“Every psychotherapist recognizes that what works for one person may not work for another; we embrace the maxim, ‘Different strokes for different folks.’” ~ John Norcross
In recent times, much fuss has been made about evidence-based treatments (EBT). In our case, this refers to psychotherapy treatments that have been “proven” to work for certain diagnoses. In a separate article, I made the argument that psychologists reject EBTs because the science behind them is too primitive to be useful. Here I look at a possible way that the “evidence-based” movement may have actual value to people who do psychotherapy in the field and not just for publishing journal articles in an academic environment.
“We use our minds not to discover facts but to hide them. One of the things the screen hides most effectively is the body, our own body.” ~ Antonio Damasio
Up until recently, psychotherapy almost exclusively focused on the mind and pretty much ignored the body. You know, “I think, therefore I am.” Well, not so much, Mr. Descartes. If one engages in effective trauma therapy (my specialty; and I’ll argue some other time that all therapy is trauma therapy), one must focus on both the mind and the body. This is because the body holds the memories of the trauma, whether big T or little t trauma. Our brain automatically turns off our mind, or at least turns it down, during trauma. After that, as Dr. Damasio implies, the mind protects us by hiding the body memories of the trauma. To heal from trauma, we must get around the mind and access (slowly, carefully) these body memories.
“Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” ~ Leonard Cohen
In a previous article, I proposed that we all have “parts,” as in “There’s a part of me that really doesn’t want to believe that we all have parts.” For purposes of this article, I will assume that you either believe me or you’re willing to go along for the ride for a while. Either way, I hope that you’ll find the ride worthwhile. I know that I have.