I really enjoy Steven Porges’ wonderful contributions from the field of neuro-science. His studies of our nervous system have helped to deepen the scientific and therapeutic understanding of what actually happens between people. What he describes is a process common to all mammals, co-regulation, where being together allows us to calm down and assess danger/safety by perceiving (or Neuroception) another’s nervous state. In this time of physical distancing and isolation, we have increased need for contact. By contrast, texting, emailing and “social”media remove the vital elements of vocal tone and facial expression which have evolved over time to help us sense what each other feels, wants, needs, fears etc.
Thanks once again to Serge Prengel’s Relational Implicit podcast for a clear and timely conversation.
Personally I prefer the term physical distancing because we need to work hard retain the social contact, as Porges says. We need to keep a safe distance to prevent possible viral transmission, but we need to maintain contact to reduce unnecessary anxiety and counter the feeling of isolation. So we talk, we make jokes, send love,… I heard of people dressing as animals and dancing outside their neighbours window on a child’s birthday…we do what we can to make contact and keep connected.
To this end I am seeing clients online using the various video/phone calling methods to meet and work with people. In some cases I am meeting clients outdoors, in the beautiful surroundings of the Calder Valley. This may not always be appropriate, but I am happy to discuss this with new clients.
For one weekend only – 14/15th Sept 11-5pm
As part of the Todmorden Open Studios Popup
At Todmorden Therapy Space, White Rose Mill, of Rise Lane, OL147AA
Works by Simon Manfield – prints available to buy
for more info on Simon see https://simonmanfield.blogspot.com/
Copyright Simon Manfield
This essay summarises the ideas and research in a well written and researched book Suicidal: why we kill ourselves by Jesse Bering. It speaks of the effect a suicide can have on children, and in particular, how the information about the death is handled. It resists oversimplification and instead details subtleties, evolving narratives and different possibilities, using many examples and case histories. I found it a very good read.
Clicking this link should take you to the article on the AEON website which has many interesting essays on Psychology and more.
This link for info on a men’s discussion group
If you have been affected by someone’s suicide or threats to end their life you can contact me through this website and arrange a free phone call.
A conversation between Pat Ogden of the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute and Serge Prengel. I like the way Pat speaks about the body and I feel like my way of working has some crossover with hers (although I have not trained at her Institute). I also run workshops on Body Language and non-verbal expression (see The Human Cry)
Pat Ogden: How body posture and movement can influence well-being
This is one of a series of interviews or conversations as Serge prefers to call them. I think he is an excellent interviewer who skilfully summarises what he is hearing and often helps the subject to open up and share what needs to be shared. See also https://somaticperspectives.com/
I want to share this article because I enjoyed it and also because I think the current debate about sexual harassment is an important one. Serge Prengle is an excellent moderator of discussions and his conversations series is a useful resource for those wishing to learn about body/somatic psychotherapies.
She says; “In cases of abuse the shame that should be with the perpetrator gets transferred to the person who has been abused.” It’s a simple but important thing, a helpful reminder that part of the abuse is this co-creating of shame. This involves or invests the vulnerable party in the creation of a protector for the abuser. It maintains and reinforces the power imbalance.
Then she goes on to say sometimes there is an attempt to return this shame – for the abused person to try to shame the abuser. Which, whilst understandable and perhaps important, rarely helps either party. My question as a therapist is often – what will be helpful?
Kathrin Stauffer reflects on sex & power