Answers To Feeling Therapy Oriented Questions (December, 1998 - What should I do if that my primal therapy experience seems unreal?

Question:-- What should I do if I feel that my primal therapy experience seems unreal?

(Notwithstanding his M.D. Dr. Vereshack is not a licensed physician)

by Paul Vereshack M.D.

Of all the dangers in primal therapy, this is one of the greatest. It leads to what I call the, "What have you done to me?" syndrome.

This occurs when someone is moving deeper into primal work without the sense that it is real.

If we don't feel the realness of the work, then we may become convinced that it is not us but rather the therapist who is "creating" our experience.

This unplugs us from our responsibility for our journey, and places it outside of ourselves. The client may acknowledge that, yes, they know that they are responsible for being in the therapy, but deeper down, they don't trust that they are generating their own journey.

This is the place from which clients can "blame" the therapist for their pain in therapy and put the cause, "out there", instead of "inside" onesself.

This is also the place where disaster can occur.

WARNING: Do not proceed further without very careful attention to this problem. This kind of feeling in the client is one of the most important warnings in all in therapy.

This feeling that everything is unreal must be felt.

The difficulty of doing this lies in the fact that if everything feels unreal, then this feeling itself may also feel unreal. Thus processing it, may become very difficult.

These feelings should warn the therapist to slow right down in the therapy process, and spend all the time necessary, both with the feeling, and with the therapeutic relationship.

The therapist must also be sure that he is not rushing the client, or suggesting causes to the client, because this can increase the sense of being ungrounded.

The therapist and client must examine all aspects of this "unrealness" in order to find an island of solid ground upon which to stand and continue their work. For example, the therapist might say, "Does anything at all feel real to you? If so, can we start with that." Feeling what is real may be the next step. If nothing has ever felt real to the client then it isn't the "fault" of the therapy, it is a life feeling, which may be focused on with the usual primal techniques. Do not proceed anywhere else unless it is very clear that these things are understood at a gut level.

Paul Vereshack M. D.

Dr Vereshack is the author of an online book entitled Help Me -- I'm Tired of Feeling Bad

Other pages on this website about Dr. Vereshack's writings include:

Book Review of Help Me -- I'm Tired of Feeling Bad
The Primal Page's Favorite Quotations from Help Me -- I'm Tired of Feeling Bad
The Primal Psychotherapy Page Interviews Paul Vereshack, M.D.

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