Thursday, June 2, 2016
Compartmentalization (cont'd) and "Value Armor"
After thinking a little more about compartmentalization, I can see one real advantage to it: it might lead to long-term resilience against clinician-side traumatic shock. If we can seal part of ourselves away from view (from both the damage done to use by a client's story and our own ideas about it), we might be more able to heal after a particularly deep shock. I am somewhat unconvinced though . . . As I tell my clients, were we extremely comfortable with ourselves, most of these traumas would bounce off of our "value armor" - that is, the natural defense anyone has who knows who they are, what they believe in, and what makes them a person. It is extremely difficult to penetrate such armor, but not impossible; even the most comfortable-with-himself/-herself person still requires patches and upgrades to their armor. Life provides us with many experiences that test our armor and it is our job to continually ensure that it can stand up to most outside incursions. Many people perform such maintenance on their own, while others require the help of a professional to repair their chinks. For these who can self-repair, only major dents need outside help in the form of a psychotherapist.