Curiosity, exploration, gentleness, loving kindness... this is how we can honourably treat trauma when it arises. That intolerable pressure and pain of a trigger... rather than it be nails on a chalkboard can it be a small infant pressed again your chest receiving your warmth and love? Can it be tending a wounded bird where the soft flutter of feathers shuddering in fear are lulled into a quiet sleep, nested in the soft warmth of your compassion?
I resisted inner child work for about 10 years, or should I say it took my 10 years of therapy to come to a place where I was ready to connect into and love that wounded dissociated traumatised child that was cringing and hiding inside of me in a very dark place, and may I ad thanks to my incredibly patient and compassionate therapist walking that entire 10 year journey with me.
As a thervadan buddhist practitioner I sometimes translate some the tools of this practice into psychological therapeutically appropriate support interventions for clients; however sometimes I don't. Mindfulness and meditation are not the same thing and sometimes there are significant risks that come with meditation, specifically making anxiety and depression worse. So I wanted to take a moment to describe how I distinguish between the two.
Mirrors are funny things. 2 dimensional fields that reveal not only our outer appearance but our 4th dimensional inner life. If I am ever feeling stuck with a client I whip out my trusty old mirror and wow does that get a session going. Nothing is more confrontational that being in presence with ourselves in reflection.
I am sharing a personal post I made on my private Facebook page this morning. I am doing so because it generated a lot of discussion and clearly touched on a topic parents are hungry to discuss.
The piece speaks specifically about agency and social media. I have noted in my work with adolescent clients a great deal of expression of feeling powerless and not in control of their lives when it come to social media.
A couple weeks ago I was in a rush - what's new... I was cranky. Traffic was bad. I had a 30 minute window to get from my office at 5th & Alberta over to a network meeting in Kerrisdale. I am trying to find parking and looping around the block and beginning to feel very stressed about being late. I am on West 42nd behind a white SUV fully stopped at a stop sign turning right, it is already half over the white line and so when the SUV goes I turn right and go as well. And old man waves his cane at me but I ignore him.
One of my favourite clients to work with are men who are transitioning out of the toxic constraints of the gendered scripts of masculinity. Witnessing men as they rewrite their narratives in a language that understands the poisons of gender and the privileges it affords while carving out a new narrative territory is a gift I cherish.