Showing posts from March, 2010
Helper and healer, I cheer - Small waifs in the woodland wet - Strays I find in it, wounds I bind in it - Bidding them all forget!
~ Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (Ch. 7)

Consciousness is often described as a stream, like time is described as a river. In which case, memories would be those things floating about in it like debris and psychotherapy rather like trawling.

But is this what consciousness is? And is remembering necessary to healing?

My work with EMDR has allowed me to observe (in a kind of time-lapsed photography way) the relationship between memory and healing. In EMDR, “reprocessing” is remarkably quick, catalysed by using bilateral stimulation (originally, in the form of bilateral eye movements). The therapist asks the subject to recall a traumatic memory while simultaneously calling attention elsewhere. At some point, the intensity of the traumatic experience subsides and the memory slips into the background, to the “back of t…
Parents who were abused as children incur a debt that’s hard to part with.

Called to Love their own children, the debt becomes a dam that blocks the flow and, like their parents before them, their children pay the price, either as hostage to the trickle of care they can still afford, or as scapegoat sacrificed in exchange for the debt still outstanding. This is intergenerational transmission, when a debt of Love is visited on one's children “and on their children’s children, to the third and fourth generation.” (Exodus 34:6-7).

Daily I come across children of dammed loved that reflect the two distinct outcomes I have identified as the scapegoat and hostage situations.

The first, the scapegoat, is the child who carries the burden of parental shame, often expressed in the form of physical and verbal abuse, and is cast off to roam far and away from home. The scapegoat usually does leave home in mid-adolescence, cutting off prematurely from the womb but with a vitality and sense of sur…