By Yaz Headley
Editor’s note: The author is an accredited Integrative Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) Psychotherapist in private practice in London, UK. Yaz is also studying for a Ph.D. in Mind-Body Medicine and Integrated Mental Health. She has followed EastEnders on and off over the years. You can reach her at email@example.com and read more about her background at www.thecompletelife.com.
We are all a subject of our own history. Anyone who tells you otherwise is trying to sell you something or is invested in you continuing to live as you are. For some this is a good thing, for many this is not the way to go. Many would love the magic elixir that would get rid of every negative break with the past, but it is not possible to find it in a bottle, a happy thought or magic.
In looking at a psyche of a person, we would look at their history, their present life and their thoughts and behavior. We would look at the support system and resources they have in their lives, and we would look at what they do when they are stressed. In some therapies, such as the psychodynamic and the psychoanalytic, a great deal of time is spent on the patient’s past and in the unfurling of their history.
In the version of Integrative Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), which is the approach I take, I spend some time there, but I also look at their feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. These are key to helping an individual change. Modern-day research shows how we are not just a subject of history and genetics but are also affected by epigenetics.
Epigenetics is our environment, those whom we have around us, the food we eat and the activities we do.
Patient’s File Alfie Moon.
The song “Whats it all, Alfie” about comes to mind….. The thing is – does Alfie ever have an answer to this question? I think not. Alfie does not know from one day to the next as to what is really going on. Alfie has no real sense of self. Alfie is amorphous and adapts to whosoever he is with. He is a perfect host at any place he is in, because he can easily adapt to people and those around him. He absorbs what is around him and easily gives and reflects their energy.
Alfie’s parents were killed in a car crash when he was young. The loss of a parent when young has been found to be a significant factor for those who suffer from depression later on in life. It is often thought that we can manage and handle matters when we are young, but the loss of parents is a huge blow to anyone who is starting out in life. So much needs to be reset and changed.
No one is as important to us as our parents or those who may care for us. The value of our original carers is inestimable because our memories and imprints when young are scorched into our DNA. This is then carried within us for the rest of our life, and we need to rework it if we are to live better lives. Such important imprints are not easily replaced.
Alfie is no stranger to criminal activities either; identity theft, bigamy, and arson. He is always trying it on, trying to make things better. Trying to find a short-cut to happiness and wealth. In the end, the charming, sweet Alfie starts again and again from zero. A perfect host to others, but to himself, he is not true. Alfie promises the moon but barely gets past the cheddar cheese.
We all know an Alfie. They are sweet kind people but in the end, do so because they also hope you will also in the end really look after them. Alfie is very co-dependent, and his very own existence is determined by others. We all in some way are co-dependent, but Alfie has it perfected to an art-form.
Only a co-dependent like him would be able to live with someone so borderline or bipolar as Kat. Kat is unpredictable, and the very seeming predictable Alfie likes the ups and downs that Kat brings to their lives to avoid making his own decisions. He is so busy fire-fighting the entrails which Kat leaves in her wake that he does not have to do anything about his own life. You meet these people sometimes. Sweet helpful, always thinking about others. He can be hot and cold and committed and avoidant too.
Avoidance is very accepted today. We can avoid relationships, discussions, what counts by – by watching lots of TV, looking over and over at mobiles, playing online games, by lots of sex, food and alcohol; behaviors which seem so acceptable nowadays. All often accounted with a “I’m just having fun”. There is a tipping point, though, to avoidance. A point when it becomes unhealthy. Its fun to drink, eat and have sex. But there is a point when it really starts to have a negative effect on ourselves and those around us.
Alfie does it with his relationship with Kat. But at the end of it, they really need to stop avoiding. But the stopping of avoiding is unexpectedly harder to do then to continue with the avoiding. But hey, where would we be without the fun, unpredictability, and avoidance of Alfie and his hot and cold relationship with Kat. Life would be so boring if he were reasonable, organized and settled. He is such an important character that keeps the EastEnders storyline moving. ©2016 Yaz