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James O Connor

Psychotherapeutic intervention:

Psychological health development in whatever context emerges through the general adaptive flow of personal and vocational dynamics therefore. If these processes become inhibited or even arrested, as may occur through the aegis of various extraneous external factors which can be unpredictable, uncontrollable or to whatever extent exceed our coping resources, then people’s choice driven free flow as it were may become compromised and energies redirected to deal with a more primary necessity. Say, as in dealing with the immediacy of the physical and psychological effects of such adaptive compromise.

The effects of such adaptive efforts to whatever extent may affect on-going personal and vocational progress as pathological memories are repressed i.e. driven out of awareness by a purposeful act of will so as to facilitate a desire to return to a state prior to the onset or eruption of whatever trauma. Coping by forgetting in short. And humans are indeed possessed of what is an essential ability. The ability to repress is a natural human adaptive phenomenon and may indeed serve an adequate purpose depending on the acuity or chronicity of the interaction. However the memory of the event, though apparently forgotten, is never lost, while the emotional trauma of the affront becomes camouflaged as an enmattered residue through somatic i.e. bodily absorption. It becomes part of us - embodied as it were. Freud noted: “Events of painful significance may be banished from awareness by the psychological process of repression.”

This process however, though eminently functional, is neither fool-proof nor infinite and overloading can occur unconsciously, precipitating cognitive and somatic (bodily) anxietal responses. These demand our signalled attention and may precipitate various adaptive behaviours. For example, engaging indulgence in various externally and internally directed projective behaviours and substance abuses which may be all too familiar.

One way or another and at whatever level and in tandem with whatever coping behaviour whether adaptive or maladaptive, expression through speech represents the only fool-proof causally directed methodology of any manner of psychological trauma reversal whether acute or chronic – literally rewriting history by changing how the trauma effects continue to act upon people and in a manner personally unique. As Freud noted: “Wo es wahr, soll Ich werden.” Where it was, I shall become”. The ‘ it ’ being the repressed, enmattered element of preventive causality i.e. that element which denies/prevents movement.. The common alternatives may be various chemical (silent) interventions through medicine which indeed may effect and alter mood and may indeed be efficacious as temporary alleviants, particularly in conjunction with speaking but may have dubious effects as sole long-term management facilitators.

Speaking in psychotherapeutic terms comprises a full engaging freedom of speaking expressive discourse or indeed saying. People are asked to speak and say whatever emerges within them at any given time – enunciating their personal and vocational experiences, ambitions and including the dreams and fantasies of sleep and waking life. In short, every conceivable possibility without limit to say or not say as discourse develops and people find their voice, their confidence and enunciate their truth. A ‘coming to be’ who they are in and through language as Lacan put it.

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