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Brave Therapy™ is a blog site created by Andrea Szasz, a Psychotherapist and Counsellor living and practicing in Sydney, Australia.

In Pieces, a wonderfully integrated autobiography.

(Warning: There are some spoilers in this blog. I wanted to make sure my clients are warned by some of the contents.)

‘In Pieces’ by Sally Field is one of most integrated autobiographies I have read or actually listened to. I always have been a fan of Sally, I could watch her movies again and again. After listening to her audiobook recently, I developed a different level of respect for her. While listening to her emotional and haunting descriptions of the generational traumas suffered by her family and her own traumas, I wondered ‘how is this possible that she is so integrated and expressive, witty and sharp?’ Some parts of the story are really hard to listen to. She reveals that she was molested by a family member, and it comes as a shock in the book, as it must have come to little Sally. She also describes the birth of her first son, and the brutal methods used to get babies out of their mother’s body in the sixties. She also takes you to a ride to learn about some quirky celebrities and she truly makes you laugh out loud.

In spite of her immense suffering, there is a great deal of compassion and self-reflective capacity in her writing. I was not surprised to learn towards the end of the book that Sally has kept journals all her life and been in therapy for many years with Dr Dan Siegel (one of my heroes). Sally has done things that we as therapists often suggest to our clients/patients to enhance their healing and integration. I personally use many techniques and modalities and combine them to best serve my clients.

Sally also used her creative art form to learn about parts of herself, which is also something we encourage for those in our care. Often we look at parts or pieces of selves, and in this book, Sally beautifully describes how and why certain aspects of our self become hidden, thwarted, or end up being silenced or too loud.

If you feel ‘in pieces’ sometimes, or you are a therapist, or just someone who loves great writing, I suggest you read this book. I felt full of hope and awe when I finished reading this excellent autobiography.

Warmly

Andi

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3 of My Favorite Resources for Loving Relationship

As a psychotherapist, I find that the most common reason clients come to therapy is related to unhappiness in their relationship. Sometimes there are simple communication problems that can be changed in a few sessions, but more often there are deep-seated issues.  Our early experiences in life can create patterns of relating that last through to adulthood.

 

Attachment theory gives a solid explanation of how this happens and why. Changing behaviour and our ‘wiring of relatedness’ takes time and commitment. While we explore these patterns in therapy with my brave clients, I often search for additional resources that are easy to understand and offer practical solutions. I am very excited to find some gems and share them with you!
Stan Tatkin’s Relationship RX is one of the best self-help books out there. He explains attachment theory in a very approachable way, and offers practical exercises derived from interpersonal neurobiology, somatic practices and the Adult Attachment Interview – a widely accepted method of measuring attachment state of mind.  He combines a lot of the knowledge and research that I integrate in my practice, so I feel a real synergy
with the material. Stan is the narrator of the book, and he has a lovely voice and an energetic delivery. In addition, this audio-only book uses actors to play scenes that might happen in a relationship. These role-playing exercises are very specific, but by showing a ‘Not useful’ way and then a ‘Better’ way to play out the same scenario, show how the theories and ideas can be used in real-life situations. These demonstrations illustrate how different attachment styles relate differently and how a more secure way is possible. Stan has a beautiful understanding of intimate relationships, and offer inclusive insights to all. This is a great audiobook to listen to together with your partner or partners.

 

This is also a very good book by Dr Leslie Becker-Phelps. I listened to it as an audiobook and enjoyed the narrator. Full of great explanations about how it feels and how to recognise if anxious attachment might be the reason for some relational difficulties in your life.

 

I have done many training in Diane’s model that she has developed from Somatic Experiencing. She is a real attachment expert and this audiobook is a real gift. I go back to it often for my own self and also thinking of clients. It is full of practical skills and insights.
I hope you find some of this useful and can have some yummy connections with loved ones.
That is all most of us want and need 🙂
Warmly
Andi
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The Daring Way™ in Sydney 14-15th July 2018 Tickets, Sat, 14/07/2018 at 9:00 am | Eventbrite

Source: The Daring Way™ in Sydney 14-15th July 2018 Tickets, Sat, 14/07/2018 at 9:00 am | Eventbrite

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3 Self-Help Books to Be-Friend Yourself, Your Body and Your Tribe

Recently a client of mine showed me the book: Your Resonant Self. I love learning from my clients. Our work reminded her of what she read in the book. I become very intrigued so I had to check it out. Sarah Peyton managed to write a very accessible and practical book to help people with difficult issues like, critical inner voice, lack of self compassion, shame, depression and anxiety. She beautifully weaved interpersonal neurobiology, stress system management, brain science and other complicated concepts in a way that is easy to understand. The book is also organised very well. After explaining a concept, case examples give them life and make the ideas very relate-able. Suggestions for meditation practice are also given. The meditation/visualisations and the reasons for using them are explained clearly. She also has great resources that complement the book like the recorded versions of the meditations , online book clubs and a YouTube channel. I think recording the meditations in our own voice using prosody and lovely empathetic sounds and then listening to that could have great healing effect on our own psyche. I love how she emphasizes the engagement of the body in healing. The only problem with this book that I did not write it 🙂

Peter Levine’s: Healing Trauma is the book that I often give to my clients. It a small little book that explains Somatic Experiencing in a nutshell. The book is filled with experiential exercises, many of which I practice in sessions with my clients. I am constantly amazed at the effect of this work. I love watching as people master their nervous system regulation and in doing so, make their life much more manageable.

 

And last but not least, Brené Brown’s latest book Braving The Wilderness. As a facilitator of her work I was very excited about this book. I read it as soon as it came out last year. It generated some great explorations in my therapy room. It also had a personal effect on me. This book is entirely contemporary and Brené explores our isolation and the divide that is truly happening, not just in America but all over the world. As with all of her books, I felt that she was talking directly to me. I also had a sense that a very wise auntie who caught me in some bad behavior was talking to me about how to be better. She gives practical insight, for example, on to how to Speak Truth to Bullshit or how to have a Strong Back, Soft Front and Wild Heart.

2 7 2013-SSS – Brene Brown

If you would like to experience Brené’s work, join me in a workshop I will be running this year.
Warmly
Andi
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Knowing is not enough. We must apply. Being willing is not enough. We must do. - Leonardo Di Vinci

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