Taking charge. Being in control. Having power. This is one of my answers. It’s helpful in so many ways. I’ve had leadership, after leadership position throughout my life. People see my ability and comfort with being in charge and promote me quicker, put me in charge quicker, ask me for input quicker. It also can be off putting. I mean, who wants a know it all around all the time. Who wants someone stepping in and taking over all the time. Who wants to be convinced my way is better all the time? That’s right, no one!
As a trainer for Personal Transformation Institute, PTI, I find our concept of “The Answer” to be both helpful to use with clients as well as in my own personal transformation. “The Answer” is our simplified yet powerful way of identifying and working with the adaptations created by our attachment patterns and early life experiences. Our “answers” were once, and often are still very helpful in keeping us connected to caregivers or safe. Those “answers” are now our strength as well as the thing that keeps us limited now.
Being a part of PTI has brought me into an honest relationship with my Answer. I value it, see times when it is so needed. And now I recognize times when I’m in my answer and I don’t have to be. As I’ve gotten a greater awareness of my truth, I have learned to be more appreciative of others and myself. The process of this has been just that, a process. Richard Rohr wrote, “Before the truth sets you free, it tends to make you miserable.” We work to stay away from the truth because the truth can be painful and freeing all at the same time.
Another one of my answers is efficiency, urgency and getting things done. Again, very helpful, and goes nicely with the being in charge answer. As I have come to an awareness of my truth, “you don’t have to work so hard”, “you don’t have to convince anyone here”, “you are good, just as you are”; life seems to be a little kinder, a little slower, and a little more tolerable.
PTI’s concept of nonviolence defines all we do. Our basic trainings are built on the principles of inviting others into personal awareness, offering a model to work with trauma, and offering a way to work with trauma in a non-traumatizing way. In modeling these concepts in our trainings, clinicians can experience the non-violent way of treatment. Research tells us as we experience something in a different way, it begins the process of doing in a different way. We believe there are so many good therapies and good therapists out in this world. We value the foundations of our work that Francine Shapiro, Pat Ogden, Peter Levine, Bowlby, Van der Kulk, and so many great minds in our field have offered. EMDR is a powerful model that PTI enhances with the addition of The Answer and nonviolent approach.
So what do I notice about myself and my practice now that I have seen some of my truths, faced my answers, and been offered other options? I find myself letting go of the need to convince others that our model is better. Because convincing others is based in a lie. The lie of powerlessness. I find myself letting go of the need to defend EMDR and what PTI adds to it. Defending myself and someone else is based on a lie. I find myself letting go of the urge to show others how to do it “the right way”. Perfection is an answer born out of a lie. The lie of I’m not good enough and I’m powerlessness, I have to be perfect to be wanted.
As a clinician, consultant, supervisor, trainer, wife, mom, I have been invited to live a life in the present. I have been invited to be aware when my answer is helping me stay out of the present, and gently choose another way.
Alice Stricklin, LMFT