I should mention in advance, depending on the school of psychology, the models may be different – when creating this section, I used the SIM model (self-integrity method).
We remember that we came here in a holistic state, with a full set of resources for the realization of our own motives. How are they (resources) and motives lost along the way?
The picture gives an idea, how resources are hidden by our psycho, but probably this is best seen with an example. Let me paraphrase a well-known phrase: “all our achievements come from childhood.” And that’s why.
Imagine a small child who was running around the room and playing, was 100% in the process and feeling that he is doing something wonderful or at least interesting.
One moment an adult appears in the room, and he/she is feeling bad. (S)He may not even say anything, but with all his appearance or gaze to show “what the hell are you doing here, sit on the sidelines, let me rest.” And it seems to be a ordinary situation, but at this moment in time, a small child, still living at the level of the reptilian brain and limbic system, does not yet possess sufficient intelligence and a developed neocortex, child reads the signal and realizes that something is wrong. Since there is still yet no separation between the child and the world, he decides that something is wrong with him (which is the same). The moment itself for a person becomes very, very traumatic, “unpleasant”. In SIM, we distinguish several such “basic” traumatic states: a state of emptiness and meaninglessness, a state of powerlessness and defenselessness, a state of insignificance and worthlessness, a state of pain or agony, or a state of “overwhelming heavy.” In this example, instead of seeing that the adult is tired, the child seems to “agree” that he is completely insignificant and worthless, since he is engaged in such a worthless game. Why does he make any decisions or conclusions? Everyone has it differently. Sometime this may be due to loyalty to an adult, or due to pressure from the other side.
This bundle of the state and the decision or conclusion made in it, agreement with something becomes the moment when the psyche isolates the resourceful state, which led to this traumatic state, in order to maintain integrity. The initial state of play and intrinsic value is closed by the experience of trauma and is excluded from the “list of available states” for a person.
Of course, in order to maintain integrity, the whole situation is “forgotten”, but part of the “processor time” of the brain, or our psyche, is endowed with the functions of a “guard” whose task is to track all situations similar to the one that preceded the trauma (in fact, very lively and resourceful parts of life), and prevent them, i.e. not to play, not to include a sense of self-value, etc., but for greater importance, the “guard” has a set of rules and beliefs that explain why it is impossible to do what is not allowed.
Later during life, a person begins to “grow” more and more new protective mechanisms, and the initial state of the child is further and further closed. At the same time, the need for the initial resourceful state does not disappear anywhere, a “deficit” of the initial state appears, which determines human behavior for many years to come. It is no longer a child who still wants to feel the state of play and intrinsic value, but since these needs cannot be achieved directly, “crooked” ways of their realization arise. For example, proceeding from the deficit of “self-worth”, it is no longer a child who begins to achieve more and more – first at school, institute, then in business. He does more and more for others in order to prove to others and hear (and feel) – “yes, this is cool, yes, this is valuable, you are cool, you are valuable” – exactly what the child felt when he was in contact with these states. The “irony”, in fact, the key problem is that no matter how much he hears it and how much feedback he gets, it will not be enough for him, and he will run and run along the track of achievement in an attempt to fill the deficit. Why won’t it always be enough? Because in reality it is a “forbidden” state and it is closed from complete living by traumatic experience and decision. This running in a circle in the picture above is expressed by the “compensatory” layer. That is, an activity in an attempt to compensate for the deficit of the initial desired state. Such activity itself can be accompanied by compensatory experiences – tension, anger (when obstacles are encountered), rejection of someone or something that reminds of the situation, fear that something will not work out on the way to the goal, etc.
In the described process, one more layer is missing, which is in the figure – a layer of self-destruction. This layer of experience is always present under the compensatory layer. If it is impossible to express or live compensatory reactions, a person may begin to experience deeper states of resentment, disappointment, abandonment, uselessness, duty, shame, anxiety, sadness, envy, greed, etc. – the spectrum is very wide. Based on the principle of maintaining the whole and balance as a whole, there is a conflict between the deficit of the state and its compensation in external activities. If it is impossible to compensate (action outside), the psyche still cannot get access to the deficit state, therefore, in order to “spend” the energy of life somewhere, it is directed towards self-destruction. And you can ask – why the energy must be “spend”?
The whole of human life generates a lot of energy. At the same time, each person has a certain level of conscious or unconscious skill of managing it. What follows from this is that if there are not enough skills to manage energy, then it becomes unsafe for a person. Just like putting a person behind the wheel of a racing car who has been driving an ordinary average city car all his life – the risk that something will “go wrong”, the risk to life – becomes increased. At the same time, our instincts ensure our survival, and for survival it is more profitable and safe to drive a “less powerful car”. An example is often given with money – if there is no conscious skill to manage the energy of money, then they become dangerous for a person and “there are” ways to “drain” them in some known and familiar way. As for managing big money, managing high energies and states requires appropriate skills.
Self-destructive mechanisms are a great way to “drain” excess energy. When it is impossible to express or live compensatory reactions (spending of energy), one begins to experience deeper states of resentment, disappointment, abandonment, uselessness, debt, shame, anxiety, sadness, envy, greed, etc. – the spectrum is very wide and this is also an spending of energy – the same “leaky bucket”, but so necessary for survival and maintaining balance.
The model described above is enough to start navigating the client’s states, and the main thing here is to remember the principle of polarity and duality. In every traumatic experience there is an enclosed resource. This must be understood because we lead the client in the direction of connection with resources, integrity. And we lead it through layers of experiences, from compensation to a resource, the ability to access and manage it again. And it doesn’t matter in what non-resource state a person came. We know that there is always a whole, alive inside, and we look exactly at this part, just like in biodynamics – we look into health and help a person return to it. How? – more on that later.