Radix InternationalRadix Europe
Welcome to the European
Radix Practitioner Somatic Education Center…
Our Training Programs Provide Extensive and Comprehensive Training
in Radix® Neo-Reichian Science and applied Bodywork.
The Radix Experience in Europe – England and Germany
London Radix Workshops:
From 1985 to 2012 the workshops took place in London. Since then we have been in the New Forest, in Edinburgh, and in Bosa, Sardinia. As of (2015) we included Thassos in Greece – and returned to London sometime in 2015.
Begun in 1985, these workshops continue to offer the group based Radix work that Charles Kelley developed and advocated.
Following Reich’s principle of surrender to the movement of energy and emotion in one’s body , informed by Chuck Kelley‘s focus on education and self-responsibility, and the Radix intensive, and by Levine and Rothschild’s emphasis on building safety and resources in the face of traumatic injury, our Radix workshops offer the opportunity to experience in oneself and to witness in others the play of emotion from barely perceptible body movements and sensations to expansive and passionate expressions power and excitement, grief, rage, and terror, pleasure and joy.
Their aim is to help participants experience a significant loosening of the fetters of bodily and emotional armouring. We start gently with group and paired exercises focussing on aspects of movement and feeling, and in particular on breathing, sound and vision. This can be light-hearted and fun, but also can touch quite quickly into deeper held feelings, whether of pain or pleasure, anger or tenderness, longing, fear or surrender.
The heart of the workshop lies in the intensive sessions, where each participant has the opportunity to work individually in the context of a small group with each of the group leaders. The workshop is limited to twelve participants to ensure this level of intense personal work.
Over the more than twenty-five year life-span of these groups we have become effective and confident in creating a space which allows the emergence highly charged emotions and in finding ways to enable, as appropriate, both their conscious containment and their full expression. Participants report feeling safe, enlivened, deeply moved and sometimes shaken or surprised yet enriched by what they find in themselves though this work. Most groups contain a mixture on newcomers and old hands. Some come looking to “reach the parts” that talking therapies have not reached. Not a few are practitioners themselves looking to deepen their experience of embodied emotional process.
The workshops typically run from Friday evening through to Sunday afternoon. They are non-residential. For accommodation information click here.
UK: England – Radix Intensives
The Radix Individual Intensive is the heart of Radix work, and of our Radix Workshops.
Within the context of a smaller group, each participant has the individual attention of the group leader, and where appropriate the support of the group, for a session we call the Radix Intensive.
Chuck Kelley, the founder of Radix says:
The Intensive is an adventure in feeling, an expansion of awareness, an opening of consciousness.
The goal is growth in the capacity to experience and express deep feeling, to connect up with oneself and to contact others.
The Intensive frees feeling that is blocked by muscular armor, opens feeling that is buried, and softens and releases feeling that is too strong and is held in for fear of explosion.
The expression of feeling opens the channels for larger expressions of feeling.
A course of Intensives bring an unfolding of the capacity to experience and express deep feeling in oneself and toward others.
The feelings freed in the Intensive are those that have been locked in by chronic patterns of tension. Joy, pain, sadness, terror, love, rage, grief, happiness — whatever is within one will emerge in the Intensive.
The student is not taught what to feel, but how to release the feelings that are there. Usually there is first some painful emotion such as grief or fear or anger that must be freed, before joyful feelings emerge.
(from Radix Education in Feeling and Purpose)
As our experience in the workshop has evolved over the years we have broadened our concept of the Intensive to include, not only the high energy discharge that Kelley taught, but also at times more quiet and subtle but no less intense and penetrating ways of deepening emotional awareness and expression.
Who is the Radix Practitioner In England?
Michael Gavin, is the Radix Practitoner, as well as workshop leader.
The workshops include work in the group, in pairs and in individual intensives within the group.
He works with all aspects of movement and feeling with a particular focus on breathing and vision.
Michael’s aim is to connect with what is real and alive within, and to enable you to release it and to release yourself and your potential.
Wilhelm Reich developed the concept of the muscular armour, patterns of chronic tension in the body built up over long periods of time, that block the flow of life and mutual connection.
The muscular armour represents all of our significant conflicts. It is our unexpressed grief, rage, fear, love, joy and trust, blocked and held in our musculature.
Charles Kelley, research psychologist and student of Reich, developed Reich’s ideas as “Radix Education in Feeling” adding visual energising and relaxation techniques to create Radix as a system of emotional education and body psychotherapy.
Kelley developed the unique Radix Intensive as ” an adventure in feeling, an expansion of awareness, an opening of consciousness.
…The goal is growth in the capacity to experience and express deep feeling, to connect up with oneself and to contact others…”
Radix (root or source) is his term for the vital energy or force whose flow is disrupted by the body armour.
Practitioners – United Kingdom/Europe
Radix Institute Code of Ethics.
Associate Members of The Radix Institute are practitioners who are certified in Radix, but who may not be practicing at this time, may be practicing only online, or may have developed their approach so that they now give their approach another name. They continue to support the work of the Radix Institute, acknowledging the importance of the work in the field of body-psychotherapy and personal growth.
Where we are now…
– Michael Gavin
After more than fifty years working with people, including thirty years as a psychotherapist, twenty years as a body psychotherapist, and about seventeen years, focusing on trauma, I closed my individual psychotherapy practice in 2012.
My Supervision practice ended in December, 2015.
Having finally left London behind and settled by the sea in Dorset, I reached a more self-centered stage in my life, maintaining a small, eclectic one-to-one practice, running occasional workshops, with reflection and some writing as my main focus.
More than thirty years since I completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Management by by Self-Managed Learning at what is now the University of East London, I still value the Self-Managed (or Self-Directed) Learning approach, for personal and professional development workshops, and have featured in some workshops.
I still love watching people develop personally and professionally.
I have a particular interest in how people – particularly helpers, and people in positions of leadership – can survive and thrive within organizations, how the Helping Professions can so easily take their toll on the human spirit, and what can be done to humanize this process, and the art and science of Self-care for Helping Professionals
After thirty years of learning from and collaborating with Michael Randolph, our Radix Intensive Body Psychotherapy workshops remain a enduring source of surprise and delight to me. I have long felt a calling to bring the insights of our body focused ways of working to those whose training has been in the talking therapies.
Qualifications, training, experience
I am a certified Radix Body Psychotherapist and one of only two certified Somatic Trauma Therapists in the UK.
I am an Approved Supervisor on the Somatic Trauma Therapy Certification Program.
I was External Clinical Supervisor to the London Underground’s Counselling and Trauma team from 2007 to the end of 2015.
I was in private practice in SW London from the 1980s until the end of 2012.
I have been a Regular member of the Institute of Transactional Analysis (now UKATA) since 1982, and a frequent presenter at ITA Conferences over the years. My three years of TA training in the eighties, disrupted by a prolonged encounter with ME/CFS, has formed a valued frame of reference for my thinking, and I learned much from intensive training with Bob and Mary Goulding and Richard Erskine.
From 1997 until the end of 2017 I was a regular member of a Professional Development Group, led by the Psychoanalyst, Shirley Spitz, exploring relational psychoanalysis, transference and counter-transference and other analytic and psychodynamic themes.
My own Jungian analysis lasted from 1986 to 1998, and for the past 30+ years I have been associated with the annual Champernowne Trust summer conference focussing on Jungian psychology, creativity and the Arts based approaches to therapy. I am now myself a Trustee with particular responsibility for the Web and Social Media.
I trained additionally in Core Energy Management with William Bloom (The Endorphin Effect, Feeling Safe etc), and with Dina Glouberman in Imagework.
My awareness of Mindfulness practices began in 1966 when I joined an esoteric school based in the teachings of Gurdjieff, Ouspensky and the philosophy of the Advaita Vedanta. In the thirty years and more since I left school the practices and the philosophy have continued to inform my life and my work.
– Germany –
– Rudolf Müller-Schwefe
PRACTICE FOR TRAUMA & BODY PSYCHOTHERAPY
My work is committed to the inner healing, growth and self-healing powers. It has different aspects.
Therapy for fear & panic : The panic project for quickly coping with panic attacks, EMDR, EFT and body psychotherapy for the therapy of phobias and fears.
Trauma therapy : EMDR & body-oriented trauma therapy after acute as well as long-ago traumatic experiences, for all trauma-related disorders.
Psychosomatic : Radix body psychotherapy and functional analysis help with psychosomatic and so-called “somatoform” complaints, disorders or illnesses.
In case of burnout : self-development. Through the body-psychotherapeutic development of basic competencies (physical, emotional, mental) and the liberation of old patterns, the deepening of the pulsation and healthy self-regulation develop.
Coaching : Support in self-development in a professional or operational context, for individuals and teams.
Further education & supervision : This is how I pass on my knowledge, my experience and my understanding of the work (also in some publications).
EMDR trauma therapy…
is a very successful form of therapy for the various symptoms and diseases with a traumatic cause. The letters stand for “Eye Movement desensitization and Reprocessing” and mean the desensitization and processing of traumatic experiences through or with reciprocating eye movements. When contact is made with the trauma, other alternating stimulations of both halves of the body and thus of the brain also trigger processing in the brain, the blocking of which is the cause of the trauma symptoms.
The processing often takes place “as if in fast motion” and in chains of associations made up of images, thoughts, sensory stimuli, body and emotional reactions – and often through connections to apparently completely different experiences in life. This process, which collects the parts of the experience scattered in the trauma and transfers what has been experienced into the past, must be embedded in a previously achieved stabilization that allows the client to cope well with the processing without – otherwise possibly threatening – renewed traumatisation . If the processing is successful, there is great relief and the symptoms dramatically decrease or disappear completely, often very quickly in the case of a single trauma (a few sessions).
Body-oriented trauma therapy….
EMDR can be integrated very well into body psychotherapy and supplemented by functional analysis , with the help of which the physical hardening and blockages of emotional interruptions can be resolved. A special kind of body-oriented approach can not only help where EMDR is insufficient, but also enables a solution to severe trauma-related disorders, which are in the range of severe depression, somatoform disorders and burn-out.
Involving the body involves completing the interrupted impulses, reflexes, reactions, and emotions, the interruption of which underlies many symptoms. In a process of more precise, conscious and controlled completion in the safe present, they can be appreciated and integrated.
Also in the first phase, the quick help for stabilization after traumatic experiences, the value of body-oriented exercises and interventions proves.
A CD from the Augsburg Institute ( “Presence and Relaxation” ) is also helpful for this.
See also my training courses on body-oriented trauma therapy below.
Fear and panic
The therapy of anxiety & panic …
… is best achieved by reducing the symptoms as quickly as possible so that “the head is clear” for the change or processing of the emotional causes, which can be easily reached through body psychotherapy and EMDR.
The panic program
The “Panic Program” enables quick help with panic attacks. The American bioenergetics psychotherapist Dr. Ron Robbins has discovered an unconscious body movement that precedes emotional arousal and frightening thoughts and signals the impending danger. This is where the panic program comes in: in a carefully structured learning process, within a few hours (2-3) the client becomes aware of her movement, which is called the “starter”, and deletes her connection to the panic reactions.
This usually stops the panic attacks; the underlying tensions and fears can then be processed if desired.
Therapy for fears
Radix body psychotherapy with the often accelerating elements of EMDR therapy has proven to be very helpful for saying goodbye to old fears and resolving new, inappropriate fears and the accompanying tension.
Whether it is about generalized fear or phobias of different shapes and forms: unlike the panic program, the therapy has to be individual because the causing emotions, events and tensions are different . This includes the discovery and mobilization of one’s own resources, the successful expression and processing of underlying experiences and (mostly: withheld) feelings as well as the resolution of frequently existing conditioning.
– Yugoslavia –
– Dr. Ljiljana Klisic
TEPSINTEZA _ YU
Prof Dr Ljiljana Klisic founded TePsynthesis in 1976 in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. TePsynthesis has evolved from thirty years of research by Dr. Klisic into drives development and the relationship between life force and consciousness. It has trained more than 200 professionals.
Mother school is Radix Institute, where Ljiljana Klisic had been trained by Charles and Erica Kelley. She completed Radix Training Program and became a Certified Radix Teacher (Adjunct to Clinical Psychology), after fulfilling criteria to be Licensed/RADIX Trainer.
Educational work in TePsyntesis Ljiljana Klisic, PhD do with her students in Beograd have been supervised by Trainers from Body Psychotherapy schools, specially Radix : Lara Amber 1977, David Boadella 1984, Mark Ludwig 1986, William and Lillian Davis 1987, Nelly Pasque 1988, Andrea Pitzal 1988, Marie Schils 1989, Joel Dweck Isaacs1990, Sylvia Amsz 1997, Courtenay Young 1997,98, Christiane Lewin 2004, Erik Jarlnaes 2004, Inge Joachim 2007, Ditte Marcher 2008, Aneesha Dillon 2014, etc.
BASIC THEORY AND CONCEPTS
TePsynthesis is a scientifically-based body-psychotherapy approach which combines systematic work with the body and the mind-psyche (and in some cases spirit) to help reduce psychological and psychosomatic suffering and to help people achieve integration on the somatic, emotional and spiritual level as well as Power and Bliss development.
The most influential source of the TePsynthesis is Radix work, founded by Charles Kelly who was a student of Wilhelm Reich. The theory represents an integration of psychoanalysis (Janet, Freud) and psychosynthesis (Assagioli). Many other body-psychotherapy approaches have had their influence including vegetotherapy, bioenergetic analysis, biosynthesis, biodynamic, bodynamics, core energetics and various neo-Reichian psychotherapies. Mainstream psychoanalysis, developed in Serbia one century ago, has also exerted its influence. Elements of analytical psychotherapy, gestalt and transactional analysis are integrated with respect to spirituality. TePsynthesis has grown into an autonomous depth psychological method with all the general characteristics of body-psychotherapy work – a functional and structural approach working with character structures, vegetative, pulsation and subtle energy processes.
After the experiences the school has gone through in the last twenty years in Yugoslavia, new theoretical concepts have also started to emerge based on these older concepts. TePsynthesis studies and researches the evolution of the basic human instinctual drives: the instinct for self-preservation (aggression), and the instinct for procreation of the species (sexuality). It helps people in this evolution using both verbal and nonverbal methods and not only on a psychological level. It is only through the unity of mind and body that a spiritual dimension opens up and the whole scope of evolution can be approached. Firstly there is the evolution of primitive aggression and destruction towards mature power integrated with a developed value system, to Non-dual Universal Power. Secondly there is the evolution of primitive sexuality towards Bliss and supreme Joy.
On the basis of the holographic paradigm and quantum physics, and in cooperation with the Faculty of Electrical Engineering at the University of Belgrade, TePsynthesis is continuing to develop the Psychoanalytic theory of psychosexual development. Dr. Ljiljana Klisic has also developed the theories of Orgasm Development and The Function of Bliss. She has introduced new terms for different orgasms as a model for the development of consciousness and a new model for human development. Bliss is seen by Te-Psynthesis as the most intense positive psychological experience, which has an important function. The bliss taboo is deeper and more hidden than the sex taboo. The goal of orgasm development is to increase the degree of freedom in decision-making, which happens, step by step, at each subsequent level of orgasm development. Orgasms are classified as primitive, immature, perverse, neurotic, blocked, mature, extended, ecstatic, blissful and non-dual. In order to develop orgasm further, a person must learn to increase the degree of his/her freedom in decision-making. If successful, the reward is ecstasy. If a deeper and more complex degree is reached there is a divine reward – bliss. (graf. 8&9 – drives evol.)
Theory of Power Development
Dr Klisic has also proposed the theory of Power Development. In the process of development from primitive aggression to mature power and towards ultimate non-dual power, it is necessary to learn to postpone (not to block, suppress or repress) reactions in order to increase the degree of freedom in decision-making. In this process blocking or impulsivity often happens, the most difficult being integrating surrender with control and cognition. Agrasms (a new term suggested by Dr Klisic) are classified as instinctive, primitively aggressive, destructive, manipulative, passive, assertive, truly powerful, non-dual universal powerful. In her opinion, investigation into orgasms and agrasms in Power or Bliss development gives us a good model to start the exploration of consciousness and human development.
On the basis of research into instinctual drives development, Dr. Klisic has proposed the continuation of the psychoanalytic theory of psychosexual development. She sees the concept of maturity in psychotherapy as being under-developed and too dependent on the biological model. In her opinion, psychoanalysis has connected maturity to genital primacy and the genital character structure while it is only the beginning of maturity. After oral, anal, phallic and genital primacy – well-known Reichian concepts – development has to continue on to heart and divine primacy. Dr. Klisic has also put forward a continuation of the Character Development Theory. To the oral, anal, phallic and genital character structures she adds heart and divine non-character. She has connected the genital character to the beginning of maturity and the ability to surrender to the orgasm reflex, meaning a freedom from the main blockages. Heart character means giving primacy to heart reactions, where all decisions are made from the heart. This is the principle of love, meaning at a higher level of consciousness. As with previous character structures, some neurotic tendencies remain. The heart character is more developed and discovers Bliss that is often the result of love actions. The most developed character structure is resolved character: no-character. In this structure there are no more frozen functions, the flow of energy is complete. There is unity with the whole universe, total freedom from blockages and from character armour, the ability to be in joy and bliss, to radiate it, to become the love principle, pure consciousness, the only reality there is, ourselves connected with the divine no-character.
The above are theoretical considerations, which place the training work in a wider conceptual framework. TePsynthesis uses an organized system of methods in treatment. It is a systematic application of defined body-psychotherapy methods with some innovations. Dr Klisic is working on the methods, which are best for each stage of Power and Bliss Development. The approach to each trainee is individual and accepting, with a lot of support for the stage he or she is at. This attitude, together with awareness opens the next stages of development more easily, bringing more pleasure, joy and bliss.
The training takes four years. The first year is educational-experiential with group and individual work. The second and third years are theoretical, methodological, didactic, conceptual, as well as continuing with the experiential work. The fourth year emphasizes supervision.
SERBIAN COUNCIL FOR BODY PSYCHOTHERAPY
Here you can get information’s about our Association, development of BodyPsychotherapy in Serbia (ex Yugoslavia), and about our domestic school TePsyntesis.
The Serbian Council for Body-Psychotherapy (hereinafter: SCBP.) is an independent, non-governmental , non-profit and non-political association which gathers psychologists, individual psychotherapists of different orientations, medical doctors and other professionals for the purpose of achieving common interests in development and advancement of the theory, practice, education and research in body psychotherapy. The SCBP exists and works in the State of Serbia. The SCBP Cooperates with related national and international organizations.
After few decades long preparations for BodyPsychotherapy in professional circles, first Serbian Association for Body-Psychotherapy – SABP was established in 1996, led by Dr sci Ljiljana Klisic. 1998 is founded Yugoslav Association for Body Psychotherapy (YABP). Our members have been very active in many national and international Congresses, seminars, researches, education, demonstrations, and other activities in developing Body Psychotherapy.
Amongst its activities, SABP is section of SDPJ (our NAO) from 1997, section of EABP from 2004, section of WCBP from 2003. Serbian Council for Body Psychotherapy is WCBP section, etc. We are grateful to all colleagues for their support in developing BP here.
The Serbian Council for Body-Psychotherapy – SCBP is part of World Council for Body Psychotherapy – WCBP.
WCBP is founded in November 2003 during WCP conference in Asia, India, Sagar in organization of Asian Federation for Psychotherapy. WCBP is part of WCP. Founders are colleagues all-round the world: from India, China, Russia, Nepal, Europe, America, Yugoslavia – Serbia, etc.
Conference Presidents, Professor Chidda Giri – Director of Training and Research Institute of Yoga and Psychotherapy and Founder President of Yoga and Psychotherapy association of India and Professor Alfred Pritz, Founder and Rector Sigmund Freud University, Vienna and WCP President, gave their ultimate support to WCBP and inaugurated it.
Founders of WCBP:
1.Prof. Ljiljana Klisic from Serbia (Yugoslavia) – WCBP President University Professor ALU, Belgrade, Serbia and Director of Training in TePsyntesis; 2.Prof. Ganesh Shankar from India – WCBP Vice President Professor and Head Department of Yogic Science, Dr.Harisingh Gour University, Sagar, India; 3.Prof. Mingyi Qian- Vice President of WCP and Professor of Psychology,Beijing University, Beijing, China.; 4. Prof. Yuji Sasaki- President of Japan Psychotherapy Association, Tokyo- Japan.; 5.Prof. Makarov, V.V.-President of Russian Psychotherapy Association,Moscow, Russia.; 6.Prof.Ali Mohamad Godarzi- President of Iranian Psychotherapy Association,Tehran, Iran.; 7.Prof. Judy Kuriansky- Psychologist & Psychotherapist – U.S.A; 8.Prof.Fazia Sabbatini and Stefano Boni-Psychotherapist from Italy.; 9.Swami Anant Bharti- Yoga Expert from India; 10.Prof. Y.S. Vagrecha-Clinical Psychologist from India; 11. Prof. Snezana Milenkovic- Psychotherapy Professor from Serbia; 12.Prof.Narain Prakash- Yoga Psychotherapist from India; 13.Dr.Nitin Korpal- Yoga Expert from India; 14. Dr. Zoran Djuric – Psychotherapist from Serbia; 15. Mg Branka Kocic – Homeopathy Body Psychotherapy from Serbia; 16. Anja Djordjevic – students representative, Serbia; 17. Dr. C.R. Stones, South Africa; etc.Later, many other colleagues have joined to WCBP.
From Aggression To Power
Written by Ljiljana Klisic-Djordjevic PhD
This article was written by Kelley-Radix practitioner, Ljiljana Klisic-Djordjevic, PhD., in Belgrade, Serbia who translated it into English. Some errors occur but were left in as they add to the flavor of the article.
Ljiljana wrote this article to further develop Charles Kelley’s concept of feeling and purpose.
PRAXIS IN TEPSYNTHESIS DURING WAR
We are working with various types of clients: clients with psychosomatic symptoms; all types of psychoneurotic clients; psychiatric and borderline clients; traumatized clients; clients who are not mentally ill but wish to enhance life skills, relationships, communication skills, or psychosomatic functioning.
Because of our specific area district, and a long period of wartimes during the 20th century, our fields of enquiry are very large. We are a multiethnic community, with a long history of misunderstandings, conflicts and hatred. Chronic stress, fear, grief are strong and common. That makes a special field of enquiry: the victims of the war.
A specific psychological structure has developed under these circumstances. Our culture differs from other cultures (i.e. European, American). There is a need for special approach because of multilevel defences, which have to be explored carefully. We cannot say that we meet with any clear character structure. Defences are very strong, complicated and have many levels. Every person is needed to be observed carefully, in order to find a way as to how defences are formed and how to handle them. Under these circumstances the application of body psychotherapy is very specific.
As psychologist and psychotherapist in last 10 years I have been working with participants of this war: victims, killers, refugees, people with PTSD, confused, desperate people, etc. Also, in our school we have been much more exposed to the work with aggression than ever before. During this work I felt a need to classify aggression development. To find a practical way which can help in praxis. I would like to share it with you.
Historical background in psychology of aggression is really huge and we can speak about at least 4 paradigms: 1. Academic science based on behavioral and cognitivistic theories – too reductionistic; 2. Humanistic psychology theories of aggression – idealistic and they reject, more or less aggression; 3. Psychoanalytical theories – different systems are giving really detailed and good development, but not the full spectrum, spiritual part is missing; 4. Phenomenological-existential theories – too eclectic.
All that was of help, but I needed a practical full spectrum to try to understand and deal with war. It is not yet finished, but I would like to share with you what comes to my mind:
PSYCHOTHERAPY AND AGGRESSION
I think that we can freely say that the time in which we live is a time of naked instincts. The old recepies for coping with them are no longer effective. Puritan repression is no longer functional and has become very unpopular. Judging by current preferences – as shown in the majority of films mostly dominated by violence, reaction is a strong anger that is blind to any other solutions. Thus we have now an explosion of aggression in former puritan countries that is destroying our planet. If we could find and popularize a way as to how to help direct aggression to real power, maybe we would stop turning our beautiful planet into a hell.
In psychotherapy the rule for psychotherapists is first to work on themselves. Are we ready for it also in the dimension of mass aggression? Or is idealization more comfortable for us?
We must face the fact that we are living in a world in which aggression is growing, terrorism is more frequent and bombing is making a real hell of our Earth.
It opens up the questions: How should our profession, psychotherapy, act in this situation, which will, unfortunately, happen more often in the future? Unprepared, maybe we are responding from a much lower level of aggression development than we would like to think? Is our idealized image about ourselves preventing us from seeing reality as a whole? If we choose to interfere, neglecting the old therapy rule: PRIMUM NON NOCERE (first of all, do not do any harm), do we have a clear perception, or maybe, we are taking for granted politicized and superficial explanations given by the media, seeing only one side – which is disastrous. We are overprotecting one side and persecuting the other without real perception and deeper wisdom. This can lead only to tragedy.
It raises the issue: can a psychotherapist be somebody who is so easily getting influenced by the media and involved into power games? What happened in my country is a case in point.
Generally, without entering into detailed political analyses, we can say that the bombing resulted in destruction of most good things, reinforcing the bad things. It was a disastrous failure in the achievement of the proclaimed objective. Of course, the killing did not stop in that way. I was so astonished with the reactions of most of my colleagues from almost all modalities of psychotherapy: they failed the test disastrously. They supported the simplified management of the war, failing to search for real understanding and mature solutions. Conformism probably prevented them from delving deeper and communicating with us. They have breached a large number of the rules of our profession smugly thinking that they have good intentions and cultivating an idealized image of themselves. All the evidence points to the fact that they responded from a catastrophically low level of aggression development.
I wish it never to happen again to anybody. What are we to do? Maybe the proposed classification can help us to look for a better understanding:
AGGRESSION DEVELOPMENT — CLASSIFICATION: AGGRESSION-POWER
In order to develop primitive aggression into mature power there are different steps:
1. INSTINCTIVE, PRIMITIVE AGGRESSION
It is archaic behavior. Fight for food and survival. Instinctive reactions in the most primitive form. Simple discharge of aggression without the need to postpone reactions. Consequently, no prediction. Simple sensorimotor cognition or the beginning of mental realms, which includes simple images and symbols. It characterizes early phase of human development and the level of consciousness that is closer to the animal level.
In the most intensive level it is blind destruction. Total surrender to the destructive drives. Rage is convulsive in discharge, without control. It is characterized by the feeling of omnipotence. Animistic thinking. Often it is a confusion of the image and the object. Magical reasoning helps to identify with false Higher Values. Actually it is blind passions and selfish ego system. Personality Dynamic is very primitive with primitive mechanisms of defense: isolation, fusion, grandiosity, etc. There is a lack of perspectivism, or inability to clearly take the role of other. We can associate it with primary processes, preoperational thinking, preconventional morality, safety needs, etc.
3. MANIPULATIVE AGGRESSION
Impulses are still strong, but control has started. It often results in neurotic mechanisms of defense like projection, identification with aggressor, manipulation, etc. Thinking is often mythic in its operation, we can find beginning of concrete operational thinking. Aggression is neurotic, easy to be directed in projection by manipulative media. Inability to resist to persuasion and looking to easy and superficial discharges of aggression.
In aggressive communication, opinions, feelings and wants are honestly stated, but at the expense of someone else’s feelings. Aggressive communicators are usually loud and focused.
Aggression is blocked and controlled. Feeling of aggression and anger is totally not accepted, often not aware. In passive communication, opinions, feelings and wants are withheld altogether or expressed indirectly. Rational thinking is developing in this stage, conformist attitudes, and conventional morality.
Psychotherapists in daily praxis must help client to come back to the moment when anger is blocked, re-experience it, learn a better alternative and then the function of anger can be unblocked and can start to develop and socialize again.
Assertive communication involves clearly stating your opinion, how you feel and what you want, without violating the rights of others. It is mature aggression. Taking care about your rights and rights of others. Formal operational thinking is developed, introspection and advanced capacity for perspectivism. There is post-conventional morality and self-esteem needs, etc.
Stage of True Power is integration of rough aggressive impulses with developed psychological functions like intelligence, moral sense, together with the highest value system. Channeling it toward wisdom in behavior. It is transformation of aggression into True Power. It is necessary to have a clear perception of the situation and finding the best solutions for all in this event. Of course, it means centering Will from ego to Self.
Cognitive operations are very developed on this level, it apprehends a mass network of ideas, how they influence each other, what their relationships are. It is thus the beginning of truly higher order synthesizing capacity, of making connections, relating truths, coordinating ideas, integrating concepts. It culminates in what Aurobindo called the “higher mind”. Maslow – self –actualization needs.
In the most developed part of this level you have insight into archetypes, illuminations, transcendent insights, etc. It is known as savikalpa samadhi in Hinduism, or illumined mind – Aurobindo. Maslow calls it self-transcendence needs.
7. ALL-MIGHTINESS or NON-DUAL POWER
This is Universal Power over the Universe. Non-duality in all and also in Power. God Power. Unmanifest source or transcendental ground of all other levels. Aurobindo called it overmind or supermind. In Hinduism nirvikalpa samadhi.
In the words of Sri Ramana Maharshi: The notion that the See-er is different from the Seen abides in the mind. For those that ever abide in the Heart, the See-er is the same as the Seen.
We can express it also in this way: how can the Universe be aggressive toward itself? What is the sense if the Universe manipulates itself? It is a state of unlimited love and power.
Duality ceases to exist and we enter into eternal Oneness. War of two separate polarities is abolished and we enter into non-dual existence. This is the state where there are no splittings, hate or misunderstanding. Wise men who have been in this state say that it feels like bliss, tranquility and peace. This is unity of Bliss and Wholeness. Harmony with everything that exists. We can say that aggression is replaced by JOY. According to psychology perennis and transpersonal psychology this is the only reality there is. All other levels of reality are illusions, but we have forgotten it. This is the essence – direct contact with the whole of reality. Unprepared and blocked, we cannot stand it more than a few seconds without falling into aggression.
In the process of development from primitive aggression toward mature power it is necessary to learn to postpone reactions in order to increase the degrees of freedom in decision-making. To postpone, not to block or suppress or repress. The problem is that in this process blocking or impulsivity often happens. The hardest is to integrate surrender with control and cognition.
Are we aware that it exists POWER TABOO ? Real power development is discouraged and power is distributed to the minority.
Probably we can connect our discussion with one branch of experimental psychology – called cognitive information processing. Cognition is understood as an act of communication between the environment and personality. From the perspective of hypoxia and dreams research, consciousness is a composition of distinct cognitive processes of different phylogenetic age. It consists of several levels of decision-making.
Surface processing levels enable fast reactivity, but as the decision level becomes deeper it allows higher degree of freedom – enables choice. Out of all findings a conclusion can be drawn: consciousness is a composition of cognitive functions.
The meaning of this arrangement of spaces (functions) of various depths is this: our early ancestors were primarily reactive creatures, and the development of our species was directed towards the more and more mediated (re)acting, which made prediction possible. From primitive aggressive reaction toward power. Consciousness has thus developed from the need to postpone reactions, and its main purpose is to increase the degrees of freedom in decision-making.
What is the peak of aggression or power? We do not have a name for it. But it is pretty visible if you work with it. The closest is aggression discharge. But too narrow. Describes only beginning of spectrum.
Maybe the peak on the line aggression-power we can call AGRASM.
For the beginning, we can understand agrasm like basically life expression in action, or approach. This metaphysical essence has paradoxical nature and is Universal ground of all levels in the spectrum.
The nature of AGRASMS is always the same, our experiences differ. How long and with what distortions the essence of agrasm can be tolerated depends on the level of our consciousness. This is where the differences in the classification come from.
These are some hypotheses we can think of, but the reality of present wars is warning us that wee need to understand the nature of aggression and power much better than till now.
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