“I’ve watched you for years put your hand out in front of you push at the air, setting a boundary, or maybe pushing away what we are talking about.” Bea tells me.
“Memories have been more intense for you, you have felt more present and frozen during them, and you are physically feeling them ever since the filter was removed.” She validates my feeling that every memory and dream is much more intense than before.
“Would you be willing to get the SP book and we could read it together?” She asks gently.
“We have to deal with the parts. They matter. All the parts of you are equal, and every part can have a say. But we need to deal with the stuff that is coming up, and we can’t do that without all the parts on board.” Bea informs me.
“I believe the best way to deal with the physical memories and feelings that are coming up with your current flashbacks and dreams is by working with the body. But we are smart and creative people, we can find another way if that isn’t something that feels safe right now.” Bea says carefully, as if her voice, her words, are walking on eggshells.
Three weeks of therapy and this is what we have been talking about. Every session, every week for almost four weeks, we have discussed SP, and parts, and dreams and memories being so very, very real. We’ve discussed the horror of *this really happened*.
The day she asked if I might think about reading the SP book with her, I ordered it from amazon. It took me another week to open the book, and a week after that to tell her I had bought it. Bea let me know of I wanted to discuss any of it, that we could, but that we didn’t have to. She said we could do the worksheets in each chapter if I wanted to, but that we didn’t have to. She said that just because I bought the book, we didn’t have to do any SP if I didn’t want to. She said all the right things, and that helped.
So, I started to read the book. I read through chapter five. Then I bought post it notes, and read through the first five chapters again, using the blue post it notes to write my thoughts down as I read. Everything I wrote was snarky and angry and suspicious. Later, I read through it a third time and used the pink post it notes to try to write reactions from a more adult place.
The challenge is that when it’s just the grown up Alice on board, I do think SP could help. I do believe that the best way to deal with the things coming up is by working with the body. The other parts do not agree in the slightest. The little girl is terrified, and the teen is snarky and suspicious and the shame part doesn’t want to even think about the body– any body and Ms. Perfect believes SP is a waste of her time, because she is fine.
I brought the book to therapy last week, and practically threw it at Bea. “This is not going to help. I can’t do this. And the person who made this therapy just wants a bunch of guinea pigs.” I snapped as she sat calmly, holding my book.
She didn’t agree or disagree with me, just asked who was feeling that way and why.
“I wrote it down. In the book. Just read that.” My tone was all snark. The teen really wasn’t going to make this easy for Bea.
So, she opened the book, and she started to read. And you know what? We talked about the blue post it notes. It turns out, Bea agreed with some of the things that the Teen took issue with. After a while, there was enough of the grown up Alice online that we were able to talk about the pink and the blue post it notes. And that was okay. Not easy, and not comfortable, but okay. It was a bit like reviewing a book at a book club.
On Wednesday of last week, Bea asked if i has time, would I think about and maybe look at the worksheets at the end of chapter 4 (titled *The Wisdom of the Body: lost and found*. On a blue post it note, I had written, “The body has no wisdom, and if it does, it should stay lost. It’s safer that way.”). I said I might look at them. I had little to no intention of doing so, but then, curiosity got the better of me, and I did. My immediate reaction was “Nope. Not doing this. Cant do this. Nope. Nope. Nope.” So that’s what I wrote on my post it note.
Later, I looked at the worksheets again, and I wrote on another note that it was just too hard, that these sheets were asking for too much.
Monday, we talked about SP some more, and Bea read my post it notes on the worksheets. She put one of her own post it notes on one of the worksheets, asking if I could pinpoint what part or parts was reacting to that particular worksheet. She wondered if I could try to write about the parts viewson that particular worksheet.
We talked about that worksheet today, but I will write about that later on. For now, I’m going to including a photo of the worksheet, in case anyone is curious.
2 thoughts on “Thinking about Sensorimotor Therapy”
I’m reading this with great interest and seeing how it all develops for you. I might look into getting the book, though I feel like I’m much better connected to my body these days so not sure what use it would be?
I think going through the book writing comments from the parts is great.
I think as you get further into the book, there are…..specific sensorimotor exercises used to process trauma and they explain about those. This is really hard for me, and all the parts are unhappy right now. I’ll post about it and probably continue to post some of the worksheets, so maybe that will help you decide if it would be useful for you. ❣️
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