Friday, December 23, 2011

Learning to love is not easy...

It's always a wonderful feeling when you leave your therapist's office and you think "wow, I really accomplished a lot during that session." Then about twenty minutes later it hits: holy crap, is this really me?

A good session is a wonderful thing, but it often means a some painful realizations. For me it's no different. Last night I was blindsided by a baffling revelation: I am really hard to comfort. I've always assumed it was the opposite- others did not comfort me correctly. While this is still pretty true, I had to suck it up and figure out that this is partially because I don't let others in. I spend so much time trying to take care of others that when the favor is returned I don't know what to do with it. This is what leads to a lot of my urges to self-injure: it's a great way to avoid the discomfort of being taken cared of. Having not had my emotional needs met for a great majority of my life I never learned how to gracefully accept comfort. I find myself needing to justify it (ie- have a crisis), avoid it (ie- self soothe/hurt myself), or run from it (ie- feel ANY other emotion such as anger).

So this Christmas I'm going to try to give myself a really great present: allowing others to comfort me. It's not an easy thing, trust me. But I'm going to start by remembering the most important thing: affection isn't always perfect, but it always comes from the heart.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Advances in Therapy Technology

Although I am a face-to-face therapy client, I find the idea of having online therapy quite interesting. It's not just emailing back and forth, it also may be through webcam, chat room, or even on a role-playing platform. What amazes me the most is the latter. Second Life is a site where you can make your own character and act out every day activities. It's like The SIMS, but everyone on Second Life is a real person. There are therapists who practice actual therapy techniques, meditation circles, and group therapy sessions on this platform. It may seem outlandish, but isn't the point helping others, not how it's done?

Some argue that this could be detrimental to someone who is too involved with the game or someone who won't leave their house and lives only virtually. Though I'm no scholar, it seems that if you can open the door to therapy, at least a crack, perhaps you can help someone to get out of their virtual head and eventually transition to face-to-face therapy. TILT Magazine covers a lot of this subject and offers some opinions on how to best use online therapy. It also gives resources for both therapists and clients.

I find it amazing to see how the practice of helping others has begun to mold itself to the age of technology. Now instead of laying down on a couch in a dusty office, you can lay on a virtual couch from the comfort of your desk chair!