Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Against dependency in healing

The age-old problem in healing in all history is Dependency. A patient, client, member, believer, disciple or whatever he or she is called is likely to be in a vulnerable situation of psychological (or worse, physical) dependency on his or her healer. Carl Jung got into romantic affairs with some of his female clients. One might argue that they were genuine mature legitimate relationship, but if it were today, Jung probably would be disqualified as a psychiatrist. And I've not even mentioned the "unregulated" healers of today under different categories of practice (including "religion", "kundalini awakening" and "chi-kung").

Recently I came across some discussions of late hypnosis guru Milton Erickson. Erickson was famous for his authoritarian approach. Again dependency is a potential problem. Whereas some critics, like author Jeffery Masson, doubted the personal integrity of Erickson, like getting personal gratification in the process, his kind of treatment method would likely to back-fire with the patient suing the therapist later in a court of law if the therapist is not as famous as Erickson. I'm referring to similar situations as the following healing session of Erickson with a young female patient (Weitzenhoffer, Andre M. (2000). The Practice of Hypnotism):

"Now you need to know how to undress and go to bed in the presence of a man. So start undressing." Slowly, in an almost automatic fashion, she undressed. I had her show me her right breast, her left breast, her right nipple, her left nipple. Her belly button. Her genital area. Her knees. Her gluteal [buttock] regions. I asked her to point where she would like to have her husband kiss her. I had her turn around [naked]. I had her dress slowly. She dressed. I dismissed her.

In conclusion, in the contemporary open society, any healing method should not create too strong a dependency on the healer, for the benefits of the patients as well as for the healers. In corollary, a person seeking for help should be wary against "healers" that foster a strong dependency. Acid test: Do I feel guilty if I decide to walk away from my healer? If yes, find another healer.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...