Sunday 23 August 2020

Whole Body Soul

Ever since reading your post I've been coming across more and more references to the link between mind and body. possibly the most interesting was an article in the New Scientist which was suggesting that not only was there a link between major organs and the brain but that we should start to consider that our organs along with our brains have a soul... it was at that point that my brain started to complain and prevented me from reading any further! I do wonder whether you therefore have multiple souls co-existing or some sort of compendium of souls. Maybe when our mental health is suffering it's a reflection of our collective souls falling out with each other. I can imagine my stomach having a bit of a strop with my brain pretty much most days the amount of junk that my brain tells me that I really want to eat. There is definitely mileage in a more holistic approach to mental health. For me this would extend beyond the physical/mind and include the socio/economic spheres. I have a long-standing interest in the work of Marx as well as that of Foucault and have recently been looking into how these approaches might tie in with my own experience of mental distress. It's been an interesting time and always repays a few minutes of googling. Two names that have emerged in recent searches are Iain Ferguson and the more well known R D Laing. Drawing on the work of Laing (Insanity -- a perfectly rational adjustment to an insane world.) Ferguson suggests that in a world dominated by the profit motiive our own social and emotional needs are often ignored or where they are acknowledged they are framed in individualistic ways. We are confronted by an establishment that is primed to centre our distress within a medical model where our illness is either reduced to a set of symptoms to be 'cured' through the administration of medication or framed as our responsibility, our recovery. Even talking therapies including Cognitive Behavioural therapy talk about changing how we percieve the world around us rather than accepting that the world around us might just play a part in how we are feeling. There are some chinks of light emerging through the relatively recent development and innovation of trauma informed approaches where past trauma is recognised as implicated in current distress and an emphasis placed upon services seeking to avoid adding additional trauma to the individual experience. Radical ideas indeed!

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