Thread: Integration
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Old 12-10-2018, 08:48 AM  
amandalouise
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Default Re: Integration

Now lets skip ahead of this therapy train. Why because there is no magic pill or special therapy for dissociative problems. Just like with any other problem a person goes to therapy and talks about what ever their problem is, then learns how to handle that problem, Just like with bipolar disorder or others meds for depression / anxiety may work for some and not for others, the same with art therapy, ECT, EMDR, CBT, DBT, IFS, REBT, Art therapy and others. there is no right or wrong therapy approach. A person goes to therapy, then while talking about their problems they and the therapist develop a treatment plan that will help that person stabilize and learn new coping tools so that they dont have to dissociate. The main goal of therapy work is to learn ways that will help a person fix their own problems. A mental health treatment provider can not do the work for the client, ...

my therapist could not be at my job, in my home, at school and anything else in my life telling me what to do when having a panic attack or feeling numb or feeling spaced out disconnected... it was up to me to recognize I was feeling that way and follow the treatment plans that would make myself feel better. Whether I got better or stayed stuck in the same problems over and over again was up to me.

Dont get me wrong it was not easy by any means, and there were plenty of times when I just wanted to throw in the towel and give up on all the grounding, relaxation CBT, DBT and all.

What I am saying is that over the years I have met many people and I count myself in this too. that have gone into therapy with the attitude of "you the treatment provider must fix me, make my problems better" when the reality is that they can supply the room, they can supply the time, they can supply ways for you to learn, they can listen, but only you, me, who ever is in therapy can do the actual work of "me fixing myself"

Theres no short cuts, magic pills, harry potter wands, theres just me, the therapist in a room and I had this problem this week, ok lets take it one step at a time and come up with solutions to try. if that doesnt work then try something else....

So lets now skip forwards, assume years from diagnosis has past, many years of therapy work on stabilizing and learning better coping tools, solving ones own problems.

you are finally at the stage where your life does not seem so bad, not feeling numb all the time, not feeling spaced out all the time, not losing track of time so much, not having so many suicidal thoughts, not having so many self injury events... you are finally able to work, go to school, hang out with friends and ......actually remember doing so......... life seems to be going just ok. not fantastic but ok and manage able.

you notice things are better and you begin to wonder what its going to be like after there is no more alters. the fear of being alone in your head kicks in, having to handle everything on your own. second guessing this integration thing, nope dont want it, never going to integrate....

Yea I remember going to my therapist and saying that... I said something like ok things are going good I dont want to do this integration thing, lets stop and do something different I want Rainy, thelma and all of them to stay here with me. Im not going to integrate them they dont want that, we all want to live together...

my therapists reaction she burst out in song........I'd like to teach the world to sing, in perfect harmony.....

then she said.... Sorry too late. by now you know integration is not a choice you make, its the whole process that you do, its entering therapy, learning about you and your day to day problems, its learning about what your mental disorders are and learning how to manage your problems so that you dont have your mental disorder symptoms. Just like if you had a physical health problem all you can control and choose is whether you take your meds or not.

Then she made a suggestion.... that we go a period of time with out therapy and my not doing anything that I have learned over the years to take care of myself and my problems... if I started to have an anxiety attack dont breath, dont relax, just let it happen like if was years ago before I learned what a panic attack was and what to do to take care of my problem and myself.....

yup not doing the integration process was a major fail. the first time I started feeling numb, spaced out, disconnected, or had a panic attack or any other problem did i go back to the old way of not doing anything and staying stuck in it, nope, no matter how much I tried not to, I would do the breathing, do that grounding, do the art work, do the writing, do the take a walk, do the check with google on what my problem was called and how to fix it, visit and post on the mental health website forums.....what ever I could to feel better.

the month past and I was so glad to see my therapist again. I was actually proud of myself that even though the plan was to not do the integration process I failed and that I learned so much and could have a better life.

That month away from therapy showed me that integration was not a choice I could make.

After so many years in therapy I could not make myself go back to how things were before I had entered that psych class that required the students to do a psych eval and enter treatment in order to learn not only the mental health field but being a client too.

for me the bottom line was whether I liked it or not, some day I would no longer be "switching" mentally and physically into the unconscious memories, emotions, thoughts and behaviors that have been dissociated called Alternate Personalities. Instead as I healed what was dissociated would be remembered again and part of my conscious, non dissociated personality.

Scary thought of it happening? yes but the reality of it happening is so vastly different than what you see in the movies, on tv and in books.
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