Theory of Process Healing
Theory for Process Healing
The basis for this metaphor or theory
was originally presented in a paper by Garry Flint at the 1994 International
Conference for the Study of Chaos in Biology and Psychology at Baltimore,
Maryland. Since then, the elementary notions of chaos theory have been
discarded because it confused lay persons and professionals when I mentioned
the word - chaos. However, I have Outlined this
theory as a chaos process in an explanation of the active ingredients
of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (Flint, 1994, 2000)
(To download a reprint, Click
Now, I never go into detail, the theory is treated as
an extension of B. F. Skinner's model of behavior. Never the less, both
Skinner's model and this model are obvious candidates for chaos modeling.
One could look at the development of Process Healing as a traditional
Skinnerian approach where the behavior is observed and then the contingent
relationships are discovered to be able to manage the maladaptive aspects.
I prefer to teach this model of the
brain, personality, and change based upon clinical experience, rather
than interpret what I see within some psychological theory or force
it into some mathematical model. Walter Freeman's (Freeman, 1991) chaos
modeling jump started my understanding of how the brain worked. The
complexity of the brain continues to unfold based upon some basic chaos
principles that Freeman stated. I think it fits well with Ben Goertzel's
model (Goertzel, 1994). At present, the theory section restates the
above description, but gives me an outline from which tie concepts or
observations to psychological research.
Shortly after conception, the fetus' brain starts remembering some neural representation of auditory input, namely, words, phrases and sentences. This forms a lexicon of language and shortly after birth, objects and actions are connected to the words to form a functioning verbal system, the subconscious. At birth, sensory experience and activity of the baby start the development of the personality. The main personality is actually based upon a state dependent memory that includes all learning that has any connection to sensory experience. All traumatic experience is remembered in the personality of the person.
The personality is manifested in what I call the active experience. The active experience is a cooperative neural mass (Skarda and Freeman, 1990) that takes all internal and external sensory experience, all behavior processes operating, and all emotion and content memory that are elicited by the content in the active experience to compose the next response in all ongoing behavior processes. It is a recurrent system. It is believed that all brain functions, organ functions, and covert and overt behavior are run by unique cooperative neural masses and that each has a verbal system developed in the way similar to that of the subconscious. Recent observations seem to point me in this direction, unless the subconscious' are putting me on.
After birth, to make the active experience more relevant to getting more satisfaction and less pain, an association process is gradually learned that filters what is elicited from dormant memory. At the same time and usually in connection with the association process, a dissociation process is gradually formed to further modulate the sensory experience of the conscious experience. It's function is to hide irrelevant active stimuli so that the responses are more tightly under appropriate stimulus control of the environment. Both of these processes reduce distraction and are involved in focus and concentration. The main personality overlaps the dissociation process so that there is both an active conscious and active unconscious experience in the main personality. If memory is not active, it is dormant or asleep. The Association and/or dissociation process can come under voluntary or involuntary control to form repression or dissociative memories or parts of the personality.
When a unique experience like abuse, an accident, or a medical trauma, occurs and exceeds a certain level of intensity, the whole brain mobilizes to survive. In doing this, it rapidly pushes the main personality out of the active experience where it remains dormant in memory during the course of the trauma. It is believed that the main personality, a unique cooperative neural mass, is pushed out and returns so fast, there are few neural connections between the main personality and the trauma experience. This causes an amnesia for the trauma.
The trauma experience forms another
unique cooperative neural mass during the evolving trauma. When the
trauma subsides, the main personality rushes back into the active experience
pushing the trauma part out of the active experience to a state of dormancy,
again forming an amnesia at the end of the trauma. The trauma part then,
is amnesic to the main personality. Note that these trauma parts can
be highly developed and run the body to create fugue states while others
give visual, auditory or emotional intrusions, etc. They can be coconscious
with or without amnesia. With this model, it is easy to conceptualize
how all this can happen.
Flint, G. A. (1994). A chaos Model of
the Brain Applied to EMDR, Psychoscience. Vol. 1, pp. 119-130.
(Rev. 11-30-01)Copyright © 1997-2002 Garry A. Flint, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved.