The sound of living like a psychological millionaire

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The art of living as a psycholgical millionaire: To use your energy in a way that gives you a result you need.

A person with the possibility of becoming a psychological millionaire does just this. For this to happen, certain principles must be satisfied. Efficient mental energy has four characteristic features. Its:

– Adaptive

– Goal-oriented

– Successful

and

– Devoid of waste

Examples of non-efficient living:

Certain diagnostic groups can have enough mental energy, but low mental efficiency. This can for example be clients with AD/HD or Borderline personality disorder. They might do a lot of things, like walking around in a room restlessly or having an emotional outburst. Their problem is using the energy in a good way: They can`t regulate it in a way that makes it able to live a good life. Some groups have too low energy to be efficient, like with depressed or fatigued clients.

When working with dissociation, parts have different levels of mental energy and efficiency. EP`s can actually be the most energetic parts in the system, but have very low efficiency, since they repeat behaviors in a dysfunctional way. It is possible to have a dissociative disorder like DID and borderline PF at the same time. In this case most parts will have borderline features, that is: High levels of mental energy but low efficiency.

Energy and efficiency in trauma

“Looking in a cupboard that is empty, will not work no matter how good the torch is”. Nijenhuis, 2013

Trauma can also be understood by using the concept of energy and efficiency. Trauma can be either too much or too little energy or efficiency. For example, an EP can feel stuck, with high levels of energy, but low levels of efficiency. The EP can`t “get out of it”. There is no symbolization of the event, since it “feels like” the trauma is still going on. The part or the EP is “stuck” in what was. To connect the then with the now, it`s necessary to reach the reach the higher level of language, and that is easier when an empathic therapist helps the EP. Empathy is necessary to tune in to the EP`s experience. If the EP is afraid, the voice of the therapist must be soothing and calm. The therapist must tune in so that the EP is seen and validated. When the therapist tries to understand the EP, the ANP of the patient might learn that it`s possible to collaborate and help EP`s.

Example of working with an EP with enough mental energy

Imagine a claustrophobic EP (picture 1). The EP has trouble breathing because her throat feels constricted. The therapist might observe this, and tune in to this with a low, empathic voice “It looks like you have trouble breathing ?” The therapist observes that the EP tries to nod. The therapist continues: “I see you tried to nod, but it looks like its hard to move?”. The therapist explores the EP`s experience, thereby respecting and validating her.

The therapist can also ask the EP to try to broaden her field of consciousness, by asking if they can try to breathe slower or by asking of if the EP could look at something around her that is comforting. He can also try to tell the EP that she is safe, that boundaries will be respected, or say that everything will be okay. Moreover, the therapists can make it clear that the EP decides what happens next, and that everything will be predictable and safe. The therapist watches the EP and helps her, where she is, there and then.


Working with a non-verbal EP

If the EP is young and can`t talk, one has to communicate non-verbally. For example, if the EP is in “freeze-mode”, the therapist can ask questions about the inner experiences of the EP: “Can you find a place in yourself where you have some ability to move?” If the EP moves the ANP`s finger just a tiny bit, the therapist might say: “Is it possible to move your finger a little bit more?” Gradually, the EP is exposed to new experiences that will be healing in time.

If the frozen EP is able to move, either by actually walking around in the room, the EP learns what it couldn`t when abuse happened. When the therapist is able to intone and be there for the EP`s, magic can happen. I`ve experiences this myself, and every time it feels so meaningful. To see a afraid little EP starting to feel stronger, feels like I`ve been able to lift a heavy weight together with them. Therapy is heavy work. The EP must shred the cloak of repression that weigh down on them, and that cost a lot of mental energy. This means that the client must have enough mental energy available.

If he is tired, starved, physicially unfit or doesn`t do anything inspiring that gives joy or energy, it might be best to wait until more energy is available. Trauma-therapy is hard work, and cost both physical and mental energy. Going into trauma-material before the client has filled up her batteries, is not recommended.

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4 thoughts on “The sound of living like a psychological millionaire

    NZFiend said:
    November 30, 2013 at 19:39

    Wow. I have been dealing with one suicidal twenty year old guy over the last week whom goes into breathing problem mode like this. I have tried all the above with him. It does help, but when he is feeling powerless by external influences having control over his future, his breathing can become… worrying….

    I am not trained in anything other than design. I am not an idiot. I have too much empathy (crosses over into identification quite regularly – which is good for the people I deal with, but not so good for my own goals…)

    This post is spot on for me right now. Have spent three weeks helping a girl with major borderline personality disorder (apparent suicide attempt – red mark consistant with hanging on entry to emergency department, smashes her own windows claiming a gang did it, etc etc)

    I am just on a government unemployment benefit in New Zealand, but even I realise that character traits (or states) which may be considered flaws or defects in one environment may be beneficial or even advantageous in another. Being very ADHD and slightly borderline myself, but stubborn with it, I have never been looked at properly by people trained to do so.

    For some stupid reason all the people with training and knowledge are confirming what I am doing as reasonably correct. And for that, I thank the internet, without which I would be floundering around inside a DSM and having to read many boring texts just to find one relevant paragraph.

    I thank all the professional capable people whom donote a little of their time to contribute to free resources. You all make a difference, sometimes slight, to someone, somewhere, sometime.

    Thanks
    http://nzfiend.wordpress.com/2013/11/29/you-wouldnt-believe-it-i-am-not-a-bad-person-nor-am-i-an-idiot/

    […] The sound of living like a psychological millionaire. […]

    David said:
    December 1, 2013 at 23:36

    Mental efficiency?!?!?! That’s the answer to something I was trying to describe regarding planning styles. Whew! Thank you. Now words can replace the vague gestures I had before.

    Thankful | Mirrorgirl said:
    September 8, 2014 at 07:36

    […] curious about what will drift towards me, and which choices I and others will make in the future. Life is exciting, unpredictable and wonderful. I love it, and all the wonderful people in […]

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