MEDITATION IN PSYCHOTHERAPY FORUM ARCHIVE
Return to the active forum
Meditation and Abreaction Due To Childhood Trauma
Jim Spira · 4/13/98 at 10:11 PM ET
Meditation is extremely effective as part of psychotherapy where childhood abuse issues are examined. There are two ways in which I have found meditation to be useful in this regard.
1) Self-comforting. Of course, if one can establish a sense of comfort, then one is able to pursue difficult issues, and return to this comfort base as needed. Yet the meditative sense of comfort goes well beyond that established in interpersonal therapy or relaxation. If one's basis of existance (conscious or unconscious, cognitive or somatic) is fear, shame, guilt, anger, etc. then it can be, to say the least, therapeutic to appreciate that more fundamental than these feelings is a sense of unity with all things. Once one has been able to experience the wonder trusting and resting in the moment at hand, one is more willing and able to suspend the more "surface" sense of self that arose from the abuse. One is then able to consider and experience what life is like based on a sense of trust, unity, and comfort.
This assumes, of course, that one can suspend one's abuse-generated sense of self in order to experience the self that is in common with all things. Yet I find that meditation gives one the opportunity to experience an alternative, while at the same time revealing one's "habit" self and the fears of suspending one's habit self.
2) Passive awareness: By developing a meditation practice, one is able to develop a "passive/allowing" awareness to develop, so that cognitive, affective, physiological, and behavioral aspects of one's personality (built up from the inital abuse, and then maintained and reinforced over decades) can be noticed without habit reactions to it or fleeing from it in fear. Once noted and accepted with calm conscious focus, both the impact and the influence is reduced, and one can begin to consider alterantive ways of thinking, feeling, reacting, and acting.
| Behavior OnLine Home Page | Disclaimer |
Copyright © 1996-2004 Behavior OnLine, Inc. All rights