04 Aug TANTRA CAN BE SET UP TO FAIL
Tantra therapy specifically is in many ways, set up to fail, and the ways in which it has the potential to heal sexual trauma like nothing else also are the same ways in which it makes it difficult to offer therapeutic change. In this I am referring to the boundaries within Tantra therapy, unlike most other psychotherapies the Tantra session is very different and usual boundaries of contact, ethics, and contractual therapeutic criteria is often absent. There is touch, where in other therapies it is forbidden and very taboo.
But the touch is not the problem. In fact touch is extremely powerful and in many pathologies touch is an extremely powerful healing modality as we are wired to receive touch, we are sensitive so that we can experience touch, if we do not experience touch in the first few months of life we die and research shows us that the population of people who are the most deprived of touch during their childhood and early adulthood are those who eventual engage in the most hideous crimes of humanity and those who end up on death row. Scientists and psychologists such as James Prescott, Alice miller and Gabor mate have demonstrated to us through a mass of research and clinical studies that touch deprivation in early childhood and adulthood can lead to psychopathologies such as the case with the Romanian orphans and many other similar case studies. Where the deprivation of touch leads to autism and other inter-relational disabilities, an inability to connect with others. Clinicians such as Lawrence Hedges, director of the Listening Perspectives Study Center and the founding director of the Newport Psychoanalytic Institute is an advocate of introducing touch into psychoanalytic therapy at specific junctures in therapy to create corrective action and therapeutic change.
Touch in the therapeutic setting can also be re-traumatizing. Many times in psychotherapy we may touch a client out of our need to soothe the client, or as an unconscious way to say to the client that the emotion you are displaying right now is uncomfortable for me please stop. Other times we might touch the client out of other needs we have to connect or to be liked or to comfort the client the way we were never comforted. All these ways of interacting come from our own unresolved trauma and our own unmet needs as therapists and offer no therapeutic value even if it feels comforting at the time for the client. On another level the client may feel dismissed, used and re-traumatized similar to an emotional incestuous relationship of the parent and child where the parent meets his/her needs through the child. This does not make the therapist a bad therapist or bad person but merely a participant in a therapeutic impasse, non-therapeutic reenactment and ineffective therapy.
In Tantra the touch is very much a large part of the therapy but still can be used in the very same way as described above but in an even more aggressive and persistent way particularly if the therapy involves a lot of touch. Touch should always always be mutual agreed upon at every stage of therapy, it is not enough to have agreed that touch is part of the therapy at the start of therapy, permission must be sought at all times during the session with the obvious exception of tantric massage.
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Life Change Health Institute offers world unique individual & group psychotherapy, Sacred Sexuality workshops, classes and Retreats. We specialize in long-term relational trauma recovery, sexual trauma recovery and early childhood trauma recovery. We offer a very gentle, safe, supportive and compassionate space for deep relational work with highly skilled, trained and experienced psychotherapists. All of our psychotherapists are accredited or working towards accreditation with Irish Group Psychotherapy Society (I.G.P.S), which holds the highest accreditation standard in Europe. Our therapeutic approach is an overall evidence-based treatment approach for working with complex trauma and dissociation, that addresses the root causes of trauma-based presentations and fragmentation, and so results in long term recovery. Highly effective psychological and somatic techniques are woven into a carefully staged treatment approach, which systemically integrates significant relationships into the treatment process. Dynamic (PT) PsychoSocialSomatic Therapy seeks to heal early experiences of abandonment, neglect, trauma, and attachment loss, that otherwise tend to play out repetitively and cyclically throughout the lifespan in relationship struggles, illness and addictions. It is unique in that it approaches the body first (bottom-up processing) and unlike any other form of therapy also integrates the social element of looking at the clients nutrition, environment, support structures, relationships, level of intimacy and attachment style.
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