My questions are these:
After all, where does the regression process end?
To be honest with an incoming client, I need to be able to speak to her about what she can or cannot expect.
My response would be pragmatic. I would tell her that she may need to re-experience the crucial events that have harmed her and have not been integrated into the stream of her mental and physical life. I would say that when she does clear out the majority of these unworked through issues, the load of tension in her central nervous system will be sufficiently decreased, so that she will feel reasonably well, and able to carry on. I would also emphasize that she will need to do primal work from time to time all her life to clear out newly triggered material.
Am I just avoiding giving a potential client the awful knowledge that there is no end to therapy, or that their current problems may take them back to the dawn of time?
How can I be reasonable here, without being simplistic?
Can I offer some sense that, repairing a person's life, does not mean that they must embark upon a journey with no end in sight? A journey which will not end until they die.
The human personality, constantly tries to re-form itself, to re-assemble its defensive beliefs, so that it and the organism can continue the basic functions which maintain life.
In a complex society these functions are often highly symbolized and far from the most basic necessities: the big home, the "good" schools, the climb up the ladder of success.
Can these things be maintained? Do we all have to become simple living "gurus" to complete the journey of self-help?
What on earth can I tell an incoming client who simply wants to feel better in his or her life?
Paul Vereshack M.D.
(Doug lives in Arkansas, U.S.A. and is presently in Radix Therapy)
In the words of Sheldon Kopp in, If You Meet Buddha on the Road, Kill Him, you are one of the pilgrims on the road. The best you can do is tell your story and listen to the tales of others. If you're uncomfortable with springing the "lifetime primal trap" on unsuspecting, unwary customers, tell 'em. (Which I believe you have in your book.) All the while during the telling of your tale, and listening to theirs, there are many, many moments of uncertainty and doubt about where the process goes, which are the "best" ways to characterize the journey, and concerns about what has gone berfore and what will come in the future.
Can you really know enough now about what will happen in the future of anyone so that you are adequately preparing them? or yourself?
I have a question for you that I thought you answered in your book as well as in an earlier article. If "All knowledge above the abyss is about avoidance" then the personality structure built up as a survival posture should thoroughly disintegrate under the primal microscope, and what's left is the open Zen No-mind, seeing and responding to the world as it is. I see no survival based personality structure hanging around to need reassurance that primals won't continue on indefinitely or bring one to unimaginable places. Can you clarify this topic further?
The problems you have, did start at one point in your lifetime. I understand our life-time as from our conception until today. If you wish to include your previous lives, or go back to the dawn of the universe, fine, but I would insist in my sessions, to do first the simple homework of starting with the present problems in the present body and mind and soul.
How long will it take?
It depends on your age, how close you are to your feelings and your intention and determination to get there.
It will be an ongoing process. The distance between 'sessions' will increase more an more, when you have done your main 'homework'. Most of our clients experience at one point a distinctive shift in their outlook on life, where there is no looking back anymore. I, by now, need to work on some new trigger once or twice a year. All the other time I am fully living and enjoying life.
End point of therapy?
When we have become humble enough to accept the historical and biological truth of our life, we will be open to work on it, when it is necessary. There is no quick fix, but our Satori Knowing can grow with each new experience.
Is the end point of therapy always the re-experiencing of the birth process?
We have experienced how true the word of our friend and mentor Graham Farrant is: "We are born, as we are conceived and we will be dying as we are born, unless we have therapy in between." That means for us: The experiences from conception through gestation and birth are intertwined and usually the main trouble spot in our lives. The patterns are laid down there.
What on earth can I tell an incoming client, who simply wants to feel better in his or her life?
I would say:
Learn to find out what made your life so unpleasant and undo it at the source. That is what we can teach you to do. There is no "simply" doing that. What has established itself in so and so many years cannot be undone in one hour.
By the way, this ongoing journey, if it is learned properly, will become more and more interesting and never boring, because you will then have the tools to work on your development and growth and if you would have a partner who does the same, you can easily learn to witness each others' journey.
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.
Return to Index of Dr. Vereshack's Questions