Monday, December 18, 2017

Confronting Abusers & Handling Rage Effectively

Abusers do not work alone. They operate in family systems built on Karpman Drama Triangles. Any disruption of the Triangles has a potential for upshots for everyone on them.
I would never "confront" an abuser without a posse and a plan. Nor if the traumatee has less than a year of therapeutic recovery (and even then...).
Any therapist who suggests so doing is either still stuck in that wretched (and very damaging) Courage to Heal, "trained" by fools, or just plain stupid. I have been around recovering traumatees for more than 30 years now. And I have known at least 20 who were seriously damaged by such ill-conceived, truly codependent (and to use trauma recovery expert Pete Walker's term, "fawning") nonsense. And several who became complete pariahs to the rest of families that needed desperately to maintain their codependent delusions and Karpman Drama Triangulations
Ask yourself, "What do I expect to get out of this?" and "Why am I doing this?" If the answer is -- honestly -- "Because I am angry," there are (believe me) a bunch of better ways to treat that understandable rage than to make a target of your innocent, already victimized inner children One More Time. (See the workbooks and psychotherapies listed below.) If the answer is, however, "To do what I can to prevent the abuser / perpetrator from victimizing others of the next generation," I strongly endorse seeking qualified, experienced and dispassionate legal assistance before making any public statements.
Because one who confronts must be prepared for the most vicious and egregious reactions, including setting the entire family against the accuser if -- as is so often the case -- the abuser has more financial and political power in and/or over that family. (I have they seen too many survivors wind up "doing the time for someone else's crimes" because they lashed out directly or indirectly without due consideration before so doing.) 
Finally, in my personal experience with both, trying to pry anything like "taking responsibility" out of a narcissistic and/or sociopathic abuser is like trying to talk a guru's passionate devotee out of his cult.
Block, S.; Block, C.: Mind-Body Workbook for Anger, Oakland, CA: New Harbinger, 2013.
Chapman, A.; Gratz, K.; Tull, M.: The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook for Anger: Using DBT Mindfulness & Emotion Regulation Skills to Manage Anger, Oakland CA: New Harbinger, 2015.
Eifert, G.; McKay, M.; Forsyth, J.: ACT on life not anger: The New Acceptance & Commitment Therapy Guide to Problem Anger, Oakland, CA: New Harbinger, 2006.
Harbin, T.: Beyond Anger: a guide for me: How to Free Yourself from the Grip of Anger and Get More Out of Life, New York: Marlowe & Company, 2000.
McKay, M.; Rogers, P.: The Anger Control Workbook: Simple, innovative techniques for managing anger and developing healthier ways of relating; Oakland, CA: New Harbinger, 2000.
McKay, M.; Rogers, P.; McKay, J.: When Anger Hurts: Quieting the Storm Within, 2nd Ed., Oakland, CA: New Harbinger, 2003.
Simpkins, C. A.; Simpkins, A. M.: The Tao of Bipolar: Using Meditation & Mindfulness to Find Balance & Peace, Oakland, CA: New Harbinger, 2013.
Stahl, B.; Goldstein, E.: A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook, Oakland CA: New Harbinger, 2010.
I use Ogden's Sensorimotor Processing for Trauma (SP4T) as the "interoceptive" 9th of The 10 StEPs of Emotion Processing to manage any rage bombs that turn up nowadays, but got good results over the years with
. . . a) Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT, the long-time gold standard for trauma symptom management), Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT), Mind-Body Bridging Therapy (MBBT), and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR); and the
. . . b) "deep cleaners" like Eye-Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR), Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET), Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFST), Trauma Focused Therapy (TFT), Hakomi Body Centered Psychotherapy (HBCP), Somatic Experiencing Psychotherapy (SEPt), Sensorimotor Processing for Trauma (SP4T), and the Neuro-Affective Relational Model (NARM).

Related Articles

On Bullies, on Reddit

Expectation of Abuse, in my reply on this Reddit thread 

1 comment:

  1. I think I might use Act on life not on anger, and many of the other books here.

    If you have a posse and a plan.

    What if your reason is "Because I am scared"?

    Inner children deserve protection, not anger.

    And as for people and cults - get an ex-cultist to talk to them.

    Lots of churning.