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  • Adrienne Loker

A Psychodramatist Made Me Relapse!

Okay, okay, click bait guilty, but now that you’re here, don’t you want to hear the rest?

Not a literal relapse, but an emotional relapse, and it was surprisingly intense. And considering that I had signed up for her training to improve my clinical skills, I was not anticipating having such a strong visceral reaction to her methods.

Here’s the setting: I had traveled up to DC and was surrounded by an intimate cohort of strangers, all of whom seemed nice and supportive. We all were vulnerable and sharing pellets of our past (some timidly, some confidently). Mary, my trainer, voluntold me to go treatment. This was easy enough. I started in the depths of my despairs and verbally shared a sneak peak with the group of what this world looked like. I then happily went to treatment and expressed what it felt like to be free and peaceful. Then Mary did a horrible thing.

She re-imprisoned me to self: to the life before freedom and peace. Tears came unexpectedly and panic ran through my core. My body immediately connected with feelings of isolation and abandonment. Mary kept me safe and anchored as we examined thoroughly my emotional relationship with each tool in my toolbox until finally we found a weak spot – the danger zone that could blindside me if not embraced and welcomed: fun.

This was a scary endeavor. Having to grow up at a very young age when fun was supposed to be developmentally appropriate, my brain now associated it as a threat to survival. The more I matured, the more this cemented. To secure a healthy lifestyle, it was clear that I needed to prioritize fun within my life.

Following the training, my brain continued to digest the truths about self that had confronted me. I had several “ah-ha!” moments. One of those moments involved sitting on my front porch as the sun began to set, watching my two young sons catch fireflies. They were laughing so much over something so mundane, yet somehow so magical. The simplicity in their ability to make anything a game filled me with a motivation to reconnect with the parts of childhood that I lost. I desperately wanted to see life from their eyes.

This motivation led to the ultimate decision to start my own private practice that would allow me to spend more time with my kids, more time doing the things that bring me joy professionally, and more time to honor all parts of self. I’m grateful for my experience with Mary, not only for what I have been able to accomplish personally, but also for what she has taught me professionally.

Check out “Retreats” at www.SeekingDepthToRecovery.com to find out when the next Psychodrama Retreats are for your chance to experience healing from the inside out.