David Hartman, LCSW
Welcome to this issue of the Journal of Heart-Centered Therapies. The Association celebrated a national 2012 Conference in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida April 20-22. Stephen W. Porges, author of the book The Polyvagal Theory, offered an inspiring and challenging keynote address to the 120 participants, and there were numerous other relevant presentations. Music and morning kirtan chanting was provided by the Breath of Life Tribe. Thank you to all the presenters, and to each of the attendees. It was a great success!
The lead article in this issue is also a brief course offering continuing education credit: "Ethics in Heart-Centered Therapies" by David Hartman and Diane Zimberoff. The purpose of this continuing education course is to increase the working knowledge about ethical issues and principles for mental health professionals, especially those utilizing Heart- Centered therapies. This article attempts to focus on the practical applications of these principles in practice, and some of the areas of ethical concern addressed are: Informed consent, Competence, Dual relationships, Self-care, Fees, Documentation, Availability, Confidentiality, Multicultural competence, Self-disclosure, Integrating spirituality and religion into clinical practice, Mandatory reporting, Consultation, Identifying high-risk clients, Terminating psychotherapy, Expanded forms of "seeing" the invisible, Working with non-ordinary states of consciousness, Working with groups, Touch and body work, and Working with children. The article includes a test for those wishing to receive 5 hours of credit from NASW or NBCC.
The second article in this issue is "A Trauma-Weakened Ego Goes Seeking a Bodyguard" also by David Hartman and Diane Zimberoff. The article uses the analogy of a traumatized child running away to the circus to find a bodyguard for protection from the abuse at home. Unbearable trauma causes fragmentation of the child's structure of the self, her wholeness. And this fragmentation occurs on the level of personality (behavioral changes, or shadows in Jungian terms) and on the level of physiology (nervous system changes, or shock in our terms).
We want to distinguish between traumatic dissociation and traumatic shock. Dissociation creates a distraction to get caught up in, an escape that allows another, dreamlike, experience to replace the threatening one: "I have abandoned you." This requires defenses of the ego, such as rationalization, denial, sublimation, or suppression.
In contrast, shock is the recognition that there is no escape, nowhere to go to escape. It is thus not escape into an alternate reality but rather into the annihilative nonbeing of the withdrawal of one's soul: "I have abandoned myself." This is a second-line of defense, when the ego-defenses have been penetrated resulting in unacceptable levels of anxiety. This level of wounding requires primitive archetypal defenses of the self, such as splitting, trance-states, switching among multiple centers of identity, or psychic numbing.
Please consider submitting a manuscript for the September, 2012 issue of the Journal, and share your clinical experiences with other readers.
David Hartman, LCSW
Heart-Centered Therapies Association, Issaquah, WA USA
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|Publication:||Journal of Heart Centered Therapies|
|Date:||Mar 22, 2012|
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