the feeling. Just being aware is enough.
     
  14. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    With 11 days having elapsed since the seminar, we've all had a chance for Alan's ideas to sink in a little bit. I'm curious, what ideas have stuck with you the most? Have you tried any of the techniques that he mentioned, such as feeling feelings in the body or feeling anger toward the inner bully? How did the ideas work for you? Have you modified them at all when applying them to your own life?
     
  15. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    When I'm feeling "too much" I worry that 1) I'm going to get engulfed by feelings and lose control of my life; 2) I'm going to make other people around me uncomfortable; 3) I'm going to stuff everything down to avoid making anyone uncomfortable and then end up feeling isolated and overwhelmed (which is what I usually do).
     
  16. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Forest: Ever since I read Peter Levine, I've been trying to use some of his exercises to develop my "felt sense", which is something like what Alan means, I take it, of feeling feelings "in your body". Makes you wonder just how far consciousness extends outside your brain, doesn't it? But after listening to Alan, I have been trying self-consciously to tell my inner bully to just plain, "Shut up!" Of course, my inner bully manifests as different intermediaries - ghosts from the past - people who have criticized me while the social context and my desire to be liked have made me repress my emotions and do a slow burn deep inside. But after listening to Alan I realize that they are all substitutes for my tyrannical inner parent father-figure. I think that Howard Schubiner says the something similar about listening to the voices of your inner parent at the same time you also insist on doing things your own way. Seems to me that too many psychotherapists and counselors are too involved in theory, but Alan is certainly a non-nonsense pragmatist who seems really interested in ways of achieving positive results. I do notice now that whenever one of the masks for my internal bully tries to seduce me into a "non-productive" internal dialog that I've become aware of what's going on and don't continue the internal argument, cut it right off at the root. Not always though, but sometimes with enough conviction that my day goes a heck of a lot better.
     
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  17. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Forest, I've mentioned this a couple of times in other posts, but I'd love to mention it again in response to this question! I listened to the whole recording last weekend, and of course got way more out of it the second time without the distraction of the live event. The concept of the inner bully totally made sense to me intellectually, but I didn't know "who" I would be addressing. Suddenly I realized that my inner bully was my anxiety, and I had an immediate image of The Scream by Edvard Munch. My anxiety is such a pathetic thing, really, I "ought" to feel sorry for it, but today I felt pretty good banishing it, telling it to go away and be pathetic on its own, and watching it run across the bridge in the picture, hands to its ears, whimpering into the distance until I couldn't hear or see it anymore. This morning was the first time I really thought of that, in fact, and my goal is to make the action of banishing it automatic, instead of something I might remember from time to time.

    The second BIG concept for me is to STOP and FEEL.

    Jan
     
  18. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Wow, that sounds scary. I will say that in our interactions, both on the tms wiki's forum and off, you've never made me feel uncomfortable. If you decide to try some of Alan's ideas, I'd love to hear how they work for you.
     
  19. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    Ah, thanks, Forest :)

    My therapist is also a TMS therapist and works very similar to Alan. Inner child work has been helping me a lot. I find when I do sit with feelings they usually pass pretty quickly and are not actually scary. It's more the fear of feelings that is the problem.
     
  20. Alan Gordon LCSW

    Alan Gordon LCSW TMS Therapist

    MorComm, that's great work you're doing. It's a lot easier to squish a snowball at the top of the hill than halfway down when it's the size of a boulder.

    Alan
     
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