1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this link: http://go.tmswiki.org/newprogram
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Pandora's Box

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by WoundedHealer, Oct 12, 2021.

  1. WoundedHealer

    WoundedHealer New Member

    (I tried sending this to 'Contact Us' and posting it in 'Ask A Therapist' and 'General Discussion Forum' but haven't had any response at all, so I hope I am finally posting this in the right place)

    I came across this program years ago. You may be able to see a discussion I started in the forums about an incident I had, where I thought I should face my pain and didn't take anything for it which ended up in one of the worst migraines of my entire life. I was told in the forums that I misunderstood the part about not taking my medication when in pain, but nevertheless, I had experienced so much pain that I felt reluctant to keep going forward.

    Years went by and I just recently started using the free version of Curable and am really loving it. I heard it was based on this TMS site and Dr. Sarno. I want to start with this work again but I have some questions on how to do it safely without reopening a pandora's box of mental, emotional, and physical pain. I have 2 therapists now so I have much more support than I did when I first started. I have a regular psychologist that I see 2x a week and a Pain psychologist through the Kaiser Pain Program. But I would like to get advice from a clinician or member about doing this program, and how to go about it without putting myself in a worse situation. My regular therapist recently took a class specializing in trauma with Bessell van der Kolk, who as you may know is an author and trauma specialist. He wrote the Body Keeps The Score (which incidentally I couldn't finish reading because it was too triggering for me) His take is that to reopen trauma can be unhealthy and counterproductive for the survivor and that there are other mind-body approaches that can be healing such as yoga, acupuncture, dance, etc...

    So I am confused because from what I understand if we do this program or Curable we are supposed to face our underlying rage and childhood history and write / journal about it. That really scares me and makes me feel uneasy, but I want to do almost anything to feel better, but not if it makes things worse in a way where I stop my progress again, like with my earlier misunderstanding with the migraine I had years ago.

    I hope this all makes sense. I guess my main question to a TMS therapist would be - "Is there a way to be successful with this program without dredging up too much rage and pain that could potentially really hurt me worse?" Thank you
  2. Ann Miller

    Ann Miller Peer Supporter

    You bring up an excellent point and one in which I use with my clients. Let's go back to the Sarno basics. You don't have to KNOW all your repressed emotions, see them, live in them, examine them etc. In fact, you probably wouldn't be able to see them even if you wanted to...they're repressed. LOL. You just have to know that having them is okay, that emotions are just energy, that everyone has rage, pettiness, jealousy etc and that deeming them unacceptable has ignited a stress response in you. Soothing that response is paramount. FOR SOME PEOPLE, journaling can have the affect of lessoning the fear associated with these dark emotions. It did for me personally. BUT FOR OTHER PEOPLE, journaling seems to ignite the fear response even further, which is not productive. This sounds like your case and honestly, I have many clients who fit this category. This brings up the classic rage/soothe ratio that Sarno describes. Activating the parasympathetic nervous system can be very helpful here. If you need suggestions on how to do that, respond back :)
  3. WoundedHealer

    WoundedHealer New Member

    Thank you, Ann! That makes good sense. I appreciate you taking the time to respond. I will go at my own pace through the exercises and just stay at it this time. The soothing really has helped.
    Ann Miller likes this.

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