Tossing Old Parts Work and Starting Over? To Do or Not to Do

TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro
I had a sick puppy for my last T who had a prior felony many years before, had duped some people out of over 6 figures....she got probation, got her T license, and I ended up at her door not knowing this history. I was with that T for a little under 2 years......and I was experiencing active trauma at the time so I was happy with a "rock" in therapy and as I get more grounded, I see that what I had isn't good therapy.
Therapy had not been my thing prior to this T.....and PTSD hadn't been a label. Within first couple of months, T said to me, "You have parts, go draw them or write about them." I'm an A+ personality type.....and I wanted to fix what was wrong with me....if it's broken, fix it, right? I'm also really suggestible...so I did. Needless to say, if it had been an educational assignment, I would have gotten an A+.....I found a lot of parts.....but this T never really clarified what constituted a part......but for brevity sake....I found lots of what I was told to find. She also first told me I was DID.....then she down graded it to DDNOS/OSDD......but this was a T who dissociated badly when in session.....and never dealt with helping me get grounded with my dissociation I think she was diagnosing herself. After she told me I was DID, she told me to go watch the A&N show called Jane. I didn't feel any connection to the show Jane, which was about a gal with DID.
T crossed boundaries and tried to take advantage of me and I had to leave after that. To give you an idea about this T, she texted me at home in the evening asking me to give her some advice for one of her clients (I know educational law and resources); in a hurricane she took a pic of her back yard and sent it, she loved clients giving her presents and she gloated about how many gifts her clients had given her, she'd cancel right last minute numerous times, and she dissociated during my sessions and didn't know where she went but her eyes were closed......her cue to come back was when I stopped talking about my shit. Whatever service I was paying for, it wasn't a present body in the room. I've worked really hard not to beat myself up with "I should's sooner" and I've gotten brave and discussed what happened with my old T with my new therapist....and this T isn't happy with the story I tell, and tells me that the other T trashed the concept of parts......and what I describe as therapy is not how it's supposed to work.
I'm at a pivotal point trying to move forward........I need to move on and put old T in the past and chalk her up to warm body therapist when I was at a time I wasn't grounded...
But she introduced parts........I have a binder with drawings, poetry, writings that includes that parts stuff. But I'd say I want integration, she'd say integration won't work. I'd say I don't think that is two parts....she'd say it was. My T did a lot of mucking in my head where she shouldn't have....lots of suggestions. This newer T brought up the possibility of getting rid of the old stuff.......I think she's trying to find a way to move forward, and figure out what, if any parts, there are.......So, the logical part of me sees this as a "fresh start" but I'm not totally gung ho about trashing everything, even though I'll never go back to the other T again.....I'm really pulled in two directions particularly about shit canning stuff. I got a fire pit...thought about turning the pages to ashes.....On the flip side of that, if I die I don't want people going through my personal journal......I know it sounds dumb.....any advice for moving forward?
 

Wendell_R

MyPTSD Pro
Here's my two cents as someone who has parts. My therapists, who did not foist a diagnosis on me, say that everyone has some degree of separation of the different sides of their personality. There are trauma theories that some type of personality separation ("structural dissociation") is at the root of our PTSD trauma response. Maybe it's useful to see the binder as a way of exploring all the different sides of you. If you feel integrated, you are integrated. If you feel split, then maybe look at that degree of splitting without worrying whether it's DDNOS/OSDD. It would be interesting to look through the binder and see where there is harmony, as opposed to enforcing some split.

I'd be tempted to cut the journal into pages, and go through each page individually to see what speaks to you now.

Glad you are moving on from your old therapist!
 

TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro
Here's my two cents as someone who has parts. My therapists, who did not foist a diagnosis on me, say that everyone has some degree of separation of the different sides of their personality. There are trauma theories that some type of personality separation ("structural dissociation") is at the root of our PTSD trauma response. Maybe it's useful to see the binder as a way of exploring all the different sides of you. If you feel integrated, you are integrated. If you feel split, then maybe look at that degree of splitting without worrying whether it's DDNOS/OSDD. It would be interesting to look through the binder and see where there is harmony, as opposed to enforcing some split.

I'd be tempted to cut the journal into pages, and go through each page individually to see what speaks to you now.

Glad you are moving on from your old therapist!

@Wendell_R , so very glad you dropped by here....cause I am struggling. I was hoping that you'd shine your light on this post. Thank you. Two years ago I felt more split or parts than I do now. I don't have near the head noise I used to and I think I have a good handle on the dissociation issues I had....the fog was really thick a lot...for a while....some of
the advice the old T gave worked but she gave little advice infrequently....like ask inside, work together with the self.....do fun things-sooth the inner child stuff.....and art/music has really helped quell parts that feel little, too.

But since this T suggested considering tossing the parts stuff...I have more feelings about the possible negative consequences of doing that.....more head noise I guess. Therapy isn't looking so appealing this week, either....hum, will have to consider that feeling. I am lucky to have found this T after the last one....her doctoral thesis was about the harm bad T's can do to clients. ;) I didn't find that out till months after I started seeing her and realized her concern was to keep me grounded first (unlike the other one who said I knew everything in the dissociative disorders book), but I think this T, maybe she was meant to be. .....here, in this time and place....after the mess with the last one..

I'll give your suggestion a go, and see what doesn't make it into the burn pile.
 

Wendell_R

MyPTSD Pro
A critic of DID said clients don't have alters or parts, we just have areas of our thoughts that we are phobic to. Although I disagree about the judgement on DID, I understand the point. The most fundamental question about leaving parts behind is whether you still have access to the thoughts, fears, feelings, and desires that those parts represented. If tossing a part cuts off a part of you from therapy, then it seems to me important to find an alternate way to access that part of your mind. And you need a way to love and care for all of you, too.

Much care to you!
 

Mach123

MyPTSD Pro
Hi that’s a great post thanks. Yes the therapist can be one of us, and can be worse lol. Doesn’t mean everything they say is wrong. I’ve discussed this with my therapist, who’s one of us. She wrote a book about it. She says they can become therapy vampires and sit there and suck up whatever it is, I can’t say it. I know what she meant though. Like abusive.

But anyway parts are real imho. I don’t know if what we do is parts work, like family systems which I did quite a bit at Van der Kolks. That’s how I think of it. With all the treatment I’ve had, I’d say yes do it. Who knows what’ll work or not? Best always to be doing something.
 

TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro
A critic of DID said clients don't have alters or parts, we just have areas of our thoughts that we are phobic to. Although I disagree about the judgement on DID, I understand the point. The most fundamental question about leaving parts behind is whether you still have access to the thoughts, fears, feelings, and desires that those parts represented. If tossing a part cuts off a part of you from therapy, then it seems to me important to find an alternate way to access that part of your mind. And you need a way to love and care for all of you, too.

Much care to you!

I guess this whole situation has put a negative spin on the word "parts." I try not to feel that way....and that feeling comes and goes.
I question everything I've done in therapy and it seems like work to have to go back and re-evaluate my beliefs about who I am as a person....I'm in the 4th quarter of life and I think I should have a handle on it after all the therapy I've done, and now I'm thinking I need more therapy and I'm spending lots of money fixing shit because of my last therapy......and if I keep going with that line of thinking....I get really pissed off.

When I went into the new T's office, I dissociated so badly, because I was so angry at the last T....she had me sign a piece of paper while highly dissociated, that said I owed her 700.00 more when there was 700.00 in the account...she didn't want me grounded because then she couldn't extort money from me. Can you fking believe it.....? I felt like a moron.....which doesn't make sense....because I didn't do anything wrong. What am I going to tell my friend about how my day went with the T? How was I going to place blame? by saying, " I was so dissociated I gave away my money to my T?" My insurance was paying her, and she should have either accepted the insurance, or not accepted and asked for cash payment.

Now, I'm also in a very different, calmer, healthier place than I was when I was being traumatized by family a couple of years ago and fcked over by my T. I'm not looking to toss the parts or the concept of parts....just the physical representation of the parts during old T time...the parts work on paper. It's almost like I need to start over with a blank slate and see who shows up for the game, so to speak.

I have questions like what's a part and what's a talent and what would distinguish the two? My parts consist also of a number of creative parts I didn't know I had or wasn't aware of before.....along with a number of parts more in line with those seen in an IFS structure (perfectionist, critic, etc)......but the artistic parts are super focused parts of me to almost the dissociative end....but my T is saying those are my very focused talents...which was a question I had. The old T was almost "the more parts the merrier" and encouraging division where there didn't need to be.....as I look back on it. When I did the "go find your parts assignment" I was serious about working through shit, and fixing it. The shamanic journeying seems to be a key for me....I can access my parts when I take a journey (it's a fancy way of saying self-hypnosis) and it is when I journey, I feel safe and parts can come to me and I can have a profound impact over dealing with the feelings of specific parts....especially if multiple parts show for a meeting and they work together. I had to journey to decide to get rid of T.....a couple of times....that act alone, firing my T, created so much head noise for me but an internal meeting to get consensus was helpful. So, I have a safe enough meeting place, a standard way to access the parts that I can do on my own if need be (this journeying thing is never T led and won't be), so accessing parts after tossing the written stuff shouldn't be an issue.
 

TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro
Hi that’s a great post thanks. Yes the therapist can be one of us, and can be worse lol. Doesn’t mean everything they say is wrong. I’ve discussed this with my therapist, who’s one of us. She wrote a book about it. She says they can become therapy vampires and sit there and suck up whatever it is, I can’t say it. I know what she meant though. Like abusive.

But anyway parts are real imho. I don’t know if what we do is parts work, like family systems which I did quite a bit at Van der Kolks. That’s how I think of it. With all the treatment I’ve had, I’d say yes do it. Who knows what’ll work or not? Best always to be doing something.

Therapy vampire! That describes her perfectly! The therapy kept switching focus from me.....to her. She sucked up the air in the room....I was afraid....she'd appear afraid, but when you are dissociated (and you don't know it because it's screaming at the T but she's dissociated or disconnected with her eyes closed), and in the midst of being violated or hurt by family, it is a recipe for more abuse...but more subtly from a helping professional.
 

Wendell_R

MyPTSD Pro
I think there is a continuum of what a part is. I do know that standard therapeutic guidance is to not encourage divisions where there is none. (That's different, though, from the case when there is conflict between parts that are separate but tangled in conflict together. That's me sometimes.) You sound quite integrated in any case! The way you describe the different aspects of yourself does not sound like my experience of parts. Mine are much more like independent people.
 

TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro
I frankly don't know what I am anymore but it made me smile to know that I come across more integrated than not....;) ......I rejected the idea of "weness" at first, then came to believe when I was so dissociated and not remembering from the bedroom to the living room, losing things, and all dissociated, that her statement....some part of you knows where you left the keys....or whatever it was I couldn't find or forgot....asking inside for help from parts did help along with the remission of the external threats that came from family that had me jacked up.....that subsiding made things more manageable.... so I wasn't so dissociated.....Having community internal meetings has helped to resolve internal problems....but now, in looking at the mess of my head, and her encouraging divisions has created serious conflict even over whether I should have internal meetings....or which parts are real...and which aren't.....or the biggest question....how can I really ever be sure......??

And T's suggestion of tossing the old work....also has created internal conflict.....this week has been a b.... emotionally. I had realized a couple of weeks ago that my anger at T1-old T for mucking in my head, was interfering with progress with new T....and trust building and since I've taken this stuff back out of the mental box I had stuffed it in......now...I'm more dissociated at home and in my bed more....and frankly, I'd just like to run away......but where would I go? My head would still be screwed on wrong no matter where I went.

I like the idea of going through the binders page by page and getting to the root of what I can't tolerate to get rid of and maybe work on that from there.....that does make sense. I appreciate you taking the time to chat about this...this is so messed up....really.
 
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