Ask Ty...November 3 [The 'Inner Child' Therapy Question]

It must be Tuesday, Middlespacers, because I'm answering your questions
Q: Dear Ty,
My shrink caught me on 3 hours of sleep this morning, therefore my guard was down. In attempting to delve into my anxiety and stress issues, before I knew it, he had me doing 'inner child' hypnotherapy. The problem was, it worked - I was with a sad little me, and I wouldn't even talk to me.

I was broken by my shrink, finally - in the sense I'd never put enough guard down for him to penetrate.

The question is - given your psychological background, is this something that you are for or against? I'm very skeptical about doing this with the guy, or anyone for that matter, yet part of me feels as though it's worth a shot.

What would be your take on this?


Mopetard Howell, VII

: Good question and an even better observation, MHVII. First of all, one side of my "psychological background" pretty much tops out at graduate student in social psychology. Social psychology is good stuff too; how individuals shape groups and groups influence individuals, blah-blah-blah. It's "grandma psychology." Nothing against grandma, she was the smartest, but to spend years drilling down one well in the attempt to figure out how TeeVee ads make you buy stuff you don't want? C'mon people. Have some inner strength for a change.

But, I've also been a patient of therapy. Love(d) it! I've mentioned this already. Therapeutic upside: venue to ponder. Therapeutic downside: venue to perform. Fuck do I love to do the OneManShow at therapy. But at some point the audience begins to buy the act and to expect the act and to look forward to the Tuesday at 11:00 appointment/act because that patient is funny and the audience doesn't really have to do anything but laugh and forget all his or her own damn problems. Sigh. I'm just trying to understand why I'm on this journey...

But MHVII, you ask very serious and frightening questions. Inner child hypno, huh? Dang, don! While I do not believe myself to be one who is susceptible to hypnosis, the mere notion of sitting there with little Tyrone scares the hell out of me. So much repressed. So much compartmentalized. So many fears. So many vulnerabilities. I was so fearful until high school, ur, college, ur, graduate school, ur young adulthood, ur, middle age.... Point is, I believe it's human nature to repress and compartmentalize. I believe we're wired to do that (obviously). I also believe fears and vulnerabilities are part of the package too. What matters is how we deal with what we're frightened of. How we learn from mistakes. How we rebound. How we roll. But we all react slightly different. We call that "individual differences" in social psych. So while I feel I've dealt, others may not feel that they have. I respect that.

I don't know how far down my guard ever got (or gets) in therapy. So for you to say "broken" that may be beyond my comprehension. Shit, to put one's guard all the way down is actually profound. I know the professionals are working toward that but, wow, how fascinating....

It is my belief that traveling back in that WayBack Machine™ to sit with and visit little Tyrone would surely be difficult. Reliving the bad, trying to come to some conclusion about why I'm like I am? I can sit here now and tell you how bad things sucked at times. Did it shape me? Of course it shaped me. So I sucked at sports? So what I didn't get school? Yes, I questioned the notion of family. So what? And for what purpose would I want to this? [For more therapy doy!] To learn, certainly, but I truly believe I've dealt with the developmental years (I know, that felt like a little denial just typing that). But I've done the things I need to do to leave those shoes behind. So, it's not something I'd probably choose to do. Besides I'm too busy pushing forward and looking for what's next and waiting to die. Whaaaaaaaaaa!! I was poor! Now I'm a jerk! I have issuuuuuuuuues!! Right? Meh.

But I have also lucked into the most wonderful opportunity to "heal" some of my childhood "wounds" by being the best father I can be. I'm not perfect (hell, I may not even be "good"). Hopefully I am none of the dad alert dads; I'm just a dude looking out for the development and interests of my kid. I don't know if you have children, MHVII, but it kind of changes things. Among those changes is how you look back on your own life. Not that I'm advocating that people have the little motherfuckers, but it does change things.

So what do you do, MHVII? You mention that you feel both "skeptical" and that a part of you "feels as though it's worth a shot." On the surface this seems contradictory, but I see it as wholly healthy. Your "gut" is telling you to be easy on the throttle and prepared to brake; you're rounding an off-camber curve on wet pavement. That's great! I'M NO THERAPIST but by questioning where you're going with this, you have actively taken charge of the situation (and us social psychologists love us some "situation"). Congratulations, MHVII, you have proven to be sane as hell (but by asking me you may very well be crazy-ass nuts too, what do I know?).

Try it out if you think there are possibilities for issue resolution, but establish your thresholds to cease or change course too. Therapy can be difficult but it shouldn't (MY OPINION) totally suck. Oh wait. Get a good night sleep first.

Did I mention that I'm not a therapist and any advise one might infer is just the ramblings of a fat, old, one-legged, fake black guy, in an institution...on crystal meth...who doesn't know how spell check works.

Just a guess,