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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Which therapy would suit dealing with reoccurring abandonment issues?

    In the past, I suffered very severe depression which was medicated and have recovered from alcohol addiction for 7 years now after a long battle. I have had bouts of really intense therapy during those times, psychodynamics, CBT as well as lots of art and group therapy. I am currently experiencing some of the old feelings from being abandoned by my mother when I was a child which I think might be related to my children coming to the age I was then and would like to get back into therapy to explore these in more detail. It's been a while since I've seen anyone. The last therapy I had, had elements of ACT (which is new to me) and mindfulness. I have explored a little of EFT online. But to be honest I am not certain whether any of these appeal to me. Can anyone recommend some therapy types which they think might be suitable to deal with childhood issues, and which are value based?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • I have been working in Eltham, Melbourne as a relationship and family counsellor for over twelve years. I draw on current theory and research about ... View Profile

    It sounds like you have tried a lot of therapeutic approaches so far, and are very good at seeking out further alternatives. It is likely that all of these approaches will be helpful to some extent. It's also likely that no one approach by itself will give you 'the answer' that resolves your issues entirely. Therapy can equip you with perspectives and skills that you can then put into to practice. It's the practising them over and over that will bring about slow, incremental change. Perhaps it may be more important to find the right counsellor who you can build a trusting relationship with, who can support you with when and how to apply the tools you already have, and can also support you to grieve for the loss of what you did not receive, and needed as a child.

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  • I have been working in Eltham, Melbourne as a relationship and family counsellor for over twelve years. I draw on current theory and research about ... View Profile

    It sounds like you have tried a lot of therapeutic approaches so far, and are very good at seeking out further alternatives. It is likely that all of these approaches will be helpful to some extent. It's also likely that no one approach by itself will give you 'the answer' that resolves your issues entirely. Therapy can equip you with perspectives and skills that you can then put into to practice. It's the practising them over and over that will bring about slow, incremental change. Perhaps it may be more important to find the right counsellor who you can build a trusting relationship with, who can support you with when and how to apply the tools you already have, and can also support you to grieve for the loss of what you did not receive, and needed as a child.

  • Frank Breuer

    Clinical Psychologist, Psychologist

    Frank Breuer is a German-trained Clinical Psychologist and a Supervisor for Registrars. With nearly 20 years of experience, Frank has developed a unique, flexible and ... View Profile
    • Hornsby, NSW 0284111478
    • Sydney, NSW 0284111478

    Thank you for your question. I'd like to share my view ...basically I wish to comment on two aspects:

    (1) Therapeutic approaches like Schema therapy or psychodynamic therapy should be able to help. They are like tools. Tools however don't do the work, it's the mechanic who does the work e.g. on the car (to use that workshop metaphor). In the therapeutic world the therapeutic relationship is another important factor. 

    (2) Abandonment issues are deep seated (that is trauma territory). I would expect as a good therapy outcome that you develop a distance to the biographic incidents, that you are able to notice when you get hooked in your life trap of abandanment and that you are able to 'unhook' yourself. I would NOT expect to be problem free, or expect to eliminate emotional pain altogether. As said, this is trauma territory, and you can learn to live well with that experience and to manage trauma reactions, but expect some form of suffering when a strong enough trigger presents itself.  

    Therefore, I do not believe it will be beneficial for you to look for more or other therapy approaches. I believe, being patient with yourself, and look for a therapist you like (!) for some ongoing support can help. 

    Hope that assists.

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