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The Psychology ofTimology:

a shrink helping others expand

by Timothy Rogers, MA., LMFT

Licensed Psychotherapist MFC101500

Once trapped in the inner circle of thought, I would fill in the blanks of those unknown parts of my Self with Self deprecation "humor" and Self deflating mantras. Therapy continues to help me to feel in those blanks spots instead. Revealing that those 'unknown' parts were actually underdeveloped aspects of my already established, but kept away from my conscious Self.


I kept these Self-actualized aspects of me away from my conscious Self as a way to remain protected from those extremely uncomfortable feelings of rejection, disappointment, and of course, loss. Keeping my Self small also kept me 'safe' from feelings of vulnerability which are annoyingly ubiquitous in The Unknown, 


This liar of protection also kept me from experiencing the main ingredient in the recipe that makes for an incredibly satisfying, deeply meaningful and of course consistency joyous, relieving and long lasting life. That aspect of life which alludes MANY of us humans trying to be much too often is......

to be a willing equal contributor to and the recent of... Several Healthy, Intimate and above all authentic relationship(s). The actualization by implementation of this realization continues to be the passion which informs my career, my marriage and all of my relating with others. 

It is from this more accurately informed place, this center core of Self-worth which allows for the next level of unwavering Self-esteem. When you can experience the constancy of those two core values of Self, then anything you do, say and even stay silent about can only lead to the outer core of Self...Confidence. 

In writing this Blog, I remind my Self that I no longer need that liar of protection to keep me safe. By documenting my experiences as a Licensed Mental Health Professional, I continue the life long pursuit of remembering my true Self who can not only tolerate The Unknown, but who can help others do the same., and more! 

It is my hope that this blog becomes a rubric for me and anyone who is interested in remembering themSelves and learning how to finally be attracted to what's healthy. And. Away. WE. Know!

NEW YEAR'S REVOLUTION:

Remembering your Self

- How to achieve true Self acceptance?

December 31, 2018

Accept it. You are not  like everyone else. That's the good news. Wanting to belong, to be liked and to ultimately feel loved and accepted is a very real motivator for people to conform. To be what has been so ubiquitously labeled as people pleasers. 


I am proud to say that I work hard to not only help as many people as I can remind themSelves of the strength of themSelves, but also a very real desire to add to the clinical dialogue and evolution of the field of Psychology by being a significant contributor to the field I've fallen in love with. By challenging what appears to be what I call "The Dogma of Diagnosis," I 've realized that for many, having a label or diagnosis is not only preferable but profitable. 


However, I also know and see the irony in the notion that to conform is to actually sentence one's Self to a lifetime of loneliness. In my practice (within AND in), I specialize in working with those patients whose trauma symptoms are so acute, so pervasive and so potentially lethal that they are usually given a diagnosis of one of the most misdiagnosed and misunderstood mental health conditions in the field.

 

To have been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder or BPD, you would have experienced  unstable relationships, emotional reactivity and dysregulation, impulsivity, and other challenging interpersonal features.


BPD is one of the most heavily stigmatized mental health conditions a person can experience. This rampant stigma has both tangible and emotional consequences that can worsen existing difficulties with BPD. In the form of judgments, blame, negative assumptions and discrimination, stigma can lead a person experiencing BPD to feel ashamed and hide their suffering. Part of the inner torture is that the one relationship dynamic that will help - EMPATHY - is the one most elusive to them because of their behaviors (defenses) toward others. 


The thing is, to be able to successfully help people heal and move through (NOT get over) their too often horrific childhood traumas, I have to think that it’s less about the diagnosis, and more about placing all of the complex trauma people have experienced in a context that has been studied, researched, measured and clinically defined. Then, using this information as a GUIDE to find the best support and ACTUALLY HELP them live their best life!


Researching, working with and now specializing with this “disorder," has proven to be a significant contributor to the answer of what I believe is everyone’s greatest mystery and the true, unearthed and final answer to why everyone can use strong therapy.


It is my contention that everyone who participates in the therapeutic process, will find and be able to definitively answer for themSelves WHY ARE YOU HERE, OR WHAT IS YOUR EMPATHIC PURPOSE?


I have a theory that when successfully TREATED, these once victimized children with an almost psychic intuition about others and who have experienced what I’ve surmised as The Trauma of the Forgotten Self,  are the emotionally based thought leaders for the world. IF treated. However, what too often is accepted dogma in the field of Psychology (not to mention its  many [too many]  sycophant-like members label as Borderline Personality Disorder.


As treaters , we are their insight into remembering their own grace when their outer world of relationship inevitably falls apart and they once again forget themSelves. And while they will always have to find a way to manage this responsibility (the answer is: NOT ALONE) , this constant reminder of the extremely deep and irreversible loss, will continue to cycle of Self-doubt, deprecation and often Self injurious behaviors. 


If we as mental health professions don’t accept this ... mission to help these pained children in adult bodies, we will all remain in that loss. And rather than help them and our Selves be found (seen, known, accepted and deeply loved), we will be forever lost to the  victimization and may never (or at least in this lifetime) keep from trying to catch up to Basic.


As the leaders of a more progressive, a more evolved and ironically more mature existence, and I've been witness to the only members of society (along side those with whom schizophrenia has taken hold),  permission to not only think outside the box, but dream with the kind of ambition known only to risk takers. 


Those who have abandonment as the bases for "justified Self destruction, and whose core sense of identity is interwoven with the burden of emotional sensitivity so acute, they are often described by clinicians as being burn victims. Their outer protective layer of skin removed and so being hugged is so rare, that for them to be touched, is torture. Empathy from others (especially those closest) is experienced as condescension, and therefore relationships are merely a vehicle to prove how unlovable they feel.


As a therapist it has been confirmed that this level of pain is so subtle and authentic, unconscious to many until it is so very obvious to everyone is pervasive that at this time it seems that the only treaters who are also members of this particularly painful club could pick up on it. Very often misdiagnosed as Bi-Polar and unconscious to someone not familiar with its symptoms,  Borderline Personality Disorder and more importantly, the stigma around it may be killing our evolutionary objective.


It would be nice to imagine that there were some scientific way to determine diagnosis. A biological or chemical tests to establish diagnoses, we fall back on consensus reality and an understanding of people and relationships between them., of relations between emotions and on local custom and ways of perking experiences. One outgrowth of this approach - an attempt to develop, by consensus, descriptions of all disorders thought to be reflective of one illness of one kind or another. categories have been expanded and elaborate in the years since  McWilliams' first edition was published; yet all but the rarest categories still depends on the subjectiveness of the examiner. Local custom, training of the examiner, examiner biases, and of course insurance coverage.


In the end, it IS time to learn how to be attracted to what's healthy, because if you are someone who has been told how much potential you have or warned not to waste your talents, then you may have also never been told HOW not to do those things. Strong therapy can help you learn the how by being curious (not critical) of the WHY and when that's personally satisfied you'll feel WHEN and that's how.

More than just a phase

December 31, 2018

The following is an excerpt from the book Psychoanalytic Doagnosis by Nancy McWilliams.  In my work with those who have had much loss in childhood, from a clinical perspective  becoming Depressed is a forgone conclusion. 


Loss is experienced differently by different people, however, to the extent that a deep Depression follows not only so much loss, but the suppression of those feelings, appears to be something that acrosss the board all children of loss experience.

I believe this writer explains it well. 

——-

Not just early loss but conditions that make it difficult for the child to understand realistically what happened, and to grieve normally (I prefer the term naturally), may engender depressive tendencies. One such condition is developmental.

------

Two-year-olds are simply too young to fathom fully that people die, and why they die, and are incapable of appreciating complex interpersonal motives such as “Daddy loves you, but he is moving out because he and Mommy don’t get along.” The world of the 2-year-old is still magical and categorical. At the height of conceiving things in gross categories of good and bad, the toddler whose parent disappears may generate assumptions about badness that are impossible to counteract, even with reasonable educative (or empathic) comments. A major loss in the separation–individuation phase virtually guarantees some depressive dynamics within the person experiencing this very natural part of development.


The solution of the child becomes the problem of the adult. Therapy can help that part of you emotionally grow up in the way that you and all children would have liked and deserved too. With love. Also known as: encouragement, boundaries, consistency, mindfulness, consideration, more boundaries, with adult hands off, and empathy in. Not perfect. But enough.

Self Improvement

In the Beginning

January 2019

In the work I do (sometimes met with critiqued curiosity or even direct criticism from colleagues),  I find my Self moved beyond description because to REALLY experience the transformation of someone actualizing and viscerally letting go of their False Self, one would have to be in the room to really understand how it can sometimes take years to get there. and achieve healing.


Why so long? Because while specific symptoms of life not going well can bring people into therapy, and a clinician’s diagnosis based on a medical model (and insurance standards) can help keep people in treatment; there is (I believe) a deeper and more meaningful reasoning for people who are willing to participate in therapy. Deeper than maintaining a regimen of sobriety or managing Depression or even monitoring a personality “disorder.”


DEEPER and more meaningful, not instead of. and that is to accept the “challenge” of what Socrates (in the voice of Plato I say..but that’s for another discussion..😉) professed: “an unexamined life is not worth living.”

People may come in for infidelity or behavior problems at school. They may stay (or terminate and return years later) to receive support around the losses they have or a saddened childhood they’ve been suppressing and from which Depressiin and Anxiety have surfaced.


But it is answering the most important question in anyone’s lifetime that any and all of us continue to live a life worth examining: WHO ARE YOU, WHY ARE YOU HERE & WHAT WILL YOU SHARE WITH OTHERS AS YOUR MISSION IN CONSCIOUS EXISTENCE?  


🤔


It is from this incredibly deep personal space and place of respect I have for my patients and the emotional courage they’ve agreed to trust me with, that at age 50 has me more motivated to contribute as best I can to the field, and of course most importantly to their personal lives.

This quote sums it up for me. Thanks for reading. 🙏🏾


“I have often thought that the best way to define a man’s character would be to seek out the particular mental or moral attitude in which, when it came upon him, he felt himself most deeply and intensely active and alive. At such moments there is a voice inside which speaks and says: “This is the real me!”

William James in a letter to his wife, 1878