Saturday, July 2, 2022

Comments by Dougharvey

Showing 5 of 5 comments.

  • by the way Doug Harvey ( for those that may not know) was a hockey player. He was a hall of famer defenseman that skated in the NHL for many years… i read a biography of Doug, once which discussed his emotional, cognitive challenges…. i admired his play so much, as i also played defense… but really i know little about him or HOF goaltender Terry Shawchuck. But certainly severe head trauma played a major factor in both their lives on and off the ice. we do know this, now. Harvey died only a week after his 65th birthday, and was interred in the Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery in Montreal. i agree with the author, we’ve normalized all this psychological language. but what does any of it mean? and what is the shadow side of this “ mental health” rhetoric and systems ? good questions, very good questions, imo. i also fear sometimes this publication overlooks some of the helpful advances in drugs and psychotherapy. but this is more of a question? another GD question. oh well, i think it was Sam Keen who said something about living in the question. Or maybe it was Rilke? in any case i’ve been re-reading Donald Kalsched’s great book on Trauma. And what struck me this time was the essential nature of the therapeutic dyad. How important, over and over it is to “ tame the fox” ( using Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, little prince)… it takes a tremendous effort to gain someone’s trust when they’ve been severely abused. and this “ trust “ runs both ways. what we now partially refer to as transference and counter transference. which kalsched and others have experienced ( which is also my experience) as having a psychosocial/ spiritual dimension. which clearly, is beyond the scope of “mad in American” and most mainstream psychology. but it is partly through stories, myths and biographies that we live into the answers. these again are some of my discursive thoughts after listening to this interview, which i thought overall was quite good. i thought the young Professor interviewing was engaging, as well.

  • I get the most unusual comments in my email. Makes me wish I hadn’t commented. Dr. Becker seems like a very rational Woman and psychologist. I agree with a number of Her views. Her research and experience seem formidable. I have a cousin that spent much of Her career in women’s public health. She is Harvard graduate and full professor. The discrepancies contradiction undervaluing in women’s care seem clear. I think the don’t talk, trust or feel rule is still widely practiced, but that’s just me…. Also while I understand and respect folks that believe “ god” is an outside superanatural entity with a gray beard, or whatever. I get it. But I feel strongly that the God image is our creation, just like psychiatry. Not the other way around. And the great mysteries psychical, psychologically philosophically still remain as such. I have experienced numinous, holy, wholistic etc. and it is not within the context of rigid fundamental ideologies, religions, psychologies etc. but I respect those that have.

  • I’ve been reading Jorg Friedrich’s nonfiction masterpiece The Fire. So my ears perked up when you mentioned The fire bombing of London in WWII. And your description of Londoners response. And then your comments about war and Warriors. I just commented recently on Robert L. Moore’s book Warriors, King, magician, lover. Another masterpiece imo. … Right there, is a boat load to unpack historically, politically and psychologically speaking….. I resonate with what you’re saying to some degree. But as I am a man, I cannot speak to a woman’s experience here. Which I think is different. But I will say this, the fire bombing of Germany was unprecedented. Of course Germany bombed London, Moscow and Spain ( testing munitions) mercilessly. Bombed the hell out of them… But it was no where near the quantity of munitions which bomber command/RAF and the allied bombers unleashed on Germany. Obviously Londoners where thirsting for revenge. Make the Germans pay. And many ordinary Germans felt they were deserving ( penance ) of the devastation they received in return. Alls fair in love and war. But scares still live On imo. Putin ( 4 yrs younger than myself) still lives out the fantasy ( deep in his psyche) of revenge even though He was born 15-16 yrs after the fall of Berlin. And my 67 year old native Berliner friend and I still speak of the War every time we talk. Though again we were born on two different continents in the mid 1950s. He buried his 92 year old mother only 2 months ago. She faced down the Russians as they marched into Berlin in 1945. She and He’s teenage father ( a James dean that hated the nazis) never recovered. Not really. The rebellious teenagers, refugees, forced laborers were often the ones to dig the mass graves. And deal with human remains. And WG Sebald and an entire generation of Germans after the War could not let go of the devastation. And the women, children and elderly were often left to pick up the pieces ( psychological bricks, body parts etc) . The positive psychology you mention sounds dreadful. Just like cookie cutter pop psychology that is disseminated by popular culture. Another way to churning a buck. Freud ( most of his clients were affluent women) was nominated for his first noble prize in literature not psychology. He was a hell of a storyteller. Most depth psychologists or humanistic psychologists I’ve known do not not advocate these cookie cutter approaches. Conversely I do believe we do need to become psychologically more literate as a society. But I agree the wholesale prescribing of diagnosis is as dangerous as any extreme right or left wing ideology/ theology.

  • Thank you for your writing Tabitha. It is brave of you do emotional work your experience presents you with. Thank you for mentioning, “ body keeps the score” again. I started listening to it several years ago. And thought it was very informative. Before that I read Donald Kalsched’s masterpiece , “ Trauma and the soul” A psycho spiritual approach to human development and its interruption. Don’s writings and case studies had a profound affect on me. Particularly in the area of dreams. Which you mention are so often recycled in trauma. Like James hillman, poet Robert bly, Micheal Meade and others my life experience writing, recovery have taken me down a number of winding paths. I have an older Sister that was traumatized quite early in my family. I didn’t escape unfazed either. As you mention the intergenerational family trauma is part my and some other’s legacy. And how i will face up to my legacy is , I believe, in part, my fate. This seems to move into areas of the mystical as well as psychological. Again realms I cannot explain. Because of my early learning differences, I became interested in literature the 2nd half of life. At present, I’m reading post World War II German history and writing. There’s was a code of silence in post WWII Germany. How could German’s speak of terrible terrible atrocities they committed. while simultaneously acknowledging the terrible suffering and death of innocent mothers, children and some elderly ? Theses writers broke that code of silence and began writing the stories of voiceless, burned and buried. In their culture previously taboo. I hope you are able to have fun with your boys and continue sharing our stories of growing and healing.

  • i scanned the article briefly. A twelve step friend pointed out, by chance….So I’ll need to go back and reread more thoroughly. But I found the author’s biography equally compelling: “NHS learning disability services, she now works as a university researcher and tutor on mental health, and is completing a Masters in human rights. Chey believes strongly in the power of stories.”

    I am an artist. A poet and essayist. I have been in alcohol and chemical recovery for 35 yrs. I don’t particularly subscribe to the twelve step programs or the medical model. i suppose i like James Hillman or R D Lang or Michael Cornwall of this publication.

    i like the James dean’s of the mental health profession. They are as much authors, poets, social scientists, archeologists than clinicians…..Since i was also very dyslexic as a kid formal learning was ” out”. And i mean ” out” …..What i was left with was the imagination, a few hockey pucks and sticks. The frozen pond or the driveway, tennis ball, neighborhood kids all became purview, my canvass. The same with writing. I wrote on my bedroom wall. I appreciate all the outside the box thinking, i do. I have a Sister that is very stubborn and fragile. And i am sure I’ll never figure Her out or fix Her. But opening the imagination through stories and art with Her somehow helps. this is what comes to me after 50 years.