SEXUAL HARM, social harm — both rampant — time for a radical, SCIENCE-BASED change.
THERE IS ONLY ONE provable, repeatable, uniquely validated scientific factin the whole of psychiatry — past, present, or future. It doesn’t require blind faith nor pre-beliefs. And there won’t be another — machines can’t scan minds — humans find it hard enough. I guarantee this applies to every single traumatised person, ever. I also guarantee that all mental illnesses conceal a link to earlier trauma. Check out the NEWS FLASH —
“Four out of five teenage girls who have been sexually assaulted are suffering from crippling mental health problems months after their attack, research has found. . . . . Experts said the findings had confirmed that becoming a victim of abuse in childhood could lead to mental health issues, which could last a lifetime.” Denis Campbell. Monday 23 July 2018, The Guardian.
NOW — link these two together, and a brand new, non-controversial approach emerges from the rubble. FACT ONE — brainscansprove that earlier trauma stops you thinking. It blocks your frontal lobes, and your speech centre, giving you a mini-stroke — your thinking goes on the blink. FACT TWO sincephysiotherapybrings enormous benefits to ordinary strokes, or cerebro-vascular-accidents (CVAs), why shouldn’t a similar approach work with trauma-strokes? Trauma turns your thinking off, “Verbal Physiotherapy” turns it back on — well, that’s my story — see if you agree?
Put someone in a brainscan machine, play them an audio tape of the gun shot, the wounding, or whatever the earlier violent event had been — and their frontal lobes and speech centre stop working. They can neither think nor talk about the worst experience of their lives. You can try this out for yourself any time you have the right equipment, and enough traumatised people willing to be researched. There’s nothing “mysterious” about it — the brainscan is objective, measurable, scientific, repeatable — it does not depend on ideology, psycho-babble, the DSM, nor anything else. It’s there, and has been since 1996 (though scrupulously ignored).
Is it significant? Does the fact that the sufferer cannot think clearly nor talk about the worst experience of their entire lives — does this matter? I should say it matters more than anything else.
Two things follow — firstly this scientific fact explains, uniquely and for the very first time, why the worst effects of trauma don’t go away — people are still being tortured, raped, dropped on, hit — even though, in reality, any such thing stopped happening decades ago. Why? The simple, and only correct answer, is because their thinking apparatus has been paralysed by that very same trauma, and so can no longer be used to bring their present-day situation up to date. Everyone else knows that the injury, the damage isn’t happening any more — unhappily, to the sufferer, it’s about to happen “next”. What a tragedy. In my view a “needless” tragedy — hear me out.
Secondly it explains tunnel vision, emotional tunnel vision at that. If your mental furniture is dominated by a phantom ogre that you can’t get rid of (because it won’t let you look at it, let alone think about it) — what’s to stop you going through the rest of your life in fear, terror, panic — insecure and alone? However, if you can once get enough trustworthy emotional support to kick-start your frontal lobes, thereby enabling you to think clearly about it, you can, for the very first time, see that your torturer, having filled your entire world at the time, is now only a figment, which no-one else can even see.
weighty proof & 60 murderers’ evidence
You want some really heavy proof, some weighty evidence? How about what 60 murderers in Parkhurst Prison on the Isle of Wight taught me? Murderers kill people — but ask any convicted murderer why, and they fudge, they confabulate, they obfuscate. “A red mist came down”. “S/he had it coming”. “I just lost it”. Utter nonsense. The truth is, they don’t know. Wait for it — they simply cannot think nor talk clearly about the most damaging thing they ever did. All crime writers, and Hollywood, will fill your mind with garbage motives — money, sex, status — sounds fab, pays well, only it’s faked. Real murderers display what all victims of earlier trauma do — frontal blockage. And with this, an utter inability to make sense either of it, or of most anything else. They talked with their fists/guns/knives, not their speech centres — a part of them that their earlier trauma had rendered kaput.
So what was I doing for 5 years, as a consultant psychiatrist, in a maximum security prison wing in the early 1990s? Well, I went there to teach those 60 murderers that their horrendous childhoods were over. Their severe frontal blockages simply didn’t allow them to clock this for themselves. Next, I convinced them that they no longer needed to go through life in fear for their lives. They had been “living” in nightmare kindergartens — but only where it mattered most, in their heads. I came to the conclusion that all murderers kill because they fear they’ll be killed — they nearly were in an earlier life — a realisation which, once their frontals are unblocked, they can begin to see for themselves, for the first time. And so, at last, shed.
So did it work? Does talking to convicted murderers pay? Well it did there. In that Special Unit in Parkhurst Prison, they responded by eliminating violence — no alarm bells were rung on that Wing for 3 years, down from 20 a year. Of course this runs directly counter to conventional wisdom, so this unique penal event was seen as political poison, and remains taboo even today — but, believe me, it happened, and indeed saved my own life on three occasions, thank goodness.
Dr Bessel van der Kolk, the Massachusetts doctor who did the brainscans, describes them in a recent YouTube — link below. He called what he found, “speechless-terror”. The terror he exposed rendered his subjects “speechless”. He describes it as “having a stroke”. I uncovered the exact same process by careful clinical observation, in 1986. I now call what I do “Verbal Physiotherapy”, since what worked in Parkhurst Prison, has worked everywhere else too — provided I could summon enough favourable and supportive environments in which to implement it. It is now my clear view that Verbal Physiotherapy not only restores healthy thinking, but, like any other physiotherapy, it also deters doctrinaire confusions by being obvious, understandable and blessedly uncontroversial.
Humans, especially when young, are peculiarly vulnerable to aggression, to injury, to “punishment”. It cripples their thoughts. It can distort them for life. But it needn’t — at least, not if you can deploy adequate “verbal physiotherapy” — at least that’s my view, as described in the book listed below.
Psychiatry today is a mess — it keeps struggling, with prodigious determination, in entirely the wrong direction. Enormous attention is being paid to brain circuitry and brain chemicals — so here is one solid neuroscience item which can withstand any amount of scrutiny — scientific, objective, reproducible and unlike most everything else, meaningful. Indeed more so than any other brain/chemical analysis in the world — so why does it go unnoticed, even suppressed?
The ebook listed below goes into more detail. I’ve priced it as low as I can — what we need now is a consumer movement to rock the psychiatric establishment to its foundations, wake it up, and tell it to start coaxing trauma victims back into full, healthy thoughtfulness — I call it social delight. Take a closer look, and see if you can agree?
Bob Johnson. Sunday, 23 September 2018 www.DrBobJohnson.org
A recent keynote is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWJNMFhC3MM
link to Dr van der Kolk — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53RX2ESIqsM
link to ebook — https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/892956 priced at USD $2 — I’m not in this to make money, but I do need to cover my printing costs.