Thursday, January 24, 2013

Uncovering Therapy

“I call therapy “uncovering” if it helps clients to get to know their own suppressed, painful childhood history with the help of reawakened feelings and dreams. Then they no longer fear the dangers that threatened them in childhood but now threaten them no more. These clients stop unconsciously fearing and repeating what happened to them at such a tender age because they know their childhood reality and respond to it with rage and grief in the company of a therapist acting as an empathic witness. They stop treating themselves like nobodies, blaming themselves, harming themselves with all kind of addictions, because they have now been able to develop empathy for the child that suffered so severely from the parents’ behavior. If in their adult lives they should be threatened by dangers, they will be better equipped to withstand them because they understand their old fears and can assess them for what they were.

This kind of procedure differs crucially from the kinds of treatment that involve practicing new behavior or improving one’s wellbeing (via yoga, meditation, positive thinking, or whatever.) Here the subject of childhood is invariably skirted. Fear of it is ubiquitous in our society. I trace it to the fear felt by the abused children, the fear of the next bow that bound to follow if they should dare to see through their parents’ cruelty.

 Psychoanalytic theory is also grounded in this fear of parents. Sometimes for decades on end, clients and analysts remain bogged down in a maze of half-baked concepts, permanently suffering from guilt feelings because they made it so difficult for their parents to understand their “disturbed” children. In all this they frequently have no idea that they were in fact severely abused children. Whether therapist will be able to make this knowledge accessible will depend on what they know about their own lives and their first few years.” From the book “Free From Lies: Discovering your true needs” Page 132