What therapy should be ; Dan Edmonds Ed.D

When a distressed person enters the realm of modern psychiatric practice they are first confronted with what Laing terms as the ‘psychiatric ceremonial’. In this process, the experience of the person is not considered. Rather, the psychiatrist sits in a place of judgment, he being considered sane and stable, and determines by his subjective observation of behavior how the person is a deviant from what should be expected of him or her and then categorizes it and assigns it a label. There is no concern for the person’s experience, rather the person is seen as an ‘it’, as an object whose behavior is to be analyzed. Science is only able to examine what is, not what will be. It is based on duplication of results, but can we duplicate experience. When we merely look at behavior without understanding the context of it, we draw false conclusions. Understanding the context may lead us to see that the behavior is not truly meaningless after all. Frankl states, “An incurably psychotic individual may lose his usefulness but yet retain the dignity of a human being…a doctor, who would still interpret his role mainly as that of a technician would confess that he sees in his patient nothing more than a machine…but man is ultimately self-determining.”
Laing states, “behavior therapy is the most extreme example of such schizoid theory and practice and proposes to think and act purely in terms of the other without reference to the self of the therapist or the patient, in terms of behavior without experience, in terms of objects rather than persons. It is inevitably therefore a technique of nonmeeting, of manipulation, and social control.’ Experience is the soul of psychotherapy and we should note that the term psychotherapy literally means the ‘healing of the soul’. The therapeutic process should be a meeting of two human beings, it should be the sharing and understanding of experience. Laing states that “I see you and you see me. I experience you, and you experience me. I see your behavior and you see my behavior. But I do not and never will see your experience of me.” It is popular today to look at individuals’ behaviors merely as the result of chemical processes or the effects of so called chemical imbalances. But then we must ask the question as Laing did- do chemicals come together because they love each other? Do atoms explode because they hate one another?
So often we seek to ignore experience. Laing notes the invalidation of experience by such comments as ‘that never happened’, or the trivialization of
experience, or to invalidate its content by such words as “it wasn’t really that way’ or ‘how can you think such a thing?” We must realize that we exist in an existential vacuum, and it is these things that lead to the development of aggression, addiction, depression. Our behaviors are how we communicate distress; they are for some the only form of communication they know. Their behaviors communicate to us a glimpse of their experience. “If our experience is destroyed, our behavior will be destructive. If our experience is destroyed, we will have lost our selves (pg.28).” The therapeutic process is a shamanic voyage, a journeying with another person. But can two human beings truly come together? Are there too many barriers? Can we put aside our affiliations, our ethnicities, our religions, and all the other things that set us apart? Can we come together completely bare and share in the human condition? Nietzsche stated, “Nihilism represents the ultimate logical conclusion of our great values and ideas- because we must experience nihilism before we can find out what value these ‘values’ really had.” So, we must come together in nothingness and from this to ex nihilo, from nothing, become. We must as Frankl (pg. 112) stated be able to transform tragedy into triumph.
But without often realizing it, therapists and others become agents of oppression. Is our work solely leading people to become proper conformists, to do what others are doing? Is our work solely to make people adapt to totalitarianism, to do what they are told to do? It has always been these two processes that have led to the most dangerous of
outcomes. When freedom and autonomy are taken, and individuals can no longer be individuals, when critical thinking has ceased, we have entered a dreadful place. Maybe we are already there. Freedom is to have choice and have regard for others. License is to do which one wishes without regards to the other. Often today we see the violence evoked on people in the name of a common good or a common cause, or as Durkheim would say the collective consciousness. We can even justify our brutality as progress if what we are doing somehow subdues a person, makes them more amenable to society, or brings us satisfaction. If we can turn a person into a ‘them’ by ascribing a label, then ‘we’ can feel justified to treat them as we wish. This violence which calls itself love can be found within the very structure of the family. Within the structure of the family are certain rules that are established that the members are to adhere to. These rules may not always be sensible, but nonetheless become a part of how the family operates. They are generally known whether or not they always are followed. It is dependent on who is in control and what the consequences are for violation whether the family members adhere to the established rules of conducting themselves.

-Dan L. Edmunds, Ed.D.
MEETING OF TWO PERSONS: WHAT THERAPY SHOULD BE

Author: GreatCosmicMothersUnited

I have joined with many parents affected with the surreal , yet accepted issue of child abuse via Pathogenic Parenting / Domestic abuse. As a survivor of Domestic Abuse, denial abounded that 3 sons were not affected. In my desire to be family to those who have found me lacking . As a survivor of psychiatric abuse, therapist who abused also and toxic prescribed medications took me to hell on earth with few moments of heaven. I will share my life, my experiences and my studies and research.. I will talk to small circles and I will council ; as targeted parents , grandparents , aunts , uncles etc. , are denied contact with a child for reasons that serve the abuser ...further abusing the child. I grasp the trauma and I have looked at the lost connection to a higher power.. I grasp when one is accustomed to privilege, equality can feel like discrimination.. Shame and affluence silences a lot of facts , truths that have been labeled "negative". It is about liberation of the soul from projections of a alienator , and abuser ..

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