Frank Lake's Maternal-Fetal Distress Syndrome:
- An Analysis -

By Stephen M. Maret, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology
Caldwell University



Within the evolution of the overall theoretical process that Lake was thinking through there were two specific research phases that gave him the "evidence" to conclude that the first trimester was determinative for later functioning: the LSD research (1954-1969/70) and the primal integration workshops (1975-1982).

1. LSD Research

In a speech given at Lingdale in September of 1976, Lake described his initial introduction to LSD research. "My chief sent me down to work with Sandison at Powick in 1954 because we were making no headway with alcoholics at all and he'd heard that LSD helped alcoholics to come to some awareness of what it was that made them go on drinking. So I went down . . . (and on return, I was given full time for two years, no other jobs [but] to pick out patients, [give them LSD,] and sit with them for four hours, six hours, as long as was necessary."55

He quickly discovered that when used in the presence of a trustworthy therapist, LSD-25 seemed to serve effectively to de-repress the "forgotten" memories of the patient. As he began to take note of "whatever the patients said as the thick crust of repression crumbled under the impact of the drug and the contents of the unconscious mind emerged into consciousness,"56 he noted several striking commonalties among what seemed to be a reexperiencing of repressed infantile memories.

First of all, "the situation of the baby at the breast, for better or worse" and "the loss of the countenance of the mother, as a significant source of primal anxiety, occurred with painful frequency."57 Secondly, he wrote:

I was not prepared for the frequent abreaction of birth trauma. I was assured by neurologists that the nervous system of the baby was such that it was out of the question that any memory to do with birth could be reliably recorded as fact. I relayed my incredulity to my patients, and, as always happens in such cases, they tended thereafter to suppress what I was evidently unprepared, for so-called scientific reasons, to believe.

But then a number of cases emerged in which the reliving of specific birth injuries, of forceps delivery, of the cord round the neck, of the stretched brachial plexus, and various other dramatic episodes were so vivid, so unmistakable in their origin, and afterwards confirmed by the mother or other reliable informants, that my suspicion was shaken.58


55Lake, "Perinatal Events and Origins of Religious Symbols, Of Symptoms and Character Problems: The Possibility of Reliving Birth and its Effects," 2-3.

56Lake, ClinicaI Theology, xix.

57ibid., xx.

58ibid., xix.


A third commonality from the LSD-assisted abreactions of birth and early infancy was the occupance of discontinuous reactions to severe stress. With regard to both birth and events in the first year there seemed to be a normal reaction to mounting stress, but then suddenly, "dramatically and dreadfully, the struggle to live, reaching a certain margin of tolerable pain, seemed to switch, automatically, into a struggle to die, of equal intensity with the previous struggle to live."59 Lake found that Ivan Pavlov had observed this same paradoxical phenomena in dogs. This "transmarginal stress"60 seemed to produce autistic, withdrawn, and classically schizoid children and adults. It was in this discovery that Lake saw the root of schizophrenia and the schizoid personality disorder as occurring in the first 6 months of post-natal life.61

Related to this observation was a fourth, that the reaction to early emotional stress tended to set up a pattern of similar reacting that is life-long. Persons who early on reacted "hysterically" tended to react hysterically as adults. Persons who adopted the typical "depressive" defense patterns early on, tended to utilize them as adults.

These observations served as "evidence" to spur Lake on to what would eventually result in the M-FDS. Towards the end of his research with LSD in 1969, Lake did a follow-up study on 68 patients, 57 of whom responded. Half of these persons claimed to have experienced events of early childhood or birth as if they were reliving them.62 Of the 57, 37 reported that they remembered experiencing being born and 21 that they had relived some aspect of intra-uterine life.63

59ibid., xxi. An interesting parallel is drawn by Lake between this description by Lake and Freud's formulations of "eros" and "thanatos," the former being the instinct that embraces life and the latter the drive that embraces, at least initially, self-aggression and death. (ibid., 788-794).

60Ivan P. Pavlov, Conditioned Reflexes An Investigation of the Physiological Activity of the cerebral Cortex, ed. and trans. G.V. Anrep (New York: Dover Publications, 1960); Ivan P. Pavlov, Experimental Biology and Other Essays (New York: Philosophical Library, 1957; Ivan P. Pavlov, Lectures on Conditioned Reflexes trans. W. Horsley Gantt (New York: International Publishers, 1928).

61Lakes 372-page "chapter" on the Schizoid personality in Clinical Theology (pp.553-923).

62Roger Moss, "Frank Lake's Maternal-Fetal Distress Syndrome and Primal Integration Workshops," 3; Roger Moss, "Frank Lake's Maternal-Fetal Distress Syndrome: Clinical and Theoretical Considerations," 53- 54.

63Lake, "Treating Psychosomatic Disorders Relating to Birth Trauma," 231. This survey was sent out in 1988 to a total of 88 former patients. Fifty-seven responded. Each patient averaged 6.2 four-hour sessions of LSD-assisted abreaction. The survey was vetted previous to being sent out by Dr. Donald Ball and Professor Kenneth Rawnsley.


In Tight Corners in Pastoral Counselling, Lake reports that there was a period of overlap between the residential workshops and the LSD phases of his research. He writes that "only at the very end of the period in which I was using LSD 25 in the therapy of neuroses and personality disorders, that is, at the end of the sixties, did I invite those who wanted to work at primal depth, using LSD, to come to residential conferences with spouse and friends. I soon found how greatly this group work helped the process, and wished that I had realized that earlier." He continued, "At the same time the value of Reichian and bio-energetic techniques broke upon us, and we discovered that deeper breathing alone was a sufficient catalyst for primal recapitulation and assimilation. Nothing more 'chemical' than that was necessary, so we stopped using LSD."64

2. The Lingdale Workshops

With the discovery of the importance of a facilitative group for primal work noted above, the second phase of Lake's research began. These "primal" groups evolved out of the seminar structure that had begun even previous to the constitution of the CTA. It was in 1958 that Lake began running "clinical theology" seminars. Each seminar65 lasted for 3 hours and met 12 times, approximately once every three weeks for one year. They gradually evolved into the residential workshops that were inaugurated at Lingdale in 1975.

They were initially three days in length, later expanding to as long as 6 days in duration, and were offered on various themes and topics. As these conferences developed and evolved, and as the theory underpinning the M-FDS was beginning to coalesce, Lake introduced an integrative seminar called "Primal Therapy in Christian pastoral care."66 Towards the conclusion of 1978, these seminars evolved to the point that some were centered upon personal growth, some explored prayer and healing, and still others focused on primal therapy. Lake brought all three of these

64Lake, Tight Corners in Pastoral Counselling, 7.

65By the time the Clinical Theology Association was established in 1962, seminars were being held in over fifty centers through the United Kingdom. Following the establishment of the CTA, a total of ninety seminars were being held, fifty of these continuing from the previous years and forty being launched anew. A year later, over one hundred seminars were running in 37 dioceses. (Peters, Frank Lake, 11).

66Moss, "In the Beginning," Introduction:3.


elements together into a workshop titled "Personal Growth and Primal Integration in the Small Group."67 It was in these seminars, along with the primal integration workshops that followed them, that much of the "evidence" for the M-FDS emerged.

3. Primal Integration Workshops

The Lingdale workshops were conducted at a residential facility immediately adjacent to Lingdale, the headquarters of the CTA during this period. Located near the center of Nottingham not far from one of its toughest areas, With its surrounding gardens and enclosure by a fairly high stone wall coupled with its location on a quite cul-de-sac, Lingdale provided an ideal place for a residential retreat-like seminar. The house68 was quite large, able to accommodate between 14 and 18 persons, with sufficient space to allow for several "primals" to be occurring simultaneously. During the period between 1979 and 1982, over 500 persons attended these seminars at Lingdale69 some lasting as long as 7 days.70

The seminars, whether at Lingdale or elsewhere, usually began71 with some brief introductions and the presentation of an itinerary of the days to follow. During the first two days of the seminar, the focus centered on getting the participants emotionally comfortable both with each other and the facilitators. A certain degree of comfort was


68Roger Moss describes the house at "Number thirty-four" this way: "It was somewhat more sumptuous [than Lingdale] in its decor. Its previous owners were Middle Eastern. They had left behind them luxurious carpets, and the wallcoverings were heavy and warm. It was not difficult to imagine the scent of a curry drifting nonchalantly around the banisters." (ibid., 3:4).

69This number includes only those who participated at Lingdale in Nottingham. Lake reports that during the same period, 1200 people went through the workshops (Lake, "Research into the Pre-natal Aetiology of Mental Illness, Personality, and Psychosomatic Disorders," 8), thus indicating that approximately 700 attended these workshops elsewhere. Indeed, Lake states that during this time he lead "pre-natal integration sessions" in Brazil, Australia, India and Finland (Lake, "Research into the Pre-natal Aetiology of Mental Illness, Personality, and Psychosomatic Disorders," 11; Frank Lake, "Reflections on the work in Australia and India," Nottingham: Clinical Theology Association, Lingdale, Lingdale Archive #117]).

70Moss, "In the Beginning," 3:1.

71Moss reports that of those who participated at the Lingdale workshops, all received some limited information about what was to occur while approximately 2/3 had done some previous relevant reading. He reports that in his later survey, 26.7% reported that the preparation was inadequate. (ibid., 3:4).


required in order to feel a "sense of safety"72 and was facilitated by a supportive sharing process whereby each person spoke "of the aspects of their own personality functioning on which they hoped to work."73 This process, not unlike conventional group therapy, included probing not only into their current emotional functioning, but also into the history of their lives. Especially noted and emphasized would be any information and memories associated with the circumstances of their conception, prenatal period and birth.74

A second component of the first few days of the seminar was some teaching with regard to the biological and physiological facts of embryology. In order to understand better the prenatal environment at each successive stage, a workshop facilitator75 would give a 2-hour lecture, usually accompanied by slides and other illustrations of embryonic and fetal life, although not always.76 While this lecture was primarily designed as presentation of the basic scientific facts of embryology, very often either the lecturer or a participant would begin to "resonate with aspects of the story that were particularly applicable to them"77 and communicate this with the other participants. Following this review of embryology and building upon it, the facilitators, often very informally and as a function of other activities, then began to communicate the various principles and practice of primal integration.

After several days of preparation, very often several of the participants would begin with the "work" of primal integration. At Lingdale this was done in a room large

72"On this depended the sense of safety which would prove vital for the journey into the unknown. Nothing contributes more to making people feel safe than disarming: taking down the defenses, laying aside weapons of attack, and exposing the most vulnerable areas." (ibid.)

73Lake, "Research into the Pre-natal Aetiology of Mental Illness, Personality, and Psychosomatic Disorders," 7.

74For instance, Moss writes that some of the questions might relate to "Were they consciously aware of the mother's situation before the birth, and her likely reaction to the pregnancy? Where was the father then, and how were he and mother relating to each other?" (Moss, "In the Beginning," 3:5).

75Usually Lake or Miss Jill Holcroft, "a senior biology teacher." (Lake, "Mutual Caring," 85).

76Lake wrote: "However, it must be said that on workshops when this illustrated talk has not been available, there seems to have been no difficulty in staying with the week or month specified, and no loss of vividness of the subjects recall of their experiences when in, or passing through each phase." (Lake, "Mutual Caring," 85).

77Moss, "In the Beginning," 3:6.


enough for four persons to be "working" at a time,78 each with three or four persons immediately around them. The room was usually carpeted and comfortable with dim lighting.79 Lake described the situation:

Each subject working has, squatting on mats round them, a facilitator from our experienced house team, a workshop member (whose turn would come later) who had volunteered to write down all their utterances as an accurate record, and a third member tending a tape-recorder.80
Each "session" lasted from 2 to 3 hours and would be followed up by a feedback- session with the larger group.

The "session" would begin with the "subject" relaxed in a supine position on the floor being guided in a "conception-to-womb talkdown". The facilitator, usually Lake, would simultaneously speak to all four "primalers". This address would begin with a simple relaxation routine, sometimes by way of guided fantasy81 but always with the use of deep-breathing.82 The facilitator would then remind the participants of the facts of early life. Lake states that he would rehearse, "in a neutral, emotionally unbiased

78ibid., 3:7.

79Moss describes the scene in more detail: "The most appropriate setting is a carpeted room with no furniture in it, and with no projections from the walls. Rubber mattresses increase the comfort when lying on the floor for two or three hours. Cushions or pillows can be at hand. Tissues, and bowls in case a subject retches, are available. The subjects would be clad in loose clothing of a type suitable for squirming around on the floor." (ibid.)

80Lake, "Mutual Caring," 65.

81Moss writes: "For example, Frank Lake would evoke a series of images of the deep sea bed - rocks, shapes, moving creatures and so on. By thus removing his subjects from their everyday experience, they would often make links with breathing more deeply than normal." (Moss, "In the Beginning," 3:7-8).

82In a transcript of just such a "Conception-to-womb-talkdown" by Lake at Lingdale dated 10/2/80, Lake states "Let's begin by breathing deeply - all of us, and just being aware of the strength and the beauty and the fittingness of the all around us. (pause) This air so meets the need of every cell in the body, every blood corpuscle. Everything is enriched by it, and our power to discriminate is enriched by it. (pause) And let us breathe in, too, that Holy Spirit, that Holy Breath which enables us to discriminate, to know who we are; to know from which part of us we are speaking . . . (pause) that Spirit who divides flesh and body, mind and spirit, so that we know where things come from. . . . And so, with this deep breathing, and this deep breathing in of all the resources of loving persons whom we have ever known, and the group round us now. . . . ah. . . . breathe into your strength, ask, and let the tiredness come out; let the weakness come out. Give voice to all that is within that often doesn't have a chance to be expressed. Ah." (Frank Lake, "Conception-to-Womb Talkdown," Nottingham: Clinical Theology Association, Lingdale, October 2, 1980] 1).


voice,83 the undisputed facts of human development, the anatomy and physiology of the meeting of the sperm with the ovum recently released from the ovary whose lifetime it has shared, to conception and cell division to the morula and its hollowing out to form the blastocyst."84 As this occurred, very often the participant would curl up in the fetal position and become totally oblivious to the other participants, "genuinely creating 'a womb' out of the small group and experience within it an authentic transcript of intra-uterine experience."85

In addition to the reiteration of the "anatomico-physiological facts" the "talkdown" included repeated promptings to recall certain forgotten or ignored data related to the participants' mother and father and the entire environment in which conception and early pre-natal life occurred. Along with this recall, the participants were also encouraged to give voice to the emotional memories.

The "talkdown" would proceed in a chronological manner, beginning with an identification with the ovum AS part of the mother86 and the sperm AS part of the father.87 This was followed by a recapitulation of the emotions and sensations of

83Lake relates this in the following manner: "I rehearse, in a neutral, 'dead-pan' voice the well-known anatomico-physlological facts from conception, through implantation to the establishment of the umbilical circulation." (Lake, Tight Corners in Pastoral Counselling, 27).

84Lake, "Research into the Pre-natal Aetiology of Mental Illness, Personality, and Psychosomatic Disorders," 9.

85Lake, Tight Corners in Pastoral Counselling, 27.

86And breathing deeply, get an image of your mother, so much younger than when you last saw her: your mother as she is (pause) What is it to be her? Go back in her life, because in her womb, in the tubes leading into the womb, already there is an egg there, and that egg has come from her ovaries, and they been part of her ever since before she was born, so that cell has, as it were, been part of her life with its ups and downs: her love of life and her fear of it: her trusting and her mistrusting .

Just be, if you can, be your mother. what's it like to be her? Are you very happy on this night with this man who's alongside you. Is he bringing you great joy in your life? Is he strong? . . . Is he going to bring you the gift of joy, of rich power to give love? Breathe deeply, and as you breathe out, be your mother expressing what you feel are her joys and sorrows at this moment." (Lake, "Conception-to-Womb Talkdown," 1-2).

87"Become aware of your father as he is on this night in which you will be conceived. just think of him in his strength and in his weakness; in his loving and in his selfishness. What is it like to be him? What's in your mind and heart now as father, as you come towards this woman, your wife (or whoever she is), this woman you love? (ibid., 2).


sexual intercourse88 and then conception,89 followed in turn by the zygotic90 and blastocystic91 stages and then implantation.92 Lake wrote that he would seek to lead participants to "tune in" on the emotional state of the mother and father. He would ask them:

Reflect on their mother's feelings as she joins the father on the night of the conception. How does she feel about herself? How does she feel about having her first child or adding to the family, or trying again after one or more miscarriages or fatal birth accidents? How does she feel about the man- probably her husband alongside her? Is she full of joyful anticipation at being aroused by him, open to him and being entered by him?93


88Is there a deep willingness in both, or some reluctance on one side? And so this act of' intercourse begins between them. do you sense tenderness here? What is being given by each to the other? And so, in the activity and the vigour of this coming together sexually, there come together this stream of sperm that find their way up, through the cervix into the womb. Become the most active of these, the one that gets there first. What is it like to be the bearer of your father's contribution to you? (pause) Do you feel vigour and strength and eagerness in this sperm? Does it bring great gifts to the making of you? (ibid).

89"And so there's this great surrounding movement, and gradually some coverings come off the ovum, and this eager sperm finds its way though and comes to be inside the great mass of the ovum. . . . How does it feel to be the sperm in this great mass of ovum tissue? Become an ovum. How do you feel about being invaded by this element?" (ibid.)

90"And now there is a new nucleus, a new beginning, a new recipe for you. How do you feel about this first cell? from which the whole of you, division upon division has come to be? Here you are now, no longer just an ovum, but the zygote . . . lying there on the carpets of the Fallopian tube, and gradually being wafted up towards the womb. And as it travels slowly, dividing into two, inexorably now, the process of growth is taking place. Whatever the memories that come, whatever their wishes, these will go on multiplying and multiplying." (ibid., 2-3).

91"After four or five days, this berry mass begins to have a sort of hole in the centre, and develops into a perfect sphere. Breathe deeply and identify with what it's like to be this perfect sphere. . . . become what you have once been: a perfect sphere, floating free, touched from time to time by the cilia, wafted along until you come out through the opening into the womb. Here you are, as it were, in space, with no right not left (certainly no right and wrong), no male or female- just a perfect sphere, with these three layers of cells inside, out of which everything will grow: this little sunrise of cells. Here you are, then, floating free with no attachments now to mother, but just surrounded. what do you want to say or express of what it's like to be this sphere. What's the colour? Is it dull or radiant? What is it like? What is its sense of identity here?" (ibid., 3).

Lake later modified his understanding that the blastocystic phase was always experienced positively. He wrote: "We have now a significant number of cases in which the moment of conception itself Is registered with horror and recoil, as a total disaster - the beginning and origin of a negative evaluation of the life process and self-identity that has persisted through the blastocystic stage and through it to implantation and beyond." (Lake, "The Internal Consistency of the Theory of a Maternal-Foetal Distress Syndrome," 3).

92Suddenly you get a sense of urgency: "I can't stay here. Must get inside. this must come to a kind of sticky end. I must stick to the wall and find my way in. . . . Get this sense now, then, of attaching to the wall, and from the outside of you there grows these little processes, digging into the wall of the womb. does it seem to be something you're glad about, this moving into the wall of the womb?

And so you press your way through. Does it seem easy, and are you well-equipped to get in? Do you have any difficulty?" (Lake, "Conception-to-Womb Talkdown," 3).

93Lake, "Mutual Caring," 67.


The "talkdown" would temporarily conclude at the sixth week,94 with the crucial suggested awareness of the umbilical flow returning from the mother. Lake, in a transcript of a talkdown from a workshop at Lingdale dated 10/2/80, concluded with these words:

And breathe up deeply into your strength, and make any kind of neutral noise as you breathe out. Ah. But reach down into contact with any feelings in the belly. What is it that comes in from mother? because she's in contact with all that world outside, the world of men and women, and all that goes on. (pause) So breathe deeply, and explore what it is that comes through from mother into you, and give a voice to it as you breathe out. A-ah. Take your time, and just be aware in your own space of what it was like for you to be in the womb. . . . Breathe strongly and give yourself plenty of air to get into contact with this child as the end of the cord.96

Following this phase of discourse by the facilitator, the participants were left to work through the remainder of the third trimester without the aid of a verbalized facilitation.96 At this point in the seminar, contingent upon the prenatal experience of each participant, the reactions would vary significantly. Lake wrote:

94"And so there's growing going on, growing fast - everything growing. And round the outside there's the blood and fluid of the mother's womb, on which, already, you're beginning to feed.
And so we move up to about the fourth or fifth week' By this time your head is very large: Little "gills" down the side, and then these little flippers of arms and legs, and this great big fathering of blood vessels (the heart is beating now), and coming in the navel this great big umbilical vein. And coming out from the upper end of the legs, these umbilical arteries going back again, and meeting there in the wall of the womb, like the roots of a great tree; the placenta - this rosette from which all comes and to which all returns. so now, let's get in touch with what it feels like to be at the end of the umbilical cord, receiving mother's life, the food she sends in for the building of the body. And be aware of what It's like to be conscious, to be becoming aware, inside her. So will the facilitator." [at this point the facilitator places three fingers over the navel of the participant]. (Lake, "Conception-to-Womb Talkdown," 3-4).

95ibid., 4.

96Roger Moss reports that the participants were left to work through the remainder of the pregnancy and the birth. He writes: "Now each subject is left to work at his or her own pace, through three trimesters of pregnancy, through the stages of birth, until breathing and bonding with the mother has taken place." (Moss, "In the Beginning," 3:8).


Each became so totally different,97 and were discovering their own pace and intrinsic direction of retrieval and re-living. I, as conductor, would 'go off the air', leaving them to explore, for the next couple of hours, the unique features of their own record of the first trimester98
Following this period, Lake writes that "at a point usually clear to the long experience of the facilitator"99 he would then begin to rehearse the remainder of the fetal experience, moving through the months of the middle and finally third trimesters, to finally conclude at birth.100 Depending upon the retrieved memories of birth, the session often ended at this point, was prolonged, or needed to be taken up at a second session.101 Lake continues that "at all points in the journey, from conception to bonding, the subject is in adult contact with their facilitator and small group. They will go out to the toilet and return, immediately in contact again with the foetal world at the point where they left it."102

97Roger Moss writes: "The responses from each subject are quite different from one another, astonishingly and beautifully unique. Frank Lake argued that it was extremely difficult to believe that suggestion by the leader was the main factor. If that were the case, there would be far more uniformity. One person finds the experience deeply satisfying, and expresses primitive joy. Another is not so satisfied, and gives voice to a sense of longing for what should have been, yet did not happen. A third subject feels anger, and thumps and storms as it overwhelms him. And another one is terrified and shivering, then crying inconsolably.
And so the different stages of pregnancy are re-lived. Conception and implantation are not infrequently crisis times. So is the end of the first trimester. when for not a few the mother entertained the possibility of finishing the pregnancy, and even made an attempt to procure an abortion. The sense of rejection that this realization evokes can be horrific. The, as the pregnancy proceeds, its individual accidents, illnesses and traumas are transmitted to the unborn child. for many, there is relief, sometimes quite unexpected, in the form of ecstasy and pleasure, as the mother exults in her baby, her marriage, and the wonder of her body, her sexuality and motherhood." (ibid., 3:8-9).

98Lake, "Mutual Caring," 65.


100Moss writes: "As labour approaches. there is. if anything, a surge of even greater realism. Typically, the head is engaged in the pelvis; it begins to feel pressure as the powerful muscles of the womb contract against the as yet closed door of the cervix - the so-called 'no-exit' phase. Then follows the struggle to get out; and at last it is possible to take a breath and to relax. When there are complications, these may well be faithfully re-enacted. The significant first moments of contact with the mother are experienced again, though for some this event is tinged with bitter disappointment. (Moss, "In the Beginning," 3:9).

101 Lake writes: "If the birth had been prolonged and difficult, there probably would not be sufficient energy on this occasion to go deeply into it. If comparatively easy, it would be relived and the sensations and emotions on arrival, and the cutting of the cord, experienced and 'given a voice'. On each occasion we plan to stay with the subject until bonding with the mother has taken place. If this was badly delayed and became a dread-filled, trust-shattering experience, the session could be extended by an hour or more to permit its exploration. Or it could form the focus of a second session." (Lake, "Mutual Caring," 66).



At the conclusion of the session, following a brief break, a feedback session would ensue in which a greater exploration of what happened would be encouraged. Assisted by the written and recorded records of each "primal", the participant evaluated the experience in light of their present life. What insights have been made? Lake writes that a typical question put forth might be "How far do they recognize, in the foetal states now fully and clearly relived, the source of life-long attitudes and decisions, fixed perception and rooted character stance and posture?103

If a second session was needed, the participant would again return in order to finish out the chronological process of the prenatal or antenatal experience, or, return to that area or period that needed more "work." The entire seminar would conclude with some preparation for "re-entry", often utilizing psychodrama and focusing on how the insights of their experience related to the "here-and-now." For some of the participants, follow-up weekends at Lingdale with an emphasis toward an ongoing mutual care for each other were attended. Roger Moss reports that due to distance, expense or other commitments, these very often were problematic.

The recorded tapes and written transcripts of the sessions provided much of the evidence104 for Lake's formulations of the M-FDS. In addition, Roger Moss, a co­researcher of Lake's during this period, completed a follow-up postal survey105 of those who had attended the residential workshops at Lingdale between October 1979 and April 1982. The survey, consisting of 52 main sections covering 11 sides of paper, was sent out to 500106 of the total of 516.107 A return rate of 56.2% (N=281) was achieved and these were analyzed in light of the data and evidence already at hand.108

Moss' survey of the Lingdale Workshops, which will be dealt with in chapter five, certainly is consistent with Lake's formulations of the M-FDS as well as the research that Lake himself had access to, namely the written and audio records of the hundreds of "primals" during this period. Based on this evidence, Lake formulated a theory with specific elements.


103ibid., 88-69. He continues: "Do they feel these have been sufficiently identified, explored and relived, in the context In which they were inevitable, indeed the only reasonable responses to a hostile and invasive environrnent,as to be able to leave them where they belong and to live free of them? 'Will it be possible to 'withdraw the projections', no longer needing to see adult situations through foetal eyes? Or is there more to be recovered and relived before that is possible? What important areas were passed over? Was the subject and the group aware of points of pain which had been, because of their intensity, not fully entered on the first occasion? What could be done to enable a deeper and fuller acceptance and integration?" (ibid., 69).

104Lake presents several extended verbatim LSD abreactions related to the schizoid reaction in Clinical Theology, 830-692.

105The defined alms of Moss in this survey were as follows:

"1. To assess the value of the workshops to the participants in terms of their personal growth and well-being.
2. To obtain some information about the unwanted and damaging effects of the workshops on the participant's mental health and way of life.
3. To draw conclusions about helpful and unhelpful ingredients of the workshop package with a view to learning lessons for the future work of this type.
4. To elicit additional information to enhance the value of the material already held [ie. scripts and interview data].
5. To assess the speed of therapeutic change, the amount of subsequent work necessary, and the need for counselling, facilitatory or psychotherapeutic support required after the workshops." (Moss, "In the Beginning," 3:14).

106This number is reported as 501 in Roger Moss, "Primal Integration, A First Report from the Workshops," CTA Occasional Paper #1, (Oxford: Clinical Theology Association, St. Mary's House, May 1983), 7 and as 500 in Moss, "In the Beginning," 3:15.

107"Again, Moss reports this as 517 in "Primal Integration, A First Report from the Workshops," CTA Occasional Paper #1: 7 and as 516 in "In the Beginning," 3:15.

108"The symptomology reported included a total of 969 "problems" listed. "Of those mentioning a part of the body the most frequent were: the abdomen (29), the head (25), the limbs (20 and the back (14). Specific psychological complaints grouped as follows: the commonest was depression (113), followed by withdrawal (87), tension (82). anger and rage (82), anxiety (75), fears and phobias (38), panic feelings (33), and hypersensitivity (27). Other groupings of comparable size were problems relating to exhaustion (29), appetite (24), sex (22). and workaholism (18). . . . As far as the more serious forms of psychiatric disorder were concerned, only one actually mentioned psychosis, one other referred to hallucinations, four to suicidal ideas, but 17 stated that they experienced paranoid ideas." (Moss, "In the Beginning," 6:3).

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