Character Structure is one of the most important topics in our field today. We’ll look at an overview of personality types and how these are reflected in body traits and behavior patterns. We will look at specific suggestions for treatment and therapy, as well as recommended spiritual practices for each structure.
Structures include: Contact/Existence structure; Nurture/Nourishment structure; Dependence/Trust/Autonomy structure; Independence/Will structure; and Love/Sexuality structure.
Clients with contact/existence character structure struggle with disconnection, alienation and their very existence. They need help developing a sense of body, self and life. Their development was compromised very early on through a neglectful, rejecting or chaotic family environment. They need to know: “I have the right to BE!” When you learn to heal these clients, they can become connected with profound spiritual awareness and wisdom, display great courage in feeling feelings, and can be inspiring teachers to others.
You will learn how to:
• Rejuvenate your client’s sense of self from repeated invitations “not to exist” in childhood
• Help clients find inner groundedness to tolerate increasing warmth, expansion, and aliveness without shutting down from terror
• Help clients gradually reconnect to their body, feelings and life force slowly and safely
• Encourage connection while honoring withdrawal
• Read and work with affect and relationship dynamics naturally triggered in the NOW of the session
You will learn how to:
• Strengthen your client’s physical and emotional capacity to receive
• Guide your clients to clearly express, instead of repress, their feelings, needs, and longings in a direct and mature way
• Support your clients to grieve their real experiences of abandonment and loss from early “on again, off again” parenting
• Help these clients to stay connected to an autonomous self while in the presence of others
This character type loses their inherent authenticity to become performers and leaders with an often controlling personality. In their depths, they want to recover trust, truth and integrity. They most fear defeat, being used or humiliated. These can be difficult clients to work with if you do not know what to expect, as they use power dynamics to turn the tables and react negatively to any authority. We will discuss how to navigate this dynamic in the therapy room. When healed, these clients can be inspiring, visionary leaders, bringing people in conflict together in harmony.
You will learn to help these clients:
• Deflate grandiose self-images by feeling inner devaluation and recovering innocence, sincerity and integrity
• Develop their capacity for loving-kindness toward self and others in the aftermath of being lied to, betrayed, manipulated, and used while dependent as a child
• Manage feelings of emptiness from constant effort to be on top, win at all costs, be right no matter what, and seek revenge to maintain feeling special
• Allow their real feelings and have access to their bodies instead of numbing out
• Restore original feelings of natural healthy dependency without fear of collapse
The Masochistic type experiences a chronic sense of crushing shame, humiliation and defeat from an upbringing that did not honor their personal authority. They have difficulty setting boundaries and asserting themselves. Seeking pleasure or success elicits immobilizing guilt. When recovered, they express capacities for great optimism, joy, playfulness and strength.
Unwilling to open to love too deeply based on past wounds, the Love/Sexuality type usually has a series of broken hearts behind them. Heartfelt love is often separate from sexuality. Obsessed with being perfect, attractive, or successful, they often trade admiration for love. Even with substantial success they often feel unsatisfied, betrayed and fear vulnerability. When resolved, they have a great sense of passion integrated with the capacity to be in the flow of real love with others, their self and life!
You will learn how to:
• Avoid the common response of many therapists that will backfire with these clients
• Help these clients accept, feel and release pent up negative feelings, defeatist attitudes and depressive or sadistic tendencies without crushing guilt or paralyzing anxiety
• Heal the “heart-genital split”
• Learn to surrender to others and their feelings without fear of losing face or expecting retaliation
Intimacy and sexuality are perhaps some of the most powerful aspects of our humanity. Because they play an integral role in our lives, it makes both intimacy and sexuality vulnerable to trauma and Attachment disruptions.
On this four-month journey, discover how to support yourself and your clients in the development of deeper, lasting intimacy and sexual expression through developing Secure Attachment and resolving trauma. We will also address living an authentic and passionate life that fosters greater confidence and lasting fidelity in our adult relationships.