Danzante Caldera, RPC

Organic Therapy

Danzante CalderaComment

You, reading this right now, possess an inherently healthy and vibrant self, full of your own natural brilliance and unique life force.  Your life has been guided by this life force, through turbulence and trauma, and through the search for human connection and love.  Emotional and psychological health is inherent within you.    It is your birthright as a human being.  This is what I believe and it is why I say that I practice psychology from an Organic perspective.  

When Mt. St. Helens exploded in Washington State in 1980, it covered an entire mountain in ash and devastation.  Scientist predicted it would be decades before life  returned to the most devastated areas.  Yet within just a couple years, there were flowers blooming there...  From this I took an important early life lesson:  Devastation is often just laying the groundwork for future growth - the wound already implies the healing - a pretty good analogy for counselling.  

The first thing I take from this Mt. St. Helen's parable is the inevitability of the life force itself, the force of creativity that will express itself.  The second part of this parable to me is how easy it is to get wrapped up in the trauma, seeing it as a defining, intractable, pathological state.  But attempts to quantify the devastation do not take into full account the mystery of things.  The mysteries of the life force remain, in substantial ways, unquantifiable.  This is no less true than in the field of psychology.  Quantifiable proof of efficacy is asked for by the institutions of Psychology - but the human spirit is more a poem than a textbook.  For every quantifiability there will be people and situations that do not fit the mould.  We are systemic organisms wrapped in mystery.  

In the past (and often still today) psychology could be pathologizing, seeing people as the sum of their "dysfunctions".  I have worked with some individuals (who had often previously done intensive counselling) who were committed to seeing their lives as a web of dysfunctions, and who understood healing as fighting against these systems of dysfunction.  In the early days of my own personal journey, I was committed to this "dysfunctional healing" paradigm; eventually, though, I began to feel ill at ease with this view that significant parts of the self were "pathological".  This dishonours the power and the mystery of an individuals journey and diminishes human dignity.

Instead I choose to see that each "dysfunction" was, at it's beginning, a creative solution to a profound life dilemma.  The solution might no longer serve but at the time it was created - often from the vantage point of a disempowered childhood - it was a brilliant solution to a predicament that was not of our own making and which threatened our healthy sense of self.  All along we have been protecting this sacred sense of self!  This is the life force naturally expressing itself through us.

Practicing from an Organic perspective means that we (and I say "we" as it is a collaborative process) are searching - through a process of Uncovering, Discovering, and Recovering - for that creative force within that has always been there.  We are honouring the journey so far.  If there are things that are getting in the way - old ideas, old reflexive perspectives that no longer serve, addictions, etc. - then the job is to draw them out, see how their usefulness is outdated, and to define (and refine) the truths that we choose to hold now.  Given freedom from old beliefs that no longer serve us, we may expand into the fully realized humans we were always aiming to be.