Healing the Wounds of Childhood is an excellent view of the introduction of somatic therapies and their history intertwined with psychotherapy. Don StHealing the Wounds of Childhood is an excellent view of the introduction of somatic therapies and their history intertwined with psychotherapy. Don St. John, a PhD level psychologist, has a rich background and uses his own history to show how integrating the body into therapy is a key component of change. I appreciated his explanations of stress, how our birth affects us, and how trauma, not just the big T or PTSD, is derived from many experiences including our primary birth experience and our time in the womb. Like him I started out with traditional therapy, like him I began to explore body work and found that this work through the body accentuated my growth, like him I came to a similar conclusion, "I could have stayed in talk therapy forever and would not have explored the depths I have managed to reach once I included the somatic therapies in my healing regimen. As important and valuable as good psychotherapy is, it is not enough." He has an excellent chapter that defines sensory motor amnesia (SMA) and how it equals the chronic tension so many experience.
He explains in great detail the brain, our nervous system, and the 'heart brain.' He is a living example of the fluid work of Continuum movement, a work I myself have practiced since 1988. His doctor said it was a miracle, how he was able to walk around during and after a massive heart attack. And once discovered and having had a major surgery he healed exceptionally fast. He is a wounded healer who had an extremely abusive childhood, which he also uses in the book to show exactly how it affected his life and how he was able to change himself for the better.
One of the questions Emilie Conrad, the founder of Continuum, asked first about the ability of a person to heal, "How exhausted is the person?" This is a key question for healing. We live in a speeded up environment, and Continuum is a process of slowing down and feeling into our fluid system. Don St. John writes an excellent, readable, explanation of how the interweavings of mind and body works. He utilizes his process of healing to exemplify how he was able to heal fast and well because of the fluidity he adapted through a variety of body therapies: he worked with Ida Rolf, who worked through fascia doing structural integration; he worked with Wilheim Reich, he worked with emotions and muscles, and he worked with Continuum Movement, with Emilie Conrad, she worked through the fluids of the body, and also he worked with Tom Hanna, who worked through the muscles, brain and antonomic nervous system. He studied with and had amazing experiences with many masters in the field. Also, with Peter Levine who founded Somatic Experiencing (SE), which works with trauma, and Diana Fosha who founded Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychtherapy, who works at the charge to let love into our being. And there are more.
Not everyone can follow this long journeyed path, but we can gain from this excellent book and he gives us leads on how to find the sources. My only wish for the book is that it have an index. It has a great Bibliography at the back and is an incredible resource, I recommend to every therapist and lay person who is on a healing journey....more
Read many years ago as part of my study and practice of Continuum. She is a biologist and it resonates with the micromovement and being in contact witRead many years ago as part of my study and practice of Continuum. She is a biologist and it resonates with the micromovement and being in contact with your body at a cellular level, including the microtubules....more