The core experience of trauma is feeling disempowered and disconnected.
-Judith Herman, Trauma and Recovery
Trauma is not the thing that happens it is the effect left within us.
the core experience of trauma is being left feeling disconnected and disempowered.
Ironic then, that our approach to how we run “mental health services” is so often to further disempower and further disconnect those who are already disempowered and disconnected:
- Disempowering us with endlessly repeated untruths, mistruths and fake stories about our broken brains, our faulty biology, or our inability to adapt, and about how we need to acquiesce to experts, their quick fixes: magic pills and magical technology, and “behavioural medicine”.
- Disconnecting us from ourselves and each other by calling us names that have us fearing our experiences, fearing ourselves and fearing each other.
Were we to deliberately set out to design a system to leave people stuck we’d have to work really hard to make it work better than the one we already have.
Now, it really is not difficult to understand why people come to struggle and feel overwhelmed by life.
It really does not take too long listening to an individual to begin to make sense of the specifics of how it is they come to struggle, and start to figure out with them what avenues might be worth pursuing to begin the process of bringing about some change.
What if, instead of a system that degrades, dehumanizes, disconnects and disempowers people who do find themselves struggling, we built a system that helped them make sense and to find their way?
What if, instead of a system that requires people, who have already become disconnected and disempowered, to subjugate themselves to being experimented upon and passed from one expert to the next, further disconnected and disempowered?
What if…instead of treating people like broken machines and subjecting them to experts expertly diagnosticating and expertly fixing them, instead we created systems that focussed on enabling people to become more connected and more empowered..?