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Day 30 The Monkey Trap

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by MSZ812, Apr 29, 2017.

  1. MSZ812

    MSZ812 Well known member

    Today's reading came from a therapist who recounted a story told to him by his client, who was dealing with depression and OCD. The client described a particular type of monkey trap used in a foreign country. The trap was described as a skinny tube leading to a larger area. The area is filled with bait, particularly a big piece of food. The monkey's hand fits through the skinny tube, but the monkey must make a fist to hold onto the food as it attempts to pull its hand back out of the trap. The monkey's fist is too big, and therefore can't hold onto the food AND gets its hand out of the tube. Apparently, the monkeys are so stubborn that they refuse to let go of the food, and therefore are "trapped". The client felt like that monkey. She was convinced that there was something she couldn't let go of in order to get better. It was the final obstacle left in her recovery.

    There is a parallel with TMS. Our rational conscious mind recognizes that it's preferable to feel our emotions than feel physical pain, but our unconscious mind is resolved to keep certain emotions in the dark . For many of us, this logical understanding doesn't simply make us better. We have to learn to let go of the unrepressed emotions, to let them into our conscious mind. That's where this SEP comes in, as it challenges us to dig deep and uncover. One of the things I'm struggling with is loving myself. I'm self-critical, and just flat out don't like my life right now. There are so many things I wish to change. I've come to realize that these emotions are fueling my pain. I need to go easier on myself sometimes. I need a healthy balance between current contentment and clear goals for the future.

    What are things that you are holding onto that get in the way of recovery?
  2. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Matt. That's an interesting story about the monkey and how it relates to TMS. I've always thought that the subconscious wants us to discover the emotions causing our pain. For me, forgiving my parents for divorcing when I was a boy was the major obstacle to healing from severe back pain. When I journaled I learned more about them and the reasons they divorced (financial) and was able to forgive them. I think holding on to anger and not forgiving is a major block toward healing. Maybe you need to think more on letting go of the anger by forgiving.

    I read your replies to others' posts and you are a very caring person. That alone ought to make you like yourself more.

    I find distractions very helpful. I just signed up for Acorn TV, a new streaming service with tons and tons of the best British television series. It's only $4.99 a month and streams shows to the computer or TV. It has wonderful movie distractions.
  3. MSZ812

    MSZ812 Well known member

    Walt, the subconscious has always been something I've struggled to understand. Am I correct that the unconscious is the area where repressed feelings are stored? Is the subconscious the "gatekeeper" between the unconscious and conscious? If that's true, it would make sense that the subconscious is working to bring the unconscious emotions to the conscious mind.

    That Acorn TV service sounds awesome! I currently use Netflix, which is also very good. One of my favorite free time activities is going to the movies. A close friend of mine is a manager at the local theater, and she gets me in to movies for free. It's a great way for me to escape the stresses of life, at least momentarily.
  4. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    I look upon the subconscious as a friend. I think your interpretation of it is right-on.

    It's great to see the movies in a theater, especially free. I just rarely find any new movie I'd like to see.
    I like Acorn TV and Netflix because I can find lots of stuff that I like.

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