Denial of serious societal emotional problems and Body-centred countertransference

I can see that we’re dealing with a Hysterical Contagion in society at the moment. Corrupt Psychiatry is commonly tasked with “dealing with” this problem, but as a form of scape-goating. A violent form of brutality used as catharsis for societies problems. But there really is an ACTUAL problem at work … not the fantasies and abstractions of Psychiatric mysticism.

“Specifically he addresses the depth of disturbance in families who have lost good authority over several generations, and emphasises that the only truly effective way to regain such lost effectiveness is for families and individuals to mourn these losses. He explains the loss arises in the way authority figures disappeared for six years and more from the entire country in the Second World War. My take is that there was a doubled effect, with the Great War arriving when it did followed less than a generation later by the second War. Both were vast and unprecedented upheavals in hitherto huge stable societies, and they were unprecedented in coming one after the other.” Review of Loss of the Good Authority: Cause of Delinquency

We are dealing with deeply serious situation her,e now that we are really coming out of the 20th century. Our social fabric is in a mess. It is really a huge achievement by society that, for the most part, we are still even functioning.. But there is a huge amount of denial by individuals about the levels of anxiety that they are dealing with. They are not dealing with and are not being honest about their own emotional state. This state can then be denied and projected outside. I have been the recipient of this effect many times. It has a name. Projective Identification or Body-centered countertransference. I’ll be honest here about what happened to me with the hope that it can help other people or expose this situation. Before 2003 I was talking about having feelings of being Possessed.

“In everyday life, it can happen that ‘the recipient feels almost kidnapped or coerced into carrying out the unconscious phantasy of the projector’[6] In extreme cases, the recipient can lose any sense of self – ‘to become inhuman, a moving bag of skin, with important symbolic messages rattling about inside’ – and may find themselves acting out in ‘attempts at self-exorcism; the attempt to rid the self of projections or possession‘.”[7]  T. Pitt-Aikens/A. T. Ellis, Loss of the Good Authority (London 1989) p. 120 and p. 133

This was due partly to the existence of an abuser in my life at the time who was transferring hisown emotional state to me. But it was also many people in the society around me who find (in both conscious and unconscious ways) that those people who cannot protect themselves fully for one reason or another (the disabled, victims of abuse or social injustices) can be used as convenient targets for their own hysteria, feelings of anxiety, and feelings of fear and emotional distress.

This is not my own personal theory by the way, as I thought it was in 2003. In fact my perceptions  have proved to be correct. This projection or transference of emotional and physical material is not some abstract process. This has actually been measured and documented in the lab. People do express increased muscle tension and various physical symptoms and can feel “possessed”.

High levels of body-centred countertransference have since been found in both Irish female trauma therapists and clinical psychologists.[16] This phenomenon is also known as ‘somatic countertransference’ or ’embodied countertransference’ and it links to how mirror neurons might lead to ‘unconscious automatic somatic countertransference’ as a result of postural mirroring by the therapist.[17][18]

Loughran (2002) found that 38 therapists out of 40 who had responded to a questionnaire (which was distributed to a sample of 124 therapists) on a therapist’s use of body as a medium for transference and countertransference communication reported that they had experienced bodily sensations (nausea or churning stomach, sleepiness, shakiness, heart palpitations, sexual excitement etc.) while in session with patients.[19]

Mirror neurons would also be another concept to look up. What I am saying is that these effects are not isolated to therapeutic sessions. They are manifest in society.

So, it really is not at all surprising that society is dealing with high levels of (or at least personally unidentified) levels of stress, emotional trauma and anxiety. This is related to rejection of responsibility by many people as identified by the author above.

Pitt-Aikens – the book is driven by his psycho-analytic clinical experience with delinquent adolescents – is explicit in detailing classic ideas about authority while placing them in a modern light, i.e. he addresses the loss of good authority, by which he means an authority that is containing and non-vengeful towards its charges. All adults must share this together, and not walk away from ugly scenes on the street or public transport etc.

Levels of responsibility have broken down.Why is this not surprising ? Well how on earth do we expect to walk away scot free from the events of the 20th century ? As the author points out above we had a terrible “first world war” in 1914 soon followed by one of the most cataclysmic events to possibly ever befall humanity. Everyone knows that almost ended up in unthinkable nuclear conflict. But we did get out of that history ! At least to the point of not “pushing the button”. Now there are many positive developments. There are increasingly signs of liberalisation such as acceptance of other cultures. However we need to deal with the emotional consequences of that history, and the damage it has caused to our societies. Many seem reluctant to step up to the plate. Is it because they are unaware of over a hundred years of research into psychology and the human condition ? It is actually known how to deal with these problems. The tools are there. We have to start using them. We need to stop blaming other people as is reflected in the problem we have of using this term “mental illness” as a form of denial of the problems we are all dealing with. Yes it can be scary dealing with these things but is life ever so simple ? It’s not a single persons fault that the awful events that happened in the 20th century occurred, but it is our responsibility to start mending the problems, in whatever small way, but honestly.


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