Primal Therapy and the Use of Words
Vereshack reminds us that both social and therapeutic conversation can be a defense against feelings. Words (or, intellectualism) are in fact our most powerful and sophisticated means of repression. Beliefs (internalized intellectualism) are included in this.
So, how can we use them effectively in primal therapy?
We can use conversation as a scanning device. Just as our consciousness circles the islands of our trauma, conversation will do the same. As people are encouraged to tell their story, we find that their words can segue into feelings. Sometimes this happens in a subtle, energetic way. As we listen, a word or phrase might “jump out” of the conversation. Or, we might see an emotional response emerge as a word or phrase is spoken. A facilitator might be hard pressed to explain why a particular word or phrase jumps out. What is there about speaking a word or phrase that creates an emotional response? This phenomenon relates to what was said in an earlier blog about our common participation in the quantum field. On that level, we are energetically connected with others.
Remember that traumatic experience results in energy disturbance and that this energy disturbance creates the suffering that we are attempting to alleviate. It is this energy disturbance that both parties in the healing circle are tuning into, which makes the word or phrase noticeable. It represents the beginning of the movement of information out of this energy disturbance.
So, we grab onto this moment. We give the word or phrase a voice by repeating it. Sometimes, over and over, while sensing any energy ebb or flow. Doing this keeps our awareness focused on this area of disturbed energy. As Jeffery Schwartz says:
The willful acts of staying with whatever begins to show itself … “allow mental effort to “keep in focus a stream of consciousness that would otherwise become quickly defocused ……. and keep it focused in a way that tends to actualize potentialities that are in accord with consciously selected ends.”
“Gotama [Buddha] vividly described how the quality of attention that one places on a mental or physical object determines the type of conscious state that arises in response to that object”. The object of our attention is the disembodying survival reaction.
Sometimes repeating the phrase in simpler and simpler ways will serve to advance the primal process. As the word or phrase is simplified its approach to the disturbed energy seems to be facilitated.
As we approach it, the sensorimotor trauma information begins to disembody and move toward consciousness. A primal is then achievable.