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Archive for Psychology

Connect the Dots: Kelly Brogan: A Mind of Your Own

Saturday, March 19th, 2016

Listen to Connect the Dots: I interview Kelly Brogan, MD, author of A Mind of Your Own, talk about the myth that anti-depressants work, a more effective natural approach to depression, and the media blackout on her new book.–-kelly-brogan-md-–-031616/ Since January 2011, Connect the Dots is a weekly show on the Progressive Radio Network hosted by food, health, and environmental journalist, Alison Rose Levy. Each week through in-depth interviews with different thought leaders, advocates, scientists, authors, and experts, we connect the dots between personal wellbeing and the total environment.

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From Spiritual Authority to Spiritual Authoritarian

Friday, July 1st, 2011

By now, most people know that in his so-called “sweat lodge,” James Arthur Ray disrespectfully borrowed traditional Native American sacred practices for use in his endurance boot camp, in order to produce “abundance” in the gullible participants. Two of those participants died. Like many, I feel sad for the families of the victims, and agree that it’s appropriate for the legal system to hold Ray accountable. But it’s a mistake to dismiss Ray as just one “bad apple.” Why? because he exemplifies a bona-fide risk for spiritual seekers. Until people can learn to distinguish between spiritual authority and authoritarianism, and between spirituality and spiritual materialism, some will fall prey to charismatic individuals, like James Arthur Ray. Read More→

Categories : Psychology, Spirituality
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Connect the Dots: Lynne McTaggart and the Bond

Saturday, June 18th, 2011

On the day of the rapture that never happened, I interviewed Lynne McTaggart on my radio show, “Connect the Dots.” The author of the new book, “The Bond: Connecting Through the Space Between Us” (Free Press, 2011 ). McTaggart told me that she wrote “The Bond” because “We’re in crisis and we all know it. We’ve been watching this series of disasters, ecological, economic, terrorist — and while it may or may not be the end of the world, it’s the end of the world as we know it. We’re at the end of a certain mindset that has caused these compounding crises. Understanding and changing that mindset is the path to a viable future.” Read More→

TSA Manhandling Meet Criteria for Sexual Predation

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

Earlier this week, Congressional staffers averted their eyes, too embarrassed to watch TSA staff demonstrating a patdown. The new procedures shown at a specially convened briefing, used a young female TSA volunteer. “In front of a room of 200 people, they touched her breasts and her buttocks,” a House staffer who attended the briefing told Politico. “People were averting their eyes. The TSA was trying to demonstrate ‘this is not so bad,’ but it made people so uncomfortable to watch.” Read More→

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The Art of Dying

Saturday, October 9th, 2010

When a dear mentor of mine passed away recently, who knew him were deeply saddened. Many considered his passing “untimely” since he was actively immersed in important projects with hands on the reins until near the end. Read More→

Categories : Psychology, Spirituality
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Radio Show: Ask and Receive to Heal Yourself

Saturday, September 4th, 2010

Energy psychologists, Sandi Radomski and Tom Altaffer, discuss their healing approach, Ask and Receive, a unique and easy to learn technique to clear blocks to health and higher states of awareness. This health discovery uses the power of your unlimited being to allow you to ask for what you want in your life and attain it. People use this Read More→

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Radio Show: The New Mandala and the Dalai Lama

Saturday, August 14th, 2010

On today’s show, Alison Rose Levy will speak with Rev. John Lundin, a spiritual writer and teacher, an environmental activist and clean energy advocate, and a liberal blogger. His newest book, written in collaboration with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, The New Mandala – Eastern Wisdom for Western Living, is a guide for Read More→

Reflections On Sleep, And The Earthquake In Haiti

Sunday, January 10th, 2010
Biochemically, psychologically, and spiritually, each one of us has to make our own peace with sleep. But why the epidemic of sleeplessness? Is unrest merely your or my personal problem? Or is it a pervasive societal symptom?

Is there something about our world that keeps us up at night? I wonder. Read More→

Categories : Psychology
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Mackenzie Phillips and the Stockholm Syndrome

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009
Following Mackenzie Phillip’s revelations of long term incest with her father, “Papa” John Phillips of the sixties’ singing group, the Mamas and the Papas, some people wondered why the actress allowed the incest to continue for ten years– into her twenties.

The assumption is that since she was a young adult, she could have stopped the abuse. The reality is that she may not have been able to do so due to what is known as the Stockholm Syndrome, in which people form what is called a “trauma bond” with their oppressors. Because survival depends upon the good will of the oppressor, the abused become infatuated with and bonded to them. The kidnapped heiress Patricia Hearst was a notable example of this. The trauma bond is common to victims of abuse, be they incested children or battered wives, as well as among prisoners of war, cult members, and victims of torture to name a few.

Traumatized people have traumatized brains which Phillips described on the Oprah show when she alluded to having “flashbacks,” unwanted, repeating inner images, which she attempted to compartmentalize and block out. A traumatized brain does not respond or bounce back so easily. Drug use, also part of her family’s behavior helped to annihilate awareness of the sexual episodes, the resulting emotional pain and the unwanted, intrusive memories– that occurred later.

In the book, Traumatic Experiende and the Brain, author David Ziegler, the director of a treatment program for abused children, writes that “I have often noticed that the degree of loyalty from a child to an abusive parent seems to be in direct proportion to the seriousness of the abuse the child received. In this counterintuitive way, the stronger or more life-threatening the treatment, the stronger the loyalty from the child.”

This is due to the way trauma imprints the brain. It’s a misunderstanding when people with normal development and limited experience of abuse, incest, or drugs assume that someone with a very different experience would be able to think, function, or act as they do. In addition, a child, who like Mackenzie Phillips is initiated into brain distorting drug use at an early age will have different brain development than a person whose brain has not been tainted by drugs early in life. Moreover, in the Phillips family it appears that drug use was a kind of family pastime. Craving the sense of belonging that most people, and certainly all children feel, a child like Mackenzie was inducted early on into a unique family culture, one that was inherently isolating and further increased the dependency on powerful parents since neither their values, lifestyle, nor behavior were shared by other people.

Further, Mackenzie Phillips reported that John Phillips’ philosophy was that he and his family were somehow special and beyond the normal rules of behavior to which others adhered. Until she began her long hard climb to independence and maturity, this was the only frame of reference, young Mackenzie had. Until she began that climb, the distorted, possibly sociopathic mindset she learned from her father was part of her entrapment.

Although I’m concerned that recounting her trauma on Oprah could potentially retraumatize Mackenzie and threaten her fragile discovery, I would hope that the rest of us can accord her the respect she deserves for her courage, and take to heart the implications of the morality tales she offers– that abuse should be acknowledged even when the abuser is powerful, charismatic, and famous.

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Copyright, 2009, Alison Rose Levy. All rights reserved.

You can, as long as you include this citation: by Alison Rose Levy: (sign up for the HealthOutlook ezine) Copyright © 2007 -2010 Alison Rose Levy. All rights reserved.
Categories : Psychology
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The Family Field: A Valentine to Enduring Connection

Thursday, February 14th, 2008

When I first read The Field, I practically gulped it down like it was a mystery novel that I couldn’t wait to finish. As Lynne McTaggart notes, the new science the book covers “suggests that at our essence, we exist as a unity, a relationship — utterly interdependent, the parts affecting the whole at every moment.”

Yet current psychological wisdom with its marked individualistic view hasn’t caught up with this reality. What would collective psychology based upon field theory look like?

First of all, it would look at the greater family system, not just the individual. Second, it would access the knowing field of the family system, not just the thoughts and beliefs of the individual. Third, it would see beyond the personality level dramas to the field interconnection between family members. Fourth, it would not confine itself to the nuclear family but to ancestors and all those who belong to the family field. Fifth, it would recognize that limiting patterns arise from separation, suffering and trauma, while authentic resolution entails acknowledgement, inclusion, acceptance, and restoring dharma and compassion for all in the system.

Better yet, this is not just a theory. It’s something I’ve been blessed to practice over the last eight years in the process called Family Repatterning ( and Family Constellations (FC). Rupert Sheldrake once told me that this was the first therapeutic based on his work. This process of working with the family knowing field was first developed in Europe and South Africa over twenty-five years ago by an 82 year old former priest named Bert Hellinger. Now it’s practiced in every continent of the world, typically in day-long (or weekend) workshop sessions, where participants join to form a virtual tribe.

In our uprooted society, this collective holding is necessary to safely re-open past traumas still lingering in the field, and to bear witness and resolve them. A person manifesting issues acts as the symptom bearer for their family system. In every case I’ve seen, their issue originates with unhealed past hurt, harm, losses, and disconnection, that continue to resonate within the family field where they impact descendents who experience ongoing, life-limiting patterns that recapitulate the original suffering.

With only one person per family in attendance, we work with each person’s family via other workshop participants, who enter the “family field” and “represent” key family members. Through the process, we can locate the hidden ancestral suffering, bring it to light, and enact a resolution beneficial to all family members.

By accessing the family field, amazingly representatives reveal information unknown to the seeker, or carry the feelings or physical sensations of family members not present. In one constellation, for a woman who claimed that men were “not there” for her, the family field revealed that the representative for her grandfather stared away from his family to an unknown woman, perhaps a bygone love of which his prominent family was unaware. His granddaughter denied that woman had ever existed. Then, as we watched, the woman representative reported feeling weak, dropped to a kneeling position, and joined her hands in prayer.

At that, Grandfather’s representative felt impelled to back away crying: “No, no!”

That was the ah-ha moment: the granddaughter suddenly recalled an old family story about a beautiful young maidservant who had for unknown reasons entered a nunnery. Marrying a servant was strictly forbidden in that epoch, but the granddaughter was able to later confirm the unacknowledged love, that had lived on in Grandfather’s heart. It was right there in the family field. Even though neither Grandfather nor his love were still among the living, their painful separation still resonated. Acknowledging their love restored connection to the family field so that in the months following the session, the young woman began to recognize men who were “there for her.”

For me, serving and bearing witness to the family field provides an ever evolving and embodied experience of the scientific and spiritual truths The Field reveals. Plus, when workshop participants sit there in amazement at the genius of the field, I can turn them on to The Field. Thank you, Lynne McTaggart.

Copyright, 2008, Alison Rose Levy. All rights reserved.

You can, as long as you include this citation: by Alison Rose Levy: (sign up for the HealthOutlook ezine) Copyright © 2007 -2010 Alison Rose Levy. All rights reserved.

Categories : Psychology
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