An Excerpt from THE ENCHANTED SELF, A Positive TherapyWritten by Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein
The women I interviewed caused me to look at my clients in new ways. As Proust states, "The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." I discovered many aspects of enchantment in my clients as I began to look anew at them. I began to recognize, within my treatment room, extraordinary human beings. Yes, they often had difficult life situations, dysfunctional backgrounds, poorly functioning and damaging marriages, problem children and other disappointments, but they were still able to achieve many moments that worked well for them. Here were people who felt passion and excitement about many aspects of their lives.
What I saw led me to agree with those innovative professionals who have challenged "disease" model, i.e.: old way of looking at our clients or patients as primarily having problems, difficulties, dysfunctions, personality disorders or sickness. Classification numbers seem to be attached to them, labeling them as if they were items of clothing hanging from a department store rack. I began to perceive my clients differently, as if through a new lens--as people who have talents, who are survivors. They came equipped with a multitude of talents, capacities, hobbies, knowledge and passions. In histories of their lives they experienced many enhances mental and/or physical states, even in far from ideal circumstances.
As children, my clients may have had special, peaceful ways of feeling when they went fishing alone by a pond, or when they were watching a sunset. This contented ego state of ten-year-old was one way they experienced their ENCHANTED SELVES. Retrieved in adulthood, positive state of being can serve as one Positive Fingerprint of Mind and Positive Shadowprints are unique, as individual as one's fingerprints, utilizing different positive capacities within them.
Fighting Terrorism With Enchantment - Part 1Written by Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein
This is first of a two-part series dedicated to fighting trauma of terrorism and getting back to a more positive way of life.
Many of you may look at my title and wonder if I have 'lost my marbles.' Let me explain. First let me quote from a wonderful article that was passed around on web by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D. entitled: Healing From Terrorism Sickness. She states: "The main goal of terrorism is 'intentional trauma' to living. The concept of doing ongoing psychic injury to thousands and millions 'all at same time' is an important tactic of terrorists ... innocent persons becoming afraid of life ... (this) hurts human spirit and heart."
Clarissa then shares many ways to fight this madness including refusing to dwell on what physically depletes us of hope; dwelling in what strengthens us; resting; refusing to think that one is less able than prior to assault, and not stopping pleasures that are good for you.
I don't know if Clarissa realized that her suggestions fit perfectly into THE ENCHANTED SELF's Seven Portals to Enchantment, but they do! Let's go through these gateways and see how they preserve us from disenchantment and even worse -- terror.
The first gateway is Gateway of Self-Esteem. When terror strikes it is very common to feel vulnerable, of little importance and perhaps even valueless. This is exactly opposite of how we need to feel for good mental health. To function at my best I need to know on a daily basis that I am 'special'. I have traits, strengths and abilities that all come together, not only to help me lead a life of meaning, but help me feel proud and sure of myself. You do too! What are some of your strengths and/or coping skills? Work with me as you read this and list some. It will be beneficial as we come out of this terror! Perhaps you have stamina, compassion, and an ability to reinvent yourself. Perhaps you are a good at cheering others up or great at making fudge! All of these and thousands more qualify as pluses in living!
The second gateway is Meeting Our Needs. Again, when terror or severe stress hits we often stop doing what is good for ourselves. We feel weak and may let go of a growth experience or learning a new skill that is good for us. Even after acute weakness passes we may feel unsure or no longer committed to our own goals for growth and development. Again, this is exactly opposite of what is needed for good mental health. Did you let anything go as a result of September 11th? You might want to make a note about it and also a new start up date.