Mind, Body, Spirit Healing vs. Traditional Psychotherapy/PsychoanalysisWritten by Dorothy M. Neddermeyer, PhD, MSW, CCH, CRT
The word "psychology" is combination of two terms - study (ology) and soul (psyche), or mind. The derivation of word from Latin gives it this clear and obvious meaning: The study of soul or mind. This meaning has been altered over years until today, this is not what word means at all. The subject of psychology, as studied in colleges and universities, currently has very little relationship with mind, and absolutely nothing to do with soul or spirit. It is important to understand that words and ideas are supposed to refer to something. "The tree in yard" refers to an actual thing that can be seen, touched and experienced. A person walking a dog at dawn" refers to an actual event that can be seen, observed and experienced. The realm of mind is an actual realm that can be experienced, and at one time there were words that accurately referred to this realm. Dictionaries define "Psyche" as: 1. The spirit or soul. 2. The human mind. 3. In psychoanalysis, mind functioning as center of thought, emotion, and behavior. Dictionaries define "Soul" as: 1. The spiritual or immortal elements in a person. 2. A person's mental or moral or emotional nature. Traditional psychotherapy/ psychoanalysis fails to address all-important relationship to one's true spiritual nature. Traditional spiritual practice often bypasses -and thus fails to transform - psychological conditional patterns and unconscious beliefs that arise from our personal histories and adaptations. In modern psychotherapy we treat symptoms because symptoms can be quantified and identified, or so it is claimed by traditional modern medical and psychiatric practices. Thus Emotional Pain is described in terms of symptoms—Depression, Anger, Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Self-Esteem issues, Mood Swings, Compulsive Behavior, Chronic and Acute Fear, Self-Injury, Suicidal Thoughts, Shame, Guilt, Eating Disorders, or Addictions) does not heal itself. Time, marriages, children, success, wealth, buying a bigger house, or faster car, changing jobs or relocating will not CURE it. The damage is sometimes very deep, pervasive and profound. It is a soul injury. The person has been robbed of his or her integrity, core identity and trust. Emotional, Physical or Sexual trauma in childhood is 'violence' that does not require force. The child is thrown into a ‘state of shock.' For some memories remain conscious, while others drive them beneath conscious level. The coping mechanisms child used are carried into adulthood and impact person's life on every level—Emotional, Physical, Mental, Behavioral, Spiritual, Sexual and Relationships. While these coping mechanisms were appropriate then, they are a 'problem' in adulthood. Traditional mental health professionals ask: "What is wrong with you?" or "What happened to you?" Asking, "What is wrong with you?" or "What happened to you?" implies blame, sickness and fault. Asking, "What did you experience growing up?"—allows person to begin process of discovering source of their pain and healing wounds. Traditional psychotherapy/psychoanalysis neglects fact that we feel, sense, and experience global political mass consciousness, as well as our individual consciousness, like never before. A Mind, Body, Spirit approach addresses all three, therefore opening door to true balance and healing. Well-being comes from understanding of Self, family, local community in which we live, and global community of which we are part. We are each one heart of Whole; each heart here to express its unique piece of Whole. Knowing Self creates a sense of "I as a piece of this Whole," different and one at same time. The process of understanding Self, family, local community and global community has its foundation rooted in metaphysics. Metaphysics is science, which investigates first causes of all existence and knowledge. It seeks to explain nature of being, origin and structure of world, in relationship between ethereal and physical. Metaphysics holds that soul or spirit and physical body are one yet separate; here applied psychology of religion comes to bear. The metaphysician's teachings help soothe emotional and physical problems of youth and maturity, illness and death. Herein, a transformational process occurs between work of Facilitator and that of individual. Because metaphysician or doctor of metaphysics can serve as both a facilitator as well as a source of spiritual comfort, he or she espouses universal spirituality through holistic health. Metaphysical Healing a.k.a. Transpersonal Healing is process of reconnecting person with their inner being. Reconnecting can be achieved through meditation, introspection and over time accessing our inner self, however, few people have discipline, inclination or know how to affect this process. Therefore, employing help of a professional who practices Mind, Body Spirit Healing/Transpersonal Healing will quickly establish foundation for empowerment, self-esteem, peace of mind and on-going spiritual and emotional growth. The facilitation of process is exceedingly easy. The person sits in a slightly reclined position with eyes closed while facilitator assists person to access their "Higher self." The "Higher self" refers to part of you that has highest possible perspective of who and what you are and why you decided to be here this lifetime. Your higher self loves you more than you can possibly love yourself consciously, and strives constantly to direct your personality self. The "personality self" is who we think we need to be in order to be safe here; opinions and instincts of our personality self have developed since moment we individualized in womb, and perhaps before.
Responding to Criticism Without Being DefensiveWritten by Sharon Ellison
In an actual war, to be attacked means to have our survival threatened. Thus, we might chose between surrender, withdrawal, or counterattack. When we feel attacked (criticized or judged) by others in conversation, we often move into that same kind of survival mentality and automatically defend ourselves. But conversation is different than war. When we defend against criticism, we give more power to criticism and person dishing it out than is warranted. While we might need to set some limits if someone is verbally abusive, I think we often ward off criticism far too soon, discarding anything that is valid, as well as what is invalid. The person's words may hurt, but they will hurt less, I think, if we ask questions, decide which pieces we agree with (if any) and which ones we don't agree with. We can just think about it, we don't have to fight it as if we were being attacked with a lethal weapon. I watch people's self-esteem increase simply from becoming less defensive in face of criticism and judgement. Besides, we may find a priceless gem in with some junk.
The War Model: When someone attacks, you surrender, withdraw, or counterattack The Non-Defensive Model: Ask questions, decide what you think, and then respond!
The remainder of this article will demonstrate how to respond non-defensively to criticism by giving examples for parents, couples, and professionals. While examples are specific to a certain type of relationship, information is valuable in any relationship. For example, dealing with harsh tones or "pay-backs" can happen with children or adults, at home or at work. Parents: Are You Letting Your Child Speak Harshly to You? Or Putting Up With Criticism Because of Guilt? As parents, we often love our children so much and simultaneously feel inadequate to meet all their needs. They sense this and can learn early how to make us feel guilty as a way to get what they want. I hear so many children, starting at a young age, speaking in harsh critical tones to their parents. Ginny may simply say "You know I hate peas!" Sam might shout "You never want to let me do anything with my friends!" The judgment might be more deeply critical of your choices, such as, "You made dad leave! You should tell him you're sorry so he'll come back." When we respond to our child or teen or even our adult child's criticism, if guilt has a hold on us, we may "take it," and even apologize, or try to explain ourselves so he or she understands why we behaved in a certain way. If we are over our own edges, we may lash back. What I think we can do instead is to separate tone of judgment from content of what is being said. We can say to Ginny, "If you don't want peas, I still want you to tell me gently." Or, "If you speak to me harshly, then I'm not going to answer. If you speak respectfully, I'll talk to you about this." Then, if that child, teen or adult offspring does talk without harsh judgment, we can, if it is appropriate, offer to discuss situation. In this way, we can not only refuse to cave in to undue criticism, we can model for our children how to (a) talk about what they need and feel without being judgemental, and (b) respond with a blend of firmness and openness even when someone speaks harshly to us or them. Couples: Avoid "Pay-Back" When One of You "Gets Critical" When we are in intimate relationships, we often have a "ledger of offenses" that we have accumulated with each other. And what I do that offends you often prompts reaction in you that offends me. So when you criticize me, your partner, it reminds me of what you do that "makes" me react that way. And so counterattack game begins. "Well, I wouldn't have to react this way if you didn't always . . ." Or, "Look at you criticizing me for having a double standard. Haven't you ever looked in a mirror?!"