I recently did some training with TW London, who were working with the American therapist Sarah Bridge who has worked with and studied under Pia Mellody at The Meadows Clinic in Arizona. I have been a huge fan of Pia’s work ever since I read ” the Intimacy Factor” and learnt about her approaches in family of origin, trauma, relationships and addictions counselling.
Something that really stuck with me from the training was the idea of carried emotions, and how trauma work helps the client to detoxify both their own unhelpful emotions and those they have absorbed and carried from their primary caregivers as a child which has stuck with them. For example if a child’s caregiver is not managing their emotions and is emotionally irresponsible this puts the child at risk of taking in that emotion, such as having a caregiver who is shameless or shame filled puts the child at risk of the child feeling worthless for the caregiver.
This also means that whist a person’s own emotions are a gift for example our own anger tells us something is not right, carried emotions are experienced as extremes such as extreme rage which is ego regression and getting triggered by the wounding they faced in childhood. Part of the Pia’s re- parenting model of counselling if helping clients to see when they are having trauma reactions and what is their own emotion and what is carried.
Part of the work is imagining giving the carried emotion and pain back to the primary caregiver, this is done through chair work and using the breath for the client to imagine scooping out the shame energy and it falling onto the caregivers lap. Powerful work and my hope is to train more with Pia’s framework of trauma therapy in the near future.
You can find out more about Pia here: http://www.piamellody.com/