I've just received a feedback form from one of my sites where someone was asking about using EMO in the treatments for child abuse survivors. I wrote the following reply, and some further observations on EMO and Child Abuse, and notably, Child Sex Abuse.
AddedNov 10, 2005
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---- From my reply -----
I'm also a survivor and I can attest to the fact that EMO is the gentlest and most helpful form of dealing with the very real "feelings" one is often overcome by, in real time and in the real world.
Indeed, the fact that you don't have to relive anything, actively forgive anything, and for once you can just go with what your body and your feelings are telling you, and it doesn't matter "if it's real or just imagined", has been a complete godsend to me personally and proven its value and practical helpfulness in many different contexts.
Now child abuse is a wide and varied thing; it's difficult because the memories as to the exact sequences of events, police memories if you will, are often unclear, skewed, seen through a child's eyes and sometimes just not there, at least not at the top conscious level.
You get dreams and nightmares too, weird flashbacks and all sorts of thoughts over the years and in the end you don't known at all what's what - only that you have all these symptoms and you know something went on that was deeply disturbing.
It is true that one of the reasons I was looking for something that did not rely on conscious awareness and the ability to come up with exact and precise opening statements is because of my personal experiences on the topic.
To be able to "cut out all the talk" - and with that, all the justifications, the reasons, the possible flaws in the memories and the arguments, the conflicts and the FEAR of what else might be there - was a positive GODSEND to me.
To be able to validate my "weird" emotional responses to "perfectly normal" situations and just accept them for a sign to what needed healing and restoring was also immensely helpful.
Rather than having to switch off my body sensations, I could finally listen to them, acknowledge them and USE THEM for self healing.
It got me "back into the body" for the first time in, oh, 40 years or so, and it allowed the process to proceed under its own steam, in its ecology, as and when, and WITHOUT FEAR or any kind of major abreaction, major operation, re-traumatizing super events or anything of that nature.
EMO is amazing in its presuppositions and in how it works.
There's nothing quite like it, and the total NON-JUDGEMENTAL nature of all its workings, which for some people seems strange and even sometimes too logical and systemic, is exactly what the doctor ordered for child abuse survivors, and especially child SEX abuse survivors.
It has to be ABSOLUTELY systemic and non-judgemental or else the aspects of us who hold all that shame and guilt and grief and anger simply CANNOT benefit from any healing - they are structurally excluded.
And of course, I don't even want to begin to start talking about the aspects who may have identified with the abuser/s, connected to them or patterned themselves on them in some way - those never get a look in in the standard "You were just the innocent victim and that bastard must burn in hell and you need to get that or else you'll never heal!" approaches of psychotherapy and many other doctrines of psychology and spiritual healing.
The whole concept of "innocent energy" derives EXACTLY from my own personal experiences on the topic, and what I have learned by interacting with many other abuse survivors over these many years.
All the re-unificaiton processes of EMO, all the weight on the systemic nature and structure of injuries and how they relate firstly to emotion, and from there manifest in thought and behaviour (action) were first of all road tested right there - in the abuse survivor scenarios, in the high end trenches of psychological and energetic disturbance.
Further still, the "client - practitioner dance" at the heart of the co-joint healing endeavour between two EQUALS, where the "healer" is literally FORBIDDEN to tell anyone what is wrong with them, how they should be feeling, and where they are ONLY allowed to focus on "putting to right what once went wrong", only FOLLOW ALONG with the person's own special unfoldments and even then, ONLY when and if the person in question is ready and willing, all that is patterned directly on the needs of child abuse survivors.
Of course, these "failsafes" build right into the very structure of EMO are of benefit to ANYONE AT ALL, and it doesn't matter where they got their disturbances from, but you just can't have any healing modality and NOT get at least some of the originator's main aims and outcomes built into that somewhere along the line.
It is curious that I should not have written on the topic before; but this could be simply because I am just so used to living with this, it *is* my life and what can I say - fish and water, if you're a fish, you don't think to bang on about the water all around, do you.
If anyone would like to ask me any questions, on list or backchannel, about child sex abuse, either past or in the post-evolved form, and EMO, by all means, feel free to write to me.
I have extensive experience with the topic and perhaps the time has come to do something more public with it.