‘…a few days ago, I met a young woman who was an emergency room physician in Detroit, and she had graduated from medical school in Michigan. Although I knew the answer, I asked her how many lectures she had received in medical school about emotional trauma. Not only had she not received a single lecture, but she also said emotional trauma wasn’t even mentioned once in any of the classes that she took. This absence is astounding when you consider the fact that trauma is the basis of most mental illness and most addiction. Also, and this should be obvious, there are all kinds of secondary physical consequences as well.’
Click on the link above to visit http://www.thefix.com for this gripping interview with Gabor Maté. Makes perfect sense to us….and the combination of realism and compassion is rare and refreshing. We do a lot of long term trauma work at this service. In our experience he is right about traumaphobia and ignorance in the medical (and psychiatric) profession, and in our wider society. And that obstructs any meaningful and appropriate response to what is everyone’s issue in a society which routinely traumatizes and normalizes – it’s just that some of us (like Donald Trump) play this through from a position of power and others (like the homeless heroin addict) from a position of social exclusion and scapegoating.
Our favoured blame-and-shame model manifests cultural shadow, at whatever level it plays out. It is – superficially – far easier than an open, in depth encounter with the nuanced complexities of our experience and ways of engaging with each other. But the risks and the costs of continuing with our current personal and societal shadow play are, of course, astronomically high – and mounting all the time.
We are grateful for Gabor’s voice, and those of others speaking truth to power.
Palace Gate Counselling Service, Exeter
Counselling Exeter since 1994