There must be a better way
Over the last 50 years the efficacy of mental and physical health medication has remained essentially unchanged. Here we will explore what the author believes to be a fundamental question that once examined, may unlock the potential for those suffering with mental or physical health conditions to become more engaged and empowered within their own journey. The question is ‘What if your mind is not your brain?’ The term ‘mind’ in this paper will be as proposed by Siegel[i] “… mind extends beyond the boundaries of the skin, beyond a single skull and even a single body, to some kind of distributed process in which mind also arises from our social connections of energy and information flow shared among us…” This definition highlights that the mind is not simply locked inside the head with the brain and this position is then used throughout the work that follows.
At the time of writing mental health problems have beset two thirds of UK adults, ranging from anxiety to depression, with people between eighteen-thirty four being the ones who were most likely to suffer with these conditions.[ii] This paper seeks to show how current neuroscience and pharmaceutical research may be failing owing to a fundamental floor in their objective approach to the subjective life. The paper will show how the brain reacts to the external world and, in doing so, will then point to specific mental and physical health issues that may be a direct result of this.
The Screen or Emotional Memory Image
The notion of there being a ‘screen’, which individuals react to was originally put forward by Plato.[iii] Prisoners inside a cave whose heads are restrained so that they can only look in front at a wall. Behind them is a walkway and behind that is a large fire, basically whenever someone passed along the walkway, their sounds and shadows would be thrown onto the wall in front of the prisoners and these ‘shadows’ would become the prisoners reality, as they didn’t know and had never known anything else.
Basically, when you look through your eyes into the world around you, it’s a bit like driving a car with a windscreen and your life experiences appear on this windscreen creating a filter by which you view your world. So, this isn’t new information and it would be Bernheim, H. A French physician and neurologist highlights ‘The Screen’ in his book ‘Suggestive Therapeutics’[iv] when looking at ideo-motor responses he declared that they were created as an individuals response to an ‘Emotional Memory Image’ EMI. Bernheim could not prove the existence of the EMI as it was happening below the client’s conscious awareness, he could however show the ideo-motor responses and it was here that he focused attention, leaving the exploration of EMI to a future generation.
Discovering An Emotional Memory Image (EMI)
When working with a client who had a wasp phobia, the author noticed the client flinched and pulled her head back at the mention of the word ‘wasp’. The author then asked the client “if she could see a wasp?” The client answered positively and the author moved his hand into the space directly in front of the client, to approximately where the imagined wasp was. Then moving his hand toward the client caused her distress, whilst moving it away she became instantly calm. The author then took hold of the EMI and placed it into his back pocket preventing the client from re-accessing the EMI in it’s original format and eradicating the life long phobia in under two minutes. The author went on to teach what he calls ‘The Screen Process’ to hundreds of clients and therapists, alike.[v]
The author, who, being born conductively deaf, works with the focal point that an individual accesses when they mention their trauma, problem or issue, thus working directly with the EMI put forward by Bernheim, which the author proposes is seated at the focal point of the client’ observation. The protocols set out by the author within what he calls The Hudson Mind Process© are both systematic and systemic.
Systematic – sitting to the side of the client, ensuring rapport is built between therapist and client, engaging client in conversation about ‘The Screen’ and how it works, then asking client to say a little about their presenting problem, pointing out to the client where their eyes fixate on the EMI on ‘the Screen’ and then having client focus on a different point whilst trying to talk about their issue. This EMI interruption would appear to enough of a shift, as the client from that point forward is unable to re-access the EMI.
Systemic – the therapist is to adopt an encouraging and curious More Knowledgeable Other (MKO)[vi]. This connection is key to influencing the client’s neurology as we will see later in the article. The therapist client relationship must not be one of ‘Healer’ and ‘Person to be healed’ but more of a social interaction with a skilful tutor (ibid). It is these conditions, the author argues, that create the environment for the client to be actively involved in their own learning and the discovery and development of new knowledge, creating cognitive transformation.
Neurological Support of EMI
The author suggests that the EMI on the Screen will have a direct affect on the prefrontal cortex, the hippocampus, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis, the amygdala and the sympathetic-adrenal-medullary (SAM) system. The neurotransmitter norepinephrine and the neuromodulating hormone cortisol will be secreted into the system and communicate to these parts of the brain during the EMI episode[vii]. The author believes that it is long term exposure to EMI that is the basis for the myriad of health conditions that are impacting on society today: preventing the EMI from triggering means there can be no response by the brain, ergo no elevated cortisol levels.
The Hudson Mind Process© (HMP) offers the potential for adoption of a national and international health program that can have measurable results, without the need for pharmaceutical support or intervention. Thanks to research we are living longer but what is the point of this, if you are suffering every second of the day with mental or physical health issues? In the UK 5.8% of the total health research budget goes to mental health even though it represents 23% of service demand[viii]. Researching the HMP would be less costly as it requires no pharmacological trials and has a direct impact on the neurology of the client.
Working with HMP© can allow the subjective internal world of a person to be acknowledged and validated, with a swift and measureable change within their neurology. The work of Lang is more relevant today than ever before, “we cannot medicate a broken spirit”[ix]. Isn’t it time we stopped trying and did something different?
Body Mind Workers because …
…there is a better way
[i] Siegel, D,J (2017). MIND A Journey to the Heart of Being Human. New York: W.W. Norton & Company. p9.
[ii] Mental Health Foundation. (2017). Surviving or Thriving? The state of the UK’s mental health. Available:
https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/surviving-or-thriving-state-uks-mental-health. Last accessed 20th Jul 2017.
[iii] Benjamin Jowett translation (Vintage, 1991), The Republic pp. 253-261
[iv] Bernheim, H (1890). Suggestive therapeutives: A treatise on the nature and uses of hypnotism.. New York: Putnum. p137-139.
[v] Hudson, E.M. (2017). How it started. Available: https://bodymindworkers.com/body-mind-work/. Last accessed 30th July 2017.
[vi] Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
[vii] Shore A. Affect regulation and the origin of the self: the neurobiology of emotional development. London: Taylor & Francis 2016.
[viii] MQ: Transforming Mental Health. (2017). UK mental health – how much do we spend on research?. Available: https://www.mqmentalhealth.org/research/research-funding-landscape. Last accessed 30th July 2017.
[ix] Laing, R.D (1967). The Politics of Experience and The Bird of Paradise. London: Penguin Books.