6 thoughts on “EMERGING FROM A DEEP (FIGHT, FLIGHT, OR) FREEZE

  1. I used to get angry at my therapistand physically hurt myself when my therapist spoke kindly and said affirming words to me. I’d say stuff I know hurt her (because she said those words hurt) like “you only care because it’s your job!” or get suspicious and mistrustful and St she’s trying to build rapport to manipulate me.

    I feel you’re definitely on the right track with your “you’re creepy!” teen client! Perhaps somewhere along the line, their “you’re a creep” comments can even become an inside joke between you and them 🙂

    My therapist now says “oh, stop the bullshit” when I half heartedly go “why do you care?” or ask if she’s still “building rapport”, and I pretty much smile, because I’ve indeed grown to trust 🙂

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    • As always, I appreciate your generous reading and personal reply. I’m glad that your therapist was able to build trust with you (and that you let her!). It sounds like you’ve come through a great deal of pain and have reached, through your courage and effort, a new and much better place. Thank you for the positive feedback. When my client calls me a creep (or, in similar contexts, a weirdo, or other such epithets), I just laugh and reflect it back, a la, “Yeah, I know, it’s so creepy that I think you’re great!” And I do, think she’s great. Thank you also for the new vocabulary! “Fawning,” though I know the word, is new to me as a term in a therapeutic context. Happy New Year to you, too! 🙂

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      • I definitely have fawn tendencies! I think it’s common in those of us who learned to parent our parents and siblings. I’ll sometimes say “Okay”, “okay” nodding along as my therapist goes on, and sometimes it has helped for her to check in with “are you saying OK to please me or avoid a lecture or are you really okay?”

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  2. I also think you’ll meet your share of “fawn” clients! 🙂 Kids and youth who are people pleasing. 🙂 I feel most are hybrids of the 4Fs on general (fight, fought, freeze, fawn).

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