by Bruce Wilson
This morning, I received a tweet about a new book written by Simon Baron-Cohen, a Cambridge psychologist and psychiatrist who studies empathy. His book is Zero Degrees of Empathy: A New Theory of Human Cruelty.
Baron-Cohen says that our view of cruel people as “evil” is misguided and rooted in obsolete, theological notions of morality. In an interview with the Guardian, he explains that people who are cruel have a low capacity for empathy because of genetic makeup and early childhood experiences. Cruel people tend to have had an insecure attachment in infancy, now recognized as a critical factor in the human development of empathy. Continue reading “Can empathy be learned?”
by Bruce Wilson
Jules Roth, co-director of the Denver Primal Center used to tell a story about lectures he gave to university psychology students about primal therapy. Invariably, there were three types of response. The first and largest group of students just took notes with hopes of passing the exam; a second, smaller group would look askance or make sarcastic remarks about “screaming your way to happiness” and a third group, usually consisting of just a few students, would approach him quietly after the lecture to ask more about the therapy or where they could get it. There was a hush-hush quality about their questions, as though being interested in deep feelings was something to be embarrassed about.
Continue reading “No (deep) feelings please, we’re psychologists”
by Bruce Wilson
Search for “primal therapy” on PubMed, the US National Institute of Medicine’s database of the world’s medical literature, and you will a grand total of 12 papers.
There is only one paper in the 1990s: a survey that criticizes primal as one of the “least sound” of mental health treatments, along with neurolinguistic programming, bioenergetics, and aversive therapy. A more recent survey (2006) ranks “primal scream therapy” as less credible than prefrontal lobotomy, EST, NLP, craniosacral therapy, AND “dolphin-assisted therapy for treatment of developmental disabilities.” Only slightly less credible than primal were “treatments for PTSD caused by alien abduction, past lives therapy, future lives therapy,” “use of pyramids for restoration of energy,” and angel therapy.
Continue reading “Why is primal therapy ignored or criticized by mainstream psychology?”
Welcome to our blog on affective neuroscience and how it can be applied to heal human suffering. We’re just getting warmed up here so be patient – we’ll be posting regularly very soon. In the meantime, mosey on over to the “about” page and learn more about why we are writing this blog.
Peter and I have been friends for forty years and over that entire period we’ve been involved in deep feeling therapy (primal therapy) in an attempt to heal our childhood wounds and open to a more fulfilling, integrated, and feeling life. When we met, each of us was suffering personally and searching for a more authentic, real life in a world that was, and still is, crazy in so many ways.
Continue reading “Welcome to The Primal Mind”