Psych Central

Go Back   Forums at Psych Central > >



advertisement
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-10-2019, 07:18 AM   #11
here today
Magnate
here today has no updates.
 
Member Since: Jun 2012
Location: SE USA
Posts: 2,905
5 yr Member
1,004 hugs
given
PC PoohBah!
Default Re: Autonomy

Thanks so much, Artley.

The last three paragraphs of the Psychology Today article were right on, for me. And the definition of autonomy as "self-governing" in the first article was really cool, too.

Trauma and dissociation, however it manifests, has meant for me that certain parts were split-off. And while I "got in touch" with them in therapy, integrating those and having them learn to regulate and coordinate with each other has been another challenge altogether.

The notion of autonomy -- and that I have a desire, a need for that -- again a cool idea. Makes sense to, and resonates with, me.

In thinking of times when I have surrendered to others' "dominance", for instance, the last paragraph of the Psychology Today article seems right on.

Quote:
Life of course often doesn't permit autonomy. . . When we remind ourselves, however, of the reasons we're doing something we don't want to do, reasons that represent our autonomous desires, it becomes clear that we've voluntarily surrendered our autonomy in the name of our autonomous desires. We always, in fact, have the power to say no. We just then need to be prepared to live with the consequences of that choice.
When parts of me were more dissociated, I didn't always realize or know the reasons that I did, or wanted to do, things that other parts of me didn't want to do. Or the consequences, necessarily, of not doing them. The consequences were sometimes horrendous, and dysregulating in their own right, once I started to say "no" to over-compliance with some things.

Learning what was "in proportion" and what was not has also been a learning task for me. I had learned growing up how to behave appropriately by cutting off the "inappropriate"/frowned-on impulses. So there was a dimished awareness, and some "choices" were unconscious, seems like, or at any rate didn't participate in my everyday, "apparently normal", way of being. It's better now, I think, but still difficult sometimes.
here today is offline   Reply With Quote
"Thanks for this!" says:

advertisement
Old 02-10-2019, 08:05 AM   #12
ArtleyWilkins
Veteran Member
ArtleyWilkins has no updates.
 
Member Since: Oct 2018
Location: USA
Posts: 637 (SuperPoster!)
1 hugs
given
Default Re: Autonomy

I have a question. I didnít run into this word until my last therapist brought it up. My understanding of it was very limited to what Iíd been taught in education courses (which isnít really the quite the same thing) and my own misperceptions of what autonomy meant (independence, for instance).

Is this a concept that your therapists have addressed? If so, did they put a name on it, like ďautonomyĒ or was in more nebulous? (Itís a bit nebulous as it is, but having a word for it is helpful for me.)

The first article seems to suggest it is a term more used in Self-Determination Theory, so I did a bit more hunting. I found this article: Self-Determination Theory: How It Explains Motivation . This isnít so much a therapy method as it is a theory of human development and learning concept.

When I read these articles, I hear my last therapist a great deal. He was very eclectic in his therapy approaches, but highly well-read with a doctorate in philosophy as well as psychology which may explain perhaps where he was coming from. All I can say is it makes sense to me.

I found another site which I am highly curious about: selfdeterminationtheory.org - An Approach to human motivation & personality This site has tests on it that Iím tempted to access; unfortunately, you have to register and Iíll have to think on that a bit.

This site has mention of some books on the topic that I may need to explore: Self-Determination Theory (Deci and Ryan) - Learning Theories.

This quick video is simple and cool: YouTube
ArtleyWilkins is offline   Reply With Quote
"Thanks for this!" says:
Old 02-10-2019, 08:26 AM   #13
here today
Magnate
here today has no updates.
 
Member Since: Jun 2012
Location: SE USA
Posts: 2,905
5 yr Member
1,004 hugs
given
PC PoohBah!
Default Re: Autonomy

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtleyWilkins View Post
. . .
This quick video is simple and cool: YouTube
This is great stuff. Good theory, makes sense, well-presented. Basic "needs" I didn't really know about myself, certainly not when I went into therapy, because so much was cut off?

So -- where is the camp for adults?
here today is offline   Reply With Quote
"Thanks for this!" says:
Old 02-11-2019, 10:16 AM   #14
here today
Magnate
here today has no updates.
 
Member Since: Jun 2012
Location: SE USA
Posts: 2,905
5 yr Member
1,004 hugs
given
PC PoohBah!
Default Re: Autonomy

My mind keeps returning to this topic. I thought the video was very helpful and presented a model of what emotionally healthy and effective living might be like. Three basic factors that are needed for that.

No therapist ever addressed this, or any model, of what it might be for me to be and live with more emotional health and effectiveness. They did talk about it being important to be "authentic".

In my life I could be fairly competent and autonomous in some ways, as far as it came to getting things done physically or intellectually. But my relatedness was definitely "off". I avoided conflict by having submerged a bunch of emotions that challenged other people. Or, when I allowed myself to have, think about, and try to act with those emotions involved I was very uncool or uncouth, sometimes. Not socialized, because those basic emotions had been cut off for so long. Years and years of therapy hadn't helped a lot, and IOP programs didn't either.

I said for a long time, especially with my last therapist, that what I felt I needed was a "social playpen", where I could practice having, and sometimes acting on, certain emotions and get to experience the consequences, see and understand the results, and hopefully also learn how to moderate and integrate those emotions in myself. Without the enormous real world consequences that might happen where everybody is expecting others to be "responsible" and "adult".

I don't think I'm the only person who may need this kind of thing. Interpersonal trauma therapy probably helped me get in touch with stuff, but what to do with it after that?

If you're self-determined already, then it's not really a question, because you self-determine that. But if your relatedness module doesn't work well, as mine did not, then what? How do you help to GET it functioning? Relatedness isn't just about a relationship between a client and a T. It's about a person in relationship with the rest of humanity and the world. Even though we focus on and interact with mostly a small group of other people.

Right now, I don't have enough other people that I feel connected to, cared for by, and care about so that I have a sense of belonging. I can "fake it" -- go by the social rules so that I seem, sort of, to fit in and therefore have some sense of belonging. That's how I did it as a little kid -- because a sense of belonging was so important to me. AND because it sometimes conflicts with autonomy and authenticity, I "sacrificed" them -- unconsciously, of course. A little kid's priorities that became habitual.

Maybe all my years of therapy helped create the "condition" or maybe it was there all along and the last therapist just finally diagnosed me as having Personality Disorder Not Otherwise Specified. I think a more positive approach -- what is healthy self-determination and how do you develop it -- could help lots of people who have personality disorders, non-BPD in particular since that's what I had/have. There really needs to be something better to help us, I think.

I've been self-determined as best I could, with the defective relatedness module. But without a better one -- I'm limited in what I can do. So, frankly, if anybody could come up with something that would help, I think that would be great. I can't determine or control that, since it's outside my self. So I -- and others, I think -- need to depend on others to help to come up with something that will help. If they want to. Which some probably do. So -- having processed and said all that, I feel a little bit better "related". Still a pretty amorphous experience for me, though.
here today is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2019, 10:26 AM   #15
octoberful
Veteran Member
 
octoberful's Avatar
octoberful Object Relations Evangelist
 
Member Since: Jul 2018
Location: -
Posts: 685 (SuperPoster!)
323 hugs
given
Default Re: Autonomy

here today, this is addressed in object relations (alsoself psychology). The autonomy doesn't exist when dependent on another person as that sort of means the person is enmeshed.

The way this is addressed in my therapy is working through the the transference and also therapist neutrality, which allows you to become separate through cognitive restructuring that results from establishing new self object patterns.
octoberful is offline   Reply With Quote
"Thanks for this!" says:
Old 02-11-2019, 11:27 AM   #16
here today
Magnate
here today has no updates.
 
Member Since: Jun 2012
Location: SE USA
Posts: 2,905
5 yr Member
1,004 hugs
given
PC PoohBah!
Default Re: Autonomy

Quote:
Originally Posted by octoberful View Post
here today, this is addressed in object relations (alsoself psychology). The autonomy doesn't exist when dependent on another person as that sort of means the person is enmeshed.

The way this is addressed in my therapy is working through the the transference and also therapist neutrality, which allows you to become separate through cognitive restructuring that results from establishing new self object patterns.
Thanks, that makes some sense.

Unfortunately, I probably enmeshed with the last T -- and the others -- as well. It feels like it was the safety mechanism I had developed with my family and culture of origin and which I never got to a T to help me out of it. And I couldn't tell when I was in the thick of it. Although over time I did begin to get inklings.

And the T's were unable to help because. . .I didn't luck out, or. . .because I tended to pick T's who enmeshed, too? It's rampant in my culture, and many T's are more conventional in temperament than I am. And I thought being able to get along with them was a sign of "health". Because I didn't know better. At any rate, they couldn't deal with working through the transference because of their own stuff?

So -- it's the chicken and egg. How could I have the autonomy and self-determination to go find another T when (aspects of) the self were so cut off and/or submerged? And dependent on the other to determine who I am, sort of?

I COULD NOT do that myself. Well, OK, so maybe the last T, or her consultation group, did see that -- and she terminated me.

Only, before that, I did lie on the sofa, after she shamed me for calling her a b***h, and logic said that was her error although emotion and relatedness disagreed, and habit would have me be the "bad guy" again, for the sake of the relationship and -- her approval?

I did decide that logic was the best path to take, so I guess that was a form of self-determination eventually, although the emotion and would-be relatedness have had a hard time going along with that.

That's been almost 3 years ago.

There's GOT to be a better way.
here today is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2019, 03:48 AM   #17
sarahsweets
Poohbah
 
sarahsweets's Avatar
sarahsweets Humor is my end game..
 
Member Since: Dec 2018
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 1,390 (SuperPoster!)
My Mood: Autonomy

91 hugs
given
Default Re: Autonomy

This was very interesting and good article too! I wonder how much autonomy has to do with children that suffer emotional abuse or someone who is working through ptsd? Like maybe realizing that we are allowed to be different from our parents, that we do not have to please them OR that the trauma we experienced doesnt have to continue governing our choices?
sarahsweets is offline   Reply With Quote
"Thanks for this!" says:
Old 02-14-2019, 06:56 AM   #18
Anne2.0
Magnate
Anne2.0 content
 
Member Since: Aug 2012
Location: Anonymous
Posts: 2,868
5 yr Member
125 hugs
given
PC PoohBah!
Default Re: Autonomy

Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahsweets View Post
This was very interesting and good article too! I wonder how much autonomy has to do with children that suffer emotional abuse or someone who is working through ptsd? Like maybe realizing that we are allowed to be different from our parents, that we do not have to please them OR that the trauma we experienced doesnt have to continue governing our choices?
I struggled with PTSD for decades, beginning when I was about 12, until a few years ago. One way I understood how autonomy was related to certain symptoms, especially that automatic triggering of flashbacks, memories, or just psychophysiological, was in identifying the source of my symptoms and then trying to stop that automatic triggering. For me, they often occurred in moments of parenting (especially when my child was young and needed holding and other physical care and was very cuddly, feeling physically "touched out") or in conflictual conversations with my spouse. Because as the PTSD "groove" in my neurology was triggering an emotional response, my reactive behavior that was dysfunctional would follow. So my responses were not the product of my "autonomy" (my choice or intention to say/do) but a reaction to the triggers to my past. Being able to interrupt this neurological groove and feel safe under emotional arousal, then eventually being able to tolerate the arousal more productively, I could speak and do from my heart and mind rather than my past. So for me autonomy and recovery from PTSD went together.
Anne2.0 is offline   Reply With Quote
"Thanks for this!" says:
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:18 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® — Copyright © 2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.




advertisement

 

The material on this site is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for medical advice,
diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified health care provider. .
Always consult your doctor or mental health professional before trying anything you read here.

 

HomeAbout UsContact UsPrivacy PolicyTerms of UseDisclaimer
Forums HomeCommunity GuidelinesHelp


 
Helplines and Lifelines