In this episode, I discuss…
Having tried everything, shutdown and numbness and how safety can actually lead to defensive feelings.
My hope is that…
You gain some clarity into what is keeping you stuck as well as some new ideas for getting a bit more unstuck starting today.
My name is Justin Sunseri.
I’m a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist that thinks the world needs a new understanding of mental health.
Welcome to Stuck Not Broken.
This podcast is not therapy, nor intended to be a replacement for therapy.
From ? - Stucknaut Andy Marsh!
Hello! So I’ve been working with a trauma specialist therapist once a week and we’ve been doing EMDR. I’m on Zoloft which I started back in February which has been the only thing to help me basically be able to function again. I am diagnosed with CPTSD from childhood misattunement basically. I have really no connection with feelings. I don’t have DID but I just don’t feel connected anymore. Whenever I feel into my body I never feel safety. I know you have a safety anchors course and at this point I am skeptical about anything being able to help me. I assume I’m stuck at the way bottom of the Polyvagal ladder and just feel like I haven’t budged up at all. I know everyone probably thinks they are the worst case scenario- but I swear I am. I’ve literally tried everything. When I try to feel safety in my body all I can feel is anxiousness rolling around my tummy. Every time. I can’t seem to get past it. Hoping you maybe have experienced this before…
"I’VE TRIED EVERYTHING!"
Might not be an issue of technique or ideas
But an issue of implementation
Meditating can look different
Find a way that works for you, no matter what the technique is
A way that feels safe enough
Even the same therapy modality will be different person to person!
How I do somatic work may be different
EMDR may be different
Fidelity to the modality is not guaranteed
I’ve seen this in tx teams, trust me!
What do you need in the moment for your state?
EMDR might not be it
CBT might not be it
Try things based on your state
Therapist needs to be able to read your state and adapt
LACK OF FEELING & SHUTDOWN
These go together
Dorsal response, conservation, numbness, dissociation even
Body is often numb, empty, hopeless (“nothing will help!”)
Yes, this is the bottom of the ladder
Last option for a mammal to survive
Can’t run, can’t fight, then shut down
Shutdown might be the most difficult to climb out of
Defeated person, lack of motivation
Have to reconnect with the world, with the self
Learn everything all over again in a sense
Get used to sympathetic energy, connection, safety
C-PTSD makes this even more difficult
Lack of a history of these things
Lack of healthy play, attachment, co-regulation
Connecting with others is a major challenge and also with the self
Development of a true self may not have happened, or truer self
We learn who we are in the context of others, building off of a safe attachment and co-regulation
SAFETY CAN LEAD TO DEFENSIVE FEELINGS
Might seem odd
But the ans is neurocepting safety and attempting to self-regulate
Maybe safe environment or safe person
Mindfulness can allow defensive energy to surface as well
Mindfulness is like giving permission to self-regulate, aligning consciousness to body
Like meditating successfully, then feeling anxiety or anger
Even therapy can too
Need to build the window of tolerance
Feel safety in tolerable doses
Build safety little by little
Like lifting weights
JustinLMFT YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCduAkQrvmvWq2oy8aJSNcEQ
Building Safety Anchors -https://www.justinlmft.com/bsa
Polyvagal 101 Class - https://www.justinlmft.com/PVT101
Become a $5 Patron - https://www.patreon.com/justinlmft
Intro/Outro music & Transition Sounds by Benjo Beats - https://soundcloud.com/benjobeats
National Suicide Prevention Hotline - 1 (800) 273-8255
National Domestic Violence Hotline -1 (800) 799-7233
LGBT Trevor Project Lifeline - 1 (866) 488-7386
National Sexual Assault Hotline - 1 (800) 656-4673
Crisis Text Line - Text “HOME” to 741741
Call 911 for emergency
This and other content produced by Justin Sunseri (“JustinLMFT”) (i.e; podcast, YouTube, Instagram, etc.) is not therapy, not intended to be therapy or be a replacement for therapy. Nothing in this creates or indicates a therapeutic relationship. Please consult with your therapist or seek for one in your area if you are experiencing mental health sx. Nothing should be construed to be specific life advice; it is for educational and entertainment purposes only.