What the mind suppresses, the body expresses: The Comprehensive Resource Model
We're developing our "I - We - World" framework - which helps us to identify new resources for citizenship, at the personal, local and global level. So we are obviously interested in new psychological/mental therapies which seem effective in treating the disabling traumas and anxieties of our times. These can so often subvert our focus and intent, as citizens as well as in any other role.
This article from Newsweek tells us about something called the "Comprehensive Resource Model". This is a way of addressing the trauma of Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder sufferers (PTSD) by means of their whole-body symptoms. Its research base is challenging - everything from shamanic traditions to neuroscience.
We're wondering if this approach can be extrapolated to the complexities of trying to address social trauma - such as colonialism, slavery, inequality. As well as trying to change oppressive structures, can we also try to "heal" those hidden injuries in the body too? An excerpt:
The dominant school in psychology today is cognitive therapy, a form of talk therapy aimed at helping patients feel better by encouraging them to think differently and change their behavior.
Often used in tandem with medication to suppress symptoms of depression or anxiety, cognitive therapies are backed by a wealth of scientific research. Although nobody claims they work for everyone, they have become so deeply embedded in a global, multibillion-dollar complex of pharmaceutical companies, insurance firms and health departments that critics are only half-joking when they describe them as a quasi-religion.
With such entrenched interests at stake, dissidents armed with an alternative paradigm are sure to face resistance, perhaps even mockery—especially from empirically minded psychiatrists allergic to anything that sounds remotely like woo-woo.
Nevertheless, there are plenty of therapists ready to argue that you don’t have to be a crank to question the limits of talk. The CRM school is one tributary in a much wider movement of PTSD specialists who believe body-oriented approaches can help people who might never otherwise get to the root of their problems.
If they are right, the implications go far beyond treating the psychological scars of rape, accidents or warfare. There is mounting evidence that childhood trauma caused by abuse, neglect or abandonment is behind much of the depression, anxiety and addiction suffered by adults.
Western industrial civilization is founded on faith in the problem-solving power of the intellect. But if modern societies want to heal from an epidemic of mental illness, Schwarz and her allies believe that yet more thinking will not suffice: The true answers will be found beyond the veil of the everyday, rational mind.