1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
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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. danielle

    danielle Peer Supporter

    Yes it was a great idea to do that event! BTW Forest I found out that Alan isn't taking new clients right now, but he did generously have a phone call with me to help me get a sense of where I'm at and give me some guidance of what to work on, and it was a HUGE help. Still working on what we talked about, hope to post more as I learn more.
  2. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    I'm sorry to hear that, but really glad to hear that you got some good tips. Alan works with another therapist named Derek Sapico, whom he's said he trusts completely. I know that Derek is pretty extraordinarily busy as well, but if you're lucky, maybe he'll have an opening. I suspect that he uses a similar approach. I know that they talk a lot, and I'm really hoping to get Derek to come on the forum at some point.
  3. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hello, everyone....

    Unlike previous events, we announced throughout our recent Drop-In Chat with Alan Gordon that the event would be recorded. I'm really glad that we did because, as one participant wrote, "this would be a good sticky on the forum id listen to this over and over again." I think that's a great idea and may end up doing so myself, but I want to make sure that the rest of you can as well!

    Processing the audio has taken most of the day, believe it or not, and I need to run off to see a friend (we're going to watch In Treatment - very excited!), but I thought I'd upload the current draft before I did.

    If anyone has any questions of thoughts about the ideas covered, please feel free to ask them here. We can put our heads together, see if we can answer them, and, if we can't, perhaps Alan will weigh in.

    Many thanks to everyone who participated and made it such a great event!


    The audio and the chat log follow. Things start to get interesting about 3 minutes and 23 seconds in.

    Bex1111 likes this.
  4. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Preliminary Chat log:
    16:55:05 guest250 this is great stuff
    16:55:06 VM mine..
    16:55:11 VM I guess it pretty specific..
    16:55:20 VM not concern many people..
    16:55:47 Becca VM can you re-type it? for some reason I cant see it
    16:55:54 Danielle Has he ever worked with fibromyalgia-type stuff? It seems like the defense mechanisms are so strong that it is hard to break the cycle. (I know you had this Forest, right?)
    16:56:01 Forest2 Jody's picture: http://www.tmswiki.org/ppd/File:Photo.JPG
    16:56:22 VM Forest2, its the temparture
    16:56:45 VM i have more symtoms at colder temparutes...is that just conditioning ?
    16:57:30 JanA, Moderator VM - I remember, but it disappeared off our screens
    16:57:33 MorComm VM, Schubiner talks about weather as a trigger for TMS pain.
    16:57:35 VM i need to protect my leg warmly...
    16:57:42 JanA, Moderator Although you're right, it might be a too specific on your personal symptoms
    16:59:17 JanA, Moderator At my lowest point (before discovering Sarno) my symptoms got worse in the shower
    16:59:29 guest250 yeah thanks alan and forest this was great
    16:59:31 JanA, Moderator VM, was that a good answer from Alan?
    16:59:37 AneskyHave to go. Thanks again!
    16:59:50 Becca thanks for dropping in :)
    17:00:00 Debra Will he do it again?
    17:00:07 JanA, Moderator Bye Anesky!
    17:00:28 VM JanA, Moderator, Yes, thanks for asking it.
    17:00:46 guest250 yeah is alan going to be doing anything like this again? would be great
    17:00:58 ginger thanks to Alan for his time...and no I have no relationship with Alan....LoL
    17:01:07 Danielle lol
    17:01:34 JanA, Moderator VM, Thank Forest for picking it up - I don't know how he does it
    17:01:36 guest250 alan you're awesome
    17:01:37 guest13 This was great ! THANKS to Alan.
    17:01:51 Danielle ditto
    17:01:53 guest13 and thanks, Forest for posting onto the TMS Discussion board about this.
    17:02:04 JanA, Moderator You can go ahead and type your thanks in the Fuze box, although I'm not entirely sure he logged in
    17:02:18 JanA, Moderator Lower left screen "Meeting Chat"
    17:02:22 Debra Thank you, Alan! You're great.
    17:02:42 JanA, Moderator In case you're not hearing the audio, the entire meeting was recorded and will be posted on the wiki and the forum
    17:02:45 guest250 was the first part recorded too?
    17:02:50 guest250 the part i missed the first hour
    17:02:53 MorComm Yes, thanks Alan and Forest (for setting this up). I could transpose what I heard to my own situation indirectly. Great event!
    17:03:00 guest250 great
    17:03:05 ginger ...
    17:03:05 JanA, Moderator Yes, it was recorded shortly after Alan arrived
    17:03:10 Debra Great event, Forest.
    17:03:31 JanA, Moderator We couldn't do this without Forest!
    17:03:35 ginger oh great everyone will hrar this southern lady crying...lol
    17:03:56 guest250 this would be a good sticky on the forum id listen to this over and over again
    17:04:06 JanA, Moderator LOL - but your session was great, Ginger - really helpful for many of us
    17:04:07 Becca good idea, guest250
    17:04:30 ginger sorry, typos...one finger tping with phone in other hand
    17:05:08 ginger thank ya Jan
    17:05:15 JanA, Moderator 250, Forest will definitely make sure it's posted prominently
    17:05:25 guest250 sounds great
    17:05:52 JanA, Moderator I invested in a headset with mike several years ago. Hardly ever use it, but those few times have been great
    17:06:17 Forest2 Heya, Ginger, are you still there?
    17:06:56 Forest2 That was really wonderful!
    17:07:05 guest897 guest897 changes nickname to MorComm
    17:07:15 Debra The audio was such an important aspect of it.
    17:07:31 Forest2 As I was thinking about who we would want to invite, I thought that Alan would be terrific because not only does he get it, but he has something to say.
    17:07:52 JanA, Moderator He was incredible
    17:07:52 yb44 Must go
    17:08:03 Forest2 Bye, YB44, thanks for joining!
    17:08:04 JanA, Moderator By YB! Hope we can chat in the future
    17:08:06 yb44 Thanks to everyone. This was great.
    17:08:12 guest250 ive paid for webinar sessions like this and they weren't even close to as good
    17:08:26 Melanie Forest, where will we find the session recorded?
    17:08:49 JanA, Moderator 250, :)
    17:08:58 Forest2 Keep watching the wiki and the wiki's forum. It will be announced there.
    17:09:02 JanA, Moderator LOL, give the guy a chance!
    17:09:16 Forest2 Here's the link: http://tmswiki.org/forum/forums/general-ppd-tms-discussion-forum.2/
    17:09:28 JanA, Moderator All "guests" if you want to stay and chat, it would be great to have screen names instead of numbers
    17:09:28 Melanie Lol, it was so good, I'd love to hear the whole thing, only caught the last half.
    17:09:39 JanA, Moderator left-click on your guest# name to the left of the text box
    17:09:49 Melanie thanks Forest
    17:10:30 Becca to clarify, "left-click" is the normal one (so if you have a mac, just click!)
    17:10:36 JanA, Moderator Forest, absolutely fantastic job setting it up and coordinating. I STILL don't know how you do it
    17:10:42 guest250 guest250 changes nickname to Tommy
    17:10:49 JanA, Moderator Becca - heh, thanks!
    17:10:57 JanA, Moderator Tommy! Hi!
    17:10:57 Forest2 You were invaluable, Jan, as was Becca!
    17:11:17 JanA, Moderator teamwork :)
    17:11:19 Tommy i thought it was really interesting how he said the pain was a means to an end.. and that the worry, obsessing, anxiety about it is the real problem
    17:11:22 Forest2 Indeed.
    17:11:23 Tommy didnt think about it that way before
    17:11:23 Becca absolutely
    17:11:32 MorComm JanA, Moderator, You could really see in Alan's interactions with Annie and Ginger how the psychodynamics of TMS are the same, even though individual situations differ. Same basic building blocks. Alan's obviously got a wealth of experience dealing with TMS patients.
    17:11:42 Forest2 It's a great point, Tommy.
    17:11:59 JanA, Moderator MorComm, I really got that, too - it was fascinating
    17:12:19 JanA, Moderator I was thinking of a question I had, but realized he really answered it with Annie
    17:12:20 Melanie I never really thought of Rage as being awesome. He has interesting way of looking at stuff.
    17:12:35 MorComm JanA, Moderator, Alan can get right down to essentials because he's seen it so many times before. Must be excellent to be his patient.
    17:12:47 Becca Melanie, agreed!
    17:12:54 Debra Where is he located?
    17:13:00 Forest2 Alan occasionally tells me that I'm good at answering forum posts and that I might make a good therapist, but I tell you, I listen to how skillful he is and how he sees so many things that I don't, and I'm just awestruck. I don't think I could ever have quite that talent.
    17:13:07 JanA, Moderator MorComm, something to consider...
    17:13:30 MorComm JanA, Moderator, What?
    17:13:35 JanA, Moderator It's an amazing skill
    17:13:40 Forest2 In terms of that, Shanshu Vampyr is his client
    17:13:43 Melanie So interesting that he heard the sadness in Ginger's voice.
    17:14:03 JanA, Moderator MorComm, I was thinking, he does Skype sessions - I've barely had therapy in my life...
    17:14:08 Forest2 If you read his thread on the forum, it's great to see the before and after. I think that Alan taught him some terrific skills.
    17:14:14 JanA, Moderator Hi 608 - would you like to change to a screen name?
    17:14:28 Forest2 Melanie, that's what I was thinking about. It's amazing what he can see.
    17:14:35 Forest2 or hear, rather.
    17:15:16 JanA, Moderator My #1 takeaway - stop thinking and start feeling.
    17:15:16 Melanie Sounds like "crying" is good, we were always told we were "cry babies" - go figure!
    17:15:27 JanA, Moderator Or #1 until I listen to it again
    17:15:32 Melanie Nice way to sum it up JanA
    17:16:13 JanA, Moderator Melanie, in our house it was "stop crying or I'll give you something to cry about"
    17:16:14 JanA, Moderator eesh
    17:16:22 MorComm Melanie, while listening to Alan talk to Ginger, I remember a dream I had as a child where I'd turn into a monster while riding the school bus and go out and crush the suburbs like Godzilla. Realized it was my rage against my battling parents. Alan sure did help me remember it! That angry chimpanzee attacking a guest. It's there in all of us.
    17:16:45 Melanie wow JanA, sounds like same situation.
    17:17:23 JanA, Moderator Melanie, a very common denominator! As is so much of this experience
    17:17:46 ginger ..
    17:17:57 Melanie Geeze. I started crying with Ginger and can't seem to stop.
    17:18:22 JanA, Moderator Feel it!
    17:18:32 ginger hugs to ya melanie
    17:18:46 Melanie thanks JanA and Ginger!
    17:18:58 JanA, Moderator >O<
    17:19:04 Tommy the time i cry is usually if i have really bad days and then right before bed
    17:19:06 Tommy i just breakdown
    17:19:10 Tommy out of nowhere
    17:19:20 JanA, Moderator Nights are often the hardest
    17:19:32 JanA, Moderator It's when our fears surface after a day of coping
    17:19:35 JanA, Moderator My theory
    17:19:37 Tommy yeah i agree
    17:19:48 Tommy ill be laying there and then i'll be thinking about the pain or whatever
    17:19:54 Tommy and just start crying myabe because im so sick of it
    17:20:08 JanA, Moderator Can you get in touch with the feelings instead of the physical pain?
    17:20:11 ginger I'm gonna have to get in touch with Alan
    17:20:15 JanA, Moderator What Alan was saying
    17:20:17 Melanie Tommy, how long you have TMS?
    17:20:24 JanA, Moderator ginger, I was thinking the same thing
    17:20:24 Tommy thats what im trying to do now
    17:20:40 MorComm Tommy, try experiencing the sadness using one of the exercises in Schubiner's Unlearn Your Pain. You'll experience it in its pure original form instead as a substitute during your regular daily activities. Very instructive.
    17:20:42 Tommy ive probably had TMS for many years but didn't start learning about it until a couple months ago
    17:20:45 guest389 Yes, My take away is stop trying to problem solve, trying to figure it out, and just let yourself feeeeeeel!!! Such a simple concept but so foreign when you're not used to doing it! I guess it just takes practice and practice (and being kind to yourself in the process) : )
    17:20:51 Tommy you usually have to go through all the physical treatments before you end up at this path
    17:21:01 guest286 guest286 changes nickname to Annie
    17:21:04 Forest2 Tommy, that's what I did!
    17:21:30 Tommy yeah i think thats a common thing for most of the people here. then you start learning about TMS and you realize you've probably had it your whole life
    17:21:35 JanA, Moderator Hi Annie! I was wondering where yfou were!
    17:21:37 Tommy it just started happening when something triggered it
    17:21:42 ginger as I was crying I could physically feel my chest area opening up
    17:21:44 Forest2 I tried everything. Some people accept the diagnosis easily; most don't, but I definitely did.
    17:21:44 JanA, Moderator Good job today, girl!
    17:22:00 Annie Hi all - thank you for listening to my story
    17:22:02 JanA, Moderator Lot of stuff coming up for everyone after that sesson
    17:22:12 MorComm ginger, that's called the Heart Chakra in Yoga.
    17:22:20 Forest2 Thanks a lot for sharing it, Annie.
    17:22:23 Tommy i think thats it forest when you're tried everything, theres nothing left to do, and thats what really lets you accept the diagnosis. if theres that one thing left you haven't tried you're still going to have that doubt in your mind i think
    17:22:25 Tommy maybe im wrong
    17:22:57 Forest2 That was definitely the story for me. Others are more open to it, but that was my story.
    17:23:03 Annie Well I know I have "rage issues" now that I haven't addressed.
    17:23:04 MorComm Tommy, first you exhaust all the structural diagnoses, then you hit on the real answer.
    17:23:16 Forest2 So do people see this session as changing the way that they manage their own TMS?
    17:23:18 Melanie anyone know Dr. Timothy Freitas in PA who deals with Somatic Issues?
    17:23:26 Tommy yeah exactly. it really sucks you have to go through all of the physical stuff but if you dont
    17:23:27 ginger well, seems I;ve tried eveything in the tms arena..but got a aha moment today
    17:23:29 Tommy theres going to be that doubt there
    17:23:34 Forest2 What changes do you think will be most helpful?
    17:23:42 Annie You did great Ginger
    17:24:14 Forest2 Yes, thank you for sharing.
    17:24:23 Tommy i agree with Jan overthinking is something I do way too much
    17:24:41 Tommy i dont feel the feelings.. just go back and forth doubting and questioning how come pain is worse today? what did i do differently.. blah blah
    17:24:44 ginger thanks annie...and you were the one that asked the question that was the aha moment
    17:24:51 Tommy and i just keep pushing back feeling and overthink instead
    17:25:33 Melanie hard to get in touch with feelings after soooo many year of repressing
    17:25:47 MorComm Forest2, Alan's point about TMS being caused by the obsessive preoccupation with the pain instead of the pain itself seems crucial to figuring it out and eliminating the problem.
    17:25:53 Annie Really? Cool for you Ginger - I too learned a lot
    17:25:59 Tommy totally agree morcomm
    17:26:17 Tommy its the obsessive preoccupation that perpetuates it you have to break that link otherwise it will keep going
    17:26:20 ginger I seem to go along with Dr. Shub. though, that some situations about my life do need to change
    17:26:36 Tommy but the pain is such a good preoccupation which makes it so difficult
    17:26:55 Annie I agree Tommy
    17:27:25 MorComm Tommy, yes, i notice myself getting up in the morning pain-free and then waiting waiting waiting for IT to start. It's that obsessive expectation and fear that have to be eliminated.
    17:27:48 ginger ..
    17:28:17 Melanie MorComm, I am left with only pain now when I sit, so everytime I am going to sit down, it's almost like "wait for it" so crazy
    17:28:38 ginger I imagine Alan is gonna get really booked up about now with new long distant clients
    17:28:54 Tommy forest made a really good comment on the forum the other day. when you're in pain all you can do is think about it. when you're not in pain all you can do is think about when it will come back
    17:29:07 Tommy in both situations its the worrying and obsession that seems to be the driving force
    17:29:36 MorComm Melanie, there's certain perverse enjoyment too in noticing that first tinge of pain in the sciatic nerve or shoulder. It completes the neurotic loop!
    17:29:48 Tommy if you fear it coming back it most likely will
    17:30:08 MorComm Tommy, exactly.
    17:30:27 Melanie hmmm perverse enjoyment, almost like "aha I knew it would be there" interesting
    17:31:01 JanA, Moderator Well, Alan did mention allowing ourselves to be bullied
    17:31:10 JanA, Moderator perverse, or allowing it to happen
    17:31:12 JanA, Moderator take your pick
    17:31:12 Melanie Very odd, my daughter got married last Saturday and absolutely no pain all day
    17:31:50 Melanie could the happiness of the day have fought away the pain
    17:31:51 JanA, Moderator Now, why is that odd, do you think?
    17:32:29 Melanie well some pain every other day when sitting
    17:32:33 ginger but how to stop the bullying is my question...it seems if that doesnt stop...the symtoms won't
    17:32:41 MorComm Melanie, well, you must have been totally absorbed in the moment, enjoying yourself too?
    17:33:03 JanA, Moderator MorComm, re Melanie - that's what I think!
    17:33:23 ginger yes, a distraction from the pain
    17:33:29 Melanie true, maybe the bullying "tape" wasn't playing that day
    17:33:38 JanA, Moderator We all have moments when we're distracted by things we really enjoy
    17:33:44 MorComm ginger, I guess you have to confront the Enemy Within and not let it rule you.
    17:33:56 JanA, Moderator distracted in a good way, that is! Not by TMS, LOL
    17:34:01 Annie And I guess I have one too.
    17:34:22 Annie bully that is - great word for it too.
    17:34:27 Melanie and how do you find the enemy within"
    17:35:00 MorComm Annie, from this chat session, I'd say that's a common denominator: the internal bully that you've given power over you.
    17:35:11 ginger yes, it seems to go back to c.b.t. therapy...what you keep telling yourself
    17:35:28 JanA, Moderator Ah yes - that's my #2 takeaway - the concept of the internal bully. Really on point for me
    17:36:23 MorComm JanA, Moderator, except the bully developed when you were in the hynogogic phase of your internal development, back before you were 6 y.o. Different territory than the adult mind.
    17:36:33 Melanie After the wedding, my husband started with "should have talked to everyone more" etc. and I told him to just relax and enjoy the moment. Amazing he doesn't have TMS and I do
    17:36:37 guest872 guest872 changes nickname to Annie
    17:37:36 Tommy melanie do you find yourself comparing other people wondering why they dont have TMS and you do? i do this exact same thing im like "this guy is a prime candidate for TMS but he doesn't have it.. why?"
    17:37:37 JanA, Moderator Melanie, are you sure he doesn't?
    17:37:40 Tommy i think thats probably the overthinking
    17:37:55 Melanie OMG Tommy, def
    17:38:10 ginger ditto
    17:38:24 Tommy that creates more fear for me i dont know if it does for you too. its almost a jealousy because they can do the same things you're doing but not have the pain
    17:38:49 Melanie JanA, I'm the one with the pain, he's in great shape and exercises an hour everyday, but he's always with the should've stuff, like not good enough.
    17:38:56 JanA, Moderator And I ask again - how do you know someone doesn't have TMS?
    17:39:13 JanA, Moderator TMS equivalents come in many many forms
    17:39:20 ginger true....for me it goes back to over thinkng and trying to figure everything out so I can get it all RIGHT
    17:39:23 JanA, Moderator small symptoms that people can ignore for years
    17:39:34 MorComm Tommy, but as Sarno points out, they usually have "something else" psychogenic besides TMS pain. TMS substitutes.
    17:39:34 JanA, Moderator Or that aren't obvious to others, and easy to cover up
    17:39:49 Melanie he does have a little ringing in his one ear, maybe TMS
    17:39:59 Tommy tinnitus?
    17:40:06 Annie Giinger - this (IMO) is a different journey for us all, with some over-lap between some people's "stuff"
    17:40:08 Melanie Bingo Tommy
    17:40:28 Tommy that is possibly TMS ive read about that in TMS books
    17:40:34 JanA, Moderator tinnitus, so-called food sensitivies, allergies, headaches, little twitches or spams
    17:40:49 JanA, Moderator spasm, that is
    17:40:53 Melanie OMG JanA, I have all that LOL
    17:41:01 JanA, Moderator occassional numbness or tingling
    17:41:11 Tommy i guess its wrong to assume that other people dont have TMS as well i guess since they say they dont have pain doesn't mean they dont have TMS since there are so many substitutes with mind body disorder
    17:41:12 Melanie even the tremors
    17:41:13 JanA, Moderator OMG I never have been able to spell that word
    17:41:36 JanA, Moderator yes, tremors, shakiness
    17:41:39 JanA, Moderator dry mouth
    17:41:43 JanA, Moderator I could go on
    17:41:56 Melanie JanA, you have all that?
    17:42:01 MorComm JanA, Moderator, yes, I remember developing a nervous tick in my right eye in elementary school right at the time before my parents tried to get a divorce. Tension must have been building. Lots of fist fights too.
    17:42:02 JanA, Moderator I've had most of them over the years
    17:42:06 ginger yes, we all coming at this with different situations that set us up, I do believe
    17:42:20 Tommy right ginger
    17:42:44 Annie but having things like this forum - REALLY help. I think anyway.
    17:42:55 ginger oh by the way, a pet peve of mine is, I have been told all of my life that I sound terrible when I talk
    17:43:08 Melanie MorComm, I still get tick in my right eye, my eye Dr. even pointed it out the last time I was there.
    17:43:13 ginger I took speech as a child for over 10 years
    17:43:13 Annie You sounded great.
    17:43:23 JanA, Moderator Ginger, you sounded lovely!
    17:43:24 Melanie ginger, you have a lovely voice
    17:43:33 JanA, Moderator You have a wonderful voice, what are they talking about?
    17:43:43 MorComm ginger, Yes, what's the big deal? You sounded fine to me.
    17:43:44 JanA, Moderator Of course, I think that I sound terrible
    17:43:53 ginger oh my, I'm going to cry again
    17:43:57 JanA, Moderator oops - self-bullying
    17:44:11 ginger yes, I was born deaf
    17:44:41 JanA, Moderator And Alan would ask you to feel the sadness, get in touch with what makes you sad when you are complimented, or are told those others are full of you-know what
    17:44:46 Melanie Ginger, do you feel like you can cry anytime during the day or evening? I notice I feel like that much of the time now
    17:44:48 Annie Wow Ginger - you'd never know that. You sound great.
    17:45:20 ginger had surgery to receive the first artifical eardrums ever..and then had a lot of speech therapy, so I am very self consious
    17:45:50 Annie well - there are several things to explore in that last sentence Ginger...
    17:45:50 JanA, Moderator You've got to be kidding! You were crystal-clear and sounded great
    17:45:59 Becca thanks everyone for participating in this special event and for sharing your stories! take care, Becca
    17:46:10 JanA, Moderator And everyone loves that Texas accent (I loved visiting Houston once - I wanted to talk like that)
    17:46:12 Annie thank YOU becca
    17:46:13 Tommy ginger you sounded completely fine who cares what these other people think dont be self conscious about it
    17:46:22 MorComm Becca, So long, Becca. Glad you dropped by.
    17:46:25 JanA, Moderator Hey Becca - it was great to be on the team with you
    17:46:32 JanA, Moderator Thanks for everything
    17:47:33 ginger I really didn't know I had a texas accent.....since I had so much therapy but well, I'm getting on up there in age now, so I just pick it up
    17:47:41 Melanie Ginger, I have a bald spot from brain surgery and am totally self-conscious about it although my hair covers it just fine. Seems like we are all hard on ourselves.
    17:48:16 Forest2 Indeed.
    17:48:22 JanA, Moderator So Melanie, about the tendency to cry - how does that relate to what Alan was doing today, about getting in touch with the feelings?
    17:48:29 ginger oh I hardly ever talk on the phone, it seems I'm told I sound worse on it
    17:49:24 Forest2 I thought you sound great. :)
    17:49:31 ginger Mel" I can understand...I too have a large area on my head from shaving for the ear surgery, but, never thought about it showing
    17:49:37 guest613 guest613 changes nickname to Annie
    17:49:37 Forest2 (I'm back by the way.)
    17:49:41 Melanie JanA, very good question. Went to a TMS psychotherapist 7 times and cried everytime. She told me it's time to work on forgiveness.
    17:50:08 JanA, Moderator ginger, my ex has one friend who complains every time they talk by cell phone - we've decided it's that guy's problem.
    17:50:21 ginger haha
    17:50:27 Forest2 Sounds like sage advice, though probably harder than it sounds.
    17:51:02 ginger I don't ever use my cell...just have it for emergency if power goes out and need to call someone
    17:51:21 Melanie on your ranch Ginger, lol
    17:51:29 ginger lol
    17:51:42 VM cya everyone!
    17:51:50 ginger I do live in the country though....was raised a city girl
    17:51:55 JanA, Moderator Bye VM - thanks for joining!
    17:52:02 Forest2 Bye, VM, thanks for joining us. See your around the forum.
    17:52:14 MorComm ginger, I have an iPhone 4s. It's taken over and rules my life through the web and the newspapers. Try to keep it turned off!
    17:52:32 MorComm VM, So long!
    17:52:37 Melanie You sound like a lovely lady Ginger and you have a very nice voice
    17:52:41 JanA, Moderator MorComm, LOL!
    17:52:56 Forest2 I was just on the phone with Alan. He said that he had a great time.
    17:52:58 ginger seems most are like that Comm
    17:53:05 JanA, Moderator MorComm, I put off getting a smartphone for a long time because I thought it would be bad for my neck.
    17:53:12 Forest2 I like that he likes his work. :)
    17:53:20 JanA, Moderator Now I'm addicted, and my neck doesn't hurt at all
    17:53:21 ginger thank ya', thank ya' all
    17:53:35 Forest2 Ginger, before you go, could I get your email address?
    17:53:37 JanA, Moderator Forest2, :)
    17:53:43 MorComm ginger, Too much bad crime news. Seems like child molesters are everywhere. Insta-world. Insta-anxiety.
    17:54:37 ginger forest: let me just say, I'm back too...you do know me...that southern belle comment, fit me
    17:55:00 Forest2 Wait, are you SB?!!!
    17:55:07 Forest2 I will be so happy if you are.
    17:55:13 ginger SG
    17:55:19 Forest2 WOW.
    17:55:26 Forest2 Nuff said.
    17:55:33 ginger is that who u thought?
    17:55:39 Forest2 Yep.
    17:55:52 ginger now u know how I sound
    17:56:03 Forest2 Like a southern belle!
    17:56:15 ginger haha...like a dang texan
    17:56:16 Forest2 I'm glad you had a good experience.
    17:56:33 Forest2 What's wrong with Texas?!
    17:56:48 ginger yes, I've been away for a while now...had to get more medical attention
    17:57:18 Forest2 We should chat at some point. Can I give you a call?
    17:57:33 ginger for sure....I'd love that
    17:57:34 Melanie Alan talked about the book "of Two Minds", anyone read it?
    17:57:55 Forest2 Okay, at the top of the window, a new tab will pop up with my name on it.
    17:58:11 Forest2 Do you see it?
    17:58:33 Forest2 It's right above the top line of text in the chat room.
    17:58:40 JanA, Moderator Melanie, nope - and googling it seems to get me to a Lifetime movie :D
    17:58:45 Forest2 LOL
    17:58:54 JanA, Moderator Hi 88 - or that Annie still trying to stay logged in?
    17:58:55 Melanie LOL
    17:59:21 Melanie I think he said the author is Frederick Schiffer
    17:59:41 guest88 guest88 changes nickname to annie
    17:59:57 annie man I keep getting booted!
    18:00:07 JanA, Moderator Annie - why can't you stay logged in? I've never seen anyone booted off so much
    18:00:14 JanA, Moderator I should be asking Forest
    18:00:36 JanA, Moderator Melanie, you're right - and Google corrected the spelling to Frederic - Dual-Brain Psychology
    18:00:43 annie switched computers...we'll see.
    18:00:43 JanA, Moderator reminds me of The Divided Mind
    18:01:11 MorComm annie, Stat multiplexers on the web still have buffers that are flushed out periodically. The web is still primitive in some parts. Your name could be getting flushed out and a time out follows. Just my two bits
    18:01:27 Melanie Hard to know what to read, so many books on the subject
    18:02:15 JanA, Moderator And I just heard about another one yesterday - The Great Pain Deception. Forest, was it you who recommended that one?
    18:02:49 Forest2 Great Pain Deception is a good one...
    18:02:54 Forest2 Yup
    18:02:55 annie Just got it!
    18:03:10 annie I am looking forward to getting into it.
    18:03:16 Melanie It would be great if there was a book that would tell us 1. how to find the feelings we need to feel and then 2. how to tap into rage when we don't know it's there and can't feel it
    18:03:34 Forest2 Yay!
    18:03:36 MorComm JanA, Moderator, Yes, what Alan said about severing the left and right lobes of the brain to stop epilepsy was really, really interesting. Dual intentionalities working at cross-purposes. Wow!
    18:03:38 annie agreed Melanie'
    18:03:41 Melanie who wrote that Forest2?
    18:03:52 Forest2 Steve Ray Ozanich
    18:04:56 Forest2 He's just a patient, like you and I.
    18:05:08 JanA, Moderator It's less than $25 on Amazon, so I also ordered Neil Fiore's book on procrastination, which I've been meaning to get for a long time and that's not a joke
    18:05:14 JanA, Moderator But it should be
    18:05:18 annie I seem to relate to those writers well'
    18:05:29 Forest2 I think that us patients have a deeper and more textured understanding of TMS, because we have been through it.
    18:05:35 annie maybe Ginger would benefit?
    18:05:38 Melanie LOL JanA
    18:05:45 Forest2 The downside is that peer written books are, of course, much less scientific.
    18:06:12 annie but sometimess easier to read.
    18:06:22 Forest2 If you want something to help you access feelings, I think that the second edition of Schubiner's book is quite good.
    18:06:24 Forest2 Indeed!
    18:06:46 Melanie Schubiner's workbook?
    18:06:48 JanA, Moderator hi 822
    18:06:54 Forest2 Yep.
    18:06:59 annie yes. I am interested in Dr. S's new book too. But I can't overload
    18:07:16 Melanie Yes, very good Forest2, I have it, read it and did the workbook
    18:07:17 Forest2 Morcomm, you find that that book helps you dig deep, right?
    18:07:23 annie I did that before and had a TMS crash
    18:07:46 Forest2 Sometimes we aren't ready :) The more there is to dig up the harder is the digging.
    18:08:04 annie agreed forest 2
    18:08:13 Forest2 :)
    18:08:31 MorComm Forest2, Yes. It is a real "workbook" though. Lots and lots of work. But it does help you get inside very deep. Just have to be persistent. 28 days! sure! 3 months is more like it at least.
    18:08:34 Melanie Seems everyone feels TMS is always from something in our early childhood
    18:09:07 Melanie MorComm, I did it in 28 days, sometimes 3 or 4 hours a day, lots of work
    18:09:19 annie Morcomm: would you suggest doing the work book again? I never finished.
    18:09:19 MorComm Melanie, from childhood perhaps. but it persists and takes place very much in the present moment.
    18:09:20 JanA, Moderator Melanie - I know, and that's a concept that's hard for me, but I think it's valid
    18:10:00 JanA, Moderator I remember reading about a case study where the patient's reaction to a current stress (job) was related to early family dynamics that played out in the workplace under a particular boss
    18:10:04 MorComm annie, i'm up to the part about writing letters, about half way through, with much more to do. just have to return to it again and again.
    18:10:06 Forest2 There's an interesting story behind it. Dr. Schubiner had written his book and wasn't planning on redoing it. But then he discovered Alan Abbass, another very successful scholar like himself. Allan Abbass lead him to ISTDP and it really changed his approach. We had him on for the Peer Supervision meeting for psychotherapists and you could just hear the excitement in his voice about his new discoveries. I think that discovering Abbass and ISTDP was a turning point for him.
    18:10:37 Melanie seems maybe even accumulative, like perhaps childhood stuff can stay stuffed, until something in young life adds to it and then maybe something in 40's or 50's pushes it over the top
    18:10:38 guest535 I spent a week with Dr S at Kripalu
    18:10:51 JanA, Moderator Melanie, exactly
    18:10:51 Forest2 Unfortunately, Abbass doesn't have any books for peers; they are all written for practitioners. I think that Alan Gordon and Howard Schubiner may be breaking new ground in translating it into something for the public.
    18:12:06 annie Thanks MorComm - may try it again, or pick up where I left off.
    18:12:10 MorComm Melanie, exactly. repressive patterns worked fine for me. that is, until the death of my mom in 2001 broke the structure i was maintaining and feeding. that's when the TMS pain began for me.
    18:12:16 JanA, Moderator guest535, how was that?
    18:12:36 Melanie I talked to Dr. Schubiner on the phone and he suggested I try ISTDP and if that didn't work, come to his Sept. Meeting in Mass
    18:12:51 guest535 It was very rewarding though early in his research, 2 1/2 years ago
    18:13:26 Melanie Guest 535, was it for a full week?
    18:13:38 MorComm Melanie, ISTDP seems like a very powerful technique. When I practiced it in Schubiner's work book things started to happen for me.
    18:13:39 Forest2 By the way, I just want to remind people that this conversation will be publicly archived, so choose a good pseudonym! If you want me to change your pseudonym, just let me know. You can email me at forest@tmswiki.org or contact me through the forum. If you want to be super sure that it gets through, you can mention it here. Finally, I'm expecting another call, so I may step away from the computer again.
    18:13:43 JanA, Moderator Melanie, is that at Kripalu?
    18:13:56 guest535 I did ISTDP because Dr S suggested it, 14 essions so far but have to quit due to finances
    18:14:13 Forest2 I'd love to go to the next Kripalu event. It sounds really good.
    18:14:18 Melanie Yes JanA, Kripalu - never heard of it before
    18:14:49 guest535 Five days at Kripau
    18:14:55 JanA, Moderator 535, did you have any luck using Dr. Schu's workbook?
    18:15:00 MorComm guest535, well, you can do ISTDP in Schubiner's workbook too by yourself. But that's what I mean by a lot of work.
    18:15:23 Forest2 http://kripalu.org/presenter/V0005065/howard_schubiner
    18:15:32 annie Is it in the workbook? I don't really know what it is.
    18:15:38 Melanie MorComm, did you try that and did you get anything from it?
    18:15:46 annie that was to MorComm
    18:15:57 JanA, Moderator Having TMS is a lot of work, LOL!
    18:16:04 Forest2 Amen!
    18:16:24 guest535 His class is about doing the workbook, I got through most of it but when I got home, I got lazy. It is tough doing it alone
    18:16:27 MorComm Melanie, ISTDP in Schubiner's Unlearn Your Pain? Yes, indeed, I did get a lot out of it. Not easy though.
    18:16:29 annie man - ya think/? I'm grateful I know what it is now thought
    18:16:57 JanA, Moderator guest535, I hear you. Been there.
    18:17:19 annie bad typing. (me)
    18:17:35 JanA, Moderator Folks, I have got to go -
    18:17:41 JanA, Moderator It's been a really incredible afternoon
    18:17:54 JanA, Moderator I think I'm in love with Alan
    18:17:54 Melanie MorComm, I tried it myself and didn't get much out of it. I'm calling a ISTDP therapist on Monday to make an appointment. Says he specializes in ISTDP. I hope he's good.
    18:17:58 annie Thank you all (again) for listening to my long story. I was honored to be chosen - hope someone learned something besides me
    18:17:59 MorComm JanA, Moderator, Okay. Thanks very much for moderating. You did a great job.
    18:18:02 Forest2 Thanks so much for moderating, Jan. You have a gift for being a facilitator.
    18:18:33 guest535 Thanks, great job....
    18:18:35 Melanie thanks much JanA.
    18:18:39 Forest2 Oh, we definitely did, Annie. Thanks for having the courage to share.
    18:18:55 JanA, Moderator Thanks, everyone :) I'll see y'all on the forum, I hope
    18:18:56 MorComm Melanie, Yes. Having a guide would be immensely useful while doing ISTDP exercises. A sounding board if you will.
    18:19:09 JanA, Moderator JanA, Moderator quit
    18:19:13 Melanie Yeah and I'm thinking maybe a guide.
    18:19:20 annie thanks Forest
    18:19:23 Forest2 Melanie, glad to hear it. I hope to do the same. There aren't any ISTDP therapists in my neck of the woods, but I'm going to try someone with a similar approach.
    18:19:33 JanA, Moderator JanA, Moderator quit
    18:19:49 MorComm Melanie, Well, that's what Sigismund Freud thought too! He founding a movement, remember?
    18:20:02 Melanie My husband keeps saying "we will never surrender"
    18:20:08 Forest2 Heh.
    18:20:10 Forest2 LOL
    18:20:35 Forest2 Well, folks, shall we wrap up?
    18:20:41 Melanie Or "we will get it so it doesn't get us"
    18:20:43 MorComm Melanie, A guru acts the same part in Mayana Buddhism. It's as old as the hills.
    18:20:50 Forest2 I would call this a tremendously successful afternoon.
    18:21:04 Melanie Thank you so much everyone.
    18:21:14 Forest2 Remember, we are here every week, 3-4, though sometimes we have special events like this one.
    18:21:16 annie I would too. Thank you all too. Gotta run. :)
    18:21:37 Forest2 Yes, many thanks to everyone who participated.
    18:21:45 MorComm Forest2, Me 3! I guess I'll be signing off now and get back to my bicycling this afternoon. Thanks again Forest. Will be back no doubt!
    18:22:06 Forest2 Excellent, MorComm - show no fear!
    18:22:20 MorComm So long gang!
    18:22:29 Forest2 Later, MorComm!
  5. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Since the event, a number of people have brought up their interest in working with a therapist which has gotten me thinking a lot about the role of a therapist for someone who wants to overcome PPD.

    I find myself of two minds on the issue. Part of me focuses on how, during the call, Alan gave us many concrete tools for how we can be our own therapist. He showed us how to draw our attention away from our logical, analyzing left brain and instead simply be with the emotion in our bodies.

    This raises a question: do we need a therapist to help with this or can we do it on our own?

    I think that we can make progress in uncovering our emotions and that this is worth doing and incredibly valuable. At the same time, I've been thinking, more and more, that it is also important for us to be humble both about what we can accomplish on our own and with professional help. I know that I, at various times in my life, have felt like I had done enough therapy and journaling to have "figured it all out." But I've learned a tremendous amount since then that I wasn't aware of or open to back then and I can see that right now I'm just at the edge of some new discoveries that I think will really enrich my life. I don't expect this process to ever end and hope it never will.

    But part of this involves recognizing that we will probably never reach the "end," where we've gotten everything figured out and where we are 100% aware of everything that our defenses may attempt to hide from us. I mention this because one reason to “go it alone” is that I think that most people feel like they, more or less, have pretty much figured out what is going on in their psyche. I guess I’m trying to say that the reason that some people feel that their TMS is a gift (I’m not lying, some do!) is that it shocks them into reality that there is more going on that they aren’t aware of.

    In terms of us not necessarily being able to figure everything out, this may be a good thing, as the defenses are there, in some sense, to defend us. For example, if we are going through too much stress, then trying to be fully present with everything that scares us would turn us into a pool of quivering, depressed jelly. Sometimes we rely on those defense mechanisms to get us through a really tough time, and that may not be a bad thing. When you are in a real crisis like Annie is, sometimes just surviving, keeping things positive and constructive is a triumph. It's not just that it may be all that we can realistically achieve at that stage of our growth and in that situation - in some circumstances, just keeping things together is something to be really proud of (I'm looking at you, Annie [​IMG];))

    Getting back to the point of this post, if our bodies are signaling to us that we have unconscious tension, then we may need someone else's help to find that tension.

    It seems that there are many ways to achieve the progress that we need. It's like we have many tools in our toolbox. I guess that you get as far as you can with one tool and then try another. In my experience, the metaphor of the multiple layers of skin in an onion is a good metaphor for our process of discovery. One tool (perhaps journaling) may help us get down to one layer, but it may take another (a new book, feedback on a forum, or a therapist) to help us get down to the next.

    Bottom line: if you get stuck on one approach, try another!

    As for myself, I know I've learned a tremendous amount by helping others, both on this forum and in our chat room. Sometimes I can see so clearly what others are struggling with, even if I can't see the exact same thing going on with me. Then, later on, I think to myself, "wait, I'm a TMSer/PPDer myself. We've got a lot in common and maybe this thing I see in the other person applies to me as well." Then I realize that it does and another layer of the onion begins to slowly peel away... :)
    danielle, Livvygurl and veronica73 like this.
  6. danielle

    danielle Peer Supporter

    Yeah it was really good. Alan did mention Derek. I might look into that. It really inspires me how much all y'all people who got better like to help people—really seems like you are excited about something and I want to get there too!!!
    Forest and Livvygurl like this.
  7. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Annie had written some things in another thread and I wanted to take a moment to respond. I'm going to respond here because I think that this is a special thread that, over time, a lot of people will want to read from start to finish.
    Well, thank you for participating. It's one of the incredible things about a PPD Peer Network like ours that by sharing our own journeys we help one another. In addition to helping yourself by participating, you were also helping many others who were listening!
    I don't know if I have a perfect answer to this... I still haven't had a chance to listen to the whole thing yet (sometimes life just gets busy like that). However, one of the things that I find most interesting in his approach is how he taps into the past to help you win battles with those voices in the present. The "Jody's Brain" picture illustrates this beautifully. Step one is to befriend and develop a strong compassion for the little girl who was originally bullied by your mother. If you develop compassion and love for that little girl then an anger will naturally flow out of that when you see her being abused and you will want to defend her. This will happen both when you imagine her being abused by her mom in the past or when you feel her being abused by your inner bully today.

    I think that self-talk can be a powerful technique. My untrained impression is that a great deal of research has demonstrated that approaches related to self-talk (i.e. CBT, etc.) are effective for a variety of problems. However, sometimes it seems like self-talk alone isn't quite enough. We know that those critical inner voices are wrong, but they still hurt us. In situations like this, we can tap into our rage at abuse from our past to summon emotional resources to stand up to the inner bully. By looking at the past, we can see the injustice not just in the past event but also in the pain that our inner bully is inflicting on us now. By feeling anger at the bullies in our past, we more deeply see how the internalized voices of those bullies in our present are fundamentally wrong and not worth our time.

    I don't know if this will solve everything, but it certainly seems like a valuable practice.
    This reminds me a lot of a passage from The Great Pain Deception. In it, the author, Steven Ozanich, describes his experience with PPD, which is, frankly, breathtaking and even comparable to your own. I don't remember the exact details, but it sounds like he was living with so much pressure and stress for so long that he didn't feel like he had time or space to feel all of his emotions. He had to react and react now, so he began putting on a brave face and intellectualizing things. Rather than asking himself, "what do I feel?" he asked himself, "what do I need to do?" because he didn't have time to feel. (or at least, that's what I took from it)

    If someone represses their emotions long enough because they are in survival mode, that must change them. Perhaps it is possible to forget how to feel emotions and become what is called "alexithymic." Alexithymia is just a fancy word that means someone can't speak about/feel their emotions. In terms of latin, it breaks down into a (no) lex (words) i thymia (condition of mind).

    Here's a link about alexithymia from "that other wiki:"

    Ozanich writes,
    Later, he describes it as follows:
    This reminds me of your situation because it seems like you are living with a constant emergency where you may feel that you just can't afford to feel your emotions on a daily basis. I think about how Alan described how he will stop teaching even if he's in front of a class to allow himself to feel his emotions. How could you possibly do something like that? If you uncorked that bottle, with all of the stresses that you are feeling, you must wonder whether you could possibly get all of that stress and tension back in the bottle in time.

    Suppose, like Ozanich, you are forced to save the emotion for another day. When that "another day" never comes, then the repression becomes a habit and I wonder if that habit of repression could turn into alexithymia or "flat affect".

    And all of this will be tripled if you must be the one to keep the positive attitude for both of you. How can you possibly feel your feelings if it's always on your shoulders to keep a smile on your face? As you wrote, "Be brave Annie. Don't let on how hard this is!"

    It's hard to know what is going on for another person, so I don't claim to have all of the answers. But my gut reaction is that it will take a long time to slowly come to a deeper peace with everything you must be floating around in your unconscious.

    I think that Peter Levine might use the term "titration" for finding a safe environment to explore overwhelming emotions and starting with low doses so that you realize that they are safe, then slowly building up so you can handle more and more. The technique of pendulation may help as well, but it's bed time for me, so I might have to write about that another day. :) Perhaps MorComm or Matthew can weigh in if they stop by...
    Annie likes this.
  8. Alan Gordon LCSW

    Alan Gordon LCSW TMS Therapist

    Forest's response is spot on. Annie, you don't need to get rid of the internal bully, your only goal is to alter your response to it. It reminds me of the movie "A Beautiful Mind." Russell Crowe's character had the voices in his head throughout his life; they never went away. But in altering the way he responded to them, he robbed them of their power.

    Annie likes this.
  9. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Forest "says I don't remember the exact details [in the Great Pain Deception], but it sounds like [Steven Ozanich] was living with so much pressure and stress for so long that he didn't feel like he had time or space to feel all of his emotions. He had to react and react now, so he began putting on a brave face and intellectualizing things."

    This sounds like what Peter Levine would identify as one symptom of previous trauma that he classifies as "disassociation" but is really what is often referred to as being "spaced out"; that is, detached from your emotions because they are so overwhelming you can't live with them in the here and now and go on functioning normally on a day to day basis. This might be the equivalent of what Levine calls alexithymia or "flat affect", which is of course a post-traumatic syndrome. I know that in his book Waking the Tiger that Levine recommends different techniques for developing what he calls the "felt sense" in your whole body to counteract that desensitization and disassociation that are the after-effects of trauma.

    But Alan's advice about changing the way you respond to your internal bully seems a direct pragmatic approach to solving the problem.

    I just remembered that in 1920 T.S. Eliot pointed out that the whole modern age was suffering from what he called "a disassociation of sensibility". Of course this was just after WWI. Talk about some trauma!
    Livvygurl and Forest like this.
  10. Annie

    Annie New Member

    Thank you Forest, Alan, and MorComm:

    This actually makes sense to me. I don't know how I got here really, because I feel I'm a sensitive person. I am empathic as well. But this...:

    ....makes a lot of sense to me. I have tried to get in touch with "the bully" but perhaps I should change that to the little girl who was so injured so many years ago. I have read of others who really nurture their internal child. I don't. I carry on.

    I'm reading Steve Ozanich's book. Just started it. So will see if I can get somewhere now.

    And thanks again Alan. I will write more later as to all I got from our conversation. It was a huge gift and I've had much to think about.
    MorComm and Forest like this.
  11. BruceMC

    BruceMC Beloved Grand Eagle

    Annie, I realize that I too am plagued with a whole set of internal enemies that are nothing more than substitutes for my rageoholic belittling dad with his huge inferiority complex. Sometimes I engage in pointless internal dialogues (that Alan in his wisdom classified as 'non-productive') with people who have criticized and attacked me in various public contexts through the years: Mary, the lady at physical therapy who claimed I had betrayed the 'white race'; Mike V., the application engineer, at a telecommunications company who went out of his way each day to insult me; the head master at private school I once taught at; Jay, the maintenance man at an apartment house, who criticized me for not wanting to rise up. The list is endless and they're all attempts on my part to avoid the internal bully I inherited from my abusive relationship with my domineering father. But I'm the only one who's giving these "ghosts" power over me as Alan would no doubt observe quite accurately. You just have to realize that you're the one in charge of the show and refuse to give your internal bully power over you.
    Forest likes this.
  12. Becca

    Becca Well known member

    Hey everyone,

    First off thank you all so much for your participation in the event! Below are some notes I wrote both during and after the webinar with Alan Gordon. I have split them into three categories: General Links, Alan Gordon, LCSW Links, and Links From the Webinar. The last category includes links to things mentioned in the actual webinar, or things I thought were relevant given the content at the time. Please feel free to post any other links or content that I may have left out. Enjoy!



    TMS Wiki

    Structured Educational Program

    TMS Wiki Chatroom


    Alan’s TMS Wiki Page
    http:/ /www.tmswiki.org/ppd/Alan_Gordon,_LCSW

    Alan's Website

    Article: "Breaking the Pain Cycle"

    Article: "Miracles of Mind-Body Medicine"


    Intensive Short Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP)

    Somatic Experiencing

    Annie’s Story (thread on the forum)

    Annie mentioned journaling at the beginning of her conversation with Alan Gordon. This link expands on journaling.

    Therapy Techniques
    Some of Alan’s conversation with Annie follows a therapy technique he calls “psychodynamic therapy”. Here’s a description from his website (http://www.painpsychotherapy.com/therapy.html).

    "As children, we take the messages that we receive from our parents as gospel. If they criticize us, our little brains think it is because we deserve it. If we aren’t paid very much attention, we think it must be because we don’t matter very much. We internalize these messages and as we get older, and they shape the way we see ourselves and experience the world.

    Psychodynamic therapy involves making the connection between our experiences growing up and the way those experiences affect the way we currently think, feel, and act. Often, exploring the events that led to the way we presently think and feel, can bring a new kind of clarity to the way we see ourselves, and can free us to experience life in a more positive and fulfilling way."
  13. quert

    quert Guest

    I was just listening to the podcast and realized that there is a big difference between getting to the past as just the past and getting to the past in terms of how it plays out in the present, every day.

    Like, we may understand how our mother was cruel to us and we may take the time to really feel the pain. Maybe we journal about this a lot. However, if we don't take the time to see how that cruelty affects us today, perhaps through the inner terrorist that the internalized voice of our mother has become, then we are missing out on the real opportunity to heal.

    To me, that's the most important idea in the "Jody's brain" picture: understanding how our inner bully is just an internalized voice from past experience so that we can, more easily, disregard that inner bully.

    After all, it is that inner bully who is doing the damage and making us feel bad. We deserve better than that and explicitly drawing the connection between early experience and current thoughts helps us treat ourselves more kindly.

    ... so I come here and log in just to say that... my great realization and I find that Becca had already said it in her last post...


    ... but maybe that's just my inner bully speaking ;)
    MorComm likes this.
  14. Annie

    Annie New Member

    Hi All:

    I had intended to write today about my experience talking with Alan on Saturday. Still so grateful.

    I had a huge melt-down this morning. I don't have them often, but was pushed over the edge. I think that with all the notes I took during my chat with Alan, thinking it over, and starting to write in a journal may have caused my well, uncontrolable sobbing! Guess I needed it. You have all given me so many things to think about. I want to start a new thread in the next couple days in order to get my thoughts straight. But today? Not the day. I think I would write in all caps. And I think they call that "yelling."

    I am reading your messages and I am getting back into my TMS routine. (2 days of it) And tonight I need a little more time in order to describe a little better what I learned. I learned a lot. I guess including how to melt down and let go.

    So in the next couple days, when I have some down time, I will write a more thoughtful post on Saturday's event.

    Thank you all so much for you help, guidance, and most of all - compassion.
  15. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    I can't know what is right for you, but my gut says that that might have been exactly what you needed. After reading your last post, I re-listened to the recording and it sounds like you've been taking care of everyone else your whole life. From running your family at age 10, raising your brother as he was finishing high school, or being a caretaker to your husband, it sounds like you've always put others first. I think that you've earned the right to set some time aside to take care of yourself.

    One of the things that I liked the most about what Alan said was the emphasis on kindness. As he presented it, kindness means taking the time to honor our emotions. By feeling them in our bodies, we attend to our emotions as one might attend to a crying baby, thereby soothing them.

    It sounds like you are taking your time and not rushing this. Don't forget that being kind to yourself also means not pushing yourself into anything that you're not ready for. The highest priority is your safety, and if you feel anything that challenges your internal equilibrium, take some time to ask yourself if you still feel safe and consult a professional (one who can see you in a professional relationship) if you have any doubts. We definitely don't want anything bad to happen to you.

    This is one thing that Peter Levine emphasizes in his books about trauma, which he defines, loosely, as overwhelming experience. (For the record, I don't know much about Levine's work, so the following is more my interpretation than an authoritative explanation.) In building up the ability to tolerate overwhelming experiences, he emphasizes the importance of pacing/going slowly (which he calls titration) and creating a feeling of safety. This means having positive triggers at your disposal (which he calls resources), so that if you bring up/trigger something negative, you know from experience that you can return to a more positive place (this is related to what he calls pendulation). Something like a walk outside or anything else that makes you happy would be a good resource.

    Your story reminded me of something I had heard about a book called "When the Body Says No," a book that has been on my bookshelf for a couple of weeks but which I haven't had a chance to crack open. Being fairly distractible, I read the first chapter just now. I found that, as its name suggests, one of the major themes of the book is that for goodists and people pleasers who put others' needs ahead of their own and are unable to "say no" to others, sometimes "the body says no" for them. It does this by creating symptoms.

    The first chapter opens with a story about Mary, a sensitive woman with an autoimmune condition called scleroderma:
    Like I said above, I don't believe we can know what is best for another person, but my gut definitely has a good feeling for you. I have to admit that when I listened to the call the first time, I was worried that you were facing so many challenges that it would take a lot of courage to do the work that Alan suggests. I'm proud of the progress you've been able to make so far. I think that it is a very good thing to take the time that you need to take care of yourself.

    And keep listening to that recording! I bet that each time that you listen to it, you'll get more. Perhaps more importantly, it'll help you keep focused on the message.
  16. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    This morning I realized that my last post in this thread might seem to be a bit of a non sequitur because I wasn't just responding to Annie's last post, but to a personal message that she had sent me after the post. We in the peer network need to look out for one another (in a non-intrusive and boundary-respectful way, of course, as we are all our own individuals). As, essentially, the director of our nonprofit, The PPD/TMS Peer Network, it felt right to contact Annie and Ginger after the call to check in with them. It's been great to see how their participation has helped them and to see how they are incorporating what they learned.

    One of Alan's main messages in the call was that defending ourselves from our inner bullies and taking the time to honor our emotions by taking the time to attend to them is an important way that we can take care of ourselves. For some, this can be a profoundly self-affirmative process of finally being mindful of our own needs instead of putting everyone else's needs first. No one ever said that change would be easy, but it sounds like yesterday was a great day for Annie in terms of respecting both her own needs and her own emotions.
  17. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Forest, it was really quite an amazing technological feat, when you think about it. It was a great idea to handle questions and logistics from the regular chat, although there were a couple of disappointed folks who thought we were having regular chat, I was sorry to have to tell them we weren't, but I hope they were able to join the meeting. The Fuze meeting itself worked really well.

    And thanks for posting it - I missed a lot of the session itself - just listened to the first half, and found that about 100% of what Alan said to "Annie" was applicable to myself. Maybe more :D

  18. danielle

    danielle Peer Supporter

    Forest, I'm in the middle of that book too! Thanks, had forgotten about it.
    Livvygurl and Forest like this.
  19. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Glad to hear that, Danielle. I'm only just starting it. How do you like it?
  20. danielle

    danielle Peer Supporter

    What I read so far I really liked...seemed very in line with the TMS work and I want to finish it. But then I got distracted with Steve O's book so it got bumped down. I tend to be an ADD book reader.

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