Each of us has a history – individual and collective. The works of Gabor Mate and Thomas Huebl provide breathtaking discussions in this area – truly brilliant stuff. Worth checking out – each of them has a wealth of knowledge, experience, resources, insights, strategies, and so forth:

https://thomashuebl.com/ and https://drgabormate.com/

In the meantime, let’s discuss…

As humans and as a planet, we hang onto stuff from the past – artifacts. These artifacts can be tangible items (i.e., trophies, report cards, love letters, birthday cards, photos). They can also be more abstract (i.e., memories, events, feelings, instincts, vibes, relationships, circumstances).

We might name or experience these artifacts as:

  • Unfinished business
  • Regrets
  • Trauma (big T, little t, etc.)
  • Stuff-that-happened to/around/within us
  • Growing pains
  • Naivete, stupidity, idiocy, and other nice things we say about ourselves
  • I-should-have-known-betters
  • Put-it-in-a-locked-box-and-forget-about-it events
  • Spiritual, relational, existential disconnect
  • Pain.

Let’s turn these artifacts into RESILIENCE. Let’s build some SKILLS.

Being stuck in the past (or present) is not your fault. Staying stuck, or not being quite ready to become unstuck, is common for all of us along the way. It’s your call when the time has come to dissolve, unwedge, liberate the proverbial glue. It’s then time to get authentic, congruent, resonant.

How can we accomplish this? Seems like a tall, tall order…

There are many approaches we can take in therapy, and many are offered through Pinnacle Psych. For instance:

  • We can adopt a Narrative Therapy (NT) approach, where we seek to rework the ways that our plots and assumptions are no longer working for us.
  • We can work from a nervous-system-rewiring perspective, and use Polyvagal Theory (PVT) and the Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP).
  • We can immerse ourselves in Prolonged Exposure (PE), so that painful re-experiencing and avoidance of reminders no longer have control over our lives.
  • We can engage in Habit-Reversal Therapy (HRT) – many of our “bad” habits, reactions, etc. are simply unskillful ways of getting our needs met.
    • Using substances for comfort.
    • Checking and checking and checking and checking for (greater) certainty.
    • Pushing people away for self-preservation.
    • Fighting with others for stimulation.
    • Interacting with others who are not a good fit for connection.
    • Staying in yucky situations for familiarity.

Comfort. (Greater) certainty. Self-preservation. Stimulation. Connection. Familiarity.

These don’t seem like bad ideas. They aren’t. They are very legitimate needs, and we are spot-on in trying to get them met. We just might need better options to go about it. We can build new skills and habits.

“Bad” behaviours almost always make sense. We can work to get our needs met in more skillful ways, which can lead to better functioning, mindsets, perspectives, relationships, and experiences.

What expired artifacts are you hanging onto? Ready to let them go?

Reach out to Kathleen at Pinnacle Psych today, to see what options you have to unstick yourself. Yes, it’s extremely courageous, and it’s wonderfully hard work. Let’s get gritty with Pinnacle Psych.

Kathleen Kelava
Registered Psychologist #4818 (AB)
BComm, MC
Pinnacle Psych