Somatic experincing...all i can say is wow Jul 29, 2020 13:11:49 GMT anne12, alexandra, and 4 more like this
Post by kittygirl on Jul 29, 2020 13:11:49 GMT
Hello all! I haven't created a thread in awhile and I plan to write a longer one explaining my entire story and journey to get to where I am now but for now I wanted to pop in and just give everyone a quick update on what I am doing with respect to my own attachment (and more importantly my childhood wounds) in order to heal. I had mentioned briefly on another thread that I have started somatic experiencing therapy. For those of you who are unfamiliar with it (I had absolutely no idea what it was and wasn't looking for a therapist who did it-it was quite by accident that she practices this kind of therapy and I fell into her lap) somatic experiencing is the idea that painful memories are stored as body experiences (this is literally based on the stuff caroline1218 was talking about in the book "The Body Keeps Score") The idea (Cliffsnotes version) is that when we focus on body sensations that are unpleasant, those neural pathways get strengthened over time (makes sense...this is literally how we learn something new-by being exposed to it over and over until those neural pathways are solidly in place). With somatic experiencing, the idea is you regularly focus on neutral or pleasant body sensations and that helps to strengthen those pathways. Simple right? But does it work?
I have been doing it for a month and can honestly say I have been BLOWN AWAY by the results. At first I had to really focus on the body parts and for the first few weeks didn't really see much of a difference but now over time (and again this isn't even that long) I notice that in day to day life, I am much less triggered without even having to concentrate on anything at all. In addition, I have been able to use these techniques to actually pull me BACK from a triggered episode which for me is HUGE (I have always said I feel like a "slave to my emotions" and this has helped me so much to feel like I can harness them to some degree). Because historically I get so overwhelmed by strong emotions, I tend to really prefer to be able to manage them on my own (my therapist says I'm a professional "autoregulator" [or as we say on this forum-"self sooother"]") whereas I am not as good at "co-regulating" (aka having emotional regulation be something I can do with someone else or reaching out to someone else in order to be soothed etc). What this looks like in terms of attachment is: fearful avoidant, high on the avoidant side. Since this is an attachment forum, I want to tie this back into attachment and tell you guys that I have been noticing a difference here as well! My FA ex (the one who brought me here) and I have reconnected and things are going much better (and by this I mean on MY end -I'm just doing my thing). I have been able to manage my episodes of triggering better (both the "I'm trapped" crap and the "I'm being abandoned" crap)....still having some issues with the "we are disconnected or will become disconnected" trigger but Rome wasn't built in a day I tell myself. One of the major aspects of this therapy is that it's very much against muscling through something unpleasant! So not trying to FORCE yourself to soothe through another person or force yourself not to check out which has been invaluable to me. I have also been extremely up front with FA this time around about my specific triggers-for example I told him "I have this horrible fear that I will become disconnected from someone either on my end or their end" and it has been INCREDIBLE to have communication be so open (this is all better saved for the other thread). This post isn't about the relationship though or even him but rather how this therapy seems to have helped me tremendously in avenues of my life that are seemingly unrelated to the somatic experiencing at all
Here is a recentish research paper on the promising effects of SE as a therapy for trauma (I have posted the major finding)
This randomized controlled study of SE shows positive results indicating SE may be an effective therapy method for PTSD: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5518443/
It's obviously early to tell, but this is unlike any therapy I have ever been in (and I have been in and out of therapy since I was 13). Just something to keep in mind for anyone wanting to participate in therapy that may not have had as much success in traditional therapy