Internationally Recognized Psychotherapist, Theorist, Educator, and Author, Marilyn Murray shares with Michelle King Robson what it was that made her decide to start going to therapy.
Michelle King Robson: Hi. I'm Michelle King Robson. How many of us have suffered from some type of trauma in our life? Today I'm here with Marilyn Murray who is an internationally recognized educator in the field of trauma. Welcome Marilyn.
Dr. Marilyn Murray: Hello Michelle long time friend, I'm delighted to be here.
Michelle King Robson: Thank you. We are happy, we are so happy to have you so tell us a little bit about your story.
Dr. Marilyn Murray: Well, I lived here in Scottsdale for many years, and was a successful art dealer, and everybody who saw me thought I had my life put together. I had a beautiful home actually just down the street from where you live now, and two lovely daughters that you know, and everybody assumed that my life was perfect.
What they didn't understand that was that I was suffering from severe physical pain, pain which I had gone to many different doctors, and at the time I went to clinics and tried every type of treatment that was available traditional as well as non-traditional. And the doctor just shook their heads and they said we don't know what's wrong. We realize if you have all of this with severe head pain stomach, legs, back you name it.
And it increased over the years, and I had, had asthma severely as a child and a teenager and actually moved to Arizona from Kansas when I was 17 because of the asthma. And when I and the asthma in Kansas it had always been activated by cold snowy weather, and when I came to Phoenix obviously we don't have snow.
So the asthma went away, but I got these severe headaches, and so I started taking lots of medication from the time I was like in my early 20s. And by the time I was 44 which is in 1980, I was taking some massive amounts of medication that were still not helping. And so I had a friend of mine, she and I had started some support groups for women called 'More Than Friends'.
Actually they were some of the first support groups in the whole United States in the early 70s back when you couldn't find a book anywhere on how to start a small group except for Twelve-Step programs. And so during this time, it was the first time in my life that I had started to look at myself because I had been raised back in Kansas where what will other people think was sort of the Kansas state motto I thought, and taking care of others always before you take care of yourself all of those kind of things were the way I lived.
And so during these groups, I was first starting to say, okay what's going on with me, why am I having all these problems, and so my friends really urge me to do something about it. And back in 1980 in this conservative Scottsdale town, nobody went to therapy unless you were certifiably psychotic, and I was at the time running a very successful business, and so I thought well, I don't need to go to therapy, and but my friend that had helped me start these groups had gone to a treatment center in California earlier because she had come from a family where there was alcoholism.
And I said well, that was fine for you, but I had a perfect family, I don't need this. And she persisted, and it's a really tough love, and insisted that I go. And this treatment center at the time was one of the only ones in the whole country that did any kind of outpatient intensive treatment, and they were really pioneers in that. And I was scheduled, this was thanksgiving weekend of 1980 to go there for two weeks and I was gone seven months.
Michelle King Robson: Oh wow.
Dr. Marilyn Murray: Yeah and yeah it was really a wow. And during that time, I dealt with some sexual abuse as a child that were, was from some strangers. It wasn't anyone in my family, and it was something I never dealt with, but it wasn't just that. I dealt with the fact that I had spent 44years of my life never dealing with any conflicts or any negative issues. It was always just pushing everything down, keeping the smile on my face, and looking good, and being focused on everybody else. And as a result then I had to work on all of that because I just had this many, many, many years, lots of issues that hung that I never, never dealt with.