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Alex B. Unsolvable problems

Discussion in 'Ask a TMS Therapist' started by Guest, Aug 8, 2015.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    This question was submitted via our Ask a TMS Therapist program. To submit your question, click here.

    Question
    Hi,

    I have identified a few issues that cause me stress and anxiety through introspective exercises. They are long standing, some I've been ruminating about on and off for years, and some have triggers everywhere. Can you have successful treatment / resolution despite the fact that your problems aren't solvable / resolvable (e.g. a situation long passed, an unattainable want/need, or in extreme cases, irrational magical thinking)? Is acknowledgement and awareness sufficient, or is a resolution necessary?

    Thank you very much, your time and insights are greatly appreciated!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 17, 2015
  2. Alex Bloom LCSW

    Alex Bloom LCSW TMS Therapist

    Answer
    Hi, thanks for the great question!

    Very often when I work with clients they become discouraged and frustrated at the prospect of facing these "unsolvable" problems. Having mulled over and obsessed over them in the past, any time spent on them can feel wasted and frustrating, like a needless exposure to pain. This aversion can create some formidable blocks to progress because very often (as you seem to understand) it is these very issues and the feelings around them that can contribute to the overall problem.

    I think the main issue here is how we define resolution. As we speak often about reframing the meaning of pain, so to must we reframe your perspective on "unsolvable" problems. While it may be that unattainable desires may be out of reach or that figures from the past have hurt you and that you can't directly confront them, what you can do is look to how you relate to these experiences in the present: do you punish yourself for not handling things differently? Do you put pressure on yourself to "wise up" and be more prepared? Do you attack yourself for not being more "capable"? All of these are behaviors that are internally sourced: not matter how poor their treatment, no one can ultimately force you to treat yourself harshly. Therefore the task here is not to magically resolve these issues, but rather to examine how they continue to affect you and the way you relate to yourself, because I have seen time and time again that this is something you can address and adjust and that doing so can have huge benefits, beyond simply addressing TMS symptoms.

    Awareness and acknowledgment are the first steps, and they are certainly important. But so to you must directly address the internal consequences of these struggles, and do so with compassion and patience for yourself. Then you will begin to experience powerful change.


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    Cap'n Spanky and Walt Oleksy like this.
  3. Walt Oleksy

    Walt Oleksy Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Guest. I like Alex Bloom's reply about how to deal with unsolvable problems.

    I also am reminded that Dr. Sarno says it is not necessary to solve emotional problems so long as we discover what they are and feel them.
    One we feel them, we are recognizing they cause us emotional pain, and then the subconscious stops the pain.

    I think we all have unsolvable problems, but Dr. Sarno's way of dealing with them works for me.

    I also talked about this to a priest some years ago and he said when he has such a problem, even with the Pope,
    he just tosses the ball (the unsolvable problem) back to the Lord (who sent it to him) and lets Him deal with it.
     
    Cap'n Spanky likes this.
  4. mike2014

    mike2014 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Sometimes even discovering the problem can be a tall ask for some, it's can be like trying to find a needle in a hay stack. Some have said, it's more important to observe thoughts and emotions as we are creatures of habit. Intercepting and changing our thoughts alone can bring about astonishing change.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2015

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