Interior Integration for Catholics

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Dr. Peter covers three secular treatment options for complex trauma that use parent figures. He then describes how we can bring in the Blessed Virgin Mary to help us with trust issues. He gives specific recommendations for increasing trust by praying differently to our Lady.

Show Notes

Episode 32. – Trauma, Trust, Treatment and Truth     September 7, 2020.
Intro: Welcome to the podcast Coronavirus Crisis: Carpe Diem!, where with God’s help you and I rise up and embrace the possibilities and opportunities for spiritual and psychological growth in this time of crisis, all grounded in a Catholic worldview.   We are going beyond mere resilience, to rising up to the challenges of this pandemic and becoming even healthier in the natural and the spiritual realms than we were before.  I’m clinical psychologist Peter Malinoski your host and guide, with Souls and Hearts at  Thank you for being here with me.  This is episode 32, released on September 7, 2020 and it is titled: Trauma, Trust, Treatment and Truth.  Today is a deep dive into the effects of trauma and attachment wounds on Trust.  And then we will discuss how by God’s grace and with his help we can experience God as he is, not our distorted God images, rise out of the ashes of our experiences and our injuries.  
Very specific techniques to help.
Era of Coronavirus – call to trust God and Mary.  
Episode 30: discussion of why we mistrust God so much, and it is because we are trying to be way too big.  Trying to make it on our own we don’t feel safe.  
We hate and fear the dependency required to be in a real relationship with God. 
On my terms, on my conditions, within my vision, within my understanding.  We’re going to meet as equals.  We are going to be partners, like equally or almost equally yoked.  God is my co-pilot bumper sticker.  Becoming small so that God can be big.
Episode 31  The One Thing You Must Have to Be Resilient.  The one thing that you need, the one prerequisite.  Absolute childlike trust
There is one thing that separates those who are resilient from those who are not.   Childlike Trust (particularly in God’s goodness and his Providence for me in particular) separate those who are resilient from those who are not.  
In both those episodes, we look at the critical period from age 0 to 24 months, when the major developmental task is to resolve the conflict between trust and mistrust.  Almost every development will psychologist points to this as the critical developmental work in this stage of life.  
We also discussed how so much of the developmental work in this during the ages of 0 to 24 months is done not by the infants or the toddler, not by the little child, rather by the parents.  We don’t expect infants and toddlers to be listening to self-help tapes and engaging in self-improvement classes.   They are far from the age of reason.  So in this issues of trust, God and Mary do the main lifting.  We allow ourselves to be changed, to be formed.  
What little children, what infants and toddlers have is a great capacity for receptivity and a freedom from self-consciousness.  They have a natural humility.  They don’t worry about their self-image so much.  They are flexible.  They use their imaginations.  They don’t fear failing.  They don’t degrade themselves when they’re trying new things.  They can be learning to walk, falling down, and laughing at themselves.  They can make mistakes, they can try things out.
No one expects perfection from a little child.
Most therapies have focused on greater maturity, greater self-efficacy, being a more effective agent in the world, growing up.
List of therapies and their goals
These therapist have trouble when there is complex trauma, especially when that trauma goes back to the first two years of life.  Recent protocols developed.  Bootstrap therapies don’t work.  Very low success rates.  
1.      Focus on complex trauma –
2.      Complex trauma: 
a.         is usually interpersonal i.e. occurs between people usually people who know each other
b.        involves being or feeling trapped
c.        is often planned, extreme, ongoing and/or repeated
d.      often has more severe, persistent and cumulative impacts
e.        involves challenges with shame, trust, self-esteem, identity and regulating emotions.
f.        Results in different coping strategies. These include alcohol and drug use, self-harm, over- or under-eating, over-work etc.
                                                                          i.      emotional dysregulation
                                                                        ii.      changes in consciousness – dissociation
                                                                      iii.      negative self-perception – shame, inadequacy
                                                                      iv.      problems in relationships
                                                                        v.      distorted perceptions of others, including abusers
                                                                      vi.      loss of systems of meaning – losing my religion REM 1991
g.      affects emotional and physical health, wellbeing, relationships and daily functioning
3.       Complex trauma is trauma that occurs repeatedly and cumulatively, usually over a period of time and within specific relationships and contexts.” Examples include severe child abuse, domestic abuse, or multiple military deployments to dangerous locations.
Single incident trauma occurs with `one off’ events. It is commonly associated with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Single incident trauma can occur from a bushfire, flood, sexual or physical assault in adulthood, or from fighting in a war.
Dyadic resourcing is typically a five step process: 
1.       identifying a nurturing adult resource,
2.       make the resource real for the client
3.       formulating a parent-child relationship involving the resource
4.       intensify the client's experience of that relationship
5.       helping the client to have the experience of both the child and adult in the resource dyad.
Brown and Elliott IPF Model  2017 book  -- Attachment Disturbances in Adults: Treatment for Comprehensive Repair
4.      The IPF method differs from traditional attachment-based treatments in that the primary agent of change is the patient’s relationship with his or her imagined attachment figures rather than the relationship with the therapist.  p.304.  
5.      The Ideal Parent Figure protocol uses guided imagery to help participants change their attachment representations. 
a.       The therapist encourages the client to imagine being with parent figures who were entirely constructed from their imagination
b.      During IPF therapy, the therapist guides the client vividly imagine himself or herself as a young child
c.       and, as a young child, connecting and relating to new set of parents 
                                                                          i.      not the parents or any caregivers they grew up with. 
                                                                        ii.      Completely imagined parents, parent who are entirely fabricated in the imagination of the client.
d.      These imagined parents are supposed to possess the all the parental qualities that promote secure attachment.
e.       When you are doing the IPF protocol, you are to truly immerse themselves in the fantasy experience
                                                                          i.      5 senses experiencing physical sensations in accordance to what is being imagined, like a really vivid dream. 
                                                                        ii.      Importantly, when needed, the therapist helped participants to differentiate imagination from memory, making sure participants were not simply recalling their own past experiences during the guided imagery. In short, the purpose was to co-create new experiences.
f.        Read the prompt on p. 309
g.      The therapist brings to the client’s mind descriptions of specific qualities that these imagined parents possess: 
                                                                          i.      they protect their child – felt safety and protection
                                                                        ii.      Feeling seen and known by the imagined parents
1.      they are attuned to their child’s emotional states
                                                                      iii.      they calm and sooth their child – reassure and comfort the child
1.      responsive when the child is upset, dysregulated
                                                                      iv.      The imagined, ideal parents cherish the child, they rejoice in the very presence of the child, they delight in the little things that the child does.  
                                                                        v.      they encourage their child to attend to his or her inner experience and explore the environment which helps the child to develop – they will the good for the child.  
h.      Sound familiar?  These specific parent figure qualities are based on attachment needs that, when met, are considered to promote secure attachment 
                                                                          i.      Five conditions of secure attachment.  Review them – Episode 23  Sinning, God images and Resilience.  
Trolley to Land of Make-Believe.  Fake it till you make it…
Ideal Parent Figure method in the treatment of complex posttraumatic stress disorder related to childhood trauma: a pilot study  2017 study, peer reviewed, European Journal of Psychotraumatology
17 French clients with Complex PTSD.  Five Weeks of Psychotherapy.  
Results: A significant decrease in symptom severity and attachment traumatization and a significant increase in quality of life were found, both with medium-to-large effect sizes. The 8-month follow-up assessment showed outcome stability.
Laurel Parnell:  Big name in trauma therapy, EMDR circles.  Tapping in:  
1.      P. 13 within each of us is a hidden potential, wellspring of untapped natural resources that we can use the healer psychological wounds and help us better navigate challenges we face in our lives.  The problem is that these resources are too often buried, and we don’t know how to access them.  
2.      Nurturing Figures
a.       Mary as a nurturing figure  p57
b.      Angel as a nurturing figure p.60
3.      Protector Figures
4.      Inner Wisdom Figures
5.      Calm and Peaceful Resource Person 
a.       p.  30.  Resources are inherent qualities, such as love, wisdom, strength, enjoy, as well as memories, experiences, mental images, or people to we can connect.  Resources reside within us.
b.      p. 202  Mary as a “calm and peaceful resource person.”
OK, so these are three modern therapeutic approaches that all use mother and father figures.  Issues with trust and deep sense of shame, inadequacy.  
Attracted to Catholicsim.  Three in One God.  
Attracted to a spiritual family – as a psychologist, needing father and mother.  God as Father.  Mary as Mother.  
Mary is our real mother.  Our primary mother, our first mother.  Trust issues.  Go to Mary.  Go to Mother.  Feels safer.  
Action item.  Practical tips:
1.      Set aside time for relationship with Mary
a.       starting small but regular
b.      Building up to 20 minutes
c.       Gloriously imperfect
2.      Start with Mary  My Ideal Jesus: Son of Mary take what is helpful.  
3.      Art – Marian art
a.       Focus on her, who she is.  
b.      Not who you are.  That can come later.  Limited inward focus.  
4.      Breathing-- autonomic regulation
5.      acceptance of whatever happens
6.      confiding
7.      listening
8.      Writing – colors, 
a.       What does she say, what do you say.
b.      What are the obstacles
She will help you.  
We will get into the obstacles in the next episode.  Perfectionism. 317.567.9594 or if you are in the Resilient Catholics Carpe Diem community, the RCCD community, you can private message me or you can include your responses, your reactions on our discussion of this podcast episode
The RCCD community brings together people like you, people that are really interested in growing more and more resilient, both in the natural realm and in the psychological realm, and who are seizing this day, this moment as an opportunity for great spiritual and psychological growth.  We are adding features to the RCCD community.  Today we are launching our first polls to be able to connect better with our RCCD members.  Membership in the RCCD community is free for the first 30 days, $25 per month after that, and there is a whole host of resources available to you there, including the God Image Questionnaire, which you can take to help you sort out which of the 14 God images we have just reviewed in the last five episodes are most relevant to you.  The God image questionnaire is up there.  Go to, click on the tab that says all courses and shows and register for the Resilient Catholics Carpe Diem Community.  
Past  Zoom meeting Saturday, August 29 from 4:00 PM to 5:15 PM Eastern time.  
Who the community is for.  

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What is Interior Integration for Catholics?

In the Resilient Catholics podcast, together, we seek fundamental transformation in our lives through human formation. We look for God's providence in all that happens to us, in accord with Romans 8:28, grounded in an authentic Catholic worldview. Join us as we sail through uncharted waters, seizing the opportunities for psychological and spiritual growth and increasing resilience in the natural and spiritual realms. With a clear takeaway message and one action in each weekly episode, you can move from dreading what is happening to you to rising above it. Join us on Mondays for new episodes. You can also join our online community around this podcast at