29 episodes

Based in Birmingham, Alabama; Taproot Therapy is a collective of therapists who share resources to create a more efficient way to offer services for self discovery, growth and healing in Birmingham. We offer the most cutting edge neuroscientifically backed treatment for PTSD, trauma and anxiety. Brainspotting, EMDR, somatic therapies for trauma and IFS, jungian therapy, meditation and mindfulness are just a few of our clinicians modalities. We believe that therapy is about more than reducing symptoms. Taproot Therapy Collective does not use ”one size fits all” therapy models. Instead we try to personally understand each patient and help reconnect them with the journey that their life calls them toward. We make no presumptions about who you are or where you are going. The clinicians at Taproot Therapy Collective only want to help you find yourself and to find the way to where your journey calls you. wwww.GetTherapyBirmingham.com

The Taproot Therapy Podcast - https://www.GetTherapyBirmingham.com Taproot Therapy Collective - www.GetTherapyBirmingham.com

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Based in Birmingham, Alabama; Taproot Therapy is a collective of therapists who share resources to create a more efficient way to offer services for self discovery, growth and healing in Birmingham. We offer the most cutting edge neuroscientifically backed treatment for PTSD, trauma and anxiety. Brainspotting, EMDR, somatic therapies for trauma and IFS, jungian therapy, meditation and mindfulness are just a few of our clinicians modalities. We believe that therapy is about more than reducing symptoms. Taproot Therapy Collective does not use ”one size fits all” therapy models. Instead we try to personally understand each patient and help reconnect them with the journey that their life calls them toward. We make no presumptions about who you are or where you are going. The clinicians at Taproot Therapy Collective only want to help you find yourself and to find the way to where your journey calls you. wwww.GetTherapyBirmingham.com

    The 3 Personalities of Karen Horney Feminist Psychoanalyst

    The 3 Personalities of Karen Horney Feminist Psychoanalyst

    Karen Horney was a German psychoanalyst. Her career came into prominence in the nineteen
    twenties when she formed theories on human attachment and neurosis that split from Freud’s
    key ideas. Horney’s theory of personality development and individuation are still highly relevant
    to modern theories of personality, attachment psychology and psychological trauma. Even
    though she is not well remembered, her work is as relevant as it was at the turn of the century.
    Applying her theories to my work with patients and to my own life has been an integral piece of
    my own personal and professional development. This article is part one of four in a series
    explaining Horney’s theories.

    At the time of this writing my daughter is two. Sometimes when my wife and I relax slightly in
    public, she will get a glimmer in her eye and, starting to giggle, run away from us. While we will
    yell for her to stop, she will cackle drunk with her new found power, as she runs away into a
    crowd of strangers or into oncoming traffic. When we take her to school or to meet new people
    she wraps herself around my wife’s leg, pressing her cheek into my wife’s calf, and refuses to
    Speak.

    Two year old children cannot understand moderation or limitation. They demand to have “more
    food” even when their plate is overflowing. Minutes later they will refuse to eat another bite
    because they are “full”. They cannot understand shades of gray. They refuse to believe that
    they need a nap until their eyes are closing. People are either all “bad guys” or all “good guys”.
    Individual children live in a world of extremes with tunnel vision on their immediate present
    desires and realities.

    Infants do not understand that they are separate creatures from their mother. The first
    traumatic event in an infant’s life is the separation from the mother as the infant
    becomes a toddler. Infants are connected to the mother for so much of their post birth
    experience. In order to soothe infants we try to make them feel as though they are still in the
    womb. We swaddle infants, keep them warm, and play white noise. The mother is both their
    source of physical comfort and nourishment. So much of the infant’s conscious experience is
    centered on its connection to its mother, that it makes sense that infants would lack the ability to
    understand what they are outside of the central reality of their experience.

    For the nine months in the womb an infant is physically and psychologically dependent on its
    mother. It takes at least one and a half years after being born for infants to begin to piece
    together that they will have to eventually become something separate from their mother.
    Because infants cannot understand their existence without their mother, this means that when
    they are inevitably forced to separate from their mother, infants feel like their existence is under
    threat. The necessary task of the mother is to separate the child from herself into itself. Yet, this
    feels to the child like it is being obliterated. This is often the first major trauma of a child’s life.

    Karen Horney’s theory of personality and neurosis is built on examining its effect on an infant’s
    development. When toddlers begin to be separated from their mothers they experience
    moments where they, like my daughter, think they are God and can run through traffic. They are
    completely independant, completely free, can do things “by themself”, and will never need
    supervision or approval from parents again. They quickly alternate into periods of abject terror
    where they are horrified with their agency as an independent being and, often wrapping
    themselves around her leg, attempt to remerge with their mother.

    The distinction between infant and toddler is between a creature that can not live independently
    and a creature that sometimes thinks it can. Toddlers alternate between rejecting all authority to
    become a god and trying to crawl back into the womb in order to forget they exist. Our ego

    • 21 min
    The Child Archetype 6/6

    The Child Archetype 6/6

    Find more free resources on the website: https://www.gettherapybirmingham.com/

     

    The Child is a tricky archetype to find within ourselves. The Child is the first archetype that the self identifies with. The Child has no problem asking for help or expressing it’s emotions and desires loudly and honestly. The Child is a kind of creative anarchy that we lose as adults and rediscover during liminal and transitional spaces in our development. The Child is a freedom we reconnect with when we release the parts of ourselves that have held us back. The Child is the “alive” feeling that addicts begin to connect with after completing recovery. The Child is strongly associated with the unconscious and a sense of connectedness to all things. Children are still discovering the things that make them unique individuals. The Child is growth and Children know how to grow instinctively.

    The Child does not remember all of the rules that we had to learn as adults and is more interested in its own creative impulses and whims than rules or deadlines. The Child is necessary for art and for self discovery, but it can become solipsistic when it is over indulged. The Child puts us in touch with vulnerability but it cares about its own emotions, desires and whims. It is not aware of others or their wants or needs. The Child is important to creatives because it is the source of new ideas and perspectives but it needs to be tempered lest we become selfish, oblivious and inwardly focused.

    In adulthood is the process of losing touch with the vulnerability and capacity for growth that we felt as children. Adults come to believe that the limiting voice of their inner critic is “responsible” and that asking for help or admitting vulnerability is “weak”. Many times the process of therapy forces us to uncover our own vulnerable child and reconnect with the parts of ourselves that are hurting or scared. When we cannot honestly admit our own needs, fears and sadness we often over complicate our life.

    Patients who are over identified with the Child may present to therapy lost in creative visions and emotional whims. While over identified with the Child, these patients will be oblivious or in denial about the practical and detail oriented responsibilities of adult life. They may be prone to bouts of drug use or personal vision quests and passion projects. Patients will often overly identify with the Child as a response to their families of origin having pathological Queen archetypes that stifled development. In college or as adults they cast aside all responsibilities and overcompensate for the constraints of their childhood with an overly juvenile outlook on responsibility.

    Patients under identified with their Child will present to therapy asking the therapist to produce pragmatic and concrete changes in their lives and relationships. They often come from families led by an over identified King or Warrior that had no interest in the uncertainty or self discovery of the Child archetype. They are rote and uninterested in the abstractions of therapy, art, or life. These patients have little interest in getting in touch with the vulnerabilities or flights of fancy of the Child.

    We are all born into the world as a vulnerable Child, as naïve beings that see the world as an unending canvas on which to paint our vision for ourselves. These tendencies are idealistic, but also natural. Material realities impose restrictions on our lives, and we are remiss to ignore them, but also waste the potential meaning in our lives if we become their slaves. Rediscovering the child is necessary for personal growth and healing required to make progress in therapy. The Child is not only creativity and growth, but also our innate resilience. Patients who rediscover the Child during a chronic illness may make recoveries whereas patients who do not may not.

    • 6 min
    The Lover Archetype 5/6

    The Lover Archetype 5/6

    Find more free resources on the website: https://www.gettherapybirmingham.com/

    The Lover is one of the most difficult archetypes to notice that you are experiencing. By its very nature it is seductive and spontaneous. The Lover is most commonly associated with sex, but sex is the smallest part of the archetype. You cannot experience the Lover by yourself, but you do not necessarily have to experience it with another person. Anytime you are pulled into an alluring daydream, swept up in the rhetoric of a rousing speech, or moved to a sense of greater understanding by a work of art or fiction, you are beginning to fall into the embrace of the Lover. The Lover is a drum circle, it is staring deeply into a bonfire, it is a poem about time, a drug trip. The Lover can be an infinite amount of things.

    The Lover is most easily understood as our ability to give up a small part of ourselves to become part of something greater. The Lover is our ability to merge with another person or a group of people. The Lover lets us dissolve part of our own ego to be a part of a greater purpose or force of society. If we do not have access to the Lover we are completely alone, completely with purpose and life becomes an abstraction. We are connection making creatures and it is the Lover archetype that allows us to make those connections.

    Because The Lover requires us to give up a piece of ourselves in order to identify with it, over identification with The Lover can be disastrous. Patients over identified with The Lover might try to dissolve themselves passionately into each many new relationships or over identify with each new friend. Extreme over identification with The Lover leaves patients with no sense of self. These patients will operate in society as chameleons. Over identification with the Lover is over identification with something outside of oneself. They will continue to find religious, romantic, or social relationships that let them take on someone else’s identity and concept of self.

    When working with patients with substance abuse problems therapists should be very aware of the functioning of the lover archetype. Addiction is often understood by therapists as an attempt to numb out painful emotions or memories, and while this interpretation is correct it is also an incomplete understanding of what addiction is. Substance abuse is always fueled by a desperate attempt to have connection with something. The loneliness and isolation that patients with substance abuse issues feel is an extreme under identification with the lover archetype and the hunger for the wholeness of the lover is often the emotional state sought by the addicted person.

    I always tell my patients that an addiction is often a hunger for growth with a simultaneous refusal to change. Substance abuse provides the feeling of growth and connection without the actual work or risk. Drugs like alcohol and stimulants often activate the Lover by making us feel productive, creative, loved or accepted. Drugs like depressants or psychedelics often activate the Lover by allowing us to turn off our conscious mind and remerge with the world. Psychedelics and transcendental religious practices often allow a person to experience ego death or a “oneness” with all things. This form of ultimate connectedness is the most activated state of the archetype as we have completely given up our own identity.

    The Lover requires us to have the ability to trust something outside of ourselves and may be difficult for patients with trauma to experience without anxiety. We first learn how safe it is to open up to others within our family of origin. Patients that have a strong under identification with The Lover often never felt safe in their families of origin. Patients over identified with the Lover might have had a parent over identified with their Queen and are used to finding a controlling partner. If someone has made us a puppet then we involuntarily find a puppeteer when we leave

    • 7 min
    The Magician Archetype 4/6

    The Magician Archetype 4/6

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    The Magician is intuition, education, and reflexes. In myth and legend the Magician appears in stories not to be the hero, but to aid the hero on their quest. In these stories the Magician can also take the form of a witch, enchanter, or shaman. The Magician is the most esoteric part of our schooling that filled us with the most passion. The Magician is a sense of personal power and accomplishment, but not power gained through conflict like the Warrior. Power for the Magician comes through cleverness, tricks and being resourceful and inventive.

    To the Warrior knowledge, secrets and intrigue make one strong, not brute strength. The Magician is a wiseman and a diviner, both prescient and empathic. The magician can act as a negotiator or statesman, but is more commonly a salesman, seducer, or an entertainer. The Magician stands with one foot in two worlds. He is a gatekeeper between the abstract clairvoyant realm of the unconscious and the practical and results oriented world of the everyday. He brings back visions from the world of the unconscious and bestows them as gifts on others. This power to surprise and interest others is closely tied to our own need for attention. Patients that did not get the attention they desired as children will often have a well developed Magician. These patients believed as children that something about them was bad or shameful, and developed their magician archetype as a way of being seen or having control.

    It is the Magician that impresses others with insights, funny stories and hidden talents. It is the Magician that is able to stand out in a bar room or business meeting when others are vying for attention. The Magician is our ingenuity, and adaptability in the face of situations that we cannot plan for or control. The Magician is our ability to read between the lines in academic domains, to see the broader point or meaning beyond a text. Every insight or inspiration that you have ever pulled from the ether and used to your advantage feels like magic. If you are comfortable pulling clever observations and realizations from the unconscious and putting them to use then you are strongly identified with the Magician.

    Patients may be under identified with their Magician if they were brought up to be rule oriented or understand the world only as a series of lists to be memorized. These patients are not intuitive but learn by memorizing a series of steps that became a crutch for their thinking. Patients under identified with their own Magician will distrust the Magician in others. They are not adaptable and are inflexible in their thinking. Patients who view people that are funny or creative with suspicion are likely to be under identified with their own Magician.

    Patients who are over identified with the Magician may have a grandiose idea of what their intellect or insight will get them out. They may think genius will solve every problem without elbow grease. They may try to use a charming personality or a quick wit to escape hard work or interpersonal conflict. Patients who are deeply dismayed over poor academic performance despite no effort at study will be over identified with the Magician. These patients are often under identified with their Warrior because they have never learned to overcome situations their intuition cannot control or to work hard for a reward.

    The fundamental anxiety that the magician assuages is the inability to control one’s surroundings. The Magician is at its root a personality device developed to maintain control during a period in a person’s life when assertiveness was not allowed.

    This was often a way to hold on to some control of our environment when direct confrontation was not an option. The Magician can also develop in early childhood when a child feels like there is a need in the family of origin that neither caregiver can meet. This is often a wounded or unreliable care

    • 7 min
    The Warrior Archetype 3/6

    The Warrior Archetype 3/6

    Find more free resources on the website: https://www.gettherapybirmingham.com/

    The Warrior archetype allows us to harness our own sense of personal power to face fear and assert our own energy against the plans of others and the plans of the universe. The Warrior allows us to enforce boundaries securely between ourselves and others. It lets us carve out our own sense of personal space and make clear to others what is allowed and what is not. Mankind has had a warrior class as long as there has been civilization. We must all at some point in life learn to face our fears and accomplish something scary. The psychologist Albert Ellis was fond of saying that it was “pathological to want to be liked by everyone all the time”. He knew wisely that we must all learn to face conflict and navigate disagreements with others to remain true to ourselves and our journey.

    The Warrior is our actualized capacity for self-expansion, personality development and discovery. We cannot discover who we are meant to be unless we are brave enough to face the unknown and know we deserve to grow. The Warrior is our capability to develop and use our talents for personal and professional achievement, but the Warrior does not exercise leadership or hold authority. The Warrior is not power within systems, only our sense of personal power and competency. The Warrior is our own success within a system of many other Warriors. The Warrior is our own unique abilities harnessed to make ourselves succeed.

    Each of the archetypes deals with some form of fundamental anxiety, and the anxiety that the warrior assuages is meaninglessness in the face of chaos. The enemy of the warrior is chaos. When chaos surrounds us we feel like we are not special, like there is no plan, like we do not matter. The Warrior allows us to impose our will into the void and create meaning from scratch. When we feel like life has no purpose, it is our Warrior energy that lets us create purpose. While this function of the Warrior is not a bad thing when it becomes overindulged it becomes the shadow function of tribalism.

    While the Warrior lets us strike back at chaos when it threatens our meaning and significance it can also lead us to turn on other people who are not like us.

    The over-identified Warrior sees other people as chaos when they act contra its own plans and meaning. Shadow political and religious leaders often call us to over-identify with the Warrior when they tell us to defend our own tribe against attacks from those who are different and would take away what is ours. The Warrior is what allows us to reclaim our purpose and significance when the world threatens to take these things away from us but when overindulged it robs others of these things.

    Patients who are under-identified with the Warrior will feel listless, purposeless, and incapable. These patients will often have had their Warrior taken away in an abusive relationship or in their families of origin where they were not allowed to assert themselves. Often they will present to therapy with a general sense of anxiety, believing they lack the power to be assertive, enforce boundaries or change their current reality when it distresses them. Losing touch with the Warrior leads a person to be fearful and conflict avoidant yet be prone to bouts of rage. Without the Warrior we can not act on our anger and do not notice it until it takes us over.

    Over identification with the Warrior means that we see every interaction as a challenge, every challenge a fight with a winner and a loser. When the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem is a nail; the old saying goes. If you are over-identified as a Warrior, you will not be able to back down from any confrontation. A diplomacy is never an option to the Warrior. The Warrior is not an archetype that is comfortable accepting humility or the mystery. The warrior is only comfortable with certainty, but as adults, we must learn to be comfortable with the mystery of life.

    • 7 min
    The Queen Archetype 2/6

    The Queen Archetype 2/6

    Find more free resources on the website: https://www.gettherapybirmingham.com/

     

    The Queen is the power behind power and the maternal influence on development. The Queen is the indirect power that we hold over authority and systems just as the magician is the indirect power we hold over peers and our immediate vicinity. She is every calculated comment that ever made you reconsider your own behavior. She is every raised eyebrow that made you behave. The Queen is long talks by the fire with a loved one about your own worst impulses. She is tempering to power, but when over identified with she becomes a manipulative puppet master behind the throne, a Bloody Mary.

    The Queen uses her influence over the powerful to exercise her own power. If this concept is lost on you, then you are likely under identified with your own Queen. If this is the case, be careful, because it is the patients under identified with their own Queen who are most susceptible to be influenced by the Queen of others. If we do not understand the art of manipulation, we have no defenses against it. The Queen is, by her very nature, the least recognized archetype. The Queen is the thing behind the thing. She is the unnoticed influence on the world. The Queen is the reason that the people in charge behave better than they otherwise would.

    The Queen is a mothering impulse in all of us. She sits close to our Anima or archetype of the feminine. The Queen is the part of us that wants to see the people around us grow and flourish under our watchful gaze. The Queen smiles as her children and her husband mistake her subtle suggestions for their own ideas. She is the master of the understated and implied. The Queen is consigliere, advisor, right hand man, and second in command.

    The fundamental insecurity behind the Queen is the fear that power is incompetent or malevolent. Patients with an over developed Queen usually had a competitive parent or a parent that viewed them as a peer in childhood. Like patients with an overdeveloped Magician, the child with an overdeveloped Queen may have worn this anxiety like a badge of honor in childhood. However, also like the child with an over developed Magician this damaged the child, leaving them hyper vigilant and trapped with an exhausting control instinct. Unlike patients with an over developed Magician, patients with an overdeveloped Queen felt responsible for running a household by proxy and controlling an irascible or inconsistent parent. They did not seek to be understood or get attention from a caregiver like children with an overidentified Magician.

    Patients that present to therapy reporting that they are the “therapist for all their friends” or that “everyone asks them for advice” have a healthy identification with their Queen. The over identified Queen is not content to advise power, but wants to control it from the shadows as a puppeteer. Overidentification with the Queen leads patients to become obsessed with subtly influencing other people as extensions of themselves and power. Manipulative patients, who begin to hold their altruism over the heads of those they are helping are on the road to over identification with the Queen. Therapists should be aware of the functioning of this archetype, as it is the role of the therapist to play The Queen in the patient’s life during the process of therapy.

    The over identified Queen as a mother does not want children to develop as individuals outside of the family or have a personal identity. Children are to remain a part of her and only exist as her accessory and a reflection of her purposes and her values. The over identified Queen wants to know all her children’s secrets, and to get to tell them exactly who they should become. Because patients who had a mother over identified with her own Queen never had the chance to listen to their own inner voice during development they will present to therapy with a bothersome inner critic that reflects the internalized c

    • 7 min

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