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from the therapists tool box

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Re: from the therapists tool box

Postby birdsong87 » Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:53 pm

we found that transactional analysis is extremely limited in its uses for us.
it was the first thing that was tried when a clinic team noticed the presence of parts and the only way it helped was to show them that our parts are a lot more complex than the TA theory and our inner experience nothing like the theory. practical use was zero.
Dx: DID cPTSD
L (host 1); Asti (host 2); Annett (teen protector); Maya (child); Age (observer); Thamara (child); Danielle (aut. teen); Mike (caregiver) and others
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Re: from the therapists tool box

Postby MakersDozn » Mon Sep 30, 2019 12:30 am

Hi L and Asti,

We like the ship story! Thank you very much!

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Re: from the therapists tool box

Postby birdsong87 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:05 am

I am super scared because of the season, so I thought I would try to catch up with this...

We have a somatic experiencing T now and she is helping us in different ways that we never heard of before.

we were struggling with feeling our feet on the floor so she had us stand on a trampoline. somehow that is possible without feeling your feet too much, the body just keeps balance. after we got used to it, she had us step off the trampoline and notice the floor underneath our feet. it felt suuuper solid and almost like we were unable to even get up from it. she asked us to notice carefully, experience that and try to remember it. this is very similar to getting out of water after swiming for a while and a friend said she would try it next time she goes swimming.

we also sat in a comfy chair and she gave us pillows and everything to make it nice and we noticed that for once the back wasn't hurting. So she had us focus on that to create a memory of sitting without pain.
those are called body anchors. so when it gets difficult we can pull out the memory of a situation when something felt solid and grounded and even just remembering that can help our nervous system to not freak out even more and calm down a bit.

the trick is to look for everything that is good or a little bit better than before and to notice that and pay attention to that. it keeps us from freaking out about dysregulation or uncomfortable feelings. it is almost like a magic trick because the more we pay attention to how scary something feels the more scared we get but if we find something small that feels ok we will start to feel more ok and less scared.

she used the same when we got into a freeze response.
so basically we couldn't move anything but our eyes, so she asked us to pay attention to how the eyes can move and it didn't take long until we could turn the head a little, so she had us pay attention to that and so on. it is a little weird and needs time to get used to. it is so normal for us to notice what is bad that it needs a real inner shift to notice what is good.
this is becoming really big for us because we can keep calm more often when we notice what is good or what feels safe about a situation.

last time she taught us a basic exercise that we are not so sure of but she says there is science supporting it... it is for releasing small muscles in certain places in the neck, like not surface stuff you could reach with a massage. it is supposed to help people calm down.
basically you lay on your back (without a pillow) with your hands folded underneath your head to make sure that your head doesn't turn. then you take like 30 sec to look to one side with your eyes, without turning the head, it is a little weird at first. then look straight up for a few moments and repeat on the other side. its supposed to be like PMR just with muscles that are also involved somehow. we have no idea if this does anything but it is in a science based body work book, so we might as well try.
Dx: DID cPTSD
L (host 1); Asti (host 2); Annett (teen protector); Maya (child); Age (observer); Thamara (child); Danielle (aut. teen); Mike (caregiver) and others
Our blog on resources https://www.dis-sos.com
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Re: from the therapists tool box

Postby birdsong87 » Thu Feb 20, 2020 3:56 am

we are in the middle of reading a book on how to use EMDR for DID. it makes a lot of sense (EMDR and dissociation: the progressive approach)
they introduce a couple of exercises that can be done using bilateral stimulation for support, but they can also just be done without it, it would just be a bit more difficult.

one is called the 'loving eyes' procedure.
it is meant to help a host or ANP or adult part to help accept more broken or traumatized or needy parts.
basically they ask the fronting part to look at the other one as the child within a trauma environment and notice the emotions that are coming up. they continue the focus and bilateral stimulation might help to reduce negative feelings and develop more compassion. they can describe to the T what they are getting and the T can be like a mediator, explaining why the child is innocent or why they deserve love. the fronting part might start to see the child part through judging eyes and then the T can explain that this is probably their parents eyes they are looking through now, it was someone else who said the bad things about the child back then. and they can return to the loving eyes. often making eye contact with an inner part can start a conversation and being seen with loving eyes can make a big difference for that part.
I am not sure if you could do this all alone, but it seems to make sense as a tool. in their case examples this was really helpful to reduce the fear of traumatized parts

they suggest something similar when dealing with uncomfortable emotions. it is called taking care of the baby procedure (or something close to that) and if babies are triggering you are supposed to just use a puppy or kitten or something you like. then you identify where you feel the emotion in the body and put your hand there in a caring way, treating the emotions and the body sensation of it like it is a baby/puppy/kitten and you are just holding it to take care of it. it might be agitated and take a while to calm down, but as you imagine it like a sweet little things that only needs your presence and some support it gets easier to manage the emotion and not freak out.

we are only about halfway through this book and it seems to have some interesting interventions to help with communication and co-consciousness. I will let you know.
Dx: DID cPTSD
L (host 1); Asti (host 2); Annett (teen protector); Maya (child); Age (observer); Thamara (child); Danielle (aut. teen); Mike (caregiver) and others
Our blog on resources https://www.dis-sos.com
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Re: from the therapists tool box

Postby Sarandipity » Thu Feb 20, 2020 5:54 pm

You have some really interesting posts here. Thanks for posting.
Monte Carlo or Bust
Rose and Patrick
Batcho and Fortune (twins), Paul and Lilly,
No-one and Peter, Beth and Karen, Mandy and Mouse plus a seperate system of fragments including: rabit and others.
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Re: from the therapists tool box

Postby birdsong87 » Thu Feb 27, 2020 10:47 am

Interesting exercise from that EMDR/DID textbook, I have no clue if its working though. the author is quite solid in her understanding of DID treatment.

they draw a picture of a resource that one part has access to but the other one doesn't. then they draw a picture to represent that part. one pic it put on the left, the other on the right side. then they have the client move their eyes from one picture to the other and back, creating the bilateral eye movement, while thinking of the things the pictures represent. the goal is to be able to share the resource with this other part and create brain connections to move them closer together or connect them to this ability.

this can also be used to practice blending. in that case the eye movement is between pictures of 2 different parts, supporting connection.
we haven't tried it yet.
Dx: DID cPTSD
L (host 1); Asti (host 2); Annett (teen protector); Maya (child); Age (observer); Thamara (child); Danielle (aut. teen); Mike (caregiver) and others
Our blog on resources https://www.dis-sos.com
birdsong87
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Re: from the therapists tool box

Postby Zor » Thu Feb 27, 2020 2:43 pm

birdsong87 wrote:Interesting exercise from that EMDR/DID textbook, I have no clue if its working though. the author is quite solid in her understanding of DID treatment.

they draw a picture of a resource that one part has access to but the other one doesn't. then they draw a picture to represent that part. one pic it put on the left, the other on the right side. then they have the client move their eyes from one picture to the other and back, creating the bilateral eye movement, while thinking of the things the pictures represent. the goal is to be able to share the resource with this other part and create brain connections to move them closer together or connect them to this ability.

this can also be used to practice blending. in that case the eye movement is between pictures of 2 different parts, supporting connection.
we haven't tried it yet.


That sounds kinda interesting... so like a way to try and help build connection between parts of the system? Or like more trying to connect everyone/the whole system to like a thing so like all parts get that kinda connection growing?

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Re: from the therapists tool box

Postby birdsong87 » Thu Feb 27, 2020 3:04 pm

as far as I can see most of these exercises are done with the fronting part + one other part inside,
the book has not included exercises to work with a whole system simultaneously, that seems to be quite challenging and easily overwhelming. especially since every system responds differently to bilateral stimulation and some can't take it at all. so this is nothing to try at home, a T should guide and support. but it might be interesting to tell them at these exercises exist.
Dx: DID cPTSD
L (host 1); Asti (host 2); Annett (teen protector); Maya (child); Age (observer); Thamara (child); Danielle (aut. teen); Mike (caregiver) and others
Our blog on resources https://www.dis-sos.com
birdsong87
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Re: from the therapists tool box

Postby birdsong87 » Wed Oct 21, 2020 7:33 pm

we didn't have any Somatic Experiencing since february. now we had one session and the next will be in january... but we did learn something new that seems important.

In body work we usually follow our body and our emotions with our awareness.
there were big feelings coming up.
she asked us to find where they are in the body. and notice these places.
for a release and to move through the emotion she asked us to think of an animal that feels tension in these places and what it would look like. what it would most probably do next. that is a more distanced way to identify the impulses present.
for us the impulses were sounds, not movement. so she had us imagine the sound the animal would do. our body cannot really tell apart if we do things or just imagine them, there will be a body reaction. In this case the stuck emotions began to move again, so they could be regulated.
we realized that we usually silence ourselves when we have big emotions. nothing can be seen or heard. imagining to follow the impulses of sounds were enough to get us unstuck.
it also helped tremendously with the facial pain we often have, and that explodes when we cry. no pain when the release happened.

so the main tool here is to notice the feeling, notice where it is in the body, identify motor impulses or other urges/impulses and mindfully follow them, either by actually doing things or by imagining to do them. then notice the flow of the emotion while repeating the movement or imagery. little breaks for re-orientation might help if the emotion is intense.

imagery can be better than actually doing things. for one there is the shame of doing weird stuff. but often our body isn't actually capable of doing something as big as our impuls is. it limits us, while imagery is free.

this is a good tool for everyday emotions and stuff that is not closely trauma related. we use it to mourn a loss right now. when its about trauma it can get tricky, so don't try that.
Dx: DID cPTSD
L (host 1); Asti (host 2); Annett (teen protector); Maya (child); Age (observer); Thamara (child); Danielle (aut. teen); Mike (caregiver) and others
Our blog on resources https://www.dis-sos.com
birdsong87
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Re: from the therapists tool box

Postby MakersDozn » Wed Oct 21, 2020 9:21 pm

Thanks, L. This is very helpful, and we're glad that it worked for you.

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Notable: Charity 25, Deborah 23, Drew 23f, Mary 23, Rachel 23, Laura 17.5, Allegra 17, Cass 17, shawn 16f.
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