Find freedom to respond in ways that are intentional, and not reactive.
People often call on me because of issues they’re having with behavior. They’re not meeting their own expectations or the expectations of others. Psychotherapy relies on the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM) for definition and categorization of ‘disordered’ behaviors. Most of the behaviors in question are, on some level, anti-social. If they weren’t, no one would have noticed.
In the activated state, we are not able to reason, learn, or speak kindly. We are in survival mode– fight, flight, fix, fawn, or flock
These behaviors can also be categorized as ‘pain based behaviors’. The pain is felt when traumas are triggered and the person feels like the injury is happening again. For some, this happens over and over again. When we are triggered, the lower parts of our brain are activated and override the rational upper part. We are not able to act ‘rationally’ in those moments. In the activated state, we are not able to reason, learn, or speak kindly. We are in survival mode– fight, flight, fix, fawn, or flock. These are knee-jerk reactions to the sensations experienced in the trauma.
Treatment becomes a matter of accepting our triggered responses as a natural consequence of being put in situations where we had to develop these adaptive behaviors. But that was then, and this is now. We can now begin retraining ourselves to mindfully understand our responses, and introduce a pause. We can take some space – a breath or three – in which we assess our current situation using our full mind. We are then free to respond in a more personally and relationally beneficial manner.