Sunday, February 12, 2017

Ramble #3: Some frustrations and related issues

There have been many times when the best thing for a client to do would be to break down or explode emotionally in my office, to let the “primal” truth replace their entire lived persona. Yes, this is what official Primal Therapy does, or seems to do. And I admit I do not know its targets other than what Janov describes in his books. But I do not think that Primal’s surgical dive into the need for loving parents is really what I’m talking about. I believe I mean a more universal grief or pain or despair, even if its roots of course have to be in the earliest disconnections. That grief or pain or despair doesn’t happen, and it should. What are we crying for if we never had parents, never had any original connection? That was my case, and probably that of a fair number of my clients.

The clients don’t release this way. Despite my words, the pointing to childhood, the pointing to parents, the pointing to identity loss, the quiet, the time in the room, they slide all over the place elsewhere. Adding insult to injury, a small but poignantly aggravating number of them will say, when we’re getting into the thick of it, that they have “no one” to open up to.

Yes, folks: I have to remind them that “I am your therapist.”

Is there some existential collusion to make me feel impotent?

Another concern is my loss of conscientiousness in diagnosing. I am bored with and almost completely oblivious to the diagnostic labels. This has happened over the past few years, and has been abetted by the new DSM 5 psychiatric roster. Did you know that everyone, pretty much, is Unspecified Something? Unspecified Depressive Disorder. Unspecified Anxiety Disorder. Unspecified Psychosis. Unspecified ADHD. Unspecified Adjustment Disorder. I might as well write down: “They got stuff.”

But . . . what makes this interesting and right is the fact that specific diagnosis is meaningless and vague diagnosis is accurate. My clients don’t have a discrete disorder; they have a hurt, bent life. They don’t have “depression.” They have what depression is. It’s their lost childhood and the peculiar pain of it. It’s all the precious time gone by, heading toward old age, when they never even reached the starting gate. Every day or year that adds on is heavy emptiness. Heavy depression. Or – they don’t have “anxiety.” They have a body electro-chemically charged with fear, from birth or childhood. Let’s go to that fear rather than to anxiety in the here-and-now via Xanax or meditation.

I believe that’s all my frustrations.

No comments:

Post a Comment

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.