with Emotionally Ambivalent Clients in Treatment.

Nobody can make our decisions for us, and it’s nearly impossible to change our mind, once it’s made up about something or someone. Yet, how many clients come thru one’s therapeutic practice, who have absolutely no clue about what they want?

Solid therapeutic intervention assists clients in understanding the ramifications and repercussions of choices they say they want or are about to make. Responsible, seasoned practitioners help their clients gain deep insights and understanding about what they’re up against, what they might expect from various decisions they make, and hope they’ll reach healthy, self-enhancing conclusions for themselves.

But what is one to do, when practical, logical, circumspect suggestions fall on deaf ears in the therapy room? What if, no guidance is followed by the client who continues to circle their drain and struggle, with no resolution in sight?

If people had enough sound, adult development under their belt, it’s unlikely they’d need therapeutic support in the first place. They’d have learned how to supportively and lovingly care for themselves (and become their own Good Parent), they’d be able to approach their emotional roadblocks from a logical, rational perspective, and give themselves the same guidance they’d offer a close friend in the midst of a similar conundrum.

In short, there’d be no NEED to engage the services of a clinical expert.

In a perfect world, we’d have all been given the adoration, attention and patient guidance we needed as children, to successfully navigate life’s choppy seas and emerge victorious over our setbacks and challenges… but how much of the human population is actually well-equipped to do this?

There’s a humongous difference between ‘psychotherapy’ and emotional development work. The first sets people up for reliance on a therapist for an indefinite period of time (in many cases, several decades). The second, operates with the sole intent of helping one grow to be emotionally self-reliant and independent, having become his/her own Best Therapist.

Never has the analogy, “give a man a fish, and he eats for a day~ TEACH a man to fish, and he eats for a lifetime,” been as vibrantly applicable as it is in this instance.

Most of us lacked adequate parenting. I believe there’s a secret place inside us all that craves mentoring, care and attention~ while needing reinforcement at times, that we are in fact, acceptable and good enough. But are we able to ingest and integrate another’s positive regard for us, if we’ve had to grow up never feeling worthy of it??

The non-compliant patient or client typically has personality disorder traits. Besides wrestling with serious developmental deficits, they find it impossible to trust anyone (even, themselves)! You could be the most attentive, caring, gifted professional, and unresolved maternal transference issues will impede one’s ability to take guidance you give ‘em, with more than a grain of salt (whether the practitioner is female or male).

Similarly, you may be the most loving, accepting, nurturing partner or spouse to one with personality disorder features, and precisely this same transferential issue will prevent them from feeling deserving of your love, and stop seeking ways to distance themselves and disrupt any closeness you might occasionally share. In short, they’ll always search for a ‘fly in the ointment,’ regardless of who they’re sleeping beside. For them, this is an emotional safety imperative.

Narcissists and Borderlines gravitate to one another, out a sense of mutual need satisfaction. Narcissists often have grandiose features in their makeup which help them (falsely) assume they are smarter and mightier than others. Many are pathologically Codependent (and NEED to be needed) to ease abandonment concerns and compensate for innate insecurities they’ve carried since infancy, due to maternal neglect. Narcissists tend to ‘buy’ others approval and acceptance.

Borderlines seek confirmation of their worth by honing their seduction skills. Seduction is their forte’. The harder you are to get or the more deeply involved with another you are, the bigger the payoff is to their flagging sense of self, when they finally win you over. Trouble is, they don’t WANT you once they HAVE you.

Just like a domestic housecat once he catches his prey and it stops wriggling to escape, he loses interest and walks away, hoping to find a more enlivened object to play with. The challenge is over as soon as a Borderline senses he or she has captured your heart. It’s not that they won’t overtly and/or subtly suggest they need more of your time, attention and affection~ it’s that once you satisfy their whims, desires or demands, they turn on you.

It’s hard to accept that as your relationship with a Borderline deepens and moves toward greater connection and intimacy, attachment anxiety triggers their fight or flight reflex, and they look for reasons (real or imagined) to make you seem less valuable or important to ‘em. This is standard BPD behavior. There are no exceptions.

My upcoming book, “HAVEN’T WE MET BEFORE? The Borderline/Narcissist Couple,” reveals a keenly detailed bird’s eye view of the BPD/NPD relationship dynamic that comprehensively includes the inner psycho-emotional workings of each partner in this equation. You can access the introduction to this book in my online article thru the link above, and if you’re feeling tantalized enough, purchase the BPD Survivor Membership for a one-time only fee of $9.99. This gives you lifetime access to over 20 articles that have the power to change your life for the better, ‘cause they’ll help you understand why some of your past romances felt utterly thrilling~ yet at the same time, tormenting and toxic.

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