Thursday, August 25, 2016

Speaker Shares From Past O.T.C. Sexual, Social and Emotional Anorexia Retreats Now Available

For those of you not able to participate in person at recent Anorexia retreats we have made the  speaker shares available for purchase as MP3's. Proceeds will go towards starting Open To Change meetings and towards future retreats.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

What is Sculpture?

Sculpture Workshop Handout

Sculpture: How it Works
Click here for the Sculpture Design Worksheet

Sculpture is a process which replaces self-critical thoughts, disempowering beliefs and patterns with empowered alternatives, dislodging the underpinnings of negative behavior while forming a more intimate connection to the truer self and others.

About Beliefs
Beliefs are formed in the aftermath of events. Humans are hard-wired to first survive, then contemplate. It is not what happened but how we emerge from it that forms our expectations and beliefs in our ability and worth to ourselves and the world.

The majority of distorted beliefs are formed in childhood. Without appropriate guidance, empathy, comfort and connection from an emotionally healthy adult, children are left to interpret the meaning of their experiences often by how they feel. When they feel bad they can believe it is because they are bad. Without intervention these feelings do not go away, they go deeper, culminating in a self-concept that is undeserving of connection. Whether expressed or disguised, this manifests through unhealthy behavior.

About the Process
The process of Sculpture first unravels the story behind our belief, revealing how we assigned meaning to our experiences that defined our self-worth and ability. Next we re-enter those moments when we donned our unworthiness and this time receive the guidance, empathy, comfort and connection we have always needed to form an appropriate, healthy self-concept. We connect with our truth, releasing our future with our past. The original distressing event remains unchanged but is now reinterpreted as self-affirming. The lasting effect of a Sculpture replaces malformed, self-sabotaging beliefs with self-loving ones, which raises the bar of what we deserve and accept from ourselves and the world.

We can not undo personal history, we can undo the chains it wraps around a life.
What would you undo?

Sculpture Design Worksheet

Sculpture Guidelines
Sculpture is a role-play that helps you deal with unfinished business, especially a lingering, intrusive memory of a painful event. You get to attach a new, positive memory to the traumatic one that is stuck in your head and heart. It is also very powerful to have people support and validate your experience. During sculpture, your core self may take in much more of the support and caring than when simply talking about it.
Safety Guidelines
     Our sculptures are about good things that we wish would have happened. The sculpture is NOT about the trauma or painful event itself.
     Choose a sculpture that is manageable for you.  You need to feel safe when its over. We are here to
help each other, but remember that no one is acting as a therapist.
     If too many feelings are coming up as a result of your work, you have many choices for dealing with them. Go somewhere that you feel safe, ask a safe person to talk with you, take a walk, comfort your inner child, ask for comfort from another, or any other healthy coping techniques that you are familiar with.
     We do not criticize or judge anyones sculpture.
     The facilitator(s) may step in to help keep a sculpture safe, or to help others get a turn.
Sculpture Process
1.   The sculptor reads what they wrote on their Sculpture Design Guide.
2.   The sculptor can ask specific people if they will play certain roles. (asking in advance is encouraged)
3.   If the sculptor doesnt know who they want to play what roles, they can ask for volunteers right before the role-play begins.
4.   Before starting the role-play, the role players will introduce themselves as “Hello my name is             , and
I’ll play your mother/father/whatever.”
5.   After each sculpture, the role players will re-introduce themselves as “Hello my name is             , and I’m not your mother/father/whatever.”

6.   If the sculptor desires, the group members can express support and positive feedback for what the sculptor had done. This time is purely for the sculptor. Time for sharing your own feelings, stories, etc. will be available at the end of each round of sculptures.
Sculpture Examples
Example 1:  “Sue” remembers her mother pretending nothing was happening when her father was abusing her. In the sculpture, Sues mother walks into the room, confronts him (Sues father is played by a pillow/object), tells him to get out, tells her what happened was wrong, that it wasnt her fault, and that it wont happen again. As a result, Sue felt heard, loved and taken care of.
Example 2:  “John” remembers telling his parents that a big kid at school was bullying him and threatening to hurt him. His parents dismissed him and told him to “just ignore it”. In the sculpture, John tells his “parents” that hes scared this bully is going to hurt him. They believe him, call the kids parents, keep John safe, and report the student to the school principal. As a result, John feels heard, loved, supported, important and safe.
Example 3:  “Jane” decided she didnt want to address a memory directly, so she did a sculpture of her telling her inner child that she loved her, understood her, and would take care of her. Everyone else supported her quietly.

Sculpture Design Guide
This worksheet is to help you to create the most positive experience for yourself and be more fully prepared. The role-plays we do in our sculptures are about those good and helpful things that we wish would have happened. The sculpture is NOT about the traumatic experience itself. We ask that you not include physical or verbal violence in the sculpture.
1.   Think of a childhood experience that still hurts when you think about it.  Write down the general outlines of what happened.
2.   What painful beliefs and feelings stuck with you from that experience?

3.   Think of a much more positive and healthy ending to that experience.
What positive beliefs and feelings do you wish you’d had from the experience?
What would you have liked to have been done for you and/or said to you that would have been nurturing and supportive? Who would be the best ones to say and do these things?
Its OK to think about miraculous events such as people saying things they never could have said, or angels helping, etc. If its hard to think of these things, think of how the most precious child you can think of should have been treated after such an event.
4.   What positive roles would you like others to play during your sculpture?
Would it be helpful for someone to play a repentant family member, a rescuing family member, a supportive friend or a rescue worker?
(No one is allowed to play the role of a “bad person” – use a pillow or other object if necessary. The closest is someone who hurt you once, or did not help, and who, in the sculpture, is totally repentant, apologetic and nurturing.)

5.   What do you need to hear or have done from each role-player?
Do you want to hear from each person in a particular order?
Are there specific phrases you want to hear from specific roles?
6.   What reassurance-gaining questions would this wounded part of you want to ask to the characters in your role-play?
E.g., Do you really love me? Am I good? Did I deserve that bad treatment? Do not ask accusatory questions, as we dont want to trigger the role-players.
7.   What words, phrases, actions, etc., do you NOT want said or done?

8. How would  you like the physical  space to be set up?  E.g., in the middle of a circle or with a wall behind you?

In chairs or sitting on the floor? Think of what will make you feel most comfortable.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

11 Skills for Healthy Relationships

(Excerpted from "Sexual Anorexia" by Patrick Carnes)
Affirming love behaviors: acts that show emotional and moral support for the person we love; that show respect for and have a high value of the person we love.
Expressing love behaviors: tones of voice, gestures, postures and facial expressions that show our love.
Verbal love behaviors: words, pet names and phrases that show our expressions of love.
Self-disclosing love behaviors: acts and words revealing intimate facts and unique aspects; being open and vulnerable.
Tolerating love behaviors: acts showing an acceptance of the less pleasant aspects of the other - and doing so without judging the partner.
Tactile love behaviors: physical contact demonstrating loving affection and loving sexuality
Object/ gift love behaviors: giving gifts that demonstrate how much we care for our partner.
Receptional love behaviors: acts and words that show that we appreciate and acknowledge when any of the previous behaviors were done for us.
Reception skills:
1. Actively identifying and focusing on each expression of love as it is shown by your partner.
2. Avoiding discounting (putting down or ignoring) the expression of love when you notice it.
3. Giving appropriate comments that show you did notice and appreciated the expression of love.