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Success through therapists?

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Lavender, Jul 1, 2016.

  1. Lavender

    Lavender Well known member

    Can anyone fully attribute their victory over pain to working with a therapist after all else in the TMS "tool kit" has been applied ?
    Most of us have spent small fortunes in our quest and hesitate to go down that expensive path.
  2. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Lavender, the trick here is that most of the work is on you, whether it is with a therapy or not. I am using a TMS therapy from the TMS Wiki list and she is generous with her time, flexible and very helpful. However, as a TMS-er herself (huge plus!), she is diligently willing to work with me weekly, even daily, as she is determined to get the TMS out of my system (a minus!) :).

    So, it is on you to set the boundaries upfront: let's say, request a fixed number of sessions, every other week or once a month. Once you take ownership of your schedule (takes some strength - speaking from experience), you will see the healing effect. My mistake was that I followed the weekly schedule she recommended until I learned that it was too much for me. Took courage (a people pleaser TMS-er I am) to set the boundaries - another helpful TMS training.
  3. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle


    That's an interesting question and I'm curious to see how people respond.

    Some people really need an experienced third party to help them unjumble things. Others prefer to approach the same stuff from different angles with a passage of time between each round. I'm in the latter group mostly although I did see someone in the early days. They weren't a tms therapist but on reflection they were pretty accurate in their summation (I have a recording of the session which I recently found by chance). Back then I was so desperate I'd have eaten dog food if I thought it would help. Fast forward a handful of years and I see clearly how all they said was a variation of tms protocol. I was just too stubborn, oblivious to certain personality traits, and devoted to my pain-as-physical to really see it. I fare better these days. Life truly does smooth off those rough edges and polish the inner mirror.

    Maybe it'll help to tell us where you are stuck in your healing, what tools from the kit you have tried. Remember that old joke about expertise is knowing where to hit?

    If there are posts or replies you've made that nail this then post coordinates and we'll explore. It's worth a shot before going further.

    However if you do elect to see someone I would say that the best indicator of success in any therapeutic endeavour is the relationship you have with the therapist and they with you. Don't be afraid to engage in an initial chat and contemplation period. Ask questions. Feel how you feel about them. Therapy is expensive so you need to be in rapport to commit emotionally and financially.

    If you take the plunge, TG has given you some great advice and insight here. It is good to negotiate as you go.

    Plum x
    Ellen likes this.
  4. Bodhigirl

    Bodhigirl Well known member

    I am a therapist and have had people work on their mind/body connection through various somatic therapies for nearly three decades. John Sarno was a huge part of that, along with other great minds like Milton Erikson, grandfather of hypnotherapy and somatic bridges, where we trace the symptom to an event or emotion.
    And several different somatically oriented therapists have helped me go more deeply into the places where my "infantile rage" lives in my body. They hold the space safely when I feel I need the extra support but, as someone mentioned above, we have to do the work ourselves, daily. It's hard to remember not to struggle or dramatize when it comes so naturally.

    Perfect example, my horse literally dropped to the ground on the trail yesterday and I rolled over him, landing on my shoulder. As soon as I realized I was fine, I began telling myself that the fear of the experience need not take up residency in pain but that I can admit passionately that falling off my new horse was SCARY. I was still this morning but NOT INVESTED IN BEING INJURED! I am hollering because this is amazing. I used the research about how people in countries where you cannot sue for whiplash after car accidents Do Not Have Whiplash. We live in a system that rewards our suffering, our pain... and with the new data on opiates and Big Pharma, we truly are a world that has been taught to be in pain, to displace our emotions into something we can take a pill for.

    No thanks.

    I'm really happy today, sharing this! Was so afraid to retire myself with my older horse who I have had for nearly 20 years. Getting and new, young horse and showing up for physically taxing work is exhilarating... and I can rest afterwards without needing to be in pain. Sure, I had a few fantasies about lying in bed, all propped up like I used to be with my imaginary backaches and other drama, but I didn't have to go there.

    Gratefully yours, and sharing my new baby's photo...
    IMG_8840 (2) copy.jpg
    Lavender, Ellen and Anne Walker like this.
  5. Anne Walker

    Anne Walker Beloved Grand Eagle

    I think it really depends on the person. I was really entrenched in my patterns and the way I thought and reacted to things. I wanted desperately to do things differently and it was a real struggle for me to see past the pain. I really wanted to, and the harder I tried without success, the harder I was on myself. Working first with a TMS therapist and then with a Somatic Experiencing therapist gave me enough of a break that I was able to build on it. I really needed the experience in order to believe and as we all know you need to believe in order to change your experience. I was not in therapy for all that long. My somatic experiencing therapist moved away and I had a hard time finding anyone as good as her. But I do think the therapy was instrumental for me.
    Bodhigirl likes this.
  6. Lavender

    Lavender Well known member

    Thank you TG957 Your answer was helpful.
  7. Lavender

    Lavender Well known member

    Thank you Bodigirl and Anne Walker. Anne, it sounds as though you had a positive experience with therapy. I suppose I hesitate due to the costs but also because I have done so much self-analysis over the last 5 years ( 4 on the TMS trail) and just don't want to see therapy dragged out over many sessions when issues could be addressed easily. My frustrations are connected with the helplessness I feel being unable to walk and losing my independence, frustrations with the medical system, etc.
    So far no one has responded who considered therapy to be the sole turning point when nothing else was working.
  8. Orion2012

    Orion2012 Well known member

    Well, here is an alternative view: I'm leary of psychotherapy for TMS. This is yet another external solution. TMS must be resolved internally.

    But to be fair, a good therapist could help guide the process of self-discovery and self-compassion that is TMS healing.

    Funny that like surgery, therapy is more likely to work if you admire and believe in the practitioner.
    Lavender likes this.
  9. intense50

    intense50 Well known member

    For me journaling was my saving grace. I feel the work starts internally. I did see a therapist but she was not a tms pro but very sympathetic. She really liked my books. For me having a person to talk to helped me organize and digest all I was going through.
  10. fridaynotes

    fridaynotes Well known member

    i have just begun therapy in order to gain more access towards my unconscious that i cannot seem to uncover myself.
  11. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Lavender, I am not in a spot right now to confidently conclude what works and what does not, because I am not even 50% recovered and my symptoms may swing wildly any day.

    However, at least once I saw a significant improvement when my therapist pulled me into a conversation that I resisted in each and every way, about my childhood emotional issues. She finally pushed, I ended up crying during and after the session but next day I was feeling much better. Granted, it was only once and there is no guarantee there was a correlation. But my point is that without a therapist, I would have never gone into emotional issues I thought were no longer issues. We may not know where to dig in order to reach our unconscious.
    Ellen and Lavender like this.
  12. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Orion, I think it is a mistake to think that psychotherapy for TMS is an external solution.

    Of course, if a TMS patient does not allow the therapist inside and refuses to do the work we have to do in order to rewire the brain, a therapy would not help. But by the same token, one can conclude that reading Sarno's book or watching his video is not an internal solution because the knowledge came from outside.

    Like in every change, you get out of it as much as you put in. However, to have an experienced, professional guide through the process of re-wiring your brain can expedite the change and improve the outcomes. It is much like hiring a personal fitness trainer. They can't give you stronger muscles but they can help you gain stronger muscles more efficiently. Dr. Sarno worked with many professional psychoanalysts - for a reason!
  13. BBDiesel

    BBDiesel New Member

    I have just started this new journey. I am working with a TMS specialist and I feel I need the additional guidance to keep me going the right direction and to keep me accountable. It's like having a personal trainer at the gym to keep the course and helps you to achieve your goals. Granted you could achieve your goals without a trainer probably, but for myself I always perform and feel more secure about what I am doing when I have a professional that I trust support me thru it and has my best at heart.
    kld03c likes this.
  14. Orion2012

    Orion2012 Well known member

  15. Orion2012

    Orion2012 Well known member

    I agree with everything you wrote. I agree it is mistake to see therapy as an external solution. It doesn't have to be that way.
    But I think it is a mistake that some TMSers make. They go from researching the best back surgeons to researching best therapists. They are still stuck in the idea that expert intervention is the answer. Until they recognize that they are the fact the true expert on healing their TMS, that they have the power to heal themselves- will they be able to heal?

    Of course, a good therapist can help them find the solution internally, and understands this. And, I'm a big believer in therapy. But therapy doesn't help anyone- it can only help them help themselves. My point is just that it is important for the recovering TMSer to acknowledge their own power and responsibilty- and for therapy to facilitate and not impede this element of recovery.
    BBDiesel likes this.
  16. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Orion, I absolutely agree with what you just said.

    Magic bullet does not exist when it comes to TMS. A temporary relief may be achieved through a procedure - and there are moments when I think that I would take that magic pill to fix the pain that is burning and stabbing through my body, like it was last night. But then a sobering thought comes along, reminding me that unless I rewire my brain - I will be stuck relying on the pill again and again, while still fearful and in pain.

    I look at myself 5 months ago, to a day, when I unwrapped the Sarno's book I bought on Amazon, and I see a different person (at least I hope so!). I am more self-confident now and I am much kinder to myself. I am still in a lot of pain and still feel robbed of much of my life, but I now realize that the robber is me and it is on me to retrain myself out self-deception and self-defeat that I have practiced all my life, until now. For that, I am forever grateful to Dr. John Sarno, Alan Gordon, Forest and all of TMS-ers who gave me inspiration and kind support.

    Each time I win my little victory by taming the beast with the power of my mind, I feel more and more liberated of terror I was in 5 months ago, with the ugly diagnosis that offered no hope and no way out.
    Lavender and BBDiesel like this.
  17. kld03c

    kld03c Peer Supporter

    My experience with therapy has been very positive. I work with a TMS trained therapist as other therapists aren't trained to this treatment approach and I wasn't interested in working some southern lady who's going to tell me how to deal with the pain. I wanted something more cutting edge. We do sessions via Skpe which is really convienient. It's amazing what an unbiased person can tell you about yourself and I consider myself pretty self aware, lol. We don't focus on the pain and if I tell her I'm hurting she immediately asks me what is happening in life. It took a long time for me to eastablish trust and the process can be very difficult at times. I view the sessions as a gift and part of my self-care plan. It's like dating and you have to find someone that you are compatible with or you likely won't benefit much from the relationship. Also, I went into it with the idea that it will only take x amount of sessions to be healed, etc. TMS is a journey and not a destination. Neither is therapy though you need to make sure that you set some basic goals (not rigid expectations). Ultimately the work is on us but having a professional and caring human being to support your journey is a blessing to me.
    juderocketqueen and Lavender like this.

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