|Attachment Alan Sroufe The Future of Psychotherapy Clinical Excellence Gender Issues Mindfulness Etienne Wenger Attachment Theory William Doherty Mary Jo Barrett Couples Linda Bacon David Schnarch CE Comments Future of Psychotherapy Men in Therapy Couples Therapy Symposium 2012 Anxiety Diets Clinical Mastery Mind/Body Community of Excellence Ethics Great Attachment Debate Wendy Behary Brain Science Narcissistic Clients Trauma Challenging Cases|
|Case Study - Page 6|
In his "eye-chart" voice, he began, "I'm pathetic. Yeah, I can see that." I encouraged him to try on the other things he'd said. "I'm behind a wall. OK. Yeah, I recognize that one. Oh, I don't know about that next one. I'm a perfectly OK person, but she doesn't know it." I quietly corrected him. "Oh. I'm a perfectly OK person and I don't know it. I'm good but I can't see it." The eye-chart voice cracked as he let that in. In that moment, I could see and feel a shift. He teared up, but, this time, it was tender sadness, containing some insight into his own situation, not the blind anguish of a bereft child. He was able to look at me and stay connected. Our eyes met and his face remained soft. As before, this lasted only a brief time before it faded.
In the next weeks, Luc continued to explore re-owning the thoughts and feelings he'd projected onto others. He discovered increasingly that he could feel his feelings and tolerate their intensity; he could even sit quietly at home, recognizing what he was feeling. He became aware of his sadness, anger, and fear. More often than not, however, he still withdrew into himself when he actually felt his feelings with me. Staying in contact with me and simultaneously feeling his inner experience was extremely challenging because he still was afraid to feel his feelings with another person, even me.
Around this time, he began to do some volunteer work with the disabled. He practiced noticing his projections with the clients and with his co-volunteers. For example, in working with an autistic boy, he said, "He doesn't even know I'm there." I asked him to try this one on as a projection. "I don't even know I'm here," he said. "Or maybe, it's I don't even know you're here." This gave us the opportunity to explore more deeply how he cut himself off from me.
One co-volunteer, in particular, Rachel, piqued his interest, and he noticed his habitual inclination to entice her into a relationship. They've begun a friendship, and Luc is monitoring things as they develop. He hasn't yet started a "Rachel movie"—a video constantly running inside his head, with commentary about their interactions—but he's fully aware that he could easily fall into that old habit.
At this point, he's made significant progress in bringing mindfulness to his sensations, feelings, thoughts, and images. Increasingly, he can tolerate emotional intensity. The more he can do this, the less he'll be tempted to latch on to a relationship as a way of escaping from being alone. He's begun reaching out to others and bringing more of himself along. This is true of his relationship with me and somewhat so with Rachel.