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Dec 25, 2023

Live Work With Jessica--

Living with Regrets

Rhonda and I recently did live work at a TEAM-CBT intensive in Mexico City. Our “patient” was a 40 year old mental health professional named Jessica with many years of unhappiness because of a decision she made when she was just 17. Perhaps you’ve also looked back on your life and thought, “If only I would have . . . “ done something I didn’t do,” as well as, “I wish I hadn’t done X, when I was young.”

Today you'll hear the initial Testing and Empathy portions of the session, and next week you'll hear the Assessment of Resistance, Methods, and final Testing..

Part 1

T = Initial Testing


You can also see her scores on the emotions table of her Daily Mood Log here.

Emotions % Now % Goal % After Emotions % Now % Goal % After
Sad, depressed, unhappy 90     Foolish 100    
Anxious, worried, nervous 90     Discouraged 97    
Bad, ashamed 95     Frustrated, stuck, defeated 100    
Inadequate 90     Angry, mad, resentful, annoyed 95    
Lonely 92     Other      


As you can see, these negative feelings were all incredibly intense.

E = Empathy

Jessica, who grew up in Florida, explained that she started ballet dancing at the age of 3, and when she was 17, she won a prestigious full scholarship to study and have the chance to join a world renowned ballet company. Jessica was incredibly excited, but her mom did not see ballet as a “true career.” In addition, her mother was quite protective, which was not uncommon in the Cuban community, and told Jessica she could only accept the scholarship if she agreed to live with her grandparents in New York.

Jessica angrily rebelled and turned down the offer. Although she continued to dance professionally until her first daughter was born 14 years ago, she battled with feelings of anger and regret the entire time, while also blaming her mother for her. unhappiness.

She eventually got a bachelor’s degree in journalism, and worked in television for a period of time. Then she got a master’s degree in counseling, and found that she loves clinical work and helping people. However, she continued to live with feelings of regret and anger directed at her mom from age 17 to her current age of 40, for a total of 23 years, and explained that she frequently “takes it out” on her mom during periods of irritability.

She also has feelings of grief about what she’s lost when she see her young niece dancing ballet beautifully now. This statement brought tears to her eyes.

Jessica described all the sacrifices she’d made when growing up in order to become a top dancer, including periods of bulimia to maintain the thinness that her teachers always stressed. She explained that “everyone did it—they weighted us frequently and would grill us if we were even a little bit overweight. . .” and this was all in order to fulfill her ultimate dream of becoming a world class ballerina, a dream that vanished.

Jessica gave Rhonda and David an A on Empathy, and said that the self-disclosure felt uncomfortable, but helpful. Next week, you'll hear the inspiring conclusion of the work with Jessica!