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On the last track we reviewed the secondary consequences of panic attacks, body objectification, chronic fatigue and minor illnesses.
this track, we will discuss an overview of the three stages of recovery which are
discovery, active healing, and integration. At the end of this track, we will
look at the Family Mottos Technique.
Stage 1: Discovery
When discussing her memories and the feelings Christy associated with the abuse, she stated, "When I focus on that time in my life, you know, the abuse and the pain, it hurts! And well it is like meeting a long lost part of myself. I want to understand why I act the way I do. "Why do I have sex with all these guys the first time we go out?" But trying to remember what happened with Nick hurts! Sometimes, I feel like I am going crazy! I can remember feeling dirty, but I can't remember exactly what happened. " As Christy worked through this Discovery Stage, she vacillated between denying her feelings she associated with the abuse and wanting to face those feelings head on.
Stage 2: Active Healing
How do you move your Christy from the Discovery Stage to the Active Healing Stage? This is obviously done at the client's own pace. Is your Christy connected with an ongoing support group?
Stage 3: Integration
First, I wrote examples on a flip chart of expressions. These included:
After I read this list followed by a brief discussion, I asked the group to add their own sayings, advice, philosophies, cursing, religious sayings, or warnings.
Second, from the compiled list of expressions, each group member chose the one that held the strongest significance for them.
The one that Christy stated held the most meaning for her was, the warning, "Who do you think you are?"
Finally, the group then discussed the expression as it was used in their past and how each participant felt about it now. We then discussed: What kind of approach to life does this saying demonstrate? What does your current reaction to the family motto make you want to do?
"Remembering those words--'Who do you think you are?' Here is what comes to mind. I'm eating my cereal and trying to tell my Dad my latest great idea, a plan to take the dance class I want, by selling a neighborhood newsletter. Over his newspaper, he shoots a look at me, shoots me down: 'Who do you think you are, a businesswoman? That won't work.' I've heard these words before, but my cornflakes taste like wood chips.I can taste the flatness right now; feel the hopelessness in my muscles. Today, that forget-it attitude enrages me. I want to go out and prove to the old man that I'm capable and successful. I'd really like to do it just for myself."
Christy spoke with marked anger in her voice.
Writing those words-"who do you think you are?" --brought back resentment for Christy. "If my Dad had only noticed me, I thought, and then I felt sad as well as angry. The anger still gets in my way when someone resists one of my ideas at school. I feel awful when someone turns my offer for help down. I feel like I am still trying to get noticed and to prove how good I can be."
Your Christy may find strong memories and feelings associated with Family Mottos that still affect her approach to life. Think about your Christy. How might she benefit from understanding her strong memories and feelings associated with family mottos that still affect her approach to life?
This track has presented a brief overview of the three stages of recovery. These stages are discovery, active healing, and integration. In releasing the pain associated with childhood sexual abuse we also looked at how the Family Mottos Technique can offer opportunities to understanding influences from the past.
On the next track, we will discuss other "Windows to the Past".
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