DVD Review: Processes and Treatment in Feeling and Body (Primal-Oriented) Psychotherapy by Paul Vereshack, M.D. - Two Hour Lecture - 2002

Review by John A. Speyrer

Paul Vereshack's new DVD of his Spring 2008, Heidelberg, German American Institute, lecture, now sold on his website, consists of a presentation he first made to a primal-oriented group he was having in Australia in 2002. The talk is given to all therapy groups he runs, as he says that his work in front of them demonstates the principles which he will be applying.

Born in England, Dr. Vershack has spent the last 42 years, both as client and as a professional, devoted to the intricacies of primal-oriented regression therapy. His book, Help Me, I'm Feeling Bad also named, The Psychotherapy of the Deepest Self is available on his website for free.

The author says that he used to wade through the knowledge of the "Whys" of mental illness, then decided that studying the brain and neurology, would not suffice, so he shifted his curiosity to "How" neurosis works which turned out to be much more satisfying. The DVD is all about the processes of mental function that makes us who we are, and that show how and why deep feeling oriented therapy works.

In this video disk, Dr. Vereshack talks the two main streams or techniques, in the regressive forms of psychotherapy: directive-oriented and insight-oriented. He devotes the lecture to the insight-oriented stream. Freud, Dr. Vereshack says, was the first to give us the idea of the existence of the unconscious mind. He also gave us a means of accessing that deeper and hidden part of ourselves. Freud believed that, sooner or later, that if one just talks about the issues of one's life, in a non logical, stream of consciousness way, one's unconscious will reveal its presence to the conscious part of ourselves. He called the technique, free association.

Later, psychiatrist Fritz Perls was to expand on Freud's idea by having his clients "become" what they would normally just talk about. This allowed a deeper indentification with, and a combining with, unconscious material. This in turn gave rise to several new techniques, such as "two chair work" and fantasy "dialogue" between the different elements or parts of one's dreams. Psychotherapist, Eugene Gendlin, was to later author, Focusing, which emphasized paying attention to one's bodily sensed shift. By adding the consideration of bodily reaction we have a new a way of knowing that we have, in fact, really combined with our unconscious material.

All these individual predecessors touched on parts of the problem and parts of the techniques for resolving unconscious conflict. It was, however, Arthur Janov, who emphasized that if we "stay inside the feeling," it will draw unconscious material up from the depths, so we can empty it out. This observation was a quantum leap forward in learning about techniques for tapping the secrets of the subconscious. But Janov was and remains secretive about how this is done. Paul talks about his own addition to these techniques called "congruence", which allows an even more effective method of bringing deeply unconscious material to the surface.

The second part of the Vereshack's presentation tackles the problem of how we can learn to listen and reflect clearly, so that we do not contaminate out clients with our own issues or the issues of theorists, which are so often the result of their own pain.

He talks about the use two levels of listening in his work: Level one is conscious reflecting as Carl Rogers explains it, but from a feeling orientation instead. Paul talks of what can be reflected and how we can consciously arrange our responses.

Near the end of this lecture, he talks about how, upon emptying our minds of ideas and theories, and listening from this place of "emptiness" we may arrive at a resonance with our clients which he calls clear listening or resonance therapy. It is as though one's unconscious becomes connected to the other person. This is the highest listening art, he says, and in those moments when it is achieved, everyone watching is deeply affected. This is what he tries to demonstrate in his intensive training groups.

This 2 hour lecture is simple and to the point and the DVD may be ordered through his website at www.paulvereshack.com

Note: The entire lecture is available in ten segments on You Tube and also on Paul Vereshack's web site as one long pieice. Both sources are available at no charge.


Other material of or about Paul Vereshack, M.D. on the Primal Psychotherapy Page includes:

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