20 November 05
Pyschotherapy With Dr Allen (part 3)
“Do you know what schemas are?”
“Schemas are core beliefs that are the essence of you. They’re what’s in your heart and soul – what you believe about you and the world. Are you familiar with Freudian analysis, and the id, ego and superego?”
“Then you should get an easy grasp of transactional analysis. With transactional analysis, three ego states are identified: the child, which is impulsive and likes to be taken care of; the parent – the caretaker or superego – which is where I suspect your anxieties stem from; and the adult – the rational and balanced thinker – the stabilizing force between parent and child.
Your drive to succeed – the ‘I have to do this, I have to do that, to get where I’m going’ – comes from the parent, the superego. To address the anxieties you are experiencing, a compromise must be found in the adult. You need to balance the parent out in the adult world. You have a need for relaxation and pleasure, for good mental health, which you are not addressing if your parent is making you believe that you ‘have to get this done, and have to get that done’ to achieve your goals. Let me take a guess: you probably spend seventy percent of your time working towards your goals, and thirty percent on relaxation and pleasure?”
“More like ninety percent plus on my goals, and ten percent or less on pleasure.”
“It’s worse than I thought then.”
“Like we discussed previously, I enter years of all-absorbing work, and the pressure builds up so much that I end up partying hard and entering a slump.”
“If you don’t modulate that, you’re going to run into the same problems. Instead of rising up rapidly in terms of success, and then having a massive need for play at the crest of your wave, you should try to obtain your goals more slowly, by letting steam out from time to time on the way up by engaging in pleasure and relaxation. It seems that you’re stuck on the beliefs coming from the parent state.”
“I can see what you’re saying is true, but, I don’t want to achieve my goals slowly. Part of my goals are the time parameters I set. I view the road you are describing as mediocre performance. I allow for pleasure when I’m beginning to feel unhinged. Isn’t that the cost of doing business? Wasn’t it Nietzche’s overwhelming use of his cognitive skills that contributed to his insanity?”
“That’s your schema. Unless you change that belief, and let out steam gradually as your stress builds, you’ll have the same problems that you’ve had in the past.”
“So how do I change that schema? I don’t understand where it comes from. I just have a permanent overwhelming feeling that I must spend all my time working hard to fulfil my destiny.”
“We need to go deeper into your psyche to find out what has shaped your core belief system.
But sadly, that might not be possible because I’m being assigned to work other prison yards, and may not be able to continue these sessions.”
“Not again. Just when I thought Dr. Bernstein at Buckeye was making progress, he got axed. Now the same’s going to happen with you?”
“I’ll see what I can do, but this might be our last session together.”
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Copyright © 2004-2005 Shaun P. Attwood
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