Recovering From A Polarized Fawn Response

Pixabay: Ri_Ya

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Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving. A guide and map for recovering from childhood trauma by Pete Walker

“Fawn types typically respond to psychoeducation about the 4F’s with great relief. This eventually helps them to recognize the repetition compulsion that draws them to narcissistic types who exploit them.

The codependent needs to understand how she gives herself away by over-listening to others. Recovery involves shrinking her characteristic listening defense, as well as practicing and broadening her verbal and emotional self-expression.

I have seen numerous inveterate codependents become motivated to work on their assertiveness when they realize that even the thought of saying “no” triggers them into an emotional flashback. After a great deal of work, one client was shocked by how intensely he dissociated when he contemplated confronting his boss’s awful behavior.

This shock then morphed into an epiphany of outrage about how dangerous it had been to protest anything in his family. This in turn aided him greatly in overcoming his resistance to role-playing assertiveness in our future work together.

With considerable practice, this client learned to overcome the critic voices that immediately short-circuited him from ever asserting himself.

In the process, he remembered how he was repeatedly forced to stifle his individuality in childhood. Grieving these losses then helped him to work at reclaiming his developmentally arrested self-expression.

Recovering from the fawn position will be explored more extensively in the next chapter.”

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