Taking patients through the exercise of clearing their time line of shocks and traumas is interesting, to say the least. I’ve discussed some of the technical aspects of how we identify and treat the significant events on the time line, as well as some of the fascinating healing reactions and subsequent realizations which patients have on their way through.
What I want to talk about today, though, is the phenomenon of resistance — how it has often been that some patients will find various ways of avoiding working through their time line, even when it doesn’t appear that there was any extensive or deep trauma in their history. Some of the forms in which the resistance comes up:
- Simply delaying in bringing me their filled in time line. I’ve never quite had a “the dog ate it” excuse, but it’s come quite close. Patients have had issues with their printer not working; with not having had time to sit down to do it yet; and with having forgotten to bring it from the kitchen counter.
- Endless detail, no focus on what’s important. You would think with some of my patients, that instead of asking them for a concise time line, that I had instead asked them to write the next great American novel for me. Whether they do this in writing on their time line, or in person inside the consult room, these forms of “verbal diarrhea” are an attempt to avoid the real issues by putting up a smoke screen of way too many words.
- Requesting to delay the next time line remedy. This one is usually linked with the patient trying to control and manage the potential healing reaction on their own schedule, in order to miss overlapping either with work days, or vacation days, as it were. The fear of the healing reaction can be enormous for some patients, and they ask me what exactly to expect from each remedy I give them. While the general form of a healing reaction is easy to understand, the details are locked inside a crystal ball, which I don’t happen to own.
- Shutting down the healing reaction. Despite meticulous explanation to the patient, and preparation for what to expect from their healing reaction, what it means, and how to deal with it, it is still a regular occurrence for the patient to panic during the healing reaction, and cart themselves off to the doctor to pick up an antibiotic or anti-inflammatory to shut down the discharge from their healing reaction. In the case of a healing reaction, what appears to be an infection is actually just the temporary discharge process of the healing reaction — to shut it down with antibiotics pushes the toxic residue of the original trauma back inside the organism, where it continues to function as it always has to maintain an aspect of the patient’s pattern of dysfunction at one or more levels.
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