(Disclaimer: This transcript is using AI technology. Please excuse any errors.)
Welcome to the Atheists in Recovery Podcast, where we talk about finding hope in recovery. And now your host, Dr. Adina Silvestri.
Adina Silvestri 0:11
Bonjour Atheists in recovery. And welcome to Episode 103 of the Atheists in Recovery Podcast, where it is my job to interview guests and address the spiritual and scientific belief systems of those in long term recovery in order to deconstruct limiting thought patterns and introduced new behaviors, and routines you can use. But today, my friends is a solo episode, no interviewing required. Today, we are going to talk about the opposite of addiction, which is connection. I heard that recently by Dr. Gabor Mate. And I really liked it. I'm sure he didn't coined the phrase, but I liked it nonetheless. And so we will be talking about the correlation between brainspotting attachment and addiction behavior. Before we start, though, and want to share a quote. And I think this quote really sums up this podcast well, and I use it in my men's group today, I have a private practice in Richmond, Virginia. And so I have an online men's group and the quote today in that group was write often, and edit well. And so today, we're going to be looking at the stories that we tell ourselves the narratives that we tell ourselves and how we can edit them, edit them in a very healthy, non judgmental way, of course. So let's get started. This episode is jam packed with tools. And so let's just jump right in. Brain spotting, the definition that I use pretty often is it goes beyond the mind to get direct access to the brain. So just as the eyes naturally scan the outside environment for information that could also be used to scan our internal environment. So brain spotting is is the visual fields to turn the scanner back on itself, and guide the brain to find lost information and ultimately resolution. So that's the definition, one of them anyway, of brain spotting. Let's look at a case study. And then we'll talk about three ways brain spotting can help heal addiction. Let's look at Tina. Tina is a 49 year old female who is three months sober, she denies any trauma. Her relationships are mostly an insecure attachment flavor. And I know that there are many forms of insecure attachment and we'll talk about hers in a minute. But she is fearful the relationships that she engages in won't work. And when her fears come true, or she finds evidence to support her theories, theories are in quotation marks, then she gets aggressive, violent, maybe, or she may just leave the relationship altogether. Then her and I meet, she decides to get help to stop drinking after her latest failed relationship and what she's tried to do everything to please Him. Her words, he was her drinking partner and being in a house where drinking was how you would connect well made it pretty impossible to want to stop. So her and I start with a setup called brain spotting resource spot and we focus on her latest breakup and the feelings that are coming up for her right now. It's still very fresh. And what one of her first sessions I'm surprised to learn that Tina suffered from extreme criticism from her father, and accomplished like hytrust, in which she felt her worth was measured by her performance, and how she looked so many comments about how many A's she's received, how much she ate, what how she looked. And so that's important to note because that will provide a pathway into some of the stories that she's currently telling herself. Okay, let's jump into the three ways. Number one, brain spotting helps with early messages. So the first common theme brain spotting explores really talks about the trauma. There are very few direct skills that are learned from brain spotting alone, but the focus is primarily revealing hard to access feelings, and thoughts. So that's what we're getting at are getting at those subcortical thoughts. And it's extremely effective at accessing parts of the brain that are traumatized by many unintended experiences. And what I mean by that is, I would say 90% of the people that I talked to say they're not traumatized.
But and I heard this quote fairly recently. That said, there are only two people in this world. And the first are people that are traumatized. And the second are people that are traumatized, but just don't know it. So I loved it. And I feel like that would explain Tina because she really doesn't identify with with trauma. And it's clearly a part of her, her early stories, her early messages. So brainspotting will reveal these things. And many unattended experiences meaning I don't, you know, your parents don't mean to traumatize you. And we'll look at how they do that in point number three, but it could be anything pre verbal, even like that of an adoption could be trauma, it could be traumatizing. So trauma overwhelms the brain's processing, leaving pieces of unprocessed experiences frozen in time and space. We look at the trauma capsules to identify those earlier messages that are no longer serving us with Tina, a question I would pose often where was where do your expectations of yourself and others come from? Are they too high? Are they too low? She would use the story of I'm not worthy of this attention if I can't please him as a protection, which is fine. That's what got her through those early childhood years. But that story is that narrative is no longer serving her at this moment. Number two, brains finding helps with increased attunement. If you didn't get attunement early on in childhood, you're going to get it in brains budding brains finding uses dual attunement. And it works not only with the client as a person, but also with the brain of the client, which is where the doula human frame comes in. So brain spotting therapists were closely to follow the different levels of client communication, all at the same time following any eye, and body cues. So with Tina, she works to regulate her brain and body but because of her attachment issues, she needed more from me, she needed me to be more interactive in our brain spotting resource state sessions so that she could feel safe. So essentially, that just meant more check ins from me where needed, whereas usually I stay pretty quiet during a brain spotting session. As your brain body healed, we switched from a resource model to a more activation model, which meant that things were progressing in the right direction. So without feeling that empathy from me, and it took some time to buy in, and to trust me, but, you know, she felt that presence of another person joining her on that journey. And so that was good. I think that traditional talk therapy wouldn't have achieved the same deep relationship and processing goals that we had. So I was happy with that. So increased attunement is number two. Number three is understanding attachment and old wounds. And so your brain spotting helps us learn how our old stuff defines us, and how to unlearn these thoughts and behaviors. When you look at a spot. Anywhere in the room, we looked at a spot, you bring up the event, she looked at a spot and you observe where your mind goes. In other words, when you look left or right, up or down, you experience things differently to the left and down to some may feel very scary. Maybe like a drop in your stomach scary, whereas the right side can feel really calming. And if you want to try this out, go ahead and head to atheist and recovery calm and type in Episode 94. And there is an exercise there for self spotting. I think that episode is how to treat anxiety head on. So back to number three, when you focus on something you have strong feelings about it. This looking left, right up down difference is more pronounced. Brain spotting will help you to find out more about your complex brain and then at first you don't like it. Maybe you just don't like how it feels. I think this is really common for people that are used to being in control. You know, I get that a lot like I don't like how this feels or I don't know if I'm doing this right. You just have to follow that train of thought. Follow it. Be curious about it. Your brain and body are trying to teach you something.
So getting back to attachment styles, Tina identifies mostly as avoidant attachment. And it's important to to know what you're I think to know what your attachment style is. I think it's very important. And you could use this within your relationships to in order to connect better with your loved ones. with Tina, we process down to a cellular cellular level her attachment wounds, process them down to resolution. So as a child, Tina was really only being seen when she when she was learning a skill. That was the only time. And so when she would look in her highly accomplished father's eyes, a lot of times there was anger. And that taught her that maybe I can't look others in the eyes directly. Or maybe there's a fear there a hesitation there to look others in the eyes directly because of those old wounds, that she was going to be judged harshly. No matter what your attachment style. However, the good news is if you can compassionately recognize your own attachment styles and not take it personally that's healing. If you can recognize others attachment styles and not take it personally, that's even, that's a bonus, you won the bonus round they're. So authentic attachment is an inherent quality of human beings. We all want to get there. And you can too, you can move in that direction with help. And that's really where the healing begins. So if you're interested in learning more about brain spotting, attachment styles and addiction, I provide brain spotting to individuals in Virginia at my office and resume online, anywhere in Virginia. Just go to atheists in recovery.com, click on the yellow Sculptra button in the top right of the homepage. And you can schedule your FREE 15 minute appointment with me. All right, guys. I hope you enjoyed this episode, and I'll talk to you soon.
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Write Often and Edit Well-Esther Perel
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