Self-Help Tools From Our “LOVE-atory”
Our many self-help tools for healing grew out of our own self-healing work. We looked at how other couples were coping with relational issues such as codependency and conflict, and couldn’t really find tools that helped us break through and break free of our family-of-origin issues.
So we decided to turn our relationship into a LOVE-atory, where we tested numerous tools and approaches on ourselves. Once we learned what worked for us, we shared it with our counseling clients and our students in the graduate counseling program at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs. This helped us field-test and further refine our self-help tools.
During this process, we repeatedly experienced ourselves as whole, Mindbody Beings, and that our thoughts, beliefs, and emotions have a huge impact on our physical health. You’ll find our approach to Mindbody self-healing “developmental” rather than “diseasing” and that it strengthens your capacity to direct your spiritual, social, educational, political and gender growth.
Our personal self-healing work began with breaking free of our own dysfunctional family patterns that involved codependency and counterdependency. Then we moved to healing the underlying childhood traumas at the core of our dependency issues. This long-term process taught us many things. One of them was how to create effective self-help tools to help our readers and clients better understand the causes of their relational conflicts, parenting problems and chronic health issues.
You Are In Charge
A special focus of our self-help tools for healing the Mindbody is championing people to take charge of their own healing process. We discovered that most people are quite capable of doing their own healing work, and don’t need to someone to do it for them. This can just create new kinds of dependency issues.
Don’t get us wrong; we have used body workers and therapists over the years when we lacked the tools to help us with a problem or issue we were facing. Sometimes we were able to work through the psychotherapy part ourselves, but needed the help of a skilled body worker to integrate our mental and emotional shifts into our physical bodies. Other times mental and emotional issues emerged in our bodywork sessions, and then we used our self-help tools to integrate them into our Mindbody.
The Long-term Impact of Childhood Trauma
We discovered that many addictions, relational conflicts, parenting problems and chronic health issues are related to unrecognized and unhealed developmental shocks, traumas and stresses from childhood experiences. Our self-help healing tools for the Mindbody also help you learn how to understand, process and regulate the feelings related to these early experiences so that you won’t need to self-medicate or use old and dysfunctional defense systems.
Addictions, for example, are an attempt to self-medicate and avoid certain unwanted feelings that emerge when we get “triggered.” Another aspect of our approach involves identifying and understanding the source of your triggers and why they upset you so.
Triggering happens when we come in contact with a person or situation that reminds us in some subconscious way of a previous shocking, traumatic or stressful early childhood experience. When we are “triggered,” we get flooded with old feelings and instinctive reactions that are related to these earlier experiences. Then we activate the fight/flight/freeze defense systems that we’ve created to help us cope with these moments of overwhelm.
Unhealed childhood trauma makes it difficult to sustain intimate relationships, particularly when you move to a deeper level of intimacy. Deeper traumas and the issues associated with them will only emerge when a couple trusts each other enough and feels safe. We actually congratulate couples when this happens, as it is a sign that the relationship has gotten close enough and safe enough for these traumas to emerge for healing.
Our books are also resources for self-help and self-healiing. We suggest you start with the two books, Breaking Family Patterns: How To Identify Your Family Patterns and Breaking Family Patterns: How To Change Your Family Patterns. They are available at Amazon as e-books for $2.99 each. Our classic books, Breaking Free Of The Codependency Trap and The Flight From Intimacy each look at different sides of the same coin: Codependency and counter-dependency. They too are available at Amazon in either paperback or e-book formats.
We share a lot of self-help tools for healing the Mindbody on this web site. Here is a chart showing some of the tools that we’ve developed and others that we have also used:
Click to download Weinholds’ Self-Help Tools for Healing the Mindbody.