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Our guest on this episode of The Addicted Mind podcast is Tim Sitt, a clinician at the Freedom to Move Group who shares Duane’s appreciation of Virginia Satir’s work. Virginia Satir was cutting-edge in the 1960s when she moved away from the “traditional” psychoanalytic model and practices that perpetuated the hierarchical narrative that had become the norm in therapy. Her work is still revolutionary in that clinicians using her techniques bring in all of the pertinent members of the person’s family to address every member as having equal value and potentially remove the risk of redacting progress made with the individual during a session when they go back to their home environment, which may have caused them to turn to coping in the first place.
People struggling with addiction often feel shame and no sense of self-worth, but this model aims to bring dignity to the person rather than harping on their behavior or pattern leading them to addiction. This could be the first safe space where they have been encouraged to explain themselves and evaluate why they are doing what they are doing. It gets down to the roots of the self, life, energy, and value. Perhaps pain or trauma in their past has led them to develop this inner dialogue of disconnection to self because they believe they are worthless. Satir’s work set up a system where the person realizes that they are not the problem and they can feel hopeful in connecting to their true self in the present moment.
Often, people react to circumstances with “I am…” statements that ultimately draw conclusions from the external stimuli about who the person is. This is frequently very unhealthy and the cause of many underlying issues that lead to addiction or other coping mechanisms. It ultimately comes down to these two questions: What do you believe about yourself? What do you believe about relationships? The way the individual answers these questions sheds a lot of light on the presence or lack of self-connection. It is important to create a space between the identity and the behavior in order to truly begin the self-connection journey.
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