Saturday 24 November 2012
When it comes to therapy, it seems to be very different. Many people seem to believe that they know what psychotherapy is and how it should be done and are perfectly happy to set up as therapist; others are happy to go. It is based more on belief, fashion and conviction than on knowledge or experience. I suppose that this is part of a post-modern, pluralist world suspicious of expertise and hegemony. Reluctantly, after nearly thirty years as a therapist, I have come to the conclusion that most people really don't know what psychotherapy is; they confuse it with personal growth or development or some particular ideology that they subscribe to which often boils down to willpower or belief. They offer people self-help books, quick-fix courses and the encouragement to become powerful, discover themselves and follow their own truth. There is scant understanding of the difference between the pre-personal; the personal and the transpersonal.
What many will say is that the State should licence therapists but this requires us to trust the government. No thanks! In Soviet Russia, Freud's works were secretly printed and circulated underground. The present government's love affair with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is only slowly coming to an end. The alternative is for people to become more discriminating.
To evaluate a therapist, as well as trusting your intuition ask them how long they have seen some clients for; (warning; less isn't better some people take quite a time). Ask they about how they deal with suicidal clients, how they understand dissociation and embodied trauma; what their experience of long term therapy as a client was like, if they have good regular supervision; their understanding of ego-strength and how it can be built. Ask about what they can do between sessions and what support is offered.
Sunday 18 November 2012
Tomorrow is International Mens Day. Its not the most widely publicised event and could attract the comment that every day is men's day from their profile in politics and the public agenda.This prevents the need to look at men and their vulnerabilities which their competitive capture of the public spaces hides. More men die of testicular and prostate cancer than women die of breast cancer but breast cancer and screening is well know. Too many men don't even know where their prostate is (its behind you!!!!) Three times as many men commit suicide as women and it is the biggest single killer of men aged 15 - 34 in Britain. In inner city areas, crime is the major cause of death amongst black men under 25. The dysfuntion of men creates lots of young men who grow up without fathers or father-figures, creating the next generation of lost men who remain as overgrown teenagers with no good means of entry into true manhood. Sport and the celebrity culture don't provide many good role models. So honour the positive functions of the masculine; power, authority, presence; all used to witness without judgement, create safety and hold space. In that held sacred space the feminine can heal and blossom and children can flourish. This is function of the Divine Masculine principle; that can be in both men and women. Tomorrow celebrate it! http://www.internationalmensday.com/
Sunday 11 November 2012
Many women’s emotional well-being is dominated by an internal wounded masculine. The job of the masculine is to create a safe space and guard it for the feminine to be in and to witness without judgement. You need your inner masculine to do this so that you can let go and your deep feminine can feel and express emotion and radiate love and passion.
Your inner masculine comes from two main places; your mother’s inner masculine and your father. So; what do you know of your mother’s father; your maternal grandfather and his life? What was he like as a person? Did you know him and if not what are the stories that are told about him? How did he treat your mother? He will have lived in the early or middle of the twentieth century; a century dominated by two world wars and numerous smaller ones. How present was he; physically, emotionally? He may have been away a lot or absent or he may have been a workaholic and so only around when exhausted, if at all. He may have been an alcoholic and so there but not really there. He may have been traumatised by events and angry or abusive. He may have been scared or dismissive of women because of their intensity or their sexuality or his fear of being helpless in their hands as he was once with his mother.
All of this related to your grandfather unconsciously creates a large part of your inner masculine and to the extent that he was damaged; it will be part of your wounded masculine. The other part comes from your experiences of your father; these are closer to consciousness and the same questions can be asked. How present was he? How whole and healthy? Did he embody the healthy masculine and hold space without judgement? Was he deeply able to accept you as a little girl and as a beautiful sexual teenager?
So these two men; your mother’s father and your father create your inner masculine. How wounded is he? The more he is wounded the more you have to hold yourself and have a masculine presence in the world which prevents your feminine essence from flourishing.
In our culture there has been much masculine wounding; from wars, from technology which has made the masculine quality of strength superfluous, from the lack of rites of passage for young men in to adulthood and from lack of positive role models. It leads men and women to question; what are men for? The dishonouring of the deep masculine has backfired on women through the damage to their inner masculine which needed to hold and honour their feminine essence. This interdependence is the "inner marriage" within every person of our masculine and feminine essences to support a full flow of aliveness.
In tantric healing massage, the male tantric practitioner embodies the deep masculine qualities of presence, and from that presence witnesses without judgement and creates safety. In that safe container the feminine can at long last let go and allow the feminine radiance and vulnerability to flower. The particular parts to be nurtured, supported and witnessed are the emotions and sexual desire and passion; for these are central to the divine feminine power. It is this divine feminine power that each women needs to fully embody and that the world desperately needs.
See www.shivoham.asia for how I work with this, Namaste