Sunday, August 21, 2011
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
There's a quote one of my staff mentioned to me recently which stuck in my mind.
'It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.' Jiddu Krishnamurti
It is not dissimilar to something my son said recently after returning from Germany where he had visited Dachau concentration camp.
'Anyone who was not a terrorist in Nazi Germany was guilty.' Lance Hadley
There is something very unforgiving about the wisdom of the young. Regardless of whether this is a matter with which you agree, the fact is society plays a massive role in what we consider healthy.
When Maria, one of our therapists, recently attended a first-nations healing gathering, she described some of the situations she worked with. She talked about working with clients from her own community - something she has done for several years. The manner in which some problems were managed was radically different to what one might expect.
In describing the situation it became evident that in many parts of the process the person who was being helped was present, and also often other members of their family. So much for confidentiality. Sometimes the process goes wider. At times the entire community is involved.
This is an interesting concept and one that is sadly lacking in modern healthcare. In many instances we find the client has issues, but we have a wider problem to address. An obvious example is the client with an addiction, who is surrounded by a support system, such as a family, that is also riddled with addiction. Typically, an orthodox solution may be to give the individual addict a prescription drug such as methadone, as a replacement to their addiction.
In fact the wider organism - the family - is equally sick. Just as treating an individual symptom will probably do little to effect 'cure', treating the one individual with methadone will do little to solve the problem in the long term. The influences that created the addiction in the first place remain. The long term result is often unchanged.
Until orthodox healthcare starts to recognize that the nature of disease might be broader than its immediate effect, it is likely to maintain a blinkered and sadly ineffective approach. Many of us know of cases where a transplant recipient continues to smoke or drink heavily after they receive a transplant. The operation may be a triumph of modern medicine, but the patient is far from 'cured'.
Hypnotherapy may be a tool that helps the individual at a physical level, as well as a psychological one, if it is applied intelligently. It also provides a means to introduce new perspective about paths that will lead to real change. If it is impossible to achieve that change within a community, it can encourage the client to move outside of the community to healthier future.