by Paul Vereshack M.D.
In regard to the types of individuals in primal therapy, Vivian Janov, has been attributed to having distinguished between, "(t)hose who move toward feelings, and those who move away from feelings." I believe that she is correct and therein lies a potentially serious problem.
First, I have never succeeeded in shifting the "moving away" client, to the status of a "moving toward" client. That requires a turning around in the very basic seat of consciousness and motivation which is beyond simple discussion to change.
The terrible danger is that if we take the "moving away" type, and place them in a deep experiential therapy, when and if, and it is big IF, when and if they break through into deep pain they do not handle it well because they do not, at the base of themselves, believe in what they are doing.
This results in trauma and terror for them. They often take a final position, aimed at the therapist which I call the, "What have YOU done to ME?" position.
So, feeling that they are falling apart and not feeling that they have truly entered the deepest and most effective of all possible journeys, they look for someone to blame. They come to feel that their seeming breakdown is the fault of the therapist. They become the most problematic of all clients, both to themselves, and to those who look after them.
For this reason, I want to tell them, I feel a huge double bind with clients such as yourself who have endless questions. If I talk you into doing this work I am placing both you and myself in great danger.
If I leave you alone with your lack of desire to lie down in a dark sound-proofed room and follow your inward feeling path, then you miss the substance of possible holistic (multifactorial/complex) experiential growth and remain forever stranded on the shores of your intellectual level linear quest.
The safest route for both of us is to leave you where you are.
Unfortunately, I can no longer operate at this endless discussion level without imposing a continuous strain on my selfhood. I do this for money, sometimes to feed myself, but I can not do it for free.
Your situation has haunted me over the last few weeks and forced me to see clearly what I have just said to you in the above paragraphs.
Thus, I will soon be bringing our talks to an end, until such time as you, on your own, become willing to take the risk of lying down in that dark soundproofed room, to let go of your intellectual defences and move deeply into yourself. I need you to be more than willing. In truth, I need you, on your own, to come to believe that all your other approaches will, as they have, in the past, left you stranded on the shore. I fear you will never actually know what water feels like on your skin, but instead, paradoxically needing to continue talking about it endlessly and seeing your journey as the right one.
I have done the best I can for you with this small exposition. Any more comments would be dangerous for us both.
Call me if you ever make the change, from asking me questions on the Internet, and instead decide to actually come into my practice and do deep therapy. Remember that I am 68 years old and you do not have forever to work with me.