Saturday, April 25, 2009

Meeting Your Therapeutic Self & Inner Family

My new book, "How Many Cookies Will It Take to Make Me Happy?" follows the therapy model I designed for myself & then integrated into both my private practice patient care, including the design production of my CD/mp3 programs.

Whether working with Disorderly Eating or any other life issue, first we must uncover the negative behavioral habits, including all of their facets & tangents. Next, we must treat them therapeutically. This is accomplished through the development of a very strong "Therapeutic Self" who will work inside a "frame" or specialized imagery for organizing particular projects.This is the part of yourSelf that is the adult/parent/teacher...a mature Self that is directly connected to your Higher Self.


I'd like you to read through my suggestions & then go back & read them again, but this time work within the images I'm going to give you. We always begin by relaxing deeply into the moment. This is simple to do. Just take a deep cleansing breath, rather like a yawn breath. Make yourself comfortable. You may think that you are already comfortable, but once you "intend" to become very comfortable you will sense the difference. To your right is your Therapeutic Self. As I already mentioned, this is the adult/parent/teacher, mature part of you that is directly connected to your Higher Self. Notice this part of you now. You might actually design an image that you can see in the theater of your mind, or you can just "think" this Self; whatever you choose. Let's infuse this Self with some positive emotional qualities, such as patient, gentle, kind, confident & respectful of who you are, for indeed, you are one & the same.

Let's talk about who you are, as well as who you are not. This concept will help you to begin to understand how your Self is divided & how you will be working with the frame-image of the "Therapeutic Pathway". In short, you are the writer, director & producer of your life. Read that last sentence again. It's meaning is much more than a group of words. It is an Affirmation of self-ownership & self-responsibility.

What do I mean by this? First, you were born alone & will die alone. The life that occurs between those two points belongs to you. What you choose to do with it, is up to you & no one else; not your mother, father, sister, brother, husband, wife, children, get the idea. All of these people, no matter whether you love them or hate them, have no ownership over your life. This does not mean that you don't have responsibilities to your relationships, for indeed you do. It simply means that your life is yours & that you are responsible for your choices. This concept is extremely important because without it, you give away your power. In no shape or form, are you possessed or owned by others. When this happens it is difficult to say "no." You can get stuck in the "pleasing" scenario. You can become fearful, often allowing others to manipulate you, as if you were a puppet on a string. When you are with or in your Therapeutic Self, this is not possible. You are focused, wise, quietly attentive & assertive. You are in full ownership of your Self & what is yours.....your Therapeutic Pathway, also known as your life. Remember? The space between your birth & your death.

Yes, you own your "Therapeutic Pathway." This is where you live your life, staying inside your "Mature Therapeutic Self" as much as possible. Remember, that's your adult/parent/teacher Self that is connected to your Higher Self or the Universal Mind. You may wonder where you go when you are not with or in your "Therapeutic Self." Well, you are with or in your other Self or emotional child-Self. That part is always in process; always learning & growing. Keep in mind that we learn from both positive & negative emotional states, as well as the behaviors or habits that accompany them. Our thought processes are internal communications from all of our parts....Therapeutic Self, negative emotional child-selves & positive parts. In the future, as you learn to tune into your thoughts in new ways, you will be able to identify each part.

So now you have a family portrait of sorts. Image or think it. There you are with your Therapeutic Self & a group of emotional child-selves, some negative & others positive. I'd like you to better define them by giving them tee shirts with their names embossed on the front. For this imagery exercise, let's take the ones that are involved with eating practices & place them in their own sub-group. Have them stand over there. . In addtion, on their shirts you will recognize their particular eating facet or tangent. There are those related to food choices, shopping, bingeing, restaurant eating, etc. Notice that there are both negative & positive members of the group. You may be surprised to know this, but it is true. You actually do well in some areas & it's important to acknowledge this. As you learn to carefully identify your helpful emotions, you will be able to enhance their power, making them bigge, so they can work to assist you in other areas where you may not be as skillful. For example, if you do well in meal planning, but not so well in restaurant eating, you can bring your positive meal planning emotions into the restaurant eating arena.

There is another aspect to your "inner family." Tilt your eyes up slightly. I'd like you to image your Higher Self or Higher Power. This is not a religious exercise, but a spiritual one. No matter what your beliefs, do know that we all have a connection to something higher, be in a Higher Self or a Higher Power. Notice that this part is "over-arching" the portrait, perhaps shining light down on it. Go further into the image by sensing the light. Perhaps notice its brightness, the rays, the gentle heat or love that it provides. This completes your first healing image for working within your Self.


It's time to design another very important mind-image, that of the Therapeutic or Goal-den Path. You will be utilizing & growing this image over & over again, so take your time as you put the ideas together. Let's begin by going back to the concept of the space between your life & death. This is your Path. You've been on it since your birth, but most likely never imaged it in this way. Just as if you had a drawing pad in front of you, draw a path & paint in golden bricks. I like to switch the images of golden & goal-den. The subconscious mind likes games such as this & we want to pleasure the mind in positive ways. Let's continue with the mind drawing. Go ahead & place a large garden on the right hand side of the path & several smaller gardens on the left. The major garden on the right is called the "mindbody health garden" & it contains plants representing all of your body parts. The smaller gardens on the left represent your relationship with yourSelf, other significant relationships such as your husband, wife, children, your work/prosperity, home, spiritual & future areas. We'll be working with all of these later on.

Remember....this is your Path & while others can be invited here, they come only as guests & only to work in your behalf. In the next blog, we'll enter the major mindbody health garden & set it up for high level nutrition & behaviors.

Copyrighted 2009 Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht
May not be reproduced without permission of the author.

Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN, C.Ht is the author of Sugar...the Hidden Eating Disorder & How to Lick It. She is President & Program Designer, Sarasota Medical & Sports Hypnosis Institute & International Medical Health Writers, Ltd.