Sunday, April 13, 2014

Pessimistic therapy laws

More pessimistic

* We are always consorting with the false self, the persona and shadow words of the client.

* The client can never “get over” his past: It is his core identity, the irritant around which the oyster builds its pearl.  It is his bane, yet it’s the home he lost and forever needs.

* While regression is necessary to reach the childhood splinter that launched disorder, it is also impossible: The result of deep regression would be the screaming shell-less egg dying in the crib or in childhood.

        * Without regression, the client remains her essential defensive self.  We help remove some of the deck chairs on her particular Titanic; she must now stand and have a better view of the dangers.

* Most often the client wants to be different, yet without changing his family dynamic, though family is the anchor holding him under water.

* Clients need the deepest understanding and acceptance, containing and love from us (getting it nowhere else), but they resist accepting it from a stranger.

More optimistic

* Though the ocean has deep and dark mysteries, its surface can play and be warmed by the sun.  Most deeply troubled people can be touched, warmed and seen, and feel better.

* Touching emotional truth without falling into it, entertaining knowledge without fully owning it – this is typically the best help, safest help, and only possible help.  Falling into and owning too much truth may be regressive, stunning, dangerous.

* Abreaction works: Clients who touch the splinter in their heart, who allow their preconscious to emerge, who grieve in company, feel different and better.

I sometimes wonder if there may be little difference between healing and palliation, when it comes down to it.  Primal therapists promote the utter truth of the self, while Slomo (see video footnote at believes it’s good to have a “personal delusional system.”  This need not be psychotic or self-blinding.  We see the world full of horror and injustice and can benevolently still love the small neighborhood in which we dwell.  And we may know that our childhood was simply wrong for life – I look back and wonder how I survived – but can still feel good about other parts of our self.  It is the individuals who can’t “delude” themselves with strength and meaning amidst the calamity who are in trouble.

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Comments are welcome, but I'd suggest you first read "Feeling-centered therapy" and "Ocean and boat" for a basic introduction to my kind of theory and therapy.