|Posted on August 26, 2018 at 4:05 PM|
ALL THAT IS LOST CAN BE FOUND by Lynn Heselton, MSN, APRN, PMHCNS-BC
All That is Lost Can Be Found by Lynn Heselton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
This is a Fairy Tale written for people with both a Dissociative Identity Disorder and Developmental Trauma Disorder. I hope that this story will help you understand your symptoms and how psychotherapy can help you.
Long ago during the Dark Ages, in a faraway land, a princess was born in a castle high on a mountain that was surrounded by the sea. The princess was named Hope for she was fair, strong, pure of heart and destined for greatness. The kingdom rejoiced that Hope had arrived and gave her the gift of a necklace with a heart-shaped golden locket. This locket held the glow of the stars that shone down from the sky on the night she was born. Word of her birth spread quickly throughout the land.
One day, great darkness descended upon the kingdom. The Dragon Atrox; who was dark of heart and hideous to behold heard about the golden Locket of Light and wanted it for himself. Atrox disguised himself as a charming minstrel from a nearby kingdom and boldly walked through the main gate.
Unknowingly, the queen welcomed Atrox into the Great Hall and invited the minstrel to perform nightly during the ceremonies. After each performance, the minstrel snuck away to search for the princess and the Locket of Light. When Atrox found Hope’s room, he transformed back into a horrific and cruel Dragon. Hope believed Atrox would destroy her and she cried out in fear.
In the morning, Hope tried to tell the inhabitants of the castle about Atrox; who prowled the castle by night but they could not see the Dragon. No one believed the young child. She was alone and defenseless against Atrox.
Only one inhabitant of the kingdom knew that Princess Hope was in grave danger. The Blue Fairy; who could see for a great distance, saw that darkness had entered the castle. The Blue Fairy flew to Hope and said, “Atrox is a great evil which is more powerful than all of the magic in the kingdom. He is so powerful that I can not fight him. Atrox will stay disguised in this castle for many years to come. No one will understand the evil and chaos that he brings. No one is strong enough to force him out of the castle.”
The Blue Fairy promised, “I will use all of my powers to protect you and the Locket of Light. I will hide your Locket so well that even you will not remember where it is. Then I will shield you from Fear. This is the only way that I can save you from complete destruction.”
The Blue Fairy took the golden Locket of Light which held the glow from the stars and shattered it like glass into many shards of light. She took each particle of light and placed it inside a heavy vault and then hid each vault in a different room of the castle.
At the entrance to each room, she placed a guard. She selected the cleverest, most vigilant, and strongest of all of Hope’s personal assistants to stand watch day and night over the vaults.
The Blue Fairy gave each guard a different gift to shield the princess from Fear. The first guard was given a whistle which he blew whenever Atrox was near. This whistle was so loud that the princess no longer heard the terrifying roar. Sometimes the whistle was so piercing that she could not think clearly. The second guard was given a powerful fan that blew the fog from the sea and filled her chambers with impenetrable darkness and confusion. A third guard was given a long telescope pointed out the window so the princess could stare at exquisite shells on the edge of the ocean. A fourth guard was given a magical carpet which the princess used to float up to the ceiling. A fifth guard was given a dark storm cloud that drenched the princess whenever her skin became scorched from the flames of the dragon.
The guards prevented the Princess from hearing, thinking, seeing, and feeling Atrox’s cruelty and she was no longer in constant fear. In this way, Hope was enveloped in the invisible darkness and silence which would enable her to survive the torment and wrath of Atrox.
The Blue Fairy said, “dear sweet child, after what may be an eternity, Atrox will leave the castle. Long after his departure, you will not believe that he is gone. Every night there will be a fierce storm with strong winds and heavy rains blowing through the high turrets and forcing open the doors of the castle rooms. You will hear Atrox’s terrifying roar, see his dark scales in the shadows, and feel his sharp claws but it will only be the storm from the sea that is filling the castle with fear. You will be confused and afraid when you hear different, conflicting commands from the guards to protect you. Your physical senses, feelings, and thoughts will be frozen in time and unable to change. You will be blanketed by heavy dampness unable to see clearly in the present or fully remember your past.” The Blue Fairy warned the young child, “the inhabitants of this kingdom will treat you like an ordinary pauper because you will no longer glow with the light of the heavens. You will no longer trust others or be able to fully believe all that you hear, think, see, or feel. You will be in this state for many years. The Blue Fairy urged her to seek the Wizard. She explained, "the Wizard will help you find the Locket of Light. All that is lost can be found."
After many years, Hope found the Wizard. He said, "I will help you find your way out of this dark fog that is filling the castle. We will need the assistance of your oldest, kindest and wisest guard.” The oldest and wisest guard agreed to join them. Hope, the wizard, and the wisest guard walked together out of the castle and into the forest. They went to a peaceful area in the woods and sat by a crystal clear lake. At the water's edge, the guard sat by the water and Hope could see his reflection. In his reflection, she could see the guard's inner kindness and wisdom and asked him to intervene. He summoned the other guards. One by one they walked over to Hope. Each of the guards embraced Hope because they loved her so much and had spent their entire lives trying to protect her. One by one, the guards sat down by the water's edge so that Hope could see their reflection. She was filled with awe. Their reflection opened the vaults, and the particles of light joined together to illuminate everything. She cried tears of joy. Her eyes were opened, and she could see clearly now. Her ears were opened, and she could hear clearly. Her mind was opened, and she remembered. She remembered that Atrox had left the castle long ago. She remembered how wonderful it was to be complete and filled with the light of the heavens. She reached out and placed the Locket of Light over her heart and knew that she would fulfill a great destiny.
|Posted on August 26, 2018 at 2:45 PM|
Dissociation is a way to shut down and protect from frightening threats to survival (i.e., a scary parent or a scary experience). Dissociation is created by fear from the past and is manifested in present situations that are frightening reminders of the past. Dissociation is one of the key elements to recognize, understand and correct to fully recover from childhood or adult trauma.
Dissociation is on a continuum. Lower levels of dissociation can be found in personality disorders and adults who have experienced trauma. Higher levels of dissociation can be found in Dissociative Identity Disorder. Dissociation is evident by lack of memories of childhood or in your adult life, lack of connection to your body, lack of connection to a full range of emotions and discord between conflicting thoughts.
Revisioning is new psychotherapy that can rapidly repair all levels of dissociation; from Personality Disorders all the way to the most complex level of Dissociative Identity Disorder. Revisioning Therapy activates and repairs the Mirror Neuron Network of the brain. The Mirror Neuron Network is the connecting network that can be activated to re-connect the missing pieces of memory, emotions, and thoughts and separate ego states. This therapy utilizes the most recent advances in the field of neuroscience to repair the ego structure so that you can have a restored memory (that includes positive memories), a comprehensive, full range of emotions, and solid self-identity.
For those who experience dissociation, I recommend Revisioning Therapy first to repair, restore, build and connect ego strengths. Once you have a continuous range of memories, thoughts, feels and body connections, then you will be feeling whole on the inside. This improvement is often so significant that sometimes people choose this as a stopping point in therapy. If you decide to have an even more comprehensive treatment, I can then do EMDR to resolve specific traumatic memories.
|Posted on August 26, 2018 at 1:55 PM|
Connecting with people and getting your needs met can be a struggle for those with a childhood history of difficulty connecting to a parent or caregiver. Let's look at a few examples. Sometimes a parent is not there for the child some or all of the time. This can be due to an adoption, divorce, parent travel, alcoholism or other substance use. If a parent is not present, the child will not be familiar with openly sharing feelings and getting their needs met. Adults with this childhood assume that others will not understand them and will not meet their needs.
In the second situation, a parent or caregiver may only intermittently meet their child's needs. This may be due to many possible factors such as family financial stress, parents experiencing mental illness or substance use. This creates a heightened sense of anxiety in the child as they fear their needs will not consistently get met. The adult with this childhood would experience anxiety about others meeting their needs. The adult would simultaneously work "too hard" to get their needs met along with oversensitivity about other's refusal or inability to meet their needs.
In a third situation, the parent or caregiver may be scary due to mental illness or substance use. This results in the paradox of the child wanting to connect to the caregiver to get their needs met and wanting to run away at the same time. The child adapts to this situation by creating two or more parts of their personality to adapt to this paradox. This creates internal disconnection as they fear the people that they desire a connection with. It may be confusing for others to understand intermittent behaviors to connect and then disconnect.
In all three examples, the Mirror Neuron Network of the brain has been damaged. The Mirror Neuron Network is the connecting and empathy pathway of the brain that is developed through healthy and consistent connections with caregivers. Revisioning is new psychotherapy that can repair the Mirror Neuron Network. The unmet needs of the child ego state can be integrated and merged with the adult self. This results in an easier, closer, less confusing and emotionally satisfying connections with others.
|Posted on August 26, 2018 at 1:35 PM|
When a person goes through a trauma, there is often damage to the psychological structure of a person (ego). A person in a crisis selects only some parts of the self to cope with the trauma. A person facing a trauma will automatically and unconsciously utilize the part of themselves that is most useful to deal wiht the present crisis. After the trauma event, it may feel like a part of themselves got lost along the way. They wonder, "what happened to the old me? I used to do this activity or I used to be interested in that topic". They may say things like: the trauma "took a piece of me" or "shattered me" or "left me a changed person." Often people feel emotionally weaker and unable to face the challenges that were previously easy. The missing piece of trauma treatment is often ego repair. It is important to reconnect the pre-trauma self with the post-trauma self. The lost traits and strengths of a person can be restored. Trauma forces a person to utilize their personal strengths in new, previously unrecognized ways. One's strengths seem to be buried with the trauma. Therapy can restore and enhance these strengths in a powerful way. Revisioning Psychotherapy can restore pre-trauma ego strengths and combine them with the positive growth that has occurred because of the trauma. In my opinion, trauma therapy is not complete until the ego has been restored and made stronger. It is important to feel like you've got your old self back again-only better.
|Posted on August 26, 2018 at 1:30 PM|
Most people have experienced trauma in their lives. It is hard to go through life without living through many traumas. Some common examples include an automobile accident, divorce, termination from a job, death of a family member, rape, a serious illness, child abuse.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR) is a well-researched, effective and internationally recommended psychotherapy to resolve traumatic memories. It is based on the theory that a person can not be fully emotionally present during trauma and so the brain splits the memory apart into separate pieces into the right and left hemisphere of the brain. These pieces of the trauma can be images, physical sensations, feelings, and thoughts. These pieces of the trauma can be re-lived in the form of a flashback whenever you are reminded of the trauma in your daily life. EMDR is an information processing therapy that combines information from both brain hemispheres together and helps you to be able to understand the trauma from a new perspective. Once the pieces of the trauma are combined together, the trauma can be anchored in the past (where it belongs) as you bring the positive learning, emotional recovery and growth to the present. EMDR can effectively resolve symptoms of re-living the trauma such as intrusive negative thoughts, emotional distress, and upsetting imagery.
If you feel stuck re-living a distressing memory from the past, I would suggest trying EMDR. I have been trained by Francine Shapiro, the founder of EMDR. I have used EMDR for the past 20 years with excellent results. It is possible to decrease the intensity of emotional suffering for one or many traumatic events in your life.
|Posted on April 25, 2016 at 3:10 PM|
I’m sorry that your friend has died. I know how close you were. So close that you may feel the emotional and physical pain that your friend experienced. So close that you may feel like a piece of yourself is missing now. I feel sad knowing that you are suffering; which is why I have devoted my life to finding a solution.
Being with a person for as little as 30 minutes links them to you through the Mirror Neuron Network (MNN). The connecting and empathy neurons of the brain are called Mirror Neurons. When the MNN is activated, Oxytocin is produced. Oxytocin is a powerful bonding hormone that links a mother with her baby and increases whenever we hug someone. When we become separated from a loved one, the MNN becomes “broken” and we experience the painful yearning of wanting to reconnect. Grief can be shared through the MNN and affect hundreds and even millions of people. Who has not felt sadness about the tragic deaths of Robin Williams, Steve Irwin and Princess Diana?
The sadness of losing a loved one is painful and the yearning to reconnect is so powerful that many people experience complex and prolonged grief. Some may feel survivor’s guilt since they were not able to prevent a friend’s death. In my experience working with Traumatic Grief, I think this is why the rate of suicide of Veterans exceeds the rate of death in combat. It is painful to watch a brother die and not be able to stop it.
What if there were a solution to the intense suffering of losing a loved one? What if you could look at photos and have happy memories? What if you could think about a friend or loved one and feel connected and whole again? What if it were possible to directly heal the MNN that has been “broken” from grief? Now there is a way to repair the MNN with a new psychotherapy method called Revisioning. Revisioning is the fastest available psychotherapy to heal many forms of complicated or prolonged grief; including Traumatic Grief and Persistent Complex Bereavement Disorder.
Grief affects all of us. If you feel unable to function in your daily life because of grief or have chronic numbness, depression or physical symptoms, then it is important to contact a mental health professional. If you are feeling suicidal, text anonymously anytime 741-741 to reach a counselor or call the 24-hour line 1 (800) 273-8255. Veterans 1 (800) 273-8255.
For more information about Grief and Revisioning, contact Lynn Heselton, MSN, APRN, PMHCNS-BC. Read more about Revisioning in my new book, Revisioning: Rapid Mirror Neuron Psychotherapy for Grief and Trauma (2016) by Dr. Mark Rider and Lynn Heselton.
A Broken Heart and Broken Mirror Neuron Network by Lynn Heselton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
|Posted on January 29, 2015 at 11:00 AM|
Revisioning is a unique treatment, unlike any other grief treatment. Revisioning is a powerful catalyst for rapid and profound changes with normal uncomplicated grief as well as very complex, difficult to treat grief. Revisioning improves the range of possible types of grief from simple to Traumatic Bereavement all the way to Persistent, Complex Bereavement Disorder. This treatment is very effective for even the most painful deaths such as Suicide, Homicide, and Death of a Child. Unresolved Grief is a frequent, unrecognized comorbid issue in Depression, Panic Attacks, PTSD, Suicide Attempts and Substance Abuse. Revisioning is a new treatment with the amazing ability to resolve decades old grief and prevent recent grief from escalating into a life time of suffering.