The Meaning of ‘Private’ in Therapy
Throughout the 30 year development of Af-x and ECR, the notion of what ‘privacy’ really means has been fraught with misunderstanding. I wish there was another word in the English language that could be used to indicate the specificity of what private in affectology means. One of my tasks could very well be to find another more precise word, or look to other languages and reinterpret back into English (Greek, perhaps). Watch this space.
Because of the long socio-professional installation as to what ‘private’ designates, we all tend to relate it to one thing, and one thing alone – the act of non-disclosure by a psychotherapist (or doctor or lawyer, etc) of the substance or topic of the matter that has led a client to that professional. This has led many a client of Af-x or clinical affectology to assume that they know exactly what we mean by ‘mind privacy.’
In affectology, what we are promoting is the notion that the part of the affect unconscious that our work is specific to, is unavailable even to your conscious mind. That is … ABSOLUTELY! We may call this phenomenon “auto-seclusive,” meaning hidden even from yourself. This is an understandable position. We have been conditioned in our culture to believe that everything about who and what we are, is definable and can be analyzed to some extent. The very strong contention of affectology – supported by the affective neuroscience – is that there are aspects of your unconscious emotional core that drive your adult characteristics and have a great deal of influence over who and how you are today.
Here’s a few lines from one of the Af-x program descriptions. The use of the term UPGs refers merely to our defining of the emotional core. In this case, the acronym refers to Unconscious Preverbal Governors.
I do not operate from UPGs, do I?
WHY THE QUESTION ARISES: Most people are not comfortable with the idea that “something” outside their awareness and ability to analyze is governing their lives. Adult ego can rarely accept that there are forces that cannot be controlled through an act of conscious will.
WHAT AFFECTOLOGY SHOWS: The territory of the affectology approach is exclusively the unconscious or subconscious. Unconscious Preverbal Governors (UPGs) operate beyond our ability to define or control. Present-life problems and issues would be easy to moderate and change if we were driven only by conscious reason and will. The likely cause of indefinable affect habits is the presence of UPGs.
So, are any of us really in charge of ourselves? We’d like to think so. Know thyself? Affectology contends that you can never do such a thing, fully. But also contends that it’s no big deal to change your emotional and behavioral PATTERNS without micro-analysis of the depths of your affect code. For a more robust look at why that may be the case, you can go here.
It’s common for intending clients of Af-x to say things like, “I want to get into my subconscious to find out why I do the things I do” or “I know how to go to my subconscious – I’ve done it before. I want to fix things about it.” Of course, these people have been conditioned by contemporary thought, to expect that the affect unconscious is analyzable, that they must actively bring about some modification to ‘what’s going on within’.
As much as I’d like to accommodate them, it remains true, and I have to make the statement, “can’t be done.”