• Quote of the Day
    "For most people, transformation is slow. It happens without you realizing it."
    Marsha Linehan, posted by Daniel
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I have been trying to find some info out about this type of therapy, Reparenting. I can't find much online, most of it has to do with reparenting children.

My situation is that my therapist whom I've been seeing about 1 1/2 yrs does inner child work. My other T's did not do that type of therapy. I have CSA that I have been dealing with. Once this came up through flashbacks, I have had a difficult time saying it happened to me. I can only say it happened to "her" me as a child or my inner child, or whomever "she" is, but it is "her"not me that was abused. (if that makes any sense at all)

I have felt like I've made more progress in the last 1 1/2 yrs working with the innerchild. A lot of my therapy before that was dealing with clinical depression and trying to help me get through the days, and we did not work on the csa issues as much.

My question is, what is an inner child, I don't feel like it is a DID thing, I don't lose time, I don't find things that I don't remember buying etc.

I do know I get really regressed and feel "strange" when "she" talkes or tries to talk, she is mute most of the time. But I do feel and act much younger when this "feeling" comes over me, and it is a struggle, "she" doesnt just pop out, physically I struggle, probably trying not to make myself look like a fool.

I will leave it at this for now before I sound like a complete idiot.

Thanks for any help.
 

ThatLady

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You might try looking up references to Gestalt therapy. I believe Transactional Analysis also did some work with this concept, but...if I remember right, the Inner Child was a part of Gestalt therapy. I'm sure Dr. Baxter will correct me if I'm wrong. :eek:)
 
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Thank you for the information. I read the first paragraph and thought, exactly!! That is what happens.

You'll be sitting there, talking to the survivor, when all of a sudden you realize she isn't even listening. Instead, she'll be staring at some faraway object as though deep in thought

I didn't realize that is what it was, I have a spot in my T's office that I stare at when I want to "disappear". It is like my body is still in the room but I have moved farther away. I can hear him, but I feel like I have cotton in my ears and his voice is muffled.

The article helped, if you know of any other places like that I would apprectiate knowing about them. I have heard of this, but I am the type of person that feels better if I see it written some where.
 

David Baxter

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That book was written by a man who learned after many years that his wife was a CSA survivor. It's an excellent book. There are more good books listed on the pages I mentioned above -- click on the pale blue link text and they'll take you to the page.
 

Nutmeg

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shatteredspirit,

Has your therapist ever talked about 'dissociating' to you? That's how people protect themselves from trauma and go away mentally as you describe.

The inner child is (imo) a model for understanding the childlike parts of ourselves. By childlike I don't mean immature or childish, but parts of our psyche that remain from childhood. We all have these parts of ourselves still around, they can help us be creative, imaginative, and curious. The childlike parts are very vulnerable, though. If we were traumatized, it helps to have a therapist help us access those parts safely.

(my opinion only)

nutmeg
 
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Thanks for replying.

I do understand dissociation, but I guess it's hard for me to accept that it is happening to me. If I talk to someone else who dissociates, or who experiences some of the same things I do, I can logically understand and believe them. When it happens to me, then I feel like I'm making it up or going crazy etc.

My confusion comes from not really knowing what is happening when it happens. I feel so disconnected from it all, it feels so unreal, that when I look back I know it happened, but at the same time it's like I wasn't there. (hence the dissociation I guess)

Another thing with the reparenting part of therapy my T says I need to get what I didn't get as a child. After being with him 1 1/2 yrs. and him asking what "she" needs we have started giving her the attention she wants. When he first asked "what does she need" the thought came to me that if I could I would crawl up on his lap. Of course I would never do that and also felt like an idiot for thinking that way. I never said this to him because I felt embarassed about that thought.

After months of this I finally said, if I was the size of a 2 yr old I'd crawl up on your lap, expecting him to completely reject me and say he can't do anything like that. Instead, he said if she needed to be held we could do that.

So cutting to the chase.... he has a bean bag chair that I can sit in and he will sit on the floor next to it and put his arms around me/her and hold me/her. Here is where the struggle is, I don't need the hug, and I told him she needs her own body. I've also said I wish I could just leave her there and they can have therapy. When we do this I do regress, dissociate, whatever. After it's over I don't feel like I was there and I always tell him I don't really even feel the hugs.

It's another struggle to get to the point of moving over to the bean bag chair. it usually takes at least a 1/2 hour of me talking before I will move to the chair. I sit in the chair and it takes a lot of talking to "her" before we can let him hug us. But once the struggle is over "she" really likes it an wants it.

I've been in T for 12 yrs., all my reading, and talking to people has been that a T never touches a client. Which I've always struggled with because when you are sitting there crying your eyes out and someone just stares at you and offers no comfort by a touch always made me feel like I'm too disgusting to touch.

Again I am making this post too long. I am haunted by the "ethics" I've heard all these years (and hated, but at the same time understand why T's have to protect themselves). For me it helps when I am on the verge of crying and someone reaches out and says, it's ok to cry. The touch helps me to let some emotions out. A touch on the back when leaving, or a hug saying you are doing good work helps me to feel accepted.

I guess I'm just wanting to find something in writing or someone to say if it is OK with me, it is ok for a T to hold you. I have talked to my husband about it and he said, if that is what you need than do it. If he approves I don't know why I need someone else to say it's OK.

Opinions, please.
 

David Baxter

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It's a tricky issue. I have to say that I would not do what your therapist is doing because I think it's risky on a number of levels, but that doesn't mean that his intentions are not good.

I don't need the hug, and I told him she needs her own body.
If you've told him this, I would also question why he doesn't respect that.

it usually takes at least a 1/2 hour of me talking before I will move to the chair. I sit in the chair and it takes a lot of talking to "her" before we can let him hug us. But once the struggle is over "she" really likes it and wants it.
This is something else I suggest your therapist should be paying more attention to. He is talking you into doing something you're instinctively resisting. That of course can mean many things but why does he feel it's important to talk you into this?

I am never comfortable second-guessing what another therapist is doing -- he is there in the room with you and I am not. But it seems to me that the goal should be to help you to "hug" yourself or to get that reassurance from your husband, not to get it from him.

I'd suggest you try to find a way to discuss this with him, although I know that is probably a difficult thing to do.
 

Nutmeg

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shatteredspirit said:
I do understand dissociation, but I guess it's hard for me to accept that it is happening to me. If I talk to someone else who dissociates, or who experiences some of the same things I do, I can logically understand and believe them. When it happens to me, then I feel like I'm making it up or going crazy etc.

Maybe you have another name for it and that's how you understand it.


Another thing with the reparenting part of therapy my T says I need to get what I didn't get as a child. After being with him 1 1/2 yrs. and him asking what "she" needs we have started giving her the attention she wants. When he first asked "what does she need" the thought came to me that if I could I would crawl up on his lap. Of course I would never do that and also felt like an idiot for thinking that way. I never said this to him because I felt embarassed about that thought.

He's pushing you into very traumatic territory and it seems on his timetable and forced...



After months of this I finally said, if I was the size of a 2 yr old I'd crawl up on your lap, expecting him to completely reject me and say he can't do anything like that. Instead, he said if she needed to be held we could do that.

this is not good.


So cutting to the chase.... he has a bean bag chair that I can sit in and he will sit on the floor next to it and put his arms around me/her and hold me/her. Here is where the struggle is, I don't need the hug, and I told him she needs her own body. I've also said I wish I could just leave her there and they can have therapy. When we do this I do regress, dissociate, whatever. After it's over I don't feel like I was there and I always tell him I don't really even feel the hugs.

Not good. You're trying to create a boundary with him and he keeps going. This is extremely concerning.


It's another struggle to get to the point of moving over to the bean bag chair. it usually takes at least a 1/2 hour of me talking before I will move to the chair. I sit in the chair and it takes a lot of talking to "her" before we can let him hug us. But once the struggle is over "she" really likes it an wants it.

This sounds really traumatic and I don't think therapy should be traumatic. It may evoke earlier traumas but it shouldn't be causing new ones.


I've been in T for 12 yrs., all my reading, and talking to people has been that a T never touches a client. Which I've always struggled with because when you are sitting there crying your eyes out and someone just stares at you and offers no comfort by a touch always made me feel like I'm too disgusting to touch.

On a few occasions they touch a client; for instance, if the client just found out they have cancer, or if the client has a death in the family; i.e., for humanitarian reasons. But therapists err in touching a client to make them feel parented, loved, cared for, attractive, okay. That is crossing boundaries that will make things very confusing.

There is a famous psychiatrist, Glen Gabbard, who writes extensively on boundary violations in therapy. He's an expert on it. You can email him and I believe he will answer you. His email is ggabbard@bcm.tmc.edu. You can also do a search for him on the internet and see titles of books he's written. You can ask him your question.

nutmeg
 
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Thanks for the responses.

I don't feel like he is forcing me to do this. It may have sounded that way, I can say no, and I have. He has been respectful of my boundaries, it's like going to get a tooth pulled, you dont want to get into that chair, but you do because you know you will feel better afterwards.

I have been able to express more and get more feelings out with him than I have with any other T.

I will check into G. Gabbards books.

I will also continue to discuss this with my T, I was just wondering what others thought.

Thanks for your help
 

MollyK

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Hi Shattered Spirit

You say you have been in therapy for 12 years, thats an awful long time. Do you feel that you have made improvements or moved on in any way in that time? Its just that I feel that apart from getting you in a better place emotionally, the aim of therapy should be to strive for independence and self fulfillment. This being done via a therapist giving you hugs (however comforting) I dont feel is working towards this and may likely encourage dependence on him, where in the end you are in therapy because you need the therapist and not for yourself.

I know child abuse is a complex and difficult area to work through as an adult. My own situation in therapy was long and painful and I dont feel that I am "there" yet by any means. But I think if after 12 years I was still in a bad place, I would question the appropriateness of the therapy I was receiving.

I really hope all goes well for you and that you find your peace and serenity.

Good luck!
 
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Yes I have been in therapy for 12 yrs, 8 of those years were mostly dealing with depression and trying to help me make it from day to day.
The following 2 yrs were with another T that started working more on the abuse as the depression finally started lifting some.

For the past 2 years I have been finally dealing mainly with the abuse issues that were alway in the background but not dealt with because of the depression.

I have been with a new T in the last 2 years who does offer hugs and comfort, (which I find better than someone staring at you when you are upset and not offering any form of comfort). I don't feel dependent on this T, as a matter of fact, after being in T so long I now realize that my T is not my Savior, but only someone to help me through this.

I am no longer wanting to end my life. This doesn't mean I'm happy and full of joy, but I am just getting to a better place now.

Earlier in my therapy I lived for my appts., now I see them as just small part of my life and can see that there will be an end and am looking forward to not spending all my money in therapy.

I was on the phone more with the T's that didn't offer the kind of support that my present T does. There are still some tough times, but they are fewer of them.

At this time I don't feel like I am in the "bad place" I was 6 months ago when I started this thread. I see more improvement than I have in years. My present T works with inner child issues and this seems to be working the best for me. After spending 10 years with other T's that just sat and talked and stared when I was upset, I find this type of therapy comforting and helpful. There is now a light at the end of the long dark tunnel.

SS
 

MollyK

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Hi there Shattered Spirit

I am so glad that things are moving forward for you. My life has taken a very similar scenario to yours. I did have a big problem of getting really attached to a therapist once where it completely took over from the reason I was there, which was why I was a bit concerned that that may be the case for you = but of course, we are not all the same. You seem to have a healthy relationship with yours. I really hope that things go on improving for you (Im sure they will continue to do this)

Im based in the UK and I cant find anyone here who works with inner child T. I think it is also what I need as my own issues spring from this. I saw a therapist a short while ago who spent the first ten minutes sitting staring at me. I did ask "are you waiting for me to say something" she responded with "what would you like to say". I got a bit annoyed here and said "if you are going to sit staring at me I might as well go" she then said "why do you find silence uncomfortable". I was then starting to think that this person needed therapy more than me! Being stared at in a room with a complete stranger is a bit disconcerting. I didnt go back. I have now found a therapist who is a lot more "human". Still dont feel I am touching the real issues though, but its early days.

Like you I have battled through the agonies of depression and other things like eating disorder and anxiety and am in a better place now - not "home" but closer to it.

I really hope that you find the peace that you DESERVE! Good luck with your therapist and hope things continue to get better for you. Its a long journey, but I think we will be better people at the end of it.

Take care and God bless
 

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