The Art of Presence in Mental Health Video

           It is known that the bio-medical model is widely used to understand, treat, and find a cure for what affects the human kind. To find the cure, the bio-medical discourse looks for and targets non-ordinary states of mind (psychopathology) and nonconformist behaviors (personality disorders) that sets some individuals apart from the mainstream population who outwardly display socially implied acceptable moral codes, ethics, mindsets, and behaviors.  As per the model, the etiology of individual dysfunction and abnormality is mainly due to and found in bio-chemical, genetic, and physiological dysregulations and factors.  With this type of understanding of human difference, the psychiatric medical model, treats the nonconformist through organic, biochemical, and mechanical means. For example: in the past trepanation, hydrotherapy, lobotomy, insulin shock, chemically induced seizures, electroconvulsive therapy ( with no anesthesia) was used, and presently, chemical agents are used to control the behavior or psychopathology, as well as, electroconvulsive therapy (with anesthesia), and other less invasive procedures to stimulate the brain.
       As it can be seen, the treatments either historical or contemporary may seem to many, especially patients, to be invasive, brutal, inhumane, and contrary to communal ethical and moral codes.  According to many patient accounts the treatment received especially while in the inpatient unit, is abusive, one of isolation, paternalistic, and authoritative.
      One may say that the bio-medical system does not work due to many independent factors, yet, is it the system that does not entirely work?  Or, is it that some of the mental health workers who embody the system are covertly not in contact with their shadow (unresolved aspects of self) and projected onto the non-conformist?  Were the procedures used and the medication presently prescribed a way to suppress the community’s and especially the mental health worker’s shadow self? Or, a projection of the unresolved self onto the marginalized?
       This video is about the importance of the clinician’s self-healing and integration of the shadow self to ethically treat the pained person with compassion, empathy, and achieve a state of presence through understanding the whole person, that is mind, body, and soul of the pained person.  The video is not just for clinicians and mental health workers but, for all community members to self reflect, accept, and integrate those who are marginalized and pained. Healing is not only individualistic but, also requires communal acceptance and integration for those who are isolated for their differences.


Giliberti, Mary– Power of Kindness and Compassion
Hatten, Ben– BuzzFeed report in Bellevue Hospital
Hollis, James-Encountering the Shadow Self
Junger, Sebastian– Tribe interview
Rothman, David– The Rise and Fall of the American Asylum

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