The Scenery of Healing: Commentary on deMause's "Restaging of Fetal Trauma in War and Social Violence"

Issue: 
Publication Date: 
05/1996
Page Count: 
12
Starting Page: 
261
Price: $10.00
References: 

1. Lloyd deMause, Foundations of Psychohistory. New York: Creative Roots, 1982, especially Ch. 4, "The Psychogenic Theory of History."

2. By this term, child-caring, I mean what is usually meant by the term childrearing. For reasons fully stated in Aesthema: The Journal of the International Primal Association, No. 11, p. 63, Editor's Note, I will use child-caring when I mean healthy parenting of children, for I consider childrearing to be a pejorative toward children, a relic of our history of child abuse. I still use childrearing when referring to former modes of parenting which were abusive and did involve "rearing" and not "caring," however.

3. Lloyd deMause, "Restaging Traumas in War and Social Violence." The Journal of Psychohistory 23 (1996): 346.

4. Stanislav Grof, Realms of the Human Unconscious: Observations from LSD Research. New York: Viking Press, 1975; LSD Psychotherapy. Pomona, CA: Hunter House, 1980; Beyond the Brain: Birth, Death, and Transcendence in Psychotherapy. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1985; The Adventure of Self-Discovery: Dimensions of Consciousness and New Perspectives in Psychotherapy and Inner Exploration. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1988; The Holotropic Mind: The Three Levels of Human Consciousness and How They Shape Our Lives. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1993.

5. A. Briend, "Fetal Malnutrition: The Price of Upright Posture?" British Medical Journal 2 (1979): 317-319.

6. Daniela F. Mayr & Artur R. Boelderl, The Pacifier Craze: Collective Regression in Europe." The Journal of Psychohistory 21 (1993): 143-156.

7. Ibid., p. 144.

8. Ibid., p. 148, emphasis mine.

9. Ibid., pp. 149-150.

10. DeMause writes, "[T]he ultimate source of all historical change is psychogenesis, the lawful change in childrearing modes occurring through generational pressure.... Psychogenesis depends upon the ability of parents and surrogates to regress to the psychic age of their children and work through the anxieties of that age better the second time than in their own childhood." (op. cit., 1982, p. 135, emphasis mine.)

11. See, for example, Alice Miller, For Your Own Good: Hidden Cruelty in Child-Rearing and the Roots of Violence, trans. by Hildegarde and Hunter Hannum. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, especially "Vantage Point 1990," pp. vii-ix.

12. deMause, op. cit., 1996, pp. 360-361, emphasis in original.

13. I should make clear that this "experiential" approach is, from the perspective of the experiential psychotherapeutic approach I will be describing shortly, actually the superficial symbolic acting out of these underlying and powerful cycles in a way that is only a little less impotent than the Freudians.

14. deMause, op. cit., 1996.

15. Alvin H. Lawson, "Placental Guitars, Umbilical Mikes, and the Maternal Rock-Beat: Birth Fantasies and Rock Music Videos." The Journal of Psychohistory 21 (1994): 335-353.

16. Mayr and Boelderl claim quite wrongly and quite strangely-as if to make the facts not conflict with deMause's psychogenic theory, or as if to cover up some hole in their analysis-that those caught up in the pacifier craze were raised under the intrusive and socializing parenting modes (op. cit., 1993, p. 145) and yet, in 1992, were between the ages of 15 and 30 (Ibid., p. 143). This is hard to understand because these youth would have been born between the years 1962 and 1977 in advanced Western countries of mostly Western Europe-Italy, Germany, Austria, all of Europe, and even the U.S. (Ibid.)

However, the intrusive and socializing modes are associated, by deMause, with the eighteenth century and the nineteenth to mid-twentieth centuries, respectively, in the Western world (deMause, op. cit., 1982, p. 62). On the other hand, the helping mode begins mid-twentieth century in the Western world (Ibid., p. 63). The conclusion from this is that these youth, described by Mayr and Boelderl, would have been greatly influenced by the helping mode; they would be expected, at least, to have received the most advanced methods of child-caring overall in the world at this time-considering deMause's theory-since they are the most recent progeny of the Western world! Indeed, if these cannot be considered products of the helping mode, who can be? In order for Mayr and Boelderl to dispute this and claim they were exceptions to the rule and were raised under intrusive and socializing modes, they would have had to do a study demonstrating this, or at least cite one done. And this they do not do.

17. Michael D. Adzema, "Reunion With the Positive (Self), Part 1: The Other Half of "The Cure.' " Primal Renaissance: The Journal of Primal Psychology 1(2): 72-85.

18. Arthur Janov, The Primal Scream: Primal Therapy: The Cure for Neurosis. New York: Dell, 1970.

19. Ibid.

20. Glenn Davis, Childhood and History in America. New York: The Psychohistory Press, 1976.

21. Ibid., especially Ch. 7, "The Great Society and the Youth Revolt," and p. 240.

22. Ibid.

23. Ibid., p. 241.

24. Kenneth Keniston, The Uncommitted: Alienated Youth in American Society. New York: Dell, 1965; Young Radicals: Notes on Committed Youth. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., 1968.

25. Keniston, op. cit., 1965.

26. Keniston, op. cit., 1968, especially p. 81.

27. Davis, op. cit., especially Ch. 7, "The Great Society and The Youth Revolt."

28. Mayr and Boelderl, op. cit., p. 149.

Michael D. Adzema, M.A.

Michael D. Adzema is a free-lance scholar, a primal-breathwork facilitator, the editor of Primal Renaissance: The Journal of Primal Psychology; and he teaches pre- and perinatal psychology. Address correspondence to Michael D. Adzema, 15339 Glen Lane, Guerneville, CA 95446-9749.