Many years ago a car company, attempting to show the advantages of front wheel drive, aired a commercial showing an Alaskan dog sled team pushing its sled rather than pulling it. Of course, the sled moved nowhere and the dogs and sled were tangled in a chaotic mess. As a therapist specializing in the treatment of addiction and trauma, I frequently meet individuals being pushed from behind by their past experiences.
The problem with being pushed from behind is three-fold. First, they often don’t get where they want to go. Second, they often experience internal chaos, much like the sled and its dogs. Third, because the push is from behind, it is difficult to know what is pushing them. This then begs the question “what is pushing me and why does my life feel so chaotic?”
I would like to briefly answer this question and outline a framework that is helpful to me when working with clients stuck in addiction and trauma.
Within each of us are various...