What is PBSP and How Can It Help with PTSD?

There are many different ways to approach healing PTSD, but one of the commonalities about many of these different approaches is that they focus on the not just the mind, but also the body. The Pesso Boyden System Psychomotor (PBSP) approach is yet another one of them that does this. PBSP was created by Albert Pesso and Diane Boyden, two people who were professional dancers. They noticed that when they asked their dancers to try to express their emotions through physical movements, the dancers felt much better and relieved afterward.

 

Maybe we just have to let all of our emotions out of our system after all. The mind and body are more closely related than most of us realize, and there are many different ways to get your emotions out. Some of us feel better after simply talking or writing them out. Others might get relief from going for a run, punching a bag, doing yoga, or dancing around a room.

 

Sometimes though, none of that is good enough, and you might actually need to act out the scenario that is bothering you. The theory behind this approach is that the reason your memories keep haunting you is that you were never able to see the result or end. So what PBSP does is gives you an outlet where you can reenact all the potential scenarios of that past memory in a group acting setting. This can hopefully allow you to make peace with your traumatic experience and be able to move on from it.

 

Dancing and acting might not be able to solve all of your problems, but it can be a good mood booster and a fun place to start.

Are Narcissists Capable of Feeling Empathy?

If you’ve ever had to deal with a narcissist, you know that they are very good at manipulating you and putting on a show for others. Everything always has to be about them, and it seems as though they never care about you or anyone else. The problem is that for those that suffer from Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), they tend to lack empathy. But can they help this? Is there hope for narcissists to be able to relate and feel empathetic towards others? The answer might have to do with their level of NPD.

 

Just like all mental health disorders, the severity of narcissism can vary. For those that have been clinically diagnosed with NPD, they are more likely to be volatile and unpredictable and refuse to see the problems and seek help. Subclinical NPD, on the other hand, can be much more manageable. This type is more common, and many with subclinical NPD even go on to live normal, successful lives.

 

In various studies involving subclinical narcissists, it was made clear that these narcissists didn’t show empathy when exposed to a saddening story – such as a harsh breakup or domestic abuse – while non-narcissists did.

 

Except! – when the narcissists were prompted with a comment such as “imagine how they feel in this situation,” or “put yourself in their shoes.” When subtly ask to do these things, the reaction of the narcissists changed.

 

When the non-narcissists were prompted with the same comments, they didn’t react because they were naturally inclined to put themselves in the other person’s shoes in the first place. This did not come naturally to the narcissists, but when prompted, they were capable of doing so.

 

This shows that, at least for those with subclinical narcissism, there is hope that they can learn to feel empathy towards others. We can see that this is especially true because our bodies physically respond to feeling empathetic as well. Your heart rate changes and increases when you feel empathy for another person.

 

During the studies and experiments with the non-narcissists and subclinical narcissists, we might’ve expected the empathetic responses from the narcissists to only be external, as narcissists have a tendency to be manipulative and say what they think others want to hear in order to reap the benefits. But monitoring heartrate disproved this, and we could see that what they were feeling was true and honest empathy for the people in the sad stories.

 

So the answer is yes – many narcissists are able to feel empathy. They just might need some help to get there. Giving them support and encouragement can go a long way in helping them learn to recognize when they should be empathetic, but the first step is for them to realize that they need to work on things and be willing to receive the help they need. A great option is to get therapy, as a therapist is going to be more experienced with narcissistic behavior, and know the right way to approach the entire situation.