Personally, I am not a fan of superhero movies. They always seem to me to be the same ‘good vs evil’ storyline which doesn’t sit well with my own teachings. But watching the movie Avengers: Infinity War with my son I started to think about the fictional supervillain Thanos and how I would love to offer him therapy when the battle is over. The point I would make to him is that we only really have control over our own actions and can’t stop others from preventing our end goals from being reached. It doesn’t matter how strong or arrogant you are, this will always be the case…
You might be thinking that was an odd start to this week, but there is a point to be made here. Thanos’s emotions were clearly too intense and extreme to deal with universe-wide problems that he becomes obsessed by it to the point that he even killed his own adopted daughter. We see the same sorts of things happening all the time with BPD especially when it comes to personal problem-solving. Many of my clients with BPD often tell me their life idioms like “making a bad situation worse” or “digging yourself a hole you can’t get out of”. Sometimes the only way to deal with a situation is to walk away and give yourself some thinking time.
The point I am trying to make here is that DBT is all about reprogramming the mind to correct thinking, but never is that harder than for someone with BPD. With the mind being in such a chaotic state it can be hard to walk away from an argument and it can seem impossible to walk away from a toxic situation. But no-one controls you other than YOU! So when you are sick and tired of the same stress you are feeling, the same BPD symptoms over and over again, the only way to fix them is for YOU to change them. My role as a therapist is to help guide you on the path to this realisation. If you want to change the universe you live in, you don’t need all six infinity stones, you only need one which is the power of the mind stone which much like Vision is found inside your own head.
Learning to gain control of this “mind stone” is not going to be easy as the mind is a powerful thing, but by reading these self-help pages every week and actively engaging in the homework you will slowly and surely gain control of it and it will feel like you can change the very universe you live in. You can be the superhero of your own story, it’s just a matter of changing the script you are reading from.
I hope this week wasn’t too weird or “out there” for everyone. I am trying to make these weekly sessions as fun as I can, but also as therapeutic as I can but it is difficult when you have to try and cater for everyone rather than an individual session. So any feedback will be appreciated, good or bad to help me write these moving forward. Even if you feel you are not gaining anything from these weekly sessions do let me know.
This Weeks Homework: I would like everyone to try some personal affirmations this week. All you have to do is to look into the mirror and say out loud to yourself “I am in control!” the louder you say it (or even better shout it) the better it will make you feel. Don’t just do this once, do it over and over until you really start to feel and believe the words being said. Remind yourself of all the past trauma you have already endured and yet you are still here. That is not because of divine fate or inevitability, it is simply because you are a survivor. You can get through the worst of times and you can find your way back to the good times. But only YOU can walk that path, only YOU have the power to snap your fingers and make it happen.