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Interview with Martyn
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Solve Emotional & Relationship Problems
Borderline Relationships Martyn Carruthers

Online Help, Counseling & Soulwork Therapy

People in healthy relationships respect equality and dignity.
People who prefer immature or unhealthy relationships often
show passive aggression, emotional blackmail and identity loss.

Freedom & Choice in Relationships

Many people try to stabilize their relationships with rules - yet rules imply a loss of choice. The lost freedom can range from totalitarian, military and prison communities to the rules required for effective teamwork, healthy partnership and happy family life.

Is it against the rules to discuss the rules?

If choice is against the rules , you may feel entangled and trapped. Yet people in stable relationships and durable human systems adopt or create laws, judgments and punishments for others. Some people will ignore or rebel against the rules ... and what do you do with heretics?

Sometimes sickness increases relationship stability ... there are times when disease makes sense, and you probably know people who stay together because of psychosomatic complaints.

Identity Loss in Human Relationships

A loss of personal identity is associated with dissociative disorders, in which people reject or hide parts of themselves. A loss of systemic identity is associated with exile or imprisonment, in which families or communities reject or hide whole people.

Personal identity loss refers to lost personal reality. We help people resolve:

  • Identification - behaves as if he or she were another person
  • Depersonalization - highly dissociated without a sense of self
  • Identity Conflict - behaves as if he or she were two other people
  • Belief Bonds - sense of self is restricted by other people's beliefs

Personality & Identity

Most people change as they age. Perhaps you were once an adventurous child, then an idealistic teenager yet now your adventure might be limited to the cinema and your idealism stops after recycling plastic bottles.

If you learn how to integrate your sub-personalities (sometimes called inner children, ego-states or complexes), you can feel much more integrated - more complete - and have many more choices, skills and qualities. We can help you do this.

Identification in Families

Systemic identification refers to the (usually) unconscious acceptance of another personality - often a family member. This identification can be contextual (something triggers it) or existential (all the time, non-stop).

Children learn how to behave partly by identifying with a parent or parent-substitute. Some people act as if they are identified with a parent. They may only feel normal when acting in ways that other people consider abnormal. They may be unable to imagine acting differently.

Personality identification follows counter-intuitive rules ... examples are:

  • A person who identifies with a hero may express chronic fear or anxiety
  • A person who identifies with a victim may express chronic anger or rage
  • A person who identifies with a dead person may express chronic melancholy

The symptoms are often obvious a victim identified person is generally suspicious and may enjoy annoying people; a hero identified person is generally anxious and may avoid any change, and a dead person identified person is generally melancholy and may be obsessed with death.

You said that my symptoms indicated that I might be entangled with a dead relative
... yes, my dead grandpa felt totally "me" - he felt more me than myself.

Most identified people express the unexpressed emotions of their role models. These emotional expressions may provide a massive relief. Identified people may describe feeling right in a wrong world.

Identity Loss and Borderline Personality Disorder

Behaviors called personality disorders may have helped survival once, but are no longer appropriate. People with them can be difficult to coach until they are sure that they can trust you, so building trust is a primary goal. Then we can help people live orderly lives, set realistic goals and make realistic plans.

All too often, physicians and psychiatrists refer people to us that they call
borderline, which usually means that they cannot decide whether these
people are or are not psychotic.
Mental Health Clinic, Canada

Fear of abandonment is often rooted in childhood abuse and neglect. The survivors may believe themselves to be fundamentally unworthy of happiness or success.

Helping People with Borderline Personality Disorder

Many people with borderline symptoms are victims of abuse, neglect, abandonment or violence. They often live conflicted lives - they may feel dependent on certain people, terrified that they may lose them - but then attack those people.

Symptoms associated with Borderline Personality Disorder

  • suspicious and irritable
  • feel misunderstood and mistreated
  • see people as victims or victimizers
  • strong mood swings (but not bipolar)
  • if they see you as a victim, they may try to manipulate you
  • if they see you as a victimizer - they may try to punish you (see identity loss)
  • avoids being alone
  • fear of intimacy and partnership
  • unpleasant feeling of emptiness
  • prefer codependent relationships

  • little sense of self - or of boundaries
  • cannot make stable long-term goals
  • relationship bonds e.g. "I cannot be loved"
  • self-destructive (to control wild emotions)

People diagnosed with borderline personality disorder may express passive or aggressive behavior. Passive behavior seems more often expressed by fearful women, while aggressive behavior is more often shown by angry men.

Passive Aggressive
  • prefer confusion to clarity
  • dependent, clings to helpers
  • feels hopeless and worthless
  • focus on the urgency of their needs
  • avoid attention - they hide and keep a low profile
  • loners and rebels
  • push most people away
  • manipulative, perhaps paranoid
  • focus on people's imperfections
  • seek attention - often defiant and rebellious

Do you have difficulty managing your feelings and behavior? Do you suffer emotional outbursts, overeating, substance abuse or self-harm? We can help you:

  1. Manage your anger, anxiety or sadness
  2. Dissolve inner conflict (see this transcript)
  3. Voice your objections and disagreements
  4. Become more mature - in words and actions
  5. Change your limiting beliefs (about unworthiness etc)

Contact us to resolve emotional and relationship problems.

Online Systemic Coaching, Counseling & Therapy

I thought you were just another therapist - but you were not just. Not even. Not only.

Plagiarism is theft. Copyright Martyn Carruthers 2005-2016 All rights reserved.

If you find our work useful, please link to us. If you know someone who might benefit,
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Solve Emotional & Relationship Issues

Have You Suffered Enough?

 Where are you now? Understand your emotions, fixations and enmeshments
What do you want? Know your life goals and how you sabotage yourself
Do you feel resourceful? Develop your inner resources with Dreamwork
Do emotions block you? Resolve relationship problems and mentor damage
Do beliefs limit you? Change your limiting beliefs and end dependence
Can you feel connected? Resolve identity loss to recover your lost resources
Is your partner happy? Build healthy partnership (or separate peacefully)
Are your children healthy? Happy parents can better manage family problems
Do you want team success? Team leaders and top teams can develop together
Do you have complex goals? Specialty coaching, counseling, therapy & training

Plagiarism is theft. Copyright Martyn Carruthers 1996-2016 All rights reserved. Soulwork Systemic Coaching was developed by Martyn Carruthers
to help people solve emotional and relationship problems, and to achieve their goals. These concepts and strategies are for general knowledge only. Consult a physician about medical conditions and before changing medical treatment. Don't steal intellectual property ... get permission to post, publish or teach Martyn's work.