Don E. Gibbons, Ph.D., NJ Licensed Psychologist #03513
This Blog is published for information and educational purposes only. No warranty, expressed or implied, is furnished with respect to the material contained in this Blog. The reader is urged to consult with his/her physician or a duly licensed mental health professional with respect to the treatment of any medical or psychological condition.


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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Understanding and Relating Come Before "Fixing!"

Dr.Milton Spett recently observed, "Most psychologists would agree that clients are much more likely to accept guidance from a therapist who first shows some empathy and compassion." When we consider the treatment of trauma in particular, books such as Robert C. Scaer's The Body Bears the Burden, Belleruth Naparstek's Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal, and Peter Levine's Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma, are in agreement that first, the clients must first be made to feel safe, and then they can begin to talk about their trauma in a way that is comfortable for them. When therapy centers only on re-processing the trauma itself, the result is frequentlty worsening instead of improvement. 

There is another reason for starting with safety before we get to the healing phase. As illustrated in the following video, which uses the exaggeration of humor to make the point, whether the problem could be solved by removing the nail is premature when we are dealing with psychological injuries.  In many cases. understanding and relating comes before "fixing;" and the relationship itself provides the most effective catalyst for change!
, (If the link doesn't work on your device, go to YouTube and watch, "It's Not About the Nail.")


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The Blog contains many other examples of experience as an art form, for the enhancement of human potential, the ennoblement of the human spirit, and the fulfillment of human existence.

See also the following print sources:

Gibbons, D. E. (2001). Experience as an art form. .New York, NY: Authors Choice Press.

Gibbons, D. E. (2000). Applied hypnosis and hyperempiria. Lincoln, NE: Authors Choice Press (originally published 1979 by Plenum Press).

Gibbons, D. E., & Cavallaro, L (2013).. Exploring alternate universes: And learning what they can teach us. Amazon Kindle E-Books. (Note: It is not necessary to own a Kindle reader to download this e-book, as the Kindle app may be downloaded free of charge to a standard desktop or laptop computer and to most cell phones.)

Gibbons, D. E., & Lynn, S. J. (2010). Hypnotic inductions: A primer. in S. J. Lynn, J. W. Rhue, & I. Kirsch (Eds.) Handbook of clinical hypnosis, 2nd ed. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, pp. 267-291.