When therapy was a relatively new concept to my insiders, they found it uncomfortable to share with someone outside of our system. They struggled with the concept of “why do they want us to talk to them?” For a while, we had sessions with our primary therapist that were totally silence. It was quiet on the outside but defiantly not on the inside. There was chaos erupting with the insiders.
This “no talk rule” is said to be common with ritual abuse survivors. Mostly because they are told to keep the secret by their abusers, and if it is ever told bad things would happen. These tactics are used to prevent the RA survivor from ever escaping their abusers. The “no talk rule” can cause your therapy to become stuck. I encounter this when we are working on newer memories.
Therapy is hard, especially cognitive talk therapy. Sometimes talk therapies approach is too direct for me and many of my parts. Sometimes my parts or I just do not want to do therapy.
As I thought about this, I received a comment from MFF telling me about expressive therapy. I also go to expressive therapy as well as formal talk therapy. Many people usually experience art/expressive therapy within a hospital setting. One of the specialized trauma units that I was on had both art therapy and occupational therapy. I really enjoyed both.
However, what is it that I liked about those kinds of expressive therapy. I really did not realize this at the time but I figured out that parts could tell their story without actually talking about it. Art let alters who never had talked in therapy before finally have voices, without actually speaking. Kind of a loophole. Insiders feel like they are not breaking their promise of not talking. At the same time, they are doing therapeutic work. Art therapy can be a very good idea if you are working on tough stuff.
My art therapy does not just consist of crayons and paper. Its way cooler, we do spatter painting, collages, and sometimes finger-painting (for the littles). Sometimes we talk, but not like regular therapy but we talk about why we drew certain things or whatever. Art therapy does not feel like it is as forced as formal talk therapy to us. It is much more lax.
The only thing that everyone disagrees on is who is going to go. There is a lot of fighting because all my insiders always think it is their turn to go. All of the insiders really like our art therapist. Nevertheless, other than the little bit of fighting art therapy is beneficial for all my insiders. They talk about what they did at art inside for days after. Art therapy can be an enjoyable experience for some, but not always as everyone is different.