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Stop Fixing. Be.

July 22, 2015

Fixing is for things that are broken.  Fixing happens when the fixer takes on the role of expert and does what the fixer knows needs to be done.  Fixing means something is wrong and we have to do something active to make it right.

People aren’t broken.  Children aren’t broken.  Your child isn’t broken.  You aren’t broken.

If we sit firmly in the belief that we are always moving toward greater integration, then we can sit firmly in the belief that people don’t need to be fixed.

What do people need?  Relationship.  Safety.  Invitations.

When I started to take this approach in the therapy room, I didn’t really DO anything different.  What was different was my way of being.

When I started working with a therapist who took this approach, she didn’t really do anything different.  What was different was her way of being.

Our brains are realllllly smart.  We can tell when another person has an agenda just by being in their presence.  Stephen Porges calls their ‘neuroception’ or perception that happens below the level of conscious awareness.  If I enter into the presence of another person- a very well-meaning person- who wants to help me be ‘fixed,’ my neuroception knows this.  I know that this person has an agenda.  I know that this person believes there is something wrong with me (because only things that are wrong need to be fixed).  I know that this person is operating from a sense of fear, because having an agenda flips on the amygdala, and now my neuroception says “this isn’t safe.”  And you know what doesn’t happen when we are with someone who has their amygdala switched on?  We don’t get ‘fixed.’

When we are in the presence of someone whose whole being is communicating, verbally and non-verbally, the truth that I am fine just the way that I am, then ironically the possibility of change begins to open up.  It is only when we begin to believe that truth about ourselves, that we are fine just the way we are, that the possibility of change begins to open up.  Our children can’t believe they are fine just the way they are if they know we are trying to fix them.

This doesn’t mean we stop helping, stop therapy, or release boundaries around behaviors that are hurting them or others.  It doesn’t necessarily mean we DO anything different at all.  But we may need to BE different.  Soothe our own fears, leave agendas behind, be with, and provide an invitation toward greater integration.


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Don’t miss Trust Based Parenting…In Real Life!!!  A one-time only, six-hour workshop for parents in West Michigan (Jenison) on August 8, 2015.  Click here for more details and to register!

Robyn Gobbel, LCSW is a child and family therapist in Austin, Texas specializing in adoption, trauma, and attachment counseling. She is the founder of the Central Texas Attachment & Trauma Center.

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