These are guided meditations that guide you through the experience of the four major attachment styles as a mind state.
Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD) describes the condition of someone who has symptoms of PTSD in addition to other compounding symptoms such as difficulty regulating emotions, feelings of anger or hopelessness, and a lack of trust in others. It is caused by repeated, prolonged exposure to traumatic events, often early in life or in other situations in which escape from a traumatic environment is not possible. Recent research has begun to explore the connection between trauma and attachment.
Treating trauma is normally done in three phases.
The “Mistrust & Abuse” schema is nearly always quite strong in these cases, and so it’s important to prioritise it.
- If doing a confrontation-scene, focus on protection and safety.
- The Perfect Nurturers really back you up, give you power and moral authority
The material in the “Working through Disorganized Attachment” course is very relevant, in particular the guided meditations.
The conference-room technique can also be very helpful for working with this type of material.
Exploration is the ability to go after what is meaningful to us. We rely on our exploration ability to understand what we really want, plan how to get it, and follow through. However for those of us with insecure attachment our exploration skills are often underdeveloped.
John Bowlby, the founder of Attachment Theory, proposed that a “good-enough” caregiver would provide a stable base for the child. When care is readily available and of good quality, the child is able to confidently explore away from the secure base.
When practising meditation with the goal of working on attachment, you may occasionally find yourself triggered by strong emotional experiences or memories. You might have anxious symptoms such as a racing heart or shortness of breath, or you might simply have a feeling of being overwhelmed. What to do when triggered after meditation is the same as what you can do when triggered in other circumstances, and there are always ways you can ground yourself. Here are some of our suggestions for how to return to your centre and find calm when triggered.
Schemas are emotional beliefs/memories/predictions about self and world.
In this article, we offer our definitions to the 18 early maladaptive schemas and our hypotheses on how they relate to the attachment styles.
Most schemas will be categorized in terms of the dismissing/preoccupied dichotomy.
Note that disorganized attachment implies both dismissing and preoccupied components. For that reason, all of the schemas can be found in disorganized attachment. However, the Mistrust/Abuse schema stands out as a defining schema of the disorganized attachment style.
Here we present a step by step guide on how to meditate to change negative beliefs about self and world (Schemas) and related symptoms (Modes). The system is called Schema Repatterning Meditation.
- Identify what I want to work on
- Schema (if you know it you can work on it directly)
- Mode (symptom) (may be easier to see)
- Feel into the symptom (Mode) – imagine the symptom
- What belief is driving this?
- Interest & curiosity
- Differentiation Ah this is just a thought!
- Relating Variables: seeing simple cause and effect
- Integration: ability to construct a narrative. Use the pro-symptom position
- Decentration: Step back and remember that it’s not necessarily personal or about you
- Mastery: Getting things done and staying emotionally regulated:
- Pro-symptom position
- Interest & curiosity
- Seeking help from others
- Perspective taking
Do you want to improve your ability to regulate your emotions so you aren’t blown around by the changing winds of mood? You can start by memorizing the following six metacognitve skills.
Identification is the ability to recognize what is happening in one’s inner experience, and greatly overlaps with mindfulness. Someone with weak identification skills will have trouble knowing what emotions they’re feeling and is more likely to be overwhelmed by them as a result.
“In short, we had stopped treating the symptom like the work of a demon whom we were trying to drive out of the client’s life. We had focused instead solely on learning from the client why their depression, panic attacks, stormy relationships or obsessions were somehow necessary — what unconscious benefit these seemingly nefarious symptoms served. We were fascinated to find that by focusing therapy in this way from the first session, we could get powerful results swiftly and reliably.” – Ecker & Hulley
- Coherence Therapy is a unified set of methods and concepts for mental healing that foster profound change with a high level of consistency.
These tips on creating a safe space for practice were originally shared by a long-term Attachment Repair student in our Slack community.
I wanted to share my process and tips for building an imaginal safe space. I use this space as a foundation for all my attachment/schema work. Basically, that’s where I prepare for the ‘main’ work, and it’s a container and location for imagery. I also use it to hunker down when I feel anxious or overwhelmed, and sometimes to help me fall asleep.
Influenced by this video: Understanding Schema Therapy and schema modes, interview