Finding The Right Path to Real Recovery
BY SHARI SCHREIBER, M.A.
Over the twenty-five years I helped people resolve their pain, many wanted to know how my methods of healing were different from traditional therapies they'd already tried, so I knew it was important to write this piece, in order to provide some illumination.
I've helped clients rebuild themselves from the ground up. I'm no longer doing one-on-one repair work, but it doesn't mean I'm gonna leave you without the means to heal yourself and thrive! I am currently devising marvelous twenty-one day tutorials that will help you put an end to your depression, do it at your own pace, and finally start building the kind of life you've been afraid to even imagine, was possible.
My very first YouTube video, "How to find a solid therapeutic fit" addresses how to find a responsible professional (if you really want one) who's able to offer you useful, meaningful growth and healing work. I hope it helps guide you to a fruitful outcome.
As you read this, perhaps you'll think of it as a road map that can help you look at your life differently, and think more deeply about Who you want to become. In my view, if we don't resolve the core of our difficulties like poor self-worth, we've gotta retain our episodic dependence on therapeutic help. I have personally never wanted that, and perhaps you don't either.
In truth, many want happiness, but have no clue about how to acquire it. My approach wasn't for those looking for a quick-fix, although my methods worked far more rapidly than conventional modalities of therapeutic intervention. It was for people who'd tried just about every other "treatment" under the sun, and still hadn't found genuine happiness. I'm not describing the brief, delightful episodes that come with finding romance or buying a new car or home. I'm referencing an ongoing feeling inside you, that's tranquil and joyful.
I am not a psychologist, nor did I have a psychotherapy practice beyond my six years in private practice as a Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) intern nearly three decades ago. Since that time, my consulting work has not concerned itself in the least, with your mind.
You may derive as much information as you wish from my online articles, soon to be books~ but my work was never concerned with helping clients "gain insight" about their pain. It merely helped them quit fearing/dreading it, and engaging in various addictive reflexes and other self-destructive behaviors used to avoid or distract from the agony that kept them damaged and impaired since infancy.
In my view, all life obstacles we face are due to poor self-worth. This informs on how we relate to and take care of ourselves within all personal and professional relationships. If we think about self-worth as the hub of your wagon wheel, any damage it sustains means that all spokes which emanate from that central point will be weak and susceptible to breaking under any type of strain or pressure.
OBVIOUS SYMPTOMS OF POOR SELF-WORTH:
Staying in a job or career you don't enjoy. Remaining in an under-satisfying or abusive relationship. Feeling afraid to raise fees in your business. Constant concern about what others may think of you. Deep feelings of unlovability and unworthiness. People Pleasing behaviors. Ongoing struggles with money and/or finances. Never feeling at ease in social situations. Fear of real success, love, joy and riches~ and finally having what you really want. Fear of confrontation or initiating difficult conversations about your needs or feelings. Belief that it's not okay to even have needs. Addictions of all types~ particularly the one that has you feeling an unquenchable need to always fix, train, guide, rescue and help others~ which is the definition of pathological Codependency. This is just the tip of the iceberg, as the list is practically endless.
My work has helped clients achieve two distinct aims: Building rock-solid self-esteem, and learning how to experience and tolerate dark, difficult emotions in their body, rather than analyzing, over-thinking and compulsively attaching meaning to them in the head.
Consider this~ you might go to a gym to strengthen and develop your physical muscles~ but has anyone ever taught you how to build powerful emotional muscles? This should be the crux of your inner work. If it hasn't been, we can give you simple, super-effective exercises to alter that, so you can become genuinely empowered.
Total Wellness means that you should expect incremental gains from applying the principles you'll be taught to use. Getting healthy will require your diligent, determined and focused effort, but the rewards to you could well exceed what you've ever dreamed was possible.
I'd always sensed there were quicker, more effective ways to help individuals who could not find relief using traditional therapies, and who slipped through the cracks. Throughout my entire career, I focused on inventing and developing unique, groundbreaking methods which facilitated one's capacity to accept joy, contentment, happiness and inner peace. Maybe it's hard to believe, but many can't.
My work has always been a growth-oriented modality focused on raising self-esteem and helping one become whole, happy and content within 18 months or less. I am devising ways to significantly shorten that process, and you're in the driver's seat. You will need a handful of concrete power tools specifically crafted to dismantle and eliminate the negative/abusive tape that plays in the back of your psyche 24/7, which constantly asserts; "I'm a fuck-up, I'm not good enough or lovable." You're relentlessly hard on yourself, which causes you to select lovers and friends who echo exactly how you really feel about you~ because how we view ourselves, cements what we believe we deserve from everyone else!
Nothing has given me greater glee, than being able to witness a client's total transformation. It's nothing short of a metamorphosis, like the caterpillar to butterfly transition. I was selective about who I accepted into my practice, for some people resist getting well, and my time is too precious a commodity to waste.
You may not be a suitable candidate for an atypical approach to healing, such as one that forces you and you alone, to practice new thought patterns and behaviors that make acquiring real happiness entirely achievable. This might not feel like it's a solid fit with your goals, personality and temperament. In any case, a responsible practitioner will try to assess your readiness during an initial pre-work consultation, for it should never be their desire to offer you help you can't or won't make good use of.
Please pay special attention to the following, if you're wanting to continue with using psychotherapeutic help. It can help you get more bang for your buck.
Never enter into someone's office 'cold.' If they're unwilling to have a brief phone consult with you to discern your difficulties and sense whether they can help you before your work with them begins, you should call the next person on your list.
Try to get a sense of this individual and whether you can feel understood and comfortable with him or her. They should want to get a strong sense of you also, to determine if you can be a good, solid fit for them and the type of work they prefer to do, and for which they are best suited! Personally, I think any clinician who doesn't operate this way is missing the boat~ both for you and themselves.
Psychotherapy deals with matters of the mind. My articles can speak to the core of your anguish, and perhaps help you gain useful insights about it, but my actual work was never insight based~ nor did I wish to intervene with clients in this manner, as "mind" work can turn into too lengthy a process.
I never permitted my clients to retain their comfortable love affair with survival. I wouldn't allow them to complain about their Life month after month (which is incredibly boring) without getting to the root of that problem, and resolving it. Mine was solution-focused work that helped them learn how to Thrive--not just survive. Survival oriented individuals who remain addicted to chaos and drama will not be suitable candidates for the wellness tutorials I'll be making available for purchase on this site. It's best to seek a better fit for yourself elsewhere.
In the realm of thinking about "Happiness" you might presume that wealth will cure your woes, but it won't. I have worked with multi-millionaires who've never felt calm, safe or secure. They struggled with loneliness and emptiness just as you have. When you've gotten all the boats, planes and houses you can own, and they don't eradicate that painful vacuum inside you, we have a sort of 'existential crisis' on our hands.
Mid-life concerns pertaining to this issue are developmentally driven. They're about our need to change or amend what we've been doing for decades. As we evolve, we can't keep performing the same tasks year after year, without outgrowing our ability to be stimulated by them! It's like wearing an old suit that's now a couple sizes too small. We've made substantial investments in that wardrobe, but we had different values and priorities in our twenties and thirties that don't fit with the needs of our forties, fifties and sixties. When we aren't responsive to these changes, our passion steadily wanes, and each day requires great effort (or various addictions) to help us maintain a sense of vitality or aliveness.
Our desire for this aliveness can have us choosing high-intensity relationships with partners who have personality disorder traits. The emotional roller-coaster they keep us on triggers extreme highs, but also anguish and anxiety, which routinely distract from our own feelings of emptiness or dissatisfaction. Those dark emotions may have haunted us for years, but we've harshly judged, and tried to avoid or outrun them through any means possible.
When another makes us feel our emotions intensely, whether those emotions are pleasurable or painful, it's actually grounding and enlivening to us (dead people can't feel pain). This could be the reason we've clung to tormenting, toxic relationships long past their shelf life or our ability to access joy within them.
MISERY COMES EASY. HAPPINESS TAKES DAILY, DILIGENT WORK.
Our lack of love, abundance and prosperity are merely symptoms of poor self-worth. When our pre-existing foundation is rotted and crumbling, no structures we try to build on it can remain intact. The primary goal of healing work is to bring about tangible and permanent foundational restructuring and change.
Change is scary for most people, because it threatens long-held stagnancy that is often mistaken for "safety." You've landed on this text, because you've bought into some faulty belief systems, which have kept you 'enrolled' in self-defeating behaviors and thought patterns. These must be eliminated, so that you can acquire true happiness, and learn how to maintain it.
If you're looking for someone to take your money and be your sounding board week to week, this is not the place for you. Effective, life-altering assistance will not ever perform this function for you! Effective healing work's sole commitment should be to help you acquire wellness in every sense of that word.
WHAT REAL RECOVERY ACTUALLY IS:
Emotional pain is not stored in the head. It's stored in the body, and each one of your body cells retains a traumatic imprint from every emotional wound (no matter how slight) you've ever incurred.
Mine has always been a holistic or 'whole organism' approach to eradicating pain, which involves the body and spirit. If we're not responsive to these parts of you, we're failing you in context of true well-being. My methodology has embraced the principle that you are not just a brain hooked-up to a life-support device. Body-centered healing work is not psychological intervention or mind work. It's nowhere close, in fact.
Real Recovery is antithetical to psychotherapy. It requires that you learn how to feel emotions in your body, instead of talking about or attaching meaning and reasons to them in your head. That practice should not be allowed~ and if it is, you cannot get well.
You might consider genuine Recovery to be like acupuncture, as compared to western medicine. Western medicine treats the symptoms of your discomfort or "dis-ease" so you can feel better~ whereas Chinese medicine targets the cause of your distress to eradicate it completely from the body. In a sense, effective and lasting recovery's goal is to unblock and heal emotional Qi or 'Chi.'
My work reached well beyond mitigating your dissatisfaction or pain, and this is what acquiring specific new tools should help you accomplish for yourself. We want you to thrive, rather than just survive or feel "okay" about your life. If there isn't enough 'juice' in your daily existence, you may be sleepwalking, and you should be wanting and seeking help to repair that. Sleepwalking (or staying unconscious even when you're physically awake), contributes to addictive and compulsive behaviors and bad relationship choices which can catalyze chaos, confusion and pain. That my dears, is only existing~ it's not living.
My pre-retirement approach with clients encouraged some emotional dependency, but only in the early stages, until they could become fully self-reliant emotionally, and offer themselves expert guidance. Its primary aim was to help one grow a sound/healthy, emotionally independent, rock-solid sense of Self.
We want to help you construct your self-worth foundation brick by brick, so you can climb out of the self-defeating, deeply-dug trenches that have kept you disabled and unhappy. You may access my YouTube videos, for effective 'power tools' I routinely used in my practice.
You'll need help to deconstruct the negative tape that's been haunting you most of your life; "I'm not lovable or good enough." Recovery is impossible, if you can't or won't learn methods to kill off that inner voice that's held you prisoner, and integrate groundbreaking tools that usher you into authentic wellness.
My approach taught clients how to confront anyone at anytime about anything. They gained communication skills and strategies that gave them newfound confidence in social, professional and romantic arenas.
I helped every client construct a strong and sturdy personal foundation, so they could come to admire, genuinely like, and feel proud of themselves. This irrevocably changed their Attraction Strategy and the type of individual they'd previously been attracted to. They were at last, able to want and choose loving, nourishing attachment bonds, without fearing them.
The inner work you do with anyone has to be a collaborative effort. While you're gradually building trust in them, you might think of him/her as your 'significant other' on whom you can depend for guidance, support and concrete strategies that have the power to bring about self-actualization and joy.
I have not healed people! I merely illuminated and guided their path, and gave them self-restructuring tools, which taught them how to heal themselves. This radically unconventional approach helped thousands to build self-respect, healthy entitlement and genuine self-worth.
My consulting work was solely experiential~ not cerebral. It was individualized to respond to the needs of every client~ but the basic principles I adhered to are described below:
Feeling - Clients learned how to experience, accept, tolerate and endure dark or painful emotions without fear of annihilation, repercussions, doubt or self-ridicule. This power tool is essential, if you've ever wrestled with addictions.
You've likely been thinking your way through life, as opposed to feeling your way along. As a direct result, you don't trust your instincts or intuitions, which exist to serve and protect you! These extra-sensory aspects are literally your built-in survival guide, but they can't function when other feelings like anger or depression are banished from your personality.
If you can't trust others, you haven't learned to rely on your innate instincts to guide your decisions, and you do not trust yourself. If this isn't repaired, you'll keep shooting in the dark hoping to hit the bulls-eye, and always second-guess your choices, even if they're right ones~ especially when they prompt less than comfortable feelings.
My methods focused solely on what you are feeling, not on how you are feeling. This non-traditional approach helps you connect with facets of your Self, so you can access life-force within you! In my view, it's the most important gain you can ever achieve.
All feelings were welcomed. A client was never made 'wrong' for feeling a certain way, and I looked forward to when they'd express their rage, even at me! You've likely had to censor yourself your entire life--but we pulled out all the stops here.
I have loved working with angry people! Their feelings are much closer to the surface, so they tend to progress faster. Imagine getting to experience being fully You, without fear of being shamed, guilted, punished or abandoned~ or having it become about "your issues."
Restructuring - Clients received guidance and support to help them become the person they've always wanted to be. This was no small feat, because light feelings of joy and bliss are completely foreign to a lot of people. The roots of self-sabotaging impulses run deep. We had to dismantle those, in order to get one where they wanted to go.
This restructuring process helped my clients acquire nourishing, productive, healthy ways of talking to and treating themselves. This of course, exerted a positive influence on every aspect of their existence.
EMOTIONAL GROWTH IS CUMULATIVE, BUT SELDOM LINEAR.
My wellness consulting often felt counter-intuitive to clients, as it was a fresh, innovative approach they had never been exposed to before. There's a natural learning curve that comes with trying anything new, so some might backslide a bit, and that's to be expected. My work was designed to help clients learn and grow~ not perform perfectly.
Many who previously enlisted the help of psychotherapy, might expect that type of interplay when they began working with me, and it was hard for them not to anticipate that style of engagement. If I began to sense someone couldn't or wouldn't make the crucial transition from those more familiar types of methods to mine, I'd urge them to seek help from a practitioner who provides it, and we would part.
Clients learned healthy limits and boundaries here, because if they already had them, they wouldn't be needing my help. I was be a bit stern occasionally, but it was solely to halt one's self-sabotage, and get them back on course. My only mission was to help my people get stronger, as swiftly as possible.
Educating - I am nothing, if not an educator. My work has been about helping you become empowered. As such, we help you learn to help yourself. (Give a man a fish, and he eats for a day. Teach him to fish, and he eats for a lifetime.)
The most important and vital relationship you will ever form and maintain is with You. When you master this, all your relationship choices, experiences and outcomes radically change and become healthy and positive.
Evolving - Clients would start noticing an absence of pain~ and they had to adjust to it. It wasn't easy or comfortable at first.
Every client who is committed to Healing reaches a fork in the road as they're transitioning from unwell to Well. It feels uncomfortable for a little while. This part of genuine recovery can be challenging, because we're navigating terrain that's feeling foreign, and it takes some getting used to.
My clients began noticing a sense of contentment and peace at this stage of healing. They began feeling their emotions, rather than hyper-analyzing them or acting them out. Being 'alone' stopped triggering dread and fear, because their friendship with Themselves had grown far more solid, rewarding and comfortable on many levels.
Getting well means you're no longer observing yourself through another's eyes. You'll learn to take your own emotional temperature, rather than everyone else's! Trying to make sure everyone likes you (people pleasing), isn't a priority anymore. New feelings of respecting and liking yourself, is.
Clients who improved quit starving and striving for acceptance and approval from others, including their parents. They gained the desire and capacity to give approval to themselves--and they owned it.
Happiness is incrementally acquired. Much quicker can feel too destabilizing, but 'FREE'is my acronym for what you'll be experiencing, along your way to it, as you work with my wellness tutorials. My methods helped people make permanent, irrevocable modifications to their pre-existing paradigm. This work brought about dramatic, life-altering changes regarding how one views and relates to him or herself.
Try to imagine evolving into a sentient, self-actualized being, capable of giving and receiving love and abundance. Can you envision starting to see relationships like the frosting on a well baked cake that's scrumptious when eaten alone~ but is a tad sweeter with some topping? That's where we wanna take you!
Let's help you surrender your desperate hunger and need to be loved. You will ultimately grow into knowing you are lovable, and will automatically be able to make healthier, more gratifying friendship and romantic choices, which reflect an unshakable, authentic sense of self-worth~ never self-doubt.
Suffice it to say, getting well is a process. The principles in the tutorials I offer are simple, as are the tools that you'll be taught. You may come to think of them as silly, and for this reason might resist using them. Bear in mind though, the work itself is challenging, because it has to reorganize and reconfigure what you've been thinking is needed all these years (like avoiding difficult emotions), to save your own life.