Friday, February 20, 2009

“A Sept Forward and Three Back”

“A Sept Forward and Three Back”

By Brian Lynch, M.D.

Why is it that we do not progress in life? Why is it that we might take a step for forward maybe three and fall back? Is it that the world is just overwhelming?

That is an important question. Many times it is just overwhelming. Presently we are in very difficult economic times. Are these any individual’s fault? Not entirely and often not at all. One losses their house and they “did everything right” or everything they could.

But we do come from a family; we do have an inner psychological world that can play tricks on us.

Some years ago a teacher of mine said to me, “you know Brian it is often very difficult for children to do better than their parents.” I understood this to have a great deal to do with shame and humiliation. That it might be understood by all that it would be humiliating to the parent if the son became more than the father. There are many works of art that demonstrate this. The father does everything to sabotage the son’s efforts to leave the farm or not stay on at the family business. “What boy you think you’re better than me?”

Shame can “bind” us to the family. We can actually feel it is wrong or bad to improve ourselves. We see a better world out there but if I leave will I not hurt my parents? Will I not disrupt all the family is? After all it is “the family.” Even those that do leave and are successes oft times will struggle for years with guilt and addiction because of their betrayal. If these thoughts seem insane they might just indeed be the basis of a great deal of what we call “insanity."

We know and see the “the good” and the healthy but we cannot bring ourselves to achieve it for to do so would be to break the bound with our primary caregiver. With that which was the healthiest and loving and giving to begin with. But what happens when we quickly learn “the family” as a whole is not so loving and healthy. There are many types of intelligences and anyone of these can inform us that there is a “better life over the hill” but again “how do I leave this life for that life?” “Who is my guide? Who can possibly be my guide?” Today I would think it is more and more difficult to find those guides as “pop culture” is devoid of “heroes”, for the most part, and the act of “humiliating” others in public is now taught nightly on Television.

Who do we turn to, to be taught to be interested in each other?

So it is quite a bind; I continue terrible brutal family traditions of abuse and unhealthy habits all the time knowing there is a better way. I continue this out of “love.” But this love, although it is genuine and healthy at its core, as these are your primary care givers it is now a love based greatly on guilt. There needs to be a new birth through, yes, interest, interest in self to bring about a rebirth. Today it seems we have to be our own hero, and find like mined souls, like-minded heroes. They do exist. Then we can return to the family and not change them but be their model, their “hero” even though they at first might “hate” us for it.

Brian Lynch

brianlynchmd.com

Copyright 2008

References:

Tomkins, Silvan S.: Affect Imagery Consciousness NY: SPringer Publishing Company, 1963.

Shame and Pride : Affect, Sex, and the Birth of the Self by Donald L. Nathanson Paperback (March 1994)

W.W. Norton & Company; ISBN: 0393311090

How To Get Where You Want To Go Brian Lynch, M.D. 2000 PageFree

"Getting Back to the Good Times"

"Getting Back to the Good Times"



By Brian Lynch, M.D.

I would suspect that most people would not know that most of what is practiced in what is called clinical psychology or psychotherapy has not been proven. That is when doctors and therapist treat patients the methods they use have not been “tested” in any rigorous way. Are you surprised?

Well, this whole business of trying to help people in this way is barely a hundred years old and the idea of having organized systems of doing and paying for research on a large scale is much less than that. Then realize that we are mostly dealing with face-to-face, one-on-one encounters, conversations between two people. How do you compare one conversation with another and decide if one is better than another? It is pretty difficult. But we have made some progress.

I have talked a great deal about two positive emotions joy and interest, mainly interest and about “testing.”

The exciting news is that it seems that there is some “proof” that these ideas are indeed valid. Through a therapy called “Control Mastery Theory” (don’t bother about the strange name) they have been able to do studies through which they conclude that people in therapy are indeed trying their best despite many, many things they might do to demonstrate the opposite. Like do what! Like call the therapist names, leave therapy, and not pay the bill. The conclusion in all of these cases is that the person is “testing” the therapist. They are testing whether or not it is “safe” to move forward in life. Now, I just say we all do these things, these "tests" with everyone in our lives if we are not acting in a healthy way toward them.

We start out in life with a good deal of “interest” and “joy.” These feeling are not attached to much “thinking” or reasoning for a very long time. They are attached to “doing” things. To “play” for example, again enjoyment in the world. But through much of history and much of our own lives there has been much interruption of this “interest” and “joy” that from an early age has taught us that the world can hurt and can “hurt” a lot. Here I can only suggest that what the theory suggests is that we have a deep subconscious master plan to get “back to the good times.” We will charge forward wanting and hoping for love and connection but will then “test” the environment, the desired object” to see if they or the environment is safe. I say often too, it is “just” that what happens is that old memories of the bad times, of the old hurts of pain and abandonment come back. The feelings of fear of more loss, the feelings of shame and distress return and they are too much and we either runway into a pit of self hate and blame and often addiction or we strike back.

That is each human is innately “healthy” due to innate “interest.” That is we are born with the absolute biological need to connect with other people through “interest.” That is this is not the Freudian sex drive. This is “I am interested in you.” This is our healthy state. We can never lose this except in extreme cases ( This is what I call the most damaged of us such as a Sadam Hussien. His mother tried to abort him and he knew this!). So we subconsciously are trying always to recover this primary interest despite the fact that in any given family we might have learned many, many rules that teach us that to connect is not healthy or is dangerous. Again we learn the dysfunctional rules that to connect is not healthy and is dangerous. This causes great internal conflict as these thoughts and feelings are always fighting our biological nature to connect and to be healthy.

Brian Lynch

brianlynchmd.com

Copyright 2008


References:

Tomkins, Silvan S.: Affect Imagery Consciousness NY: SPringer Publishing Company, 1963.

Shame and Pride : Affect, Sex, and the Birth of the Self by Donald L. Nathanson Paperback (March 1994)

W.W. Norton & Company; ISBN: 0393311090

How To Get Where You Want To Go Brian Lynch, M.D. 2000 PageFree