Paul DeBlassie III, Ph.D.

Depth Psychotherapy Devoted To Emotional and Spiritual Healing

My holistic depth psychotherapy practice, based in Albuquerque New Mexico, is devoted to personal and relational healing and growth through therapeutic emotional understanding and dream work. We engage in depth psychotherapy for painful emotions, conflicted relationships, and troubling dreams. Deep-seated wounds can appear immovable, resulting in ongoing unhappiness and a feeling of being stuck and going nowhere in life. As a depth psychologist for over thirty years, I have been helping people work through and resolve emotional and relational problems so as to potentially achieve a more optimal life and lifestyle. We work together on an open-ended basis for as long as depth therapy is healing, helpful, and meaningful. Professional Associations: Depth Psychology Alliance, International Association of Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, International Association for Jungian Studies.

 

There's a Message in Mental Pain...

In depth therapy we know there's a growing openness to people seeking to heal from mental pain. Many know they don't have to throw drugs at everything - there are alternatives. Therapeutic listening to psychic pain reveals not only the source of the trouble but avenues for transformation. There's a message in pain, and if that is listened to people can heal. 

A recent news article reported, "Some of the voices inside Caroline White’s head have been a lifelong comfort, as protective as a favorite aunt. It was the others — “you’re nothing, they’re out to get you, to kill you” — that led her down a rabbit hole of failed treatments and over a decade of hospitalizations, therapy and medications, all aimed at silencing those internal threats. At a support group here for so-called voice-hearers, however, she tried something radically different. She allowed other members of the group to address the voice, directly: What is it you want? “After I thought about it, I realized that the voice valued my safety, wanted me to be respected and better supported by others,” said Ms. White, 34...." (NYT An Alternative From of Mental Care Gains A Foothold 8.816)

Whether it's about extreme mental suffering in the form of voices in your head or subtle feelings of unease, there's a message in it. On a radio interview for my novel, The Unholy, this week the interviewer stated, "You mean dreams can actually help me? There's a message in them?" I answered, "Definitely. Dreams speak to what we don't know about ourselves. They shed light on mental suffering."

He asked how one might know when they've stuck on the meaning of the dream. I answered in a way that applies not only to dreams but to mental pain. "We've struck on the message when it clicks and it's helpful. It offers practical guidance about what to do about a situation, an attitude, or a relationship. Dreams offer practical help."

The same holds true with mental pain. It has a message embedded in it. The message, once it clicks, is helpful. It assists us in making changes regarding situations, attitudes, or relationships.

The radio interviewer was astounded and thanked me for the insight. Extreme suffering, subtle feelings of unease, troublesome dreams - there's a message in them, something for us to learn about ourselves, life, changes to make and to be undergone so that we can heal.

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Creative Activities in Being...

To be real is to be creative. Something nurturing can come out of a lived experience. There's a zest that takes hold when we immerse ourself in lived reality. We feel better once we've faced what we need to face, the real taken in and internalized as truth in a given situation.  

The father of American depth psychology, William James, wrote that real creative activities in being must be lived experiences (A Pluralistic Universe p.185). Dreams point to such creativity when they address what has happened that we're not aware of or that we're only minimally aware of. One night I dreamt of a fairy touching my shoulder. The dream came after a day when I'd talked to a particularly inspiring person. I'd been moved, touched by the conversation. The dream dramatized the energy between us, a spiritual current that affected me. 

The experience in waking life and the symbol within the dream was a creative act. This was a lived experience that taught me something. It taught me about listening to vital feeling states when dealing with others and when going about daily activities. Lived experience is creative experience as we allow what is real, what has taken place, to inform us, to give us information about what we didn't realize at all or didn't understand was so important. Becoming conscious means becoming real, authentic, and able to grow from what we've lived.

I nurtured the relationship with this person. And, over time it has continued to prove its creative role in my life. It was a lived experience then emphasized by symbolic dream material. I'd gotten the message in waking life and then the unconscious highlighted and gave further insight into the importance of something nurturing coming out of lived experience.

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Slipping into Everyday Madness...

 

C.G. Jung wrote, "When a patient begins to feel the inescapable nature of his inner development, he may easily be overcome by a panic fear that he is slipping helplessly into some kind of madness that he can no longer understand" (The Philosophical Tree 1945/1954 CW 13, 325). When patients first enter depth psychotherapy, it's not uncommon that they are panic stricken. Their lives seem as if they are falling apart. "I'm tumbling down a deep hole, into an abyss," one person shared, their look utterly pained.

I remember when I first entered deep therapy. Pressures in my life rushed in on all sides. A dream came with an angel sweeping his numinous wing wide and gathering me into another realm of seeing, one that was at first dark and forbidding and then mysterious and nurturing as I adjusted to this depth. 

My therapist, a man trained by C.G. Jung, offered, "So, it's time to turn within." He smiled gently and knowingly. I had no idea what I was in for, just that I needed help and sensed myself tumbling inward, a madness of sorts since few understood this compelling need.

I understood that the madness had meaning, discovered its meaning, and responded to it in a practical and transformative way. For many years to come I acquainted myself with the mysteries of the unconscious mind. This ongoing exploration helped me, and continues to help me, to further my healing journey. I've seen that it's not only the big moments of madness, those of crushing stress, but the day-to-day moments of madness that offer us a chance to go deeper.

Day-to-day moments of madness hit when things feel too much. We can cave into anxiety about all that comes our way; or, we can take time to listen and feel our way through the stress, what it has to teach us, to tell us about ourselves and others. Slipping into everyday madness, for sensitive souls, means quieting, turning within, and listening to what the storm has to teach us. 

 

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Moments of Breakdown . . .

We experience times of breakdown and transformation. We need both. We can't stay the same and change. Breakdown takes down what needs to be taken down so that, potentially, what is really there and new and more meaningful can flourish.

Transformation, as psychologist Michael Eigen notes, gets its power from " . . . the moments of breakdown that went into them." Dreams say everything is falling apart. We panic. But, hold on, if we step back and gain insight into what's happening in our life, there can be a shift into self empowerment and transformation.

Not infrequently patients enter depth therapy and relate dreams of the world coming to an end. "Everything is crashing down. The world is ending!" they exclaim. We talk and see that they indeed are undergoing a crisis, the old way of life no longer working. Things are crashing down, but they needed to crash and come to an end. Over time they experience that breakdown led to crisis led to seeking healing led to possibilities and potential.

We we understand the dream world, we'll see what we need to see about our crisis, the breakdown we're going through. We take heart, don't give up, and understand that moments of breakdown are psychologically necessary. Breakdown happens so that we can stop, pay attention, and take care of the self, the soul, that has the potential to reconstitute in a new and better way.

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Affirming One's Destiny...

There's something to our life. We're meant for something, to live in one way and not another. We have a path to follow, a livelihood to make, love to find and live out. As we do so, we discover and fulfill our destiny.

CG Jung wrote, "It is only after illness that I understood how important it is to affirm one's destiny . . . Nothing is disturbed - neither inwardly nor outwardly - for one's own continuity has withstood the current of life and of time. But that can come to pass only when one does not meddle inquisitively with the workings of fate" (Memories, Dreams, Reflections 1962 p.297).

There's trouble when we mess with our calling. Destiny is such a force of nature that we make ourselves miserable when we monkey with it. It starts with a vague feeling of unsettledness, then irritability, and goes on to bold-faced unhappiness and perhaps depression. Illness can set it as it did with CG Jung.

Dreams can open up at this point and speak to us. They provide the right symbols at the right time that address our dilemma. I remember a woman who complained of not knowing why she was suffering. She wanted to be a full-time mother and hated the fact that she "had to work outside the home."      

 A dream showed her in an ancient realm concocting magical potions. They cured people. From one end of the realm to the other, people sought her ministration. She was brought to tears in the dream by the wonder of the gift. In day-to-day life, she was a pharmacist and often complained about her work. The dream took her to her destiny, opened her eyes to her calling, and, as CG Jung learned, it became clear to her that her well-being depended on not meddling with the workings of destiny.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

 

 

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It Takes Effort to Stay Conscious...

I am drawn to a dream from years back. It was a word dream, a message coming straight off the hotline of the unconscious mind. It said, "If you stop, you drop." Immediately I took this to heart. There's no going back from healing, growing and changing. 

If we try and stop our transformation process, we deteriorate. We notice this via symptoms. We become neurotic, unhappy, fretting about this or that. We're in an awful predicament of our choosing.

To stop up consciousness requires work. We need to stop our dreams by over working, over eating, over drinking, by numbing our emotional life, so we don't feel. If we don't feel we don't dream and we don't grow. Numbness and eventual deadness require our cooperation and effort, at least the energy that goes into doing nothing and willfully feeling nothing through denial.

CG Jung wrote, "And yet the attainment of consciousness was the most precious fruit of the tree of knowledge, the magical weapon which gave man victory over the earth, and which we hope will give him a still greater victory over himself." (The Meaning of Psychology for Modern Man 1933/1934, CW 10, 289)

Victory over self, as Jung describes, is a working through of the destructive impulse in the human condition. It bids us complain about how hard it is, how dreams are too much, how we can't possibly follow through with what our dreams have intimated.

It takes effort to be and remain conscious. Patients in depth psychotherapy arrive at various crossroads at which continued decisions need to be made. Am I willing to face this, to see what I need to see, to then follow through with what's best for my higher self. These are questions that we regularly face because it takes effort to be and stay conscious.

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Contentment, Soul, and the Depths of Nature...

First thing this afternoon, a person reported the following dream: "I was speaking to a lovely woman who appeared out of the forest. She walked out, stark naked. We sat on the ground, under the tall pines with sunlight streaming through the branches. During our conversation, which I didn't remember upon waking, I was moved to tears. We were intimate in our conversation and in our presence. I awoke utterly content.

CG Jung wrote, "The 'child' is born out of the womb of the unconscious, begotten out of the depths of human nature, or rather out of living Nature herself. It is a personification of vital forces quite outside the limited range of our conscious mind; of ways and possibilities of which our one-sided conscious mind knows nothing; a wholeness which embraces the very depths of Nature" (The Psychology of the Child Archetype 1940 CW 9i, 289).

From the depths of our nature and Nature herself, we witness the emergence of vital psychic forces. We settle into self during the day, and at night, we dream and settle into deep regions of soul. As we live, so we dream. We live grounded, feel deeply, set our intent to live in an authentic, energetic flow. Then, dreams open up more readily and Nature herself emerges out of the forest, the sea, the desert ~ the wondrous realms of the unconscious. 

What spoke to us during our processing of the dream is how it emerged from a day in which she felt particularly attuned to the unconscious, to self, to life. Dreams reflect where we are at and where we are going as well as where we have been. They don't lie, and when they speak of Nature herself, powerful dream images coming to the fore, then there is frequently a feeling of being utterly content and grateful.

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Reaching the End of our Tether...

When we are face to face or soul to soul with the numinous we cringe. If we don't cringe, at the very least, it's not the real thing. We hide from the real thing. We're afraid. We join churches or ashrams or professional societies. CG Jung wrote, "One can only say that somehow one has to reach the rim of the world or get to the end of one's tether in order to partake of the terror or grace of such an experience at all. Its nature is such that it is really understandable why the Church is actually a place of refuge or protection for those who cannot endure the fire of the divine presence" (Letter to Herr N., March 1958, Letter Vol. II, p. 424).

It has always been such a conundrum to me that old CG Jung went on to start, or at least be complicit with starting, a society of followers, completely sheltering such devotees (as we all can be) from direct experience of the mystic without the mediation of a collective enterprise. It all goes to say that coming face to face with the numinous challenges our sensibilities, so much so that we seek refuge here and there and everywhere. 

Reaching the end of our tether means we've had it with the old. Old ways of thinking, relating, living and being no longer serve us. They make us miserable. We need to move on once we've reached the end of things. I had a dream in which an old colleague came to me as a haunted man. He had died and was a haunted soul. He hadn't, in his life on earth, let go of old ways that no longer held energy. He clung to them out of insecurity.

This dream spoke to me of my potential to be a haunted man. I was confronted with needing to let go and move on in a particular area of my life. To not do so would leave me haunted. Old energies linger as hauntings. They are no longer relevant, but we keep them around. I knew I was at the end of my tether and needed to move on, not shelter myself from this numinous communication from the world of dreams and dreaming.

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Once You Liberate Yourself ~ Things Happen


We all want freedom, desire to be whole and well. At least, that's what we think or say. The reality is that we need to pay the price. We have to let go of what holds us back, liberate ourselves and then things happen .

CG Jung wrote, "Many people have never in their whole lives felt such a natural fulfillment because they were completely twisted. But they would experience it in the moment when they were able to liberate themselves from the twist —in that moment they would experience Tao" (Visions Seminar, Page 761).

As the old sage noted, there is a natural fulfillment in life. One person told me this morning, "I have never felt so whole and complete. But, it took letting go to get here. I had to do without what I was used to once I saw that it was holding me back."

Their dreams turned to nightmares so that they would listen. Images of cockroaches infesting their home awakened them in a cold sweat. They had to come to grips with the meaning of the cockroaches, what the roaches had to do with them and their life. It was a painful but transformative insight once they let themselves see and take to heart the message.

Energy freed up for them. They noticed that what had not seemed possible in various venues of life opened up; but it, the state of natural fulfillment, the Tao couldn't have been entered into without self-liberation.

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Secret Order in Disorder...

This morning I came across a wonderful post on facebook Inner City Books site. It addressed the secret order in disorder. We all feel that disorder, if we are honest. If we are really honest, we listen to it. There's something to the disorder, all the chaos, the depletion, the crazy feelings.

The post from Inner City Books went like this, "When we look at our lives up close, it can seem that they are made up of one chaotic event after the other. But with the view of time, and certainly by examining dream images and looking at our lives through them, we can get a sense that there is a larger pattern trying to come to fruition in our life through its ups and downs. Since this pattern is not immediately obvious, and can often at best be merely intuited or inferred, Jung calls it transcendental, that is, beyond our normal capacity for direct perception. The story of our life does already exist in potential, and is pushing to come into being, through we only get glimpses of it bit by bit." (J. Gary Sparks : VALLEY OF DIAMONDS - Adventures in Number and Time with Marie-Louise von Franz)

It's quite relieving to realize that we can settle ourselves, listen to the chaos, feel it, and let it speak to us. It's best not to run from it, best not to medicate it (unless there is no other possibility lest we become unstable), best not to add to it by becoming more and more frantic. It's about the going through it, feeling, waiting, dreaming, letting life teach us about how we're off and how we can get ourselves and our life back in order.

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Dreams, Psyche, and Body...

We are holistic beings. Body and mind work together as expressions of who we are. Psyche reflects body and body reflects psyche. A person's body speaks a great deal to who they are just as one's mental health is reflected in the workings and appearance of the body.

C.G. wrote, "Not infrequently the dreams show that there is a remarkable inner symbolical connection between an undoubted physical illness and a definite psychic problem, so that the physical disorder appears a a direct mimetic expression of the psychic situation" (CW 8, 502).

A young person related, "My dream last night was of an old man. He was decrepit, aging by the minute. The thing about the dream was that it took place in a seedy town, filled with down-and-out people who grumbled their way through life. The old man was a stooped over grumbler." The young man complained of how run down he was and how he couldn't find a reason for it. The dream spoke to his negative attitude and how colluding with grumbling lessened his psychic and physical health by the minute.

Underlying this person's problem was an inner saboteur, one symbolized by the stooped over and grumbling old man. The dreamer secretly wanted to cop out on life, to recede into dark corners in which meeting life's responsibilities could not possibly be done by one so tired and worn out. Grumbling was taking him there, quick. Physical disorders often reflect a psychic oppression that can be brought to the light of consciousness and helped to heal.

A dream shed light on a dark psychic state that directly affected his body. He was perpetually tired and needed to discover the reason. The dream dramatized what he did to himself, how he damaged his mind, and how this negatively impacted his body. We are holistic beings. Dreams, psyche, and body work together via inner symbolical connections that facilitate inner movement away from destructiveness and into  physical and psychic health.

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Living Out the Joy...

Neurosis cripples joy. It’s felt as the urge to control, get tight, squeeze the life out of things so that everything works as we want it to. We end up having everything just so, then it busts loose. That’s how neurosis works. It’s about too much control.

 

Depth psychologist, Michael Eigen, wrote, “To serve jouissance is to break free, for no two moments ask the same thing. Where jouissance is concerned, there is only learning on the job, the surprise of jouissance where one least expects it.”

 

A person related a dream in which their head split apart “in a million pieces.” Too much control sent their mind whirling. They fractured inwardly and felt terribly depressed and lost perspective on life. After some time settling, they remarked, “Control has been an affliction. I do it too much. It turns things rancid. My head fractures from the pain of it.”

 

When real joy happens, there’s no controlling it, only going with it, riding it, flowing with the stream of it. It can be nurtured as we let go a little more, trust ourselves to lean into life’s surprises and be all right. After all, we may come to learn, it’s all about moving past neurosis and living out the joy.

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Hope for Traumatized Souls...

Psychoanalyst and trauma theorist, Michael Eigen (2009), asserted that the depth psychological process of healing the traumatized soul is a sacrament, “a visible sign of an inward grace” (p. 9). This sacrament —experienced as symbolic contact with the potentially generative instinctual force of the Self—invokes the hope that is essential in addressing trauma and its associated malevolent self-defense system that functions autonomously, beyond the grasp of ego resources. Within the context of depth-oriented trauma therapy, hope—the belief that healing is possible—is a vital force can be posited as a vital facet in the healing of traumatized souls. In keeping with the crucial need for a sign of, or contact with the Self’s potential and instinct for growth and wholeness, William James (1985), wrote of hope being as essential as oxygen to how we engage with and experience life: “let . . . hope be the atmosphere which man breathes in . . . and his days pass by with zest” (p. 120).

Excerpt taken from: http://www.depthinsights.com/Depth-Insights-scholarly-ezine/ezine-issue-8-winter-2015/trauma-death-and-the-archetype-of-hope-by-paul-deblassie-iii/

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To Feel . . .

Much of psychological healing is devoted to healing the capacity to feel. Rilke, in his Elegy to Marina Tsvetayeva-Efron, writes of the “curious power that transforms us from living beings into survivors.” We do this by learning to feel and respecting feeling in others and ourselves.

We survive by feeling and continuing to feel. Dream images and symbols sharpen our capacity to touch vital emotions that may otherwise remain denied or repressed. To get through daily life, we often put instincts to the side, lay emotions off in a corner. We do this so we can move on through the course of the day without being troubled, often to our detriment.

“I end up going home and overeating,” one person told a friend. They were talking about how food numbs them to stress. They spoke while eating a big hot fudge Sunday. I tried not to listen in from a neighboring restaurant booth, but the inner therapist and writer couldn’t help picking up on valuable information. Even as they conversed, they were numbing, on some level aware of what they were doing, moving the reality to a dark corner, and proceeding with their sugar drug fest.

Of course, we all can do this in an assortment of ways. The call in life, the soul’s beckoning to us as seekers of wholeness and well-being, is to feel and not escape feeling. In his writing On the Nature of the Psyche (1947/1954, CW 8, 414), C.G. Jung cautions us against taking ourselves into “. . . . blank unconsciousness, or worse still, to some kind of intellectual substitute for instinct."

To feel is to be true to self. It is pristine instinct to survive and thrive in a life filled with tendencies to numb, deny, repress, or sink into blank unconsciousness. Best to daily take steps forward in living, surviving, and feeling thoroughly and well.

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From Your Abundance Something Overflows...

The old wise man wrote, "If you fulfill the pattern that is peculiar to yourself, you have loved yourself, you have accumulated and have abundance; you bestow virtue then because you have luster. You radiate; from your abundance something overflows." Nietezche's Zarathustra: Notes of the Seminar Given in 1934 - 1939, Vol. II (29 Janurary 1936), p. 801.

Abundance comes from truth to self. If we water ourselves down, who we are and what we think, then we lose hold of our life and our very sense of self. It may happen sooner or later, but we will feel depleted, down, and lost once we've veered from truth to self.  Abundance, having sufficient  energy for living well and fully,  trickles and then gushes with cultivated truth to self.

"I felt so much energy after session yesterday. The dream that I had set me free. It got me back on my path." This patient's remark echoes an experience many of us may have had. Dreams, deep feeling states, bring insight and draw us back to the way that is ours to walk. We feel better, energized. In the words of the sage, we "fulfill the pattern that is peculiar" to ourselves and therein discover energy, overflowing abundance.

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Individual Experience as Truth...

People struggle to trust their own feelings. Depth therapy facilitates the healing of the soul so that a person can listen, trust, and follow through with critical feeling states. When we do otherwise, we end up anxious, neurotic, and generally unhappy. Trusting feelings is a key component of mental health.

C.G. Jung wrote, "...the individual experience, by its very poverty, is immediate life, the warm and red blood pulsating today. It is more convincing to a seeker after truth than the best tradition." (Psychology and Religion 1938/1940, CW 11, 88.)

A person admitted, "Staying with what I feel and not being talked out of my feelings strengthens me. I had to leave one organization after another because they all wanted me to tow the party line, to get in step with what they believed and leave the way I felt. There was nothing but misery for me in listening to voices outside of myself."

When we go deep and listen to lingering feeling states, dreams that we remember after a night's sleep, and intuitions that come to us spontaneously, we often discover the fresh face of truth. It's a welcome relief to know and accept our experience that truth lies on the inside. We need look no further than our own soul for a feelings and experiences, dreams and intuitions, that keep us on our path and maintain the inner flow of immediate, warm, and pulsating life.

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Jung, Yoga, and Wholeness...

A master yogi sought out depth therapy, entered my consultation office, and immediately related, "Last night I dreamt that my shushumna was burnt to a crisp. I was horrified and knew that I had to address this today." The shushumna symbolized the central life channel that flows with energy, both masculine and feminine. Over the course of his work, we explored how he had lost balance, burned too hot with too much masculine energy. The nightmare symbolized irritability and his sense of being out of sorts for many months. Wholeness had been damaged.

CG Jung wrote, "I was walking along a little road through a hilly landscape; the sun was shining and I had a wide view in all directions. Then I came to a small wayside chapel. The door was ajar, and I went in. To my surprise there was no image of the Virgin on the altar, and no crucifix either, but only a wonderful flower arrangement. But then I saw on the floor in front of the altar, facing me, sat a yogi - in lotus posture, in deep meditation. When I looked at him more closely, I realized that he had my face. I started in profound fright, and awoke with the thought: 'Aha, so he is the one who is meditating me. He has a dream and I am it.' I knew that when he awakened I would no longer be . . .  The figure of the yogi, then, would represent my unconscious prenatal wholeness . . . .." (C.G. Jung, Memories, Dreams, and Reflections, p.229).

Wholeness is native to our nature as humans. In the deep meditation that is daily life lived with awareness, we can rediscover our wholeness. It comes as a sense of well being, sensitivity to self and others, and a natural feeling for spirituality. The master yogi, with time and patience, restored himself to a wholeness that was open to ongoing change. He had become too into himself and his life, losing vital balance. With perspective restored, that quality of valuing self, others, and life then, as he commented, " . . . My peace of mind has returned. I am once again whole."

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2016 Full of Medicine...

Medicine for the soul appears at the beginning of each year. In a special way, we receive signs and dreams that uniquely help us. Patients this week have related dreams of what the new year holds in store regarding growth potential, exploring dark areas of mind, and discovering illumination. 

Contemporary Shamanism (FB 1.6.15) offered, "May your year ahead be full of medicine. May your access to the multidimensional worlds be of ease and grace and may all that you need to support you both in spirit and in form be made manifest."

May we open our hearts to the signs and symbols that come our way in daily living and nightly sleep. Listening to the voices, images, and inspirations will help to make our year more easeful. The soul medicine of symbols in life and dreams heals as we pay heed, absorb, and are grateful.

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Light in the Midst of Chaos...

In so many ways, Christmas brings the potential for pain and healing. Both coexist. Fevered with excitement, families go crazy. We suffer when we lose groundedness and contentment. Holidays such as Christmas bring opportunity to rest and be grateful, at ease, to express and feel love.

Mythically, Christmas celebrates the birth of the sun, winter solstice a time of new emergence and potential for growth. We can rest, relax, love, and heal during the holidays by returning to nature, our nature. We are creatures of the earth and require settledness so as to witness light coming out of darkness.

No matter what has happened during the past year, no matter the crisis or trauma, there is hope. Light breaks forth from dark places and cold times. Reflecting on the sufferings of the year is not a bad thing. Light rising out of the midst of chaos calls for reflection, seeing into the nature of the year's crises and pain, then allowing our eyes to open to bright rays and the birth of the sun.

As a psychotherapist having engaged in a full year of helping to heal crisis and trauma, I reflect on the words of a fellow depth psychologist who wrote,

"A dream is brought to me with the expectation that I will in turn say something meaningful to the dreamer. It is in the nature of the relationship that I must represent a small light in the midst of chaos -- though I may be equally in the dark. I must therefore choose my words as best I can, and, depending on my sensitivity and skill, communicate one thing and not another.

"What matters is the creative interpretation of what one sees -- to communicate to the suffering person precisely those elements that make it possible for a healing process to start."

~ Excerpt from The Spiral Way: A Woman's Healing Journey by Aldo Carotenuto available in soft copy and ebook Inner City Books

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Trauma Drama is a Worry...

 

Trauma drama can come easy as taking the next breath. When a person’s life has continually been upset by problems and trauma, emotional acting out happens without a thought. Emotional drama becomes a way of life. It’s addictive. There’s a high that that goes with jumping from one adrenaline-pumping situation to another. Health, physical and mental, is compromised due to the high stress that accompanies chronic emotional drama.

Depth psychologist, Donald Kalsched, in Trauma and the Soul, writes of trauma as “. . . unbearable pain—in other words, affect that cannot be metabolized by the psyche’s normal symbolic process.” When pain from past or present cannot be or is not dealt with, metabolized, it is acted out. Pain can be so intense that we can’t bear it.  It is traumatic and cannot be processed in a normal manner by the psyche. Then, we may compulsively, and unconsciously, generate problems so as to release this psychic tension by acting out.

Trauma drama is a worry because it destroys life. It sets us up and takes us down. There is no way out of dealing with inner darkness and outer dysfunction. We either act it out or work it out. Trauma drama needs to be dealt with or it deals with us. Psychic breakdowns happen when there’s too much on the inside pressing for attention, the delicate strands that hold mind and life together threatened. Outer emotional drama then breaks out and speaks to us, says pay attention, take stock, deal with things because they’re already dealing with you.  

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