Adult Children of Dysfunctional Adults ($)
Your coping strategies may be keeping you from healing.
“When we are stunned by some tragedy, we can only see and feel the tragedy. Only with time and distance can we see the tragedy in the context of a whole life and a whole world.”
― Harold S. Kushner, from “When Bad Things Happen to Good People”
Many of my high functioning clients are children of dysfunctional parents. My lower functioning clients might be as well, but they have enough difficulty in the present, and don’t have the energy to work on their childhood.
Many troubled people are the traumatized survivors of bad parenting, and I suggest bad parenting to be the smoking gun of modern culture. These crimes would be less likely in a healthy extended family. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen one.
Remodeling What’s Normal
A personality is a many structured thing. There are many angles one can take to changing one’s personality and each angle affects the other. You can’t change your personality the way you can remodel a house, as every change affects other parts of you. Our personalities are a bit like a house of cards.
This is the attraction of talk therapy: you can limit its effect. The disadvantage, however, is that it has little effect. Some of us poo-poo talk therapy, but most therapists believe in it as their stock in trade. Most therapists aren’t very good, and it’s just as well that they don’t have sharp tools as they’d do more harm than good.
Do you think talking would be a path to cure a depressed person? How about a dysfunctional parent? It would be of little help to either, and it does little more good for their traumatized children, who are now adults.
But there is a purpose for talking, and you have to know a little about hypnosis to understand it. Hypnosis is the management of fixated states. You can use it like a lever to amplify your experience. With amplification comes memory, motivation, and sometimes insight.
Our Blind Fixations
We are all in varying states of fixation, mostly fixated on our perceptions, but also fixated on avoiding things. Our lives are games of volley and serve, where our serves are our intentions, and our volleys are the steps we take toward satisfaction.
Our normal behavior is conditioned, and within our conditioned state we build our personality, frame our situation, and justify our actions. Our normal state of mind has all the features of a hypnotized state. We only call it “normal” because it represents us. Everyone lives in such a state.
Talk can be powerful. If you’ve ever spoken to a hysterical person, you’ll know how upsetting it can be. But talk therapy is nonthreatening talk. The purpose of nonthreatening talk is to relax a person while keeping them in their normal state. Relaxation is a prerequisite to changing state.
In hypnotherapy, conversation is referred to as pretalk. It precedes directive hypnosis. Directive hypnosis is where you reframe another person’s point of view. Reframing is not a suggestion, it’s a direction.
In analogy with a martial art, reframing aims to redirect another person’s strength. To reframe, you take what another person believes, combine it with what they resist, and serve it as an irrefutable conclusion.
What makes this a hypnotic process rather than just regular talk is that your argument makes little sense. It cannot make sense if it’s to be effective, because what makes sense is the structure that prevents change. This is the fallacy of talk therapy and talking in general: we’re always trying to make sense when, in truth, we manufacture what makes sense.
Fixing from the Top Down
If you’d like to learn to be your best, and help the world, call me. It’s free. Pick a time when we’re both free: