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Old 02-09-2019, 07:42 AM #1
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Default Autonomy

Autonomy (SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY) - IResearchNet

The Desire for Autonomy | Psychology Today

This idea of autonomy was a concept that I was clueless about when I started therapy,yet it was the concept that my therapist very pointedly brought to my attention. Ultimately, finding and honoring my own autonomy, realizing I have the power to make choices about how I react to events and obligations, and learning to advocate for myself on behalf of my own autonomy were the skills that were intimately intertwined in my work in therapy and my ability to get unstuck from my own crap.

I’ve attached two articles that address what I’m talking about. So many articles about autonomy are solely focused on Erickson’s stages of development in children, but these two speak to autonomy in adults.
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Old 02-09-2019, 08:23 AM #2
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Default Re: Autonomy

Omg my... that psychology today one sounds like it could have been written by my T... even started to read it in T’s voice. Thanks for the free session :
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Old 02-09-2019, 08:42 AM #3
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Default Re: Autonomy

I'm with Omers omg - that psych today one - I think that's kinda what's going on between me and t right now - I'm digging my heels in about going back for more and it's because I feel internal pressure to do so - like i have no choice - no autonomy. Thanks this is helping me do some more thinking about the heel-digging.....
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Old 02-09-2019, 09:01 AM #4
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Default Re: Autonomy

Thanks for sharing, these are interesting
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Old 02-09-2019, 09:06 AM #5
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I feel like much of my therapy in this last decade-old round has been with autonomy as the background. Why do I think I "have" to do certain things, including other people before myself? Turns out I don't. Why do I "automatically" make certain choices rather than considering how to approach something with intention and strategy, rather than reactivity? Turns out I can be intentional, at least some of the time.

There's some kind of cliche about how you have more power than you know. This is just another way to say that empowering yourself means seizing your autonomy and carrying it around with you.
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Old 02-09-2019, 09:50 AM #6
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Default Re: Autonomy

I was the opposite, having strong survival skills and overcoming adversity, but that wore down after so many years. Now I have more of a Maslow's hierarchy of needs take on this subject (thinking self actualization is related to autonomy).

Sometimes not getting basic needs met can make it difficult to use your personal power-it can be exhausting.
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Old 02-09-2019, 11:09 AM #7
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Default Re: Autonomy

Very interesting, thank you.
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Old 02-09-2019, 05:59 PM #8
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Default Re: Autonomy

I’m glad these were helpful.

I like this:

“In fact, recognizing my need for autonomy has measurably improved my ability to enjoy all of my relationships, helping me to realize that when I have a negative reaction that seems out of proportion it often means I'm feeling a compromised sense of autonomy. Identifying the cause of that then usually helps to prevent me from saying or doing something needlessly damaging. For once I recognize I'm actually reacting to a diminished sense of autonomy I'm able to realize that my reaction is my problem, not someone else's. ”

This is what often was the lead-in to many a therapy session. Something happened and I was reacting way out of the realm of proportion to the event (sometimes seriously small things), and I would have to figure out what the heck was setting me off, and realize I had choices about how to react; I was flying off the handle instead of generally several other options. Usually this led to a discussion of why I was responding with such intensity; it was almost never about the actual situation and almost always about some kind of triggered reaction to old self-talk and mistaken beliefs that were butting in. When I could acknowledge that old stuff was really the issue, then I could choose pretty easily to stop being bent out of shape about the current issue (which really wasn’t much of an issue to start with; I had just reacted automatically that way). I could then address the old issue as needed and eventually those old issues became less of a trigger once I realized they were even there. So many of my reactions used to be automatic, triggered, impulsive responses. Still happens, but I’d say I’ve reduced those kinds of out-of-proportion reactions by a fairly large percentage, and when they do happen, I know how to work through them more quickly and more effectively.

I had started to post about autonomy on the power thread because I thought it was related but was unable to, so I started this thread as a way of expressing how, for me, regaining my power was about my personal autonomy, and feeling powerless is generally a reaction to somehow not honoring, holding, and utilizing my personal power of autonomy.
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Old 02-10-2019, 04:10 AM #9
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Default Re: Autonomy

Thank you. It is validating to hear other people react similarly to me, and how autonomy is involved. You have some really interesting thoughts here.
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Old 02-10-2019, 06:01 AM #10
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Default Re: Autonomy

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtleyWilkins View Post
I like this:

“In fact, recognizing my need for autonomy has measurably improved my ability to enjoy all of my relationships, helping me to realize that when I have a negative reaction that seems out of proportion it often means I'm feeling a compromised sense of autonomy. Identifying the cause of that then usually helps to prevent me from saying or doing something needlessly damaging. For once I recognize I'm actually reacting to a diminished sense of autonomy I'm able to realize that my reaction is my problem, not someone else's. ”.
I find this pings with me as reactions out of proportion to the situation are more easily identifiable to me than they used to be. Perhaps one of the most helpful therapeutic concepts I've learned is that my reaction can both be about the situation (perhaps a person who states something in an inelegant or otherwise troubling way) but also that my internal response reacts to it more strongly than warranted. Both/and.

Maybe there's a part of autonomy that is about paradox. I used to think it was about independence, and I value my independence so strongly I didn't think I would ever be able to share or create a home with a partner, much less parent a child. Even now, I think a long distance relationship might suit me. And I used to think autonomy was more about a kind of kick-*** relationship with other people and the world, warrior like, telling people to go f-off or otherwise drawing huge lines, or building walls between me and others, a psychological "stay off my lawn" approach.

But now for me autonomy isn't really much about other people at all, it is internal, at least for the most part, even when it includes saying no directly to others. It's about making sense of what I'm trying to go for in my life and trying to live up to my intensions and goals. Whether it's in the moment or a more distant response to the choices I have, I'm inching a little closer. Most difficult situations are less of a "fight" and a more say my piece, walk away after listening.
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