The Dangerous Method, Delving Into The Soul
Published on Wednesday, July 11th, 2012 at 5:38 am and is filed under General Psychology
David Cronenberg’s latest foray into the history of mental illness and therapy is deeply thought provoking. In the current day there are still as many arms of psychoanalysis as there are fish in the sea. When there are many treatments for an ailment it usually suggests a tenuous grasp on the aetiology of the illness. Such is the case with mental health and healing our souls.
Cronenberg’s latest film is based on Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung ’s professional friendship; they were early crusaders in exploring the mind and trying to return damaged souls to some sort of equanimity. Hitler put an end to such nonsense and exiled Freud from Germany, the irony of a psychopath whose insanity was the root of misery for millions exiling someone interested in the mind and soul is palpable.
Why are the workings of our soul and mind so poorly understood today? Why is there still scope for insane therapies such as devil exorcism promising to cure the tortured souls of our time? The soul and the subconscious are ethereal in nature, they are yet to be fully understood, in that science is yet to be able to capture and measure such concepts, therefore subjectivity rules supreme. We need to rely on intuition and have strong guidance from our own soul to help others. This is perhaps why it remains such a large and treacherous field of endeavour over one hundred years later.
We as practicing mental health professionals are alienated from ourselves to varying extents which precludes a sounds base from which to approach this field. However, the clients are the measure of our successes or failures. They either feel better and improve or feel worse and deteriorate. However what clouds their perceptions? They are damaged from a wide array of traumas and are desperate to regain or gain a more robust mental health. This is another problem, with so many fields of “therapy” these people leap from one to the next driven by utter despair and if told they are better or this diagnosis or that they often too depleted in strength to resist. Psychoanalysis and soul repair remains a dangerous field; there is too much room for delusion from both therapist and patient.
On the lighter side, the soul and our subconscious give depth to humanity. Freud was particularly interested in the subconscious and how it played out in dreams for example, dreams are a fascinating part of our existence and feelings are constantly symbolised for us in our sleeping moments. I am frequently embarrassed by the honesty of my dreams when my soul is queen compared to my waking moments when my more superficial often dishonest intellect and ego are at play.
I take my hat off to Freud and Jung for wading into the murky depths of the unknown and kick starting the industry of looking after our mental health, much of what they postulated is still frequently referenced today, their thoughts have had much greater longevity than most. At least nowadays mental health, the soul and subconscious are becoming a discussion we can all have, this helps to put the taboos to bed and hopefully bring about less dangerous approaches to wounded souls.
Sammy Johnson’s experiences in life have resulted in her seeing her fair share of therapists. Janov’s Primal Therapy she believes unlocks much in the individual however on a grander scheme the work of biologist Jeremy Griffith she believes may importantly unlock the greater questions about our collective human conditions.