“Alexandra’s” Journey – The story of the first 3.5 years of treatment with me is an extraordinary description of her painful struggle to heal. She wrote it in 2017 and then added two annual updates. I will often reference her story as it captures the profound complexities of this work.
She experienced terrible abuse, beginning in infancy, and her story is both compelling and disturbing. I encourage you to read it with your therapist “lens” on, to lessen its impact. Or you may choose not to read it at all. Taking care of yourself always comes first. You may have heard client stories just as disturbing but may not have understood the powerful impact of perpetrator introjects in your clients’ lives. All of her struggles, and our work, have revolved around the power of her “Morbid Introjects.” While she has gained primary control over her perpetrator introjects as we completed seven years of therapy in the fall of 2021, we have finally been able to get them to “stand down” and relinquish any claim to dominance..
“Olivia” Transcript – A wonderful transcript with a client at the end of our work together. I have annotated here the specific techniques I’ve used that I will be teaching you in the weekend workshop.
“Tamar” Transcript – Another transcript that I have annotated to explain a number of specific techniques I’ll be teaching.
Loving Eyes by Jim Knipe – If I could only use or teach one technique, this would be it! Being able to tolerate and then look with compassionate or loving eyes at cut off parts of ourselves is an essential part of healing.
CIPOS – Jim Knipe’s Constantly Installation of Present Orientation and Safety is another essential tool of working with complexly traumatized clients.
Picture-in-Picture – Developed by Joanne Twombly, it is a parallel technique that I describe here.
Tip of the Finger Strategy – A critically important technique from Gonzalez & Mosquera, Structural Dissociationtherapists. (Richard Kluft used a leaky faucet analogy back in the 1980s.) It has the powerful effect of quickly calming the client as a whole because an emotional part of the personality has chosen to let go of just a few drops of their overwhelming pain/fear/etc.
EMD – Eye Movement Desensitization is the original treatment that Dr. Shapiro developed in the1988, before she appreciated the powerful Reevaluation process that consistently happened. The EMDR Institute started teaching it again with troops during the Iraq war, and then again in 2015 or 2016. It is now routinely taught for situations where an extremely narrow focus of attention is needed during processing.
EMDr – Here the focus has been broadened some.
Container Exercise – (May be referenced.) A Container exercise can be very useful with many clients. With my experienced clients who now (just) have Complex PTSD, we use it at the beginning of every session to put away what doesn’t need to be addressed today (a work conflict, a traffic jam), and, of course, at the end of Meeting Place sessions. At the end, each part present and the adult put away any disturbance that remains so that the week will be quieter. Clients are reminded to use this and other stabilization techniques at home on a regular basis. Clients with complex trauma and dissociative processes often need multiple containers for different parts of the personality.
With severe dissociation, especially DID, clients often find little ability to do imaginal stabilization techniques. AND we have learned that the most powerful way to stabilize these clients is by increasing internal communication.
The Over-Energy Correction – (May be referenced) This is a very powerful self-calming technique from EnergyPsychology. My clients utilize it at home and/or during sessions. Just using the tongue movements, without the hands, anytime the client is stressed and not talking or eating, can really make a difference.
EMD – Francine Shapiro, in the 2017 Third Edition of her text, presents a concise explanation of Eye MovementDesensitization. It is again being taught by the Institute and is often useful with complexly traumatized clients.