Wednesday, August 08, 2012

From The Archives: And that's what it's all about . . .

[First posted 5/17/2010]

As a kind of look-see experiment, Dr. Melvin Morse, the writer of the wonderful foreword to our book, suggested sending a copy to an American psychiatrist whose website proclaims his practice to be "integrative," using, according to the website, "evidence-based conventional and alternative treatments of psychiatric disorders" -- including, among other things, acupuncture, guided imagery, EEG biofeedback, something spooky called "Alpha-Stim™"; something spookier called "Virtual-Reality Graded Exposure Therapy" and, August's fave, "conventional long-term insight-oriented psychotherapy." Tim's fave (but wait, there's more) is "a Support Group on conscious living and conscious dying."

For those outside the U.S., psychiatry — at least in America — a long time ago incorporated medical science with psychotherapy; medications were used only in the more dire cases to keep someone from hurting themselves and/or others, and when the normal course of talk therapy was producing little change, or maybe even worsening it. Many pdocs (as we call 'em in the biz) were trained in various psychotherapeutic and analytic models — heck, they wanted to be — and probably did a fare amount of good healing work. Today, however, thanks to managed care, Pdocs very rarely are trained in psychotherapy, nor use it, as they have quotas to meet in the number of patients per day in order to make a living. Hence, we now have the 1 to 2 times/month, 15 minute "how are you doing? Good/Better/Worse? Fine, continue/change your medications and see you in 6 weeks don't let the door hit your ass on the way out." A colleague once quipped that most pdocs are really mediocre MDs who couldn't hack medical school and saw psychopharm as a way out while saving face. I've been taking a personal poll over the past 5 years and have yet to find a pdoc who was licensed in the past 5 years that has ever had one session of personal psychotherapy or psychoanalysis. That bit of smarm being said, I have had the pleasure of working with some great pdocs who have discovered the pleasures of being with a patient without medicating them.

Here is this psychiatrist's few words of comment upon reading his copy of The Risen:

"I've been reading through your book but have to say that is proving very, very, very difficult to keep an open mind about the idea that you "and Tim, ie, the discarnate spirit co-author" have somehow "collaborated" on this....it seems very hokey to me....so I am seeing this as more of a kind of new-age fiction work by someone who can write well...You've also made me curious about who you are (ie, the therapist, not "Tim", your fictional alter-ego), but nevertheless you raise many important issues about meaning, and useful speculations about death, dying, the possibility of an afterlife, etc. So, whatever your true motives are--I think some useful dialog will come out of this project...."
We love this kind of thing for its validation about what we call "Skeptics with a capital S" — and especially for its transparent revealing of an arrogant, frightened, and active ego-mind struggling to silence Authentic Self's attempts to begin awakening. Note that not one, not two, but three "very's" are used, rather giving the feel of someone trying to nail down an uncooperative lump in the wall-to-wall carpeting. Our blessing is that perhaps, someday, this probably well-meaning person will achieve his own "unconventional long-term insight-oriented psychotherapy, with ectoplasmic kitten socks thrown in for conscious living." Here is our brief response:


Thanks for your comments; glad you are able to find the more salient issues of interest for your own thought process. To be clear, it's not fiction, nor is Tim a fictional alter-ego -- although that is an interesting approach for an ego-mind to use -- yet we also acknowledge that "three very's" would indeed make keeping an open mind difficult. Still, an open mind, however difficult to achieve, is different than a closed mind.
Best Regards,
August & Tim

And the response to this (oh joy of joys):

If this were "real" and you "and Tim" were legitimate you would be going about this in an entirely different way...ie, there would be absolutely nothing to conceal from legitimate and legitimately skeptical inquiry. As it is, your approach is strategically geared toward the enormous market potential of new-age faddists hungry for meaning and short on critical inquiry. Again, it is certainly an effective way to make money but neither serves the legitimate field of parapsychological research nor the legitimate spiritual interests and needs of people. I would challenge you "and Tim" to do the right thing and go public...since, as you claim, you are for real...in which case your "and Tim" would certainly bring about a remarkable evolution in human understanding of the nature of human being and spirituality, the afterlife, god, and EVERYTHING else.Until if or when you "and Tim" choose to subject your "selves" to this kind of critical, open-minded inquiry, and if you continue taking this project on in the way you are choosing to do so (ie, with the clear goal of putting out sensationalistic tripe that can not potentially be investigated and so neither falsified or confirmed), I will regard you as a fraud and this as a clever hoax.

No need to reply.

Signed, An open-mind person who is committed to learning about truth but refuses to be duped....
Jeez...we just asked him if he would be interested in reading an interesting book. But we feel it's healthy to show that there are many facets of reactions and responses to the idea that there is no death. No wonder those on the other side are talking more and more about the lack of education and understanding in those newly arrived.

August's final reply: "Well, only $84 in royalties were made in the past year, so that's not quite enough for a decent wardrobe for Oprah — but we'll keep at it. We hope you continue to once in a while open the book sent to you gratis."

And, no surprise, Tim would like a last word:

"I especially love the irony of being called "a fictional alter-ego" — oh, ye of little faith, if only you knew — scratch a drag queen once . . . "

______________________
postscript ~ although I (August) am not particularly meds-happy, in no way do I recommend that anyone stop or change their medication without the guidance of their doctor. I have also experienced the sometimes necessity of medications in order to bring a person to a baseline of enough stability in order to be able to speak, and to want to be heard.

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