psychotherapy styles

Alliance. you come with your intention. your concerns. i respect you. you want to work and improve upon your life. i want to help you reach your potential. we begin our journey together. you let me into deeper parts of your psyche. you trust me. i am a professional. i have learned to listen for cues, to help bring unconscious (dreams and symbols and drives) out of the dark and into the light. maybe it’s based on a thought process (attitudes and beliefs which shape what you value in your life) you learned in childhood, how you got your needs met then in an environment particular to you and you alone. maybe it’s how you feel or associate or dissociate and go numb. i want to ask the right questions. open-ended. to help you explore your inner world. so you can see how your thoughts and feelings and attitudes shape your behavior. to help you see your choices. you don’t have to act on impulse again and again. you can pause and consider alternative ways of being. you may resist this, because it’s hard work. it can bring up painful memories. things could get worse before they get better. i want to help you through your resistance. i appreciate how you have survived. you are dynamic. ever changing. we are working together to get your blood flowing. you may feel disconnected from yourself. this is existential work. i want you to feel so alive in a modern world of madness which tends to dehumanize us. i want you to feel purposeful and find meaning in life. to empower you. you are doing your best. you are open and trusting and honest. you are willing to change. you are also so human and resistant to change. we all are. it’s okay. i am your companion for a while. we have a working relationship. we got this. thank you for coming. for letting me in. let’s do this. we got this.   -katya

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orientation

theory.orientation

When asked what is my theoretical orientation, i have to consider the latest and greatest changes and developments both internal (to me) and external (around me). so my answer definitely changes from year to year… at the moment, in regards to conducting therapy, i would describe my orientation as so… i continue to try and meet people non-judgmentally with unconditional hope and regard. i consider them courageous for coming to therapy, and consider myself blessed to be brought into their world to travel alongside them for a while until their stated goals have been met. i do try and listen carefully so i can understand their challenges, and also to listen for nonverbal communications, and acknowledge what lies in the spaces between the words. i am process-oriented, and like to slow down the pace and leave room for affect and feelings. i want to see challenges from a holistic perspective, taking into account bio psychosocial and spiritual aspects. Therapeutic alliance is an important as a means for us to work in the moment on relationship, an opportunity, and I like to reflect back to a client what I am hearing as they share their story, so they can see how they come across. Finally, I like to encourage people to identify their personal talents and strengths, so that they can amplify these narratives to build self-esteem and see what they are capable of accomplishing in the world.

dream sequence

What if I cannot live with anyone, ever again, I thought to myself, before falling asleep. I have been tired since I asked him politely to leave. He did not take it very well, and I did not take his not taking it well, well. I was tired by trying to share my space, and by trying not to share my space, and fell fast asleep.

Up the stairs the atmosphere was boisterous, everyone seemed happy like evolved, and my mind kept turning us over and over, wondering why we were so quiet, down here, so reserved, like somebody had died. I was in the midstream (exactly halfway up a long and straight stairwell) when the matron of the house came about before bed asking around and offering her hand, to make the last hour a good one, keeping us safe and needless, tidying up.

Her daughter, my friend, had left a small book behind, with a cover splashed in pink, which stood up on the floor by the couch. What if she never returns, ever again? The book had small truths littered about its pages. I wanted to offer it to the contemplative boy across from me on a broken chair, but I could not move. I’m not much of a lucid dreamer.

She spoke to us kindly, my friend’s mom, she made me feel I was helping her just by being there. She had always been the kind to illuminate your presence for you. When I awoke, I wondered would I see her, ever again? She died many years before.

m x memory

m x memory -vi

What was (not by law) acceptable? You would have to be crystal (clear) to know that awareness had not changed. Not even by 2023. Awareness is like it was: half-whole. The industrio-technological revolution had consciousness in a blender and someone hit liquefy. The laws could not tourniquet the blood loss. In effect, all diverse perceptions broadcast by sentients and picked up on radios in tunnels, were to be accepted. Resistance, denial of telltale truths, revolt against the pioneers of particularly unpopular ideas, was punished by slow reflexology torture. The pedestrian access to all CNS points of sensitivity. Modern culture placed high value on sensitivity, for it was the easiest way under the skin and didn’t cost a damn thing. But desensitivity treatments were about the most malevolent practice around. A desensitized sentient was today scorned and unforgiven… turns out all evolution has the fallout of consequential negative feedback, which angles off the light of the fresh vision and becomes the new bastion of ignorant factions which can be discredited yet never completely silenced by radiating waves of heart-centered caring intention…

review

Review: An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness

An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and MadnessAn Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness by Kay Redfield Jamison
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Kay Jamison has spent most of her adult life studying mood disorders and living with bipolar illness. In this memoir, she faithfully shares her experience. She takes us inside a manic episode as she remembers it, and then the subsequent deep depression. Even breathing becomes a chore. She details the times she spun out and how the beauty of the world through fresh mania soon becomes lost in a whirlwind of racing thoughts and confusion. Anyone who has needed medication may relate to the resistance to taking it Kay describes so well, and the consequences of refusing meds when you need them. For years she started and stopped Lithium, and even when she knew she needed it, she would stop when either she fell dreamy in love with the memory of her mania, or the side effects became too much to bear. Turns out she was on a much higher dose than she needed. But the side effects of Lithium were nothing compared with the devastation which came of allowing her mania to resurface. Her marriage and friendships were poisoned. She maxed out her credit cards. Her professional life suffered. She wanted to end her life.

Miraculously, with the help of family and friends and therapy and meds, she was able to run a mood disorder clinic at UCLA, gain tenure, and today stands as a highly regarded clinician at Johns Hopkins. But most importantly she survived it all. Bipolar illness, aka manic-depression (although the latter usage has fallen out of fashion in diagnostic circles, she believes it sums up the experience), takes lives. People get attached to their mania, they dream of their mania, and some never come around to accepting they need meds. This book is a must read for anyone with bipolar illness.

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normal sucks

normal sucks

 There was no time to have a nervous breakdown so I had to find another way to fall apart. One idea was going numb, it was quiet and unexpected and not violent until the very end. I had tried that method but the end never came. Sun, fresh air and alka seltzer got me back to baseline. I began interrupting my mother during our long talks when she was the only one talking. I started pacing and thinking and talking to myself, which was much more normal-like; there were even five expressions for my face, all of them different shades of unrealistic. I could fall apart that way maybe. By diving into a fantasy. I did this for a while and I got bored as hell. I had begun to give up on ever falling apart in a way that was acceptable to society. There was even less time anymore for a nervous breakdown. I was walking through a strip mall with my head down, depressed, when I saw a dollar store. Well, the pavement in front of a dollar store where someone had spraypainted 99c in blue. I went in to press my luck. Every dollar store has something unexpected that you didn’t know you needed, and usually it’s not a dollar. I saw them and had to have them. The slippers. Blue, purple and white stripes. Fuzzy and open at the heels. My feet were aching in my usual black shoes with no support and black soles. I bought the slippers and put them on and went to work in them. Everyone was totally impressed. I’m not sure if it was the slippers, or the fact that I came to work in them. I didn’t really care, either. My feet congratulated the floor. It was totally unacceptable.