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Primal Therapy And Identity

KeromeKerome Love, love is mysteryThe Continent Veteran

I thought it might be interesting to discuss this. I’m reading another book bij Hein Thijssen (see the old thread Mystics near where you live) and this discusses Hein’s use of primal therapy. He delved a long way into the books of Arthur Janov.

Basically what it comes down to is that everybody carries concealed pain from their youth, and that the failure to integrate this pain leads to a variety of coping mechanisms which Hein (following Janov) terms neuroses. This concealed pain can be the result of unmet needs but will generally originate in the early years before the mind is fully formed. The pain causes tensions, which one defends ones self against, and this defense mechanism is the neurosis.

These neuroses are generally core parts of the personality and identity, such as an intense fear of failure or a need to be critical of others. This then functions as a blockage to a deeper emotional life. Blockaded or neurotic is everyone with unsolved pain, very few people are truly free in the sense of primal self. The search for this freedom is what Hein calls ‘natural religion’.

In order to resolve the pain it has to be experienced, by discovering your ‘primal scene’, and placing yourself in the shoes of the child you were, and then expressing the pain verbally.

Does any of this ring a bell with you?

コチシカShoshinperson

Comments

  • howhow Veteran Veteran

    My 1st impression is that primal therapy falls into the category of a physiological approach to trying to address sufferings cause. This approach offers some salve for the chaos of karma's unfoldings for anyone who is not currently in a position to be helped by participating in a meditation practice.

    KeromeコチシカShoshinlobster
  • コチシカコチシカ Berlin, Germany Explorer

    The primal scene.... the primal scenes... the primal films...

    So many minds devastated by devastated grown-up minds that were also devastated. The cycle of suffering, vicious and constant like a Black Friday stampede.

    For some, this therapy is a great process. It makes sense to me as well where he is coming from. I would even pull up a question -after reading How's comment- regarding when/how could meditation be dangerous or not helpful.

    For example, if he cannot even relax and sitting down becomes a moment of "abstraction" that leads to more confusion...

    Under these circumstances, any qualified instructor should derive to a specialist / medical practitioner.

    Childhood can be a very complex repertoire, but meditation has taught me you need to fix your relationship with your past luggage and then learn to let it go. However, this can be challenging if the trauma is severe.

    howShoshinlobster
  • howhow Veteran Veteran
    edited August 6

    I agree @コチシカ and would add that...
    A teacher who doesn't know when to refer a student towards physiological help is simply
    the teacher who is not yet ready for an unsupervised teaching position.

    lobsterコチシカ
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    Primal Therapy And Identity

    From what i gather, past experiences (wholesome or unwholesome) condition the present.... Dharma practice (both the meditative and social interactive Dharma) is a form of Primal Therapy gently loosening the grip of the past experiences and at the same time continually shaping the future ...and all this is happening in the present..

    A good example is Vipassana/insight meditation....

    Vipassana is a gentle-yet-thorough technique of meditation. According to dhamma.org, it is an observation-based, self-exploratory jounrey that focuses on deep interconnection between the mind and body, which is realised through disciplined attention to the physical sensations

    lobsterコチシカDavid
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @Shoshin said:
    From what i gather, past experiences (wholesome or unwholesome) condition the present.... Dharma practice (both the meditative and social interactive Dharma) is a form of Primal Therapy gently loosening the grip of the past experiences and at the same time continually shaping the future ...and all this is happening in the present..

    Yes, this is true. But the therapists approach to treating it is very different from a meditation teacher. A therapist will revisit past experiences directly and work on them. What the client goes through is focussed and can be quite intense, where meditation is general and quite gentle.

    Lately I have been getting interested in the intersection of psychotherapy and spirituality. Both have the potential to help an interested person to become better than well. Most people who are well are still struggling with various traumas and other issues, which prevent them from feeling happy and fulfilled.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    where meditation is general and quite gentle.

    Perhaps. Sometimes.

    For some it can be brutal, exposing and hard as diamonde. In inner space only your cushion hears your silent scream.

    @how said:
    I agree @コチシカ and would add that...
    A teacher who doesn't know when to refer a student towards physiological help is simply
    the teacher who is not yet ready for an unsupervised teaching position.

    I like very much @Shoshin response. In this way of the dharma, we can not be mended until broken by repairs and patches.

    Shoshin
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the liminal space Veteran

    Kerome if you're looking into the combination of psychology and Buddhism I highly recommend Josh Korda and the Dharmapunx NYC podcast.

    Keromeコチシカ
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Thanks @person, I will have a look

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