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Parts Therapy Update

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by njoy, Dec 10, 2014.

  1. njoy

    njoy aka Bugsy

    Hi, my friends. I've been gone for awhile, dealing with a new TMS problem that is resisting all the old solutions. With some of us, it just doesn't quit, does it? Anyway, I found a "new" solution and was suprised to find it's only new to me! Dr. Sarno and some of his closest associates know all about it and support it.

    In case you don't already know, I'm talking about ISTDP (Intensive Short Term Dynamic Psychotherapy). If you'd like to know more, Forest sent me this link: http://www.tmswiki.org/ppd/Intensive_Short_Term_Dynamic_Psychotherapy

    I'm going to Vancouver next week for two ISTDP sessions (5 or 6 hours) and some fun in the big city. Yay! I'll report on how it works out here and maybe on the other forums as well. If it helps me, I'll probably do more sessions by Skype.

    I've been doing IFS sessions with Karen Locke almost weekly for a few months. These have been extremely helpful but I'm thinking that my latest problem may have popped up because IFS helped me get in touch with some pretty deep stuff. I even did a session with the part that has bugs (lol) and it said, "Time to really pay attention" but not much more specific than that.

    My (TMS equivalent) problem is a (sort of ) delusional parisitosis. I say "sort of" because I DO NOT believe I have real bugs, thanks to knowing about TMS. If not for this forum, I'd be like thousands of others who are totally convinced they are infested with real, living, crawling, biting, yukky, bugs. As it is, I know my bugs only come out when I'm stressed! So, thank God, it's obvious they aren't real.

    Anyway, I intend to continue with IFS to keep in touch with my parts. I think IFS and ISTDP may well work synergistically. I hope so anyway and will post on what happens next.

    Wish me luck, please.
  2. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

  3. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thanks for the update, Njoy. I look forward to hearing about your experience with ISTDP. I've been thinking about trying it too.

    Best wishes....
  4. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Good luck, njoy! Thanks for the pdate.

    It seems like interest in ISTDP is growing in the TMS movement. I had never heard of it until I spoke with Arlene Feinblatt, "the mother of all TMS Therapists," in 2010. I got really interested in it and started writing an article about it for the newsletter I was writing for practitioners. Alan Gordon found out about it from that article (I think that was it) and got really excited about it. Howard Schubiner got bitten by the ISTDP bug later that summer (though he doesn't remember my article). Dr. Schubiner ended up finding Dr. Alan Abbass, whom he loves, and even rewrote his book to incorporate information about ISTDP into the second edition. In a recent phone call with, I think it was, Barbara Kline, a passionately involved TMS Therapist, I think she mentioned that she has been trying out some ISTDP as well with her patients. I think that all of the Pain Psychology Center therapists get trained in it as well. It's great to see the idea spreading.
  5. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Sounds like great stuff, what's it all about in 10 words or less--sorry my attention span is so short but my urinary urgency is kicking in and don't have much time between double dribbles.
  6. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    From what I gather, ISTDP is pretty deep and nuanced, such that the 10 words really wouldn't do it justice. I also wouldn't be the one to write those 10 words, as I my knowledge of it is pretty preliminary - I just go by the fact that Arlene Feinblatt speaks very highly of it and I trust her judgment as "the mother of all TMS Therapists."

    If you want to read about it, though, the best information we have available about it is on our ISTDP page. It also includes an introduction to ISTDP by Dr. Feinblatt herself. I also went through all of our threads that mention ISTDP and tagged the best ones. You can find the list of all of our best threads about ISTDP by scrolling down to the very bottom of this page and clicking on "Tags: intensive short-term dynamic psychotherapy - istdp"

    Hope this helps and that your pants are still dry.
  7. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thanks Forest, I'll pop a couple of Flomax and do some reading.
    Forest likes this.
  8. mike2014

    mike2014 Beloved Grand Eagle

  9. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thanks, Mike, I went ahead and added them. I can't believe I forgot the directory thread!

    They might not appear immediately because the tagging software uses something called "caching." I had already tagged the Fredrickson thread, but caching is probably why it hadn't appeared in the list of threads that you get when you click on "Tags: intensive short-term dynamic psychotherapy - istdp" below this post.
  10. njoy

    njoy aka Bugsy

    @Tennis Tom, here's your 10 words:

    ISTDP packs 20 years of Freudian psychotherapy into 20 sessions.

    Or, to cut that in half:

    That's what I'm hoping for, anyway. Scary but fun? I guess I'm about to find out. My first appointment is tonight for 3 hours!

    One thing I've read is that the therapist tries to quickly access the "core problem" and bring it into the client's conscious mind. Usually, the client feel immediate relief that "it" is out -- because aren't these things usually less awful than we imagine them to be? I remember when I was scared of SO many things that are now no big deal. There was really no need for my mind to create symptoms to keep them out of awareness.

    Another key is that the therapist points out the defenses we use to avoid feeling our feelings. Once we understand that defenses (not feelings) are the cause of our problems, we "turn against them". We notice what we are doing and choose not to.

    Last edited: Dec 15, 2014
    Becca, Tennis Tom and Ellen like this.
  11. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    THANKS N'Joy! Goodluck, with it! Sounds like TOUGH LOVE, non-ENABLING psychotherapy. Or what my yoga teacher, Texas chainsaw Tony said in his Sunday morning down-dog sermon: ''Your enemy who tells you the truth, is a better friend then your friend who lies to you."

    Let us know how it turns out, hope you discover post-haste what's been buggin' you.

  12. mike2014

    mike2014 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi N'Joy, i'm very curious to know how your sessions went, it looks like a fascinating technique and I am considering it myself.
  13. Becca

    Becca Well known member

    I am REALLY intrigued by this approach. I think its effectiveness definitely depends on the therapist you have. Seems it's almost extra-important to feel 100% safe and comfortable with the practitioner you're working with for ISTDP (though I'd also argue that it's important to feel safe and comfortable with your therapist in order for psychotherapy to actually work, regardless of the approach).

    I hope your first session went well, @njoy !
  14. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    It may bet too late urinary urgency-wise, but I found a super easy to read introduction to ISTDP from the LA Times:
    And here's a comment on the article.

    I do find that the more different sources I read, the richer of an understanding I get.
  15. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle


    After all the talk about how intense it is, I'm beginning to worry that it might have been fatal. ;)
  16. njoy

    njoy aka Bugsy

    Wow, thanks for all the lovely support! I'm finally back home and have had a few days to process what happened. In brief, it was wonderful. I really enjoyed the first 3 hour session and my very skillful therapist did a great job of keeping me on track: feeling the feelings; recognizing defenses, learning about how anxiety affects my body and how to bring my awareness back to the core issue without getting sidetracked. I have a good sleep Monday night (highly unusual, lately) and went off exploring my favorite parts of Vancouver on Tuesday. In the afternoon I had some interesting reactions and spent the evening in my hotel processing, using what I'd learned. It worked well but I was SO glad I had a 2 hour session the next day. That went well, too, and I flew home on Thursday. Just about a perfect experience in every way except ...

    Bedbugs! Yes, Bugsy got bedbugs. The hotel was very clean but I felt bites Monday night! At first, I thought it was my usual imaginary bugs (my latest defense against anxiety which is, itself, a defense against anger and fear) but on Tuesday morning there was no doubt they were real. Big nasty bed bug bites (I had them once 50 years ago and they haven't changed). I was quickly upgraded to a super room with a great view of Vancouver's mountains. They washed all my clothes ... I took antihistamines and used a lot of zinc ointment.

    Coming home involved ripping all my clothes off outside (thank goodness for rural living) and racing into the shower. Over the next few days, I gradually dealt with my luggage and am hopeful I've brought no beasties into the house.

    Despite this "unexpected life event" the 5 days I've been home have been good. My big breakthrough has been in my relationship with my husband. I didn't know it but I feared abandonment (based on being abandoned by my father when I was 3 years old) and because of that, instead of honestly expressing my feelings, I either stuff it or we fight. A lot. And, guess what, he fights back. So, while our relationship can be great it is interspersed with a lot of yelling. The therapist managed to make the point (duh!) that since he is still here 54 years later, he isn't going anywhere. I recognize that is the truth. He's pissed me off since I got home, a few times, but I'm handling it completely differently.

    I'd say my 5 hours Intensive Short Term Dynamic Psychotherapy was worth the time and money. I'm reading a lot and will probably have a few more sessions by Skype. Parts therapy works with ISTDP which also integrates with my spiritual beliefs fairly well. So far, I feel less negative and better able to handle life, in general, even the tough stuff. I felt a bit depressed the first day home but not since (unusual for me as I tend to go up and down). All in all, good. May it last!

    I'll update this thread, as time goes on.
    Becca, Ellen, mike2014 and 1 other person like this.
  17. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    That is great to hear! I'm happy it worked out. Sorry about the bedbugs, though!
  18. njoy

    njoy aka Bugsy

    Lol, me too! Thank goodness for antihistamines and zinc ointment.
  19. mike2014

    mike2014 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thank you njoy, I felt itchy just reading about those bugs.
  20. blake

    blake Well known member

    What a great breakthrough about your relationship. I certainly can relate to the abandonment issues. Neat that you were able to go all the way back to 3 and get in touch with that pain. Glad it has helped you find relief.

    Bedbugs are not too fun. My husband sleeps in hotels for his job, and once he woke with bites all over his arms. Thank goodness it only happened once and he didn't bring any of them home. Sounds like your hotel handled things wonderfully by upgrading you to a better room and washing your clothes.

    Thanks for the update, Njoy, and take care.
    Becca likes this.

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