Reply To: Psychotherapy with LH patients

  • Don Salmon

    June 8, 2023 at 12:17 pm

    Hi Lucy and Nic:

    I thought Nic captured the quality of despair beautifully in this line:

    “I notice a lack of meaning, a lack of conceptualising the whole, an aversion to stay with uncertainty and the not knowing. More dysregulation, and trauma symptoms.”

    Yes, I see the same thing – but!

    LH/RH relate to very limited aspects of human consciousness – they’re different functions of the intellect. But we have a very ordinary physical or sensory mind, and an emotional mind.

    And we have the prana (sorry, there’s no English equivalent – it’s not exactly “energy” – in the Yoga tradition it’s the Life consciousness, “Prana-shakti”, that underlies all that we moderns ignorantly refer to as “matter”. And in therapy, about 90% of our patients’ problems have much less to do with EITHER the LH or RH but with distorted functioning of prana, related to disconnection, trauma, the meaningless of modern life, etc.

    Furthermore, all human societies prior to the actually quite recent period of ancient Greece (in other words, for over 100,00 years prior to a mere 2500 years ago), lived with a vivid, visceral awareness of vast realms of consciousness far beyond our ordinary waking state. Everything was alive, connected (and not merely in the RH way Iain describes). The world was magical, miraculous, alive, meaningful simply in its Presence.

    Now, at the same time I see see poor and working people get caught up in literalist superficial conspiracy theories or fundamentalist religion, I see many who are far more open to these vast, subliminal realms than most educated people are, whether LH dominant or RH dominant.

    And if we let go of rigid categories of LH and RH, and look closely from moment to moment at ANY of our patients, we may see that there is an utterly indefinable mixture of “all of the above” in them, in ourselves and in our interaction with them.

    So my own way has been to use these categories to help me be more mindful of various notes, various flavors that may arise, but then just as quickly let go of them and dive even more fully into experience, which is far beyond any of our neurological, psychological, scientific, philosophic categories.