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  • 0 P004 New Perspectives on Practice: The Great Attachment DebateP004, Attachment, Session 4, David Schnarch 05.07.2011 22:43
    Finally got to listen to this deliciously provocative webinar and read the thoughtful posts and generous replies of David Schmarch. I trained with Murray Bowen and Tom Fogarty for 4 years in the 70's. I'm grateful for the notions of differentiation I learned then.In the many years since I've integrated Psychosynthesis, Bioenergetics, Somatic Experiencing (none of which were originally attachment based or even primarily relationally oriented.) My focus has been primarily on helping clients (individuals and couples) with self regulation and differentiation of self. I even developed my own method, Emotional Medicine, to help clients learn how to use brief embodied mindful emotional discharge and focus on ensuing relief to restore states of calm resourceful coherence in a matter of minutes.

    However, recently I've discovered and begun training in the attachment based Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy AEDP. After 40 years as a therapist, AEDP has finally given me a methodological vehicle to more precisely and systematically answer in my practice the question Thomas Nolan raised " How and under what circumstances will the client look at themselves." (And I would add the equally important questions, how and under what circumstances will the client take responsibility for what they see about themselves and then take action for transformation.)

    In my experience the answer to those questions is love -- sometimes tough, sometimes tender. The ability of the therapist to be what Diana Fosha calls a 'true other' for the client, to undo the aloneness which often makes facing the disgusting truth of self at worst terrifying or unbearable. This moment by moment tracking and presence for clients is nothing like trivial empathy or 'coddling.' It is profound.

    I know that most people who get caught in 'heart eating', disgusting behaviors do not go to bed at night thinking they are terrible people. The power of the unconscious and its defensive gargoyles should not be underestimated. While people are surely always mind mapping, they are also surely not always aware of what they know, and are even likely to be actively subconsciously working hard not to know what they know.

    From this brief taste of Snarch,I also wondered whether he was also underestimating the immobilizing effects of trauma on people's ability to be present for the themselves at best or worst.

    If getting people to confront their dark sides and restore the resources of self at best were essentially a matter of someone telling them the unsavory truth about themselves, we wouldn't as a nation need much therapy other than Dr Laura and Dr Phil.

    I haven't seen David Snarch work, but I imagine there is some profound quality of love and being a 'true other' present in his collaborative confrontation in the service of differentiation.

    However, along with some other posts, I think that there is a self selection process for Snarch's practice in which his reputation (e.g."I hear you're tough and will kick my ass"draws to him people who would respond better to tough love than tender love and as one post said, these folks are ready for action. I'm not so impressed that these who already know what they're in for don't leave.

    Since AEDP gives therapists' blatant permission to love, I've been able to come out of the closet with my true heart for clients. I've now found clients taking more transformative, individuating type risks, more quickly than ever.

    In my experience, couples not only read each other's minds (whether consciously or unconsciously) they feel each other's feelings. They are vulnerable (as in open and susceptible to being impacted and yes, even wounded, by each other's emotion) If one part of the couple is good at suppressing emotion, the other part will typically experience the emotion for both of them. While this does not mitigate the need to take responsibility for one's emotional responses no matter what the dyadic influences, or historical wounds, or phase of the moon, etc etc, it makes dyadic regulation for couples a practical option which takes this shared reality into account.

    Finally,since I experienced Snarch having a mind like a steel trap while being amazingly , articulate, confident, and charismatic, I am concerned about how much of his clients' collaboration is compliance and/or submission to such a powerful (father) figure. I appreciated his stressing the need to turn a combative alliance into a collaboration. I'm not sure, however, whether just this intention coupled with his intuitive clarity is enough to mitigate the authoritarian aspects of his method. Once clients' are dazzled by his intuitive insights and forceful of personality, are they going to be truly comfortable in disagreeing, speaking up, differentiating from him, etc?

    Other than the drop out rate, what are the outcome studies of the Crucible method? How well do folks fare down the line?

    Full disclosure: my husband of 20 years and I have recently had some EFT couples' therapy here in SD. It was the most helpful couples work we've ever experienced.

    All that being said, this wonderful webinar has gotten me reviewing a client situation where I might need to step up my tough love. THanks for all of this ! And Rich, you did a great job reframing and managing this torrent of interesting and provocative material.
    More thanks.

    Penelope Young Andrade, LCSW
    San Diego, CA

  • 0 P004 New Perspectives on Practice: The Great Attachment DebateP004, Attachment, Session 3, Dan Siegel 04.25.2011 11:36
    Thanks for your generous spirit and guidance for specific follow up info. I'm going to try to locate a brain/nervous system model or graph. Surely someone must have done this by now. Good luck with your writing. warm regards, Penelope

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