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I am triggered – what can I do?

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  • Post published:March 1, 2022
  • Reading time:3 mins read

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.

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The 18 Schemas of Jeffrey Young’s Schema Therapy contextualized with Attachment Theory

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  • Post published:January 26, 2022
  • Reading time:3 mins read

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.

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Tips on Creating a Safe Space for Imaginal Work

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  • Post published:August 19, 2021
  • Reading time:7 mins read

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.

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The Schema Modes as They Relate to Attachment Styles

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  • Post published:August 16, 2021
  • Reading time:7 mins read

Disclaimer: These are my personal opinions. In this, I am drawing from Jeffrey Young’s work on schema therapy, and attachment theory more generally.

I believe that the attachment styles can be viewed as clusters of schemas and modes; schemas  being beliefs about self and world, and the necessary behaviors (modes) that result from those beliefs. The modes represent the coherent behavioral manifestations of the schemas.

Insecure attachment is associated with impaired emotional self-regulation. The coping modes are those emotional regulation strategies that avoid “an even greater suffering”, as Bruce Ecker says.

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Schemas as they relate to Attachment Styles

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  • Post published:July 23, 2021
  • Reading time:1 mins read

This list is based on my perspective as to how Jeffrey Young’s ‘Early Maladaptive Schemas’ relate to insecure attachment. More info on the 18 schemas here: http://www.schematherapy.com/id73.htm

 

General Insecurity

11 – Insufficient Self-Control / Self-Discipline

 

Dismissing

3 – Emotional Deprivation (central)
4 – Defectiveness / Shame (central)
5 – Social Isolation / Alienation
10 – Entitlement / Grandiosity
17 – Unrelenting Standards / Hypercriticalness
18 – Punitiveness

 

Preoccupied

1 – Abandonment / Instability (central)
3 – Emotional Deprivation
6 – Dependence / Incompetence
7 – Vulnerability to Harm or Illness
8 – Enmeshment / Undeveloped Self
9 – Failure to Achieve
12 – Subjugation
13 – Self-Sacrifice
14 – Approval-Seeking / Recognition-Seeking
15 – Negativity / Pessimism

 

Disorganized

1 – Abandonment / Instability
2 – Mistrust / Abuse (central) (additionally: fear and manipulation)
3 – Emotional Deprivation
4 – Defectiveness / Shame
5 – Social Isolation / Alienation
6 – Dependence / Incompetence
7 – Vulnerability to Harm or Illness
8 – Enmeshment / Undeveloped Self
9 – Failure to Achieve
10 – Entitlement / Grandiosity
12 – Subjugation
13 – Self-Sacrifice
14 – Approval-Seeking / Recognition-Seeking
15 – Negativity / Pessimism
17 – Unrelenting Standards / Hypercriticalness
18 – Punitiveness

 

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Can you change your attachment style and if so how?

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  • Post published:June 27, 2021
  • Reading time:4 mins read
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Yes, you can. But, there are many important considerations to keep in mind.

Attachment conditioning dictates much of how we behave in relationships, view ourselves, how well we explore our world, and how good we are at emotional self regulation (Brown et al., 2016). This conditioning is largely determined very early on between the ages of six and twenty-four months (and to a lesser degree up to three years). The conditioning that takes place at this time occurs at the procedural or implicit level, which is pre-verbal.

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Biology, Evolution, and Love

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  • Post published:February 19, 2021
  • Reading time:2 mins read
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I watched “My Octopus Teacher” last night. It was so moving.

John Bowlby theorized that Humans like other primates and mammals seek out proximity to the mother for evolutionary reasons, namely to seek safety. This makes perfect sense. You can build a theory of love, connection, and affection solely on the basis of the evolutionary benefits of proximity explained by attachment theory.

In the film, Craig Foster the main protagonist, states that the highlighted kind of octopus has no relationship with mother or father.

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Some notes on the three insecure attachment styles

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  • Post published:February 19, 2021
  • Reading time:2 mins read
  • Healing Modality:

Another quick note about how attachment theory “blames the mom” for everything.

Yes, that’s true on one level. Mom is usually the primary caregiver. And our attachment conditioning comes mostly from the interactions with the primary caregiver.
But, as we discover with meditation there is no self that is apart from others and apart from our conditioning.
You parents did the best they could. They only had their conditioning to inform them. They are ultimately blameless.

Continue ReadingSome notes on the three insecure attachment styles