Hakomi Psychotherapy Articles

Borderline Personality Disorder: Is Your Therapist Dogged by a Dark Side?

Saturday, June 23rd, 2012

At my last therapy session my therapist turned into a savage rottweiler; baring her sharp teeth at me, picking me up by the scruff of my neck and shaking the living daylights out of me. The doggone woman deliberately picked a fight about nothing, provoked me into a snarling row, called me a liar and then threatened to sue me for slander.

Interpretation of unfolding events is always a personal perception. I have been seeing her again for some workplace issues that need resolving. I was having problems accepting constructive criticism from the top dog in my organization. I found I was getting deeply triggered when told I was not achieving what I was supposed to achieve in the way she wanted it achieved and I was getting my feathers ruffled in a big way, getting upset, huffy and resolving the issue by fleeing or freezing.

So when within five minutes of arriving, my barking mad therapist activated every button on my panel and almost blew us both up, I almost called her a bitch, walked out the door and planned on brooding, ruminating and plotting impotent revenge against her for the rest of my natural life. Talk about an idealizing transference killer.

Borderline Personality Disorder, David Cassidy and Letting Go

Friday, November 4th, 2011

Ten years ago, I went to a David Cassidy concert in Perth and pressed myself up against the stage for him to come down and hold my hand, which he did.  But apparently I held on for so long he had to scream in my face, “LET GO!”

That was the best advice I have ever received.  I have finally taken David up on his offer and would like to take this opportunity to thank him for his insight and wisdom.  I have let go.  I have let go of all that emotional baggage I have been carrying around with me for nearly fifty years.

Imagine carrying fifty kilos of rubbish on your back, an amount that has accumulated with every year you have lived on this earth, then picture yourself dumping it forever down a deep, deep shaft.

After embracing mindfulness and acceptance I have done that and the feeling of freedom that entails is quite an intoxicating experience.  That is not to say my problems have vanished in a puff of blue smoke; quite the contrary, they are still there only now I have a different attitude towards them.  I am not carrying them on my back.  They appear to have taken on an amorphous, abstract quality whereby they exist somewhere in space and time but are no longer part of me.  They are a separate entity that has no power, no legitimacy and no control over my thoughts, feelings, actions and behaviours.

When Your Therapist Treats You Like a Dog

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

My therapist, who is a great fan of the Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan, has a dog that she loves very much but when he misbehaves or breaks a boundary he is firmly disciplined and because of this he is now a well-behaved dog.  She is pretty much the same with clients who break important boundaries as well – as I found out recently.

I broke a boundary when I asked her an intrusive question.  Seeing as I am about to embark on a career as a peer support worker, my personal boundary issues have to be exemplary so she thought she would, not unkindly, teach me a lesson; an experiential one and a message I am unlikely to forget.

When Life Feels Like a Near Death Experience

Saturday, March 12th, 2011

I was in session last week with my emotionally and socially intelligent therapist learning important role-modelling and personal negotiation skills when my mobile phone started to ring.  I swore loudly, threw my arms in the air, jumped up, and raced out the door and into the courtyard.  I was expecting a phone call to tell me whether or not I had a much-wanted part-time job.

Only for me it wasn’t someone giving me potential employment – it was a life or death experience.  If I got the job I would be ecstatic and if I didn’t get the job I was going to throw myself under a train.  One would make me feel very important and the other would annihilate me.  If I didn’t get the job, I would just keep walking to my car, without explanation because the alternative was to tell my beloved therapist I had failed – yet again.   I just could not face that.  Ever.

Not that I overreact or anything.

My Hakomi Psychotherapy Journey, Part 3: Being Held

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

On the last day of Hakomi, our facilitator read out loud this passage for us.

The following is an excerpt from the book Mortal Lessons by Richard Seltzer, MD. Seltzer is talking here of his experiences seeing Dr. Yeshe Donden, a Tibetan physician, as he reads the pulse of a patient at Yale Hospital.

My Hakomi Psychotherapy Journey, Part 2: Helplessness vs. Healing

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

The second day of the three day Hakomi workshop was like coming home.  I relaxed considerably once I realized that Vicki Emms was not in attendance.  I had found my safe place.

During high school my only safe place was the library.  Among many others I read Gerald Durrell, James Herriot, the Silver Brumby series, Pennington’s Seventeenth Summer series and eventually discovered Stephen King.  I sought refuge in books but not in schoolwork.  I was the quintessential library refugee.  Vicki Emms and her henchmen were not readers or deep thinkers.  For these damaged girls, mindless violence equated to wholeness, self-satisfaction and soul-integration. 

My Hakomi Psychotherapy Journey, Part 1: High School vs. Hakomi

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

I remember my first day of high school in January 1975. I arrived in the old green MTT school bus to be greeted by a tough-looking older girl who ran alongside the bus shaking her fist at me. I knew it was me she was meeting and greeting as she was making firm and constant eye-contact, rather like a super-heated, vaporizing laser-beam. Quite a feat considering the bus was still moving rather quickly at the time. When I got off the bus, she collared me and said she was going to beat the living shit out of me at a time decided and designated by herself that I was not going to be privy to. It would happen when I least expected it. The strange part about this was that I had never met Vicki Emms before in my life but she apparently knew a lot about me from my so-called friends at primary school.

So last weekend when the Hakomi instructor at my three-day Hakomi Psychotherapy Mindfulness Workshop compared the first day of Hakomi to the first day of high school, I was already there, most mindfully aware of two people inside me attending Hakomi that day — my thirteen-year-old self and my current adult observing ego.


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