Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Traumopbobia? An understanding of the limitations of the status quo of institutionalised healing.

Gabor Mate, interviewed on the matter of a behavioural analysis of Trump, Clinton and the symptoms of adverse behaviour patterning they present.

At issue is one one hand the madness of individual leaders, on the other hand a question about the kind of society in which such behaviour is not only permitted, it is promoted.

It's understandable that we tend to not want to look at hurtful experiences, or their outcomes, when they are so great as to be heart breaking, unspeakable.

And yet, in a safe place, one can see through that reluctance, and integrate, and move on more or less unencumbered by unconscious behavioural issues, and thrive fully alive again. That safe place is honesty, empathy, compassion, care, understanding.... and detailed knowledge of what is happening within any traumatised person, so that one can hear and trust..

Gabior mate says this:

" In most medical schools, although this is changing somewhat, although rather slowly, but encouragingly, most students never hear a single lecture on trauma.

For example, a few days ago, I met a young woman who was an emergency room physician in Detroit, and she had graduated from medical school in Michigan. Although I knew the answer, I asked her how many lectures she had received in medical school about emotional trauma. Not only had she not received a single lecture, but she also said emotional trauma wasn’t even mentioned once in any of the classes that she took. This absence is astounding when you consider the fact that trauma is the basis of most mental illness and most addiction. Also, and this should be obvious, there are all kinds of secondary physical consequences as well.

We just endure it and parent within it as best we can.

What is known, well established and proven scientifically, clinically and in practice on how trauma afflicts individuals and communities is a vast evidence base. The information is not that recent either.. rather the understandings have been deepened by solid reseaerch, energetic questioning of previous assumptions made possible by ever finer observation technologies, where we can see endocrine molecular biology in action, in real time.

The fundamentals have been known for at least 50 years.

And these learnings are not being integrated into the mainstream health or education systems with the same energy as the drive to privatise those same public utilities.Often what happens is a flagship example of some new understanding is workshopped, then is trialled and is bureaucratised and institutionalised, and it's original intent vanishes in material terms.


This is madness, and permitting it's continuation is also madness.

David Smail places this in the material world of lived and embodied experience.

He writes :

Hardly any of the 'symptoms' of psychological distress may correctly be seen as medical matters. The so-called psychiatric 'disorders' are nothing to do with faulty biology, nor indeed are they the outcome of individual moral weakness or other personal failing. They are the creation of the social world in which we live, and that world is structured by power.

    Social power may be defined as the means of obtaining security or advantage, and it will be exercised within any given society in a variety of forms: coercive (force), economic (money power) and ideological (the control of meaning). Power is the dynamic which keeps the social world in motion. It may be used for good or for ill.

    One cannot hope to understand the phenomena of psychological distress, nor begin to think what can be done about them, without an analysis of how power is distributed and exercised within society. Such an understanding is the focus of this web-site.
There are three principal strands to the site: literature and links in a) psychology and psychiatry and b) more general socio-economic analysis and reference to Smail's own work - well worth a reading....

What he is talking about is the callousness of power.

It represents an utter indiference to human suffering wherever it threatens their power, at the institutional level. This is a criminal omission.

It is a policy that is throwing accountability into the wind.

It IS a policy to NOT integrate this learning, this evidence base.

Look at the dehumanised slanging matches that parade themselves as political and civil discourse!

The bullying persists.

What does that tell us about the social dynamics of power.?

What David Smail, Gabor Mate and many, many others are saying is 'enough, already!'

The UN case on the UK's abuse of the Human Rights of so many vulnerable people with needs speaks to the truth of my observation. Much else does too.

Here is Gabior Mate's article in full. Well worth a reading.

In this article Gabor Mate joins the dots on the issue of leaders, unresolved trauma, coping with chrionic stress and our own political choices, and reveals, with some compassion the variance between opinion and evidence.

The mainstream opinion is that addiction is about the individual, whereas the evidence suggests it is about the individual in that given setting, within that given society, where power is mediated through a hierarchy, a hierarchy that reserves the right to organised violence and oppresses large groups of people. Our society is the problem, addiction is a symptom. That is what traumaphobia enables.

The pretence that the addict is the problem.

We see patterns in any population. Look at any behaviour, any action and patterns will emerge as an aggregate.

Yet the individual is not the pattern, and the response to the individual has to be precisely tailored to that persons lived experience, that persons needs and dignity, and all that goes with it.

When policy is pattern based, and it does not care to take that essential detail into acount, only harm can flow. Obviously.

Schools teaching History ought to be teaching how trauma from mass war effects behaviour, and ought to be told the story from all sides, especially those who suffered, rather than those who led the charge to war. A simple exercise in the truth, and so much misinformation, mistrust and caricaturing of  'others' would would be avoided, and indeed prevented.

Kindest regards


"Do what you love, it's Your Gift to Universe"

Thank you for reading this blog. All we need to do is be really honest, responsive to the evidence we find,and ready to reassess when new evidence emerges. The rest is easy.

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