11 April 2019
Below is a paragraph from a book called A Psychotherapy of Love.
It is quite accurate to say, “We have all been impacted by nonempathic environments in our lives, and so have suffered primal wounding.” But this phrase seems mild, given the experience it is attempting to describe. To say it in another, more experiential way: we have all felt ourselves humiliated, discounted, and used as objects to serve the desperate need of others; we have all been abandoned, left to disintegrate in the face of unknown horrors; we have all felt the gut-wrenching plummet toward personal nonexistence. This may now seem overstated—but not to those aspects of us who bore the brunt of this wounding. Firman and Gila, A Psychotherapy of Love
Too often these days a person suffering from depression will be prescribed antidepressants by their GP or six sessions of CBT. The medication is helpful to some people who report that the treatment gives them something they are lacking. However, most people report that while it cuts them off from uncomfortable painful feelings they do not feel connected to anything. CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) can be useful again short term, but we are much more than our thoughts and most of our anxiety and fears stem from repetitive painful thoughts that are then felt in our bodies. Depression should be taken as seriously as any physical ailment and like most physical illnesses there are ways of treating it.
In my experience both personally and professionally depression is about disconnection from oneself. To have suffered trauma and dysfunction within the family will have meant splitting off parts of ourselves in order to survive our childhood. It also meant having to put in survival strategies. For example, you survived by becoming the joker to alleviate the tension in the house or become very good in order not to cause any problems.
How do we reclaim those parts we had to bury and how do we give ourselves permission not to play the same roles that we did as a child? The fear is that once we start to look at the past we will be overwhelmed and unable to cope with all those painful feelings. Working with Psychosynthesis techniques we can focus on different parts or sub-personalities. For example, are you aware of a critical or bullying voice or another part of that is very sad or lonely. By working this in way we can identify the reasons for feeling so down. It is possible to give a voice to these different parts that we have ignored for so long.
We are now lucky enough to have some tools to help us manage the anxiety and fears that may come up. EFT and Matrix Reimprinting are two of the most powerful tools I have come across in managing to help with overwhelming emotions. Working with a combination of psychosynthesis counselling and EFT/Matrix will help you to understand your childhood and how you managed to survive it.