Friday, April 7, 2017

Some more clinical examples in altruism.

As with the examples of self-sabotage in which you play the consequences of the patient's behavior forward until they build the place that they think they will end up, it's also relevant to build representations from bodily sensations and ask the patient to bring Time to bear upon them.

Client talks about being a good person who has faith in others and is hopeful, and that he has positive energy. He mentions that others “latch on to him:” both other good people and "users." Users want his help, see that they can gain from him, and hope to get “extra” from him. I tell him that it sounds like he a surplus of, or extra, energy, money, or positivity to spare in his life and people see that in him, but I then ask if he ever feels depleted. He says he can feel “burnt out, like he’s run thin, frustrated, disappointed, and not feel appreciated."
He spontaneously tells me that he is one of the only employees that comes in to work on his own time and that he does a lot of extra for his boss. Then he tells me how his boss wanted him to come in for more extra hours that he wouldn’t be paid for and that he was pretty frustrated.
I begin EMDR after I hear the anger in his voice about this, and I ask him to feel his bodily responses. He says he feels it in his chest and it grows. I tell him to picture his boss and say all the things he wants to without holding back. He does but then reports that the representation of his boss, in his mind's eye, looks disappointed after he did this.
I ask him to put together the implicit thoughts of the boss's feelings towards him. Client say that he’s disappointed in him, that he used to go that extra mile, and that he used to be better.
I ask him to turn these into ego and object-statements ("I am disappointed in you, you used to go that extra mile and now you don't, you used to be better"), and client says his ex-girlfriend comes up. He explains how she had “invested more” and went the extra mile in the first 6 months but then she didn’t give as much. I ask him to focus on the time that he felt disappointed in her and I begin EMDR, and he feels it again in his chest, but also in his jaw. The sense of it in his jaw grows. He mentions that it feels like he can’t move his jaw and like it’s made of stone. I ask him to take the internal felt sense and say how it might look externally, if a person looked like he felt. 
He begins describing a man with “sunken eyes” who looks "sad." He said he literally looks like a picture and is totally still. Client says he “doesn’t expect him to move”. I ask him to fast forward this image of him and what would happen in this man’s future. Client said he pictures him slowly “disintegrating:” starting from his head down-- that the stone man would just be blown to dust.  Writer asks him to picture the dust that he disintegrates into and to see if he can map it onto his body (the zones he was are of) in any way. Client says he can and then his face turns red and writer asks him if it is done and he says yes.

He said he felt in his chest and he pictured his heat turning to dust but then after it was fully disintegrated, that it emerged full and new. Writer asked him to focus on this new heart and to see how it wants to change the rest of his body. He says the tension in his jaw and chest are gone and he feels like he can move his tongue too. He said he felt tension from his hands go away and that he doesn’t feel like anything wants to change or is changing further. I ask him to float back to another time he felt like this in his life and tries to install the picture of well-being he associates to.

In altruism, the representation of the parental imagos can often be as "dumb," "silly," "underestimated," or "taken for granted".  Joe from Great Expectations is a good example. He is a good imago and has this coloring from the altruistic pole, but instead of idealization within the active pole of power/prestige/perfection, he is seen as dumb, lower class, and coarse. 
This is a phallic mother/combined parental imago/ or deutero representation of the parental imago and shows up with good frequency. 

Client is with a woman who has severe mental health issues and who has done very hurtful things to him and he is unable to leave her, although he has good reasons to that he can admit.   
She can say horribly mean things to him in her fits of rage. He feels like he's begun to hysterically adopt her anxiety and can feel himself fighting not to mirror her fits of rage at other points.

I note that these are bad traits or problems and asks client if it feels like he's trying to take them on for her in some way. 

Despite my failing to articulate this well, client agrees enthusiastically with this, but says that she doesn't see how much he does.

I ask him to complete the sentence... if she could see how much I took on her pains and problems then she might...?

He says "care more, not take me for granted, not be so selfish or spoiled."

I ask him to put these into ego and object-statements ("I should care more, I took you for granted, I've been selfish and spoiled, I didn't see how much you've done for me...") and he says that his family comes to mind, he names a few people, and I ask him to focus on who sticks out the most. he says his grandmother.

He says that "she stuck by my side my whole life" and "she gave me chance after chance and went above and beyond." "I slapped her in the face."

I ask him to picture her in his mind's eye and how she would be looking upon him if she was here.

He says she looks perfect and that she's smiling and he begins crying.

I tell him to picture her and to articulate the remorse he feels and express it to her. I begin EMDR, and he does so.

He then says that she looks angry and disappointed.

He talks about the last time he talked to her and how she hung up the phone on him

I ask him if it feels true if he says "I deserve to be cut off," and he says it does.

He then adds that he pushed her to the point that she had to cut him off. He then adds that he's not talking to his child nor family. I interpret that he's being like his grandmother is to him, with his family, and that he's like she was with him before, with his girlfriend.

This seems to click for him and I ask him to try to talk to her representation again and tell her what he feels. I begin EMDR.

He says that she forgives hm and she loves him.

I ask him to scan his body to see if he's holding on to anything else. He says that his heart feels different and so does his breath.

He says he feels excitement and love but also just serene.

I'm not touting this as a cure for the client being able to leave this relationship. There are many parts of the personality involved in connecting a person to their bad situation. This is just one part cleared up and the other parts have to be attended to. 

Similarly, when the patient experienced a major trauma or ego injury, there is not just one part that was injured. I have had to go back to major events several times from the angles of different parts of psychic bisexuality. 


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