Calming the Storm Within: The Surprising Ability You Didn't Think You Had - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-08-2008, 11:09 AM Thread Starter
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Calming the Storm Within: The Surprising Ability You Didn't Think You Had

Calming the Storm Within

Next time you’re in a sour mood about something, notice how hard it is to “snap out of it.” It’s not that simple. Or have you ever done one thing but believe you should be doing another? The reason for our mood swings and inconsistencies is often a mystery that eludes us. You may even “hear” one part of you debate the reason for or against a certain action. One person told me “It’s like there’s a constant storm within me…parts of me that collide and battle and make me feel anxious.”

You might be surprised to hear that it doesn’t mean you are going crazy. It is possible to orchestrate what may seem like overwhelming forces within and create the “I” in the storm; a centered place of peace in the middle of a swirl of energy. You can tap all of the energy formerly used to fight yourself and pour it into something you love, becoming more satisfied, peaceful, productive and clear.

How is this possible? First we have to re-define what is normal.

A New Normal: Natural Multiplicity of the Mind

I want to introduce you to something called natural multiplicity of the mind that redefines what is normal and can radically change your perception of yourself. Since I’m sometimes prone to be a skeptic, I was initially dubious of natural multiplicity because not only does it teach that it’s normal to have voices in your head, it encourages you to talk back to them.

Gulp! Talking to the voices? You got it right. But it’s not what you think. It’s not the delusional voices of mental illness that I’m talking about, although those fit in to this in ways I’ll explain some other time.

Most of us instinctively try to tamp down any signs of multiplicity inside of us, since we are socialized to fit in and be “of one mind” to others. As a result, we often ignore the wide diversity of our inner “voices.” These voices come in the form of thoughts patterns, sensations, or emotions. What we call “thinking” is often our inner dialogues with different parts of us.

Self Leadership: Creating the “I” of the Storm

Techniques I use called Voice Dialogue and Self Leadership facilitate interactions with your inner life to make you more conscious of it. Voice Dialogue, as the name implies, helps you gain comfort identifying and defining the various voices (parts) of you. Self leadership teaches you how to interact with your parts so that you lead your parts rather than your parts leading you. You become the “I” in the storm around which moves the varying and sometimes conflicting parts. Facilitation is practiced in therapy sessions and you are encouraged to use the exercises on your own.

Clothing the Invisible Forces Within

Each approach asks you to use some creativity and imagination in order to speak the language of multiplicity. Active imagination becomes the media upon which is rendered a representation of real phenomena occurring inside of you. (As I was experimenting with this approach initially, my rational part of me—that often thinks imagination equals nonsense—actually pointed out that the field of mathematics is highly imaginative and yet is an obvious tool that empowers us to achieve otherwise unthinkable results in the real world.)

To imagine that we have ongoing, complex relationships with our many different parts as though they are relationships with actual people is to put clothes on the previously invisible forces within us. Once clothed, these forces take on definition in ways previously unforeseen. We can learn to take a front row seat and observe these now graphically visible figures within us. In fact, we eventually learn that we are the observer, the stage, the writer, the director and the actors. Our complex brain is capable of amazing flexibility that can be used to benefit the work of psychotherapy.

As we get comfortable interacting with our many selves more directly, our parts learn to interact with us—to trust us. When this happens, people report feeling a tremendous sense of peace and calm very similar to that experienced from meditation. But unlike meditation, which seeks to empty the mind and induce a state of calm, self leadership allows you to experience calmness while being very mentally active. All of the energy inside of you that previously had no labels and no avenue for expression begins to have an organized and reliable way to communicate with you to resolve the conflicts it creates.

The Rewarding View at the Center

Each person is different in how long it takes before these improved “self-relationships” begin to affect the particular area of your life with which you want help. Many of us have natural hesitation about focusing within ourselves, and these concerns are carefully addressed. But I have found that with persistence and patience it is simply a question of when, not if, you will start to feel better. People report very similar kinds of effects from psychotherapy based on the model of multiplicity (also called Internal Family Systems). You are likely to:

• Experience clarity of thoughts for decisions
• Get peace of mind more often and feel more calmness in your body
• Become confident in what you want
• Be more available and attuned to the needs of your family or others important to you
• Develop appreciation for what is happening that is good (have a better attitude); become more able to do “the best you can” even if it’s not perfect
• Be more able to be patient if your partner is frustrated and figure out how to resolve the frustration without feeling overwhelmed or defensive
• Become curious and interested to learn new things and expand your horizons
• Find ways around obstacles that prevent what is best for you
• Let yourself dream again about what you really want

Read the full length article here: Psychotherapy Washington DC Couples Counseling.

Keith Miller, LICSW, is a psychotherapist and relationship specialist in downtown Washington, DC.



Last edited by DCMarriageCounselor; 09-11-2008 at 08:11 PM.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-09-2008, 11:22 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Calming the Storm Within: The Surprising Ability You Didn't Think You Had

I'm curious to hear about peoples' responses to the idea that you are much more than the sum of your psychological parts? How does this help you to hear this and/or how is this a possible concern? What are some of the parts of you that you are trying to get rid of and could you imagine changing your relationship with that part of you; what would have to happen?

Last edited by DCMarriageCounselor; 09-09-2008 at 11:33 AM.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-09-2008, 07:54 PM
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Re: Calming the Storm Within: The Surprising Ability You Didn't Think You Had

Its an interesting new approach to healing a splintered personality and encouraging its whole. But I am always skeptical of a report that is all good and does not present the possible negative side effects, or at least the complications.

For me personally, though, I am sorry to say I would not use this approach. I have found that life is unbelievably simplistic and complicating it with ideas of "relationships to my parts" just makes a mountain out of a mole hill.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-10-2008, 10:10 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Calming the Storm Within: The Surprising Ability You Didn't Think You Had

In the complete article I have two sections that address the most common complication to this approach, which you hit right on the head in your response...so thanks for mentioning. One of the sections is called "Why Natural Multiplicity is Naturally Unsettling."

When I first started this myself, and still now sometimes, there are parts of me similar to yours that would rather do without the idea about "parts." This makes sense. I was therefore relieved when the person working with me allowed that part of me to slow down our work. Then, over time, she respectfully but confidently asked me if that (skeptical) part of me could relax and give us room to find out what other parts of me it was trying to protect. I was more willing to do that (less skeptical) because I felt heard about my concern and learned I could control how I felt. This way you can respectfully address the various protective layers we all have and make vulnerable areas less vulnerable so that the protective parts don't have to work so hard.

I always hesitate to write about the complicated theory behind something that, in practice, is actually quite elegant. It's always better if you don't take my word for it but if you can have an experience yourself.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-22-2012, 07:34 AM
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Re: Calming the Storm Within: The Surprising Ability You Didn't Think You Had

Quote:
DCMarraigeCounselor said: Next time you’re in a sour mood about something, notice how hard it is to “snap out of it.” It’s not that simple. Or have you ever done one thing but believe you should be doing another? The reason for our mood swings and inconsistencies is often a mystery that eludes us. You may even “hear” one part of you debate the reason for or against a certain action. One person told me “It’s like there’s a constant storm within me…parts of me that collide and battle and make me feel anxious.
Never heard of "Natural Multiplicity" -but the unsettling part I agree -we need to not go around the pond to avoid but wade right through it , getting all wet & dirty & deal with it-head on... or these things will continue to surface in our lives.

This has always been what works for me... I need to write it out... ..give me a pen, give me a keyboard... when I feel like this......

I need to reach deep down , examine my emotions under a microscope...the why's....it may take me an hour or 2, a night even...many tears, struggling, not liking what I am finding even.....but yeah....that internal angel & devil sitting on my shoulders will come forth with their arguments....to get to the root of the hurt feelings I can't let go...or selfishness on my part.

One hates to admit to themselves we are just being selfish and need to be more understanding/forgiving ....but it could be the answer non the less to our dilemma...depending.... or maybe we need a little something more from the other person ...who has wronged us/hurt us (& a loving confrontation is necessary for a healing) ... maybe we are not even seeing the reality clearly.... or to realize that person does NOT care about us... and we have to " let it go" ...move on, no words spoken at all. (speaking outside of marriage here -maybe a casual friend)

So often what another does affects our moods ... or life's unfairness maybe.. maybe our issues are with GOD/ our maker....

So writing is my Unearthing I guess......getting to the roots, or to the other side of the pond by trudging through it ....

I could always FEEL when the mood was lifting, it was sorted out in my brain /my .....I could feel it as I was ending my masterpiece draft somehow ......whether I sent it or not, this did not matter....but what I discovered through it's pouring out ....the psych was settled ...

But with some "conscience led" path before me I had yet to travel.....1 whether to confront....2 to go to that person & apologize (selfishness on my part)..3 let go (I was being overly sensitive & ridiculous)....

I've written letters I would NEVER dare send, starting them out in a very sarcastic manner (to the point of rude humor)... only to tweak & calm them so they would be received in understanding, but yet -every word was from the heart .... not trying to pull the wool over the others eyes...or defending myself but to find some common ground with the person I am at odds with.

And if they could not accept my heart, so be it... I was prepared to "let go". And it's OK...realizing I did all I could to salvage the relationship.

Alot of this is holding on to our own personal boundaries with another ... not being blown by the wind but having a peace with our own part in another's life...we can't help if they want or expect more, that is on them. (even if they try to push it back on us)

Quote:
As we get comfortable interacting with our many selves more directly, our parts learn to interact with us—to trust us. When this happens, people report feeling a tremendous sense of peace and calm very similar to that experienced from meditation. But unlike meditation, which seeks to empty the mind and induce a state of calm, self leadership allows you to experience calmness while being very mentally active. All of the energy inside of you that previously had no labels and no avenue for expression begins to have an organized and reliable way to communicate with you to resolve the conflicts it creates
I can so relate to this BY BEING mentally active and pushing myself to deal with these things. I have very little patience being unsettled, infact I am a WRECK.... so this never lasts very long....as I very much enjoy being HAPPY, settled, at peace... I strive for that harmony within.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-24-2012, 12:36 PM
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Re: Calming the Storm Within: The Surprising Ability You Didn't Think You Had

I am really afraid that our first marraige counseling session next week is going to end everything. I would really like to know what options or advice a counselor can give my ex and I.
Here is my story
http://talkaboutmarriage.com/general...-new-post.html
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