The Sophia Method™ of Energy psychology & spiritual life coaching ~
Essentials of Deep Healing & Spiritual Transformation
My approach to working with clients is a unique system that facilitates deep healing and spiritual transformation. It includes a blueprint for multi-dimensional transformation and healing, finding and healing the hidden roots of the personal, and relationship challenges clients experience. Not only is this approach a healing method, it is a powerful system for facilitating growth and spiritual transformation, guiding women to become conscious co-creators of the life, relationships and work in the world that expresses their highest and best Self ~ the person and work each woman is uniquely born into this lifetime to become. I term this deep holistic approach “The Sophia Method™ of Energy Psychology & Spiritual Life Coaching.” Because this approach is distinctive, and perhaps you, like many, have questions about what it is and how it works, the following is a basic introduction.
PSYCHOTHERAPY AND COACHING: Two Differing Approaches to Helping People Change Their Lives.
Psychotherapy is the mainstream broad umbrella for helping people with their personal or relationship concerns. While there are many schools and approaches to psychotherapy, they have common underpinnings and assumptions about people and how people change. While there is a range of emphasis in each of these characteristics, in general psychotherapy today has the following underlying premises. Some of these will be familiar, some not, some premises will be comfortable for you, others not. Coaching is the newer approach to helping people change and achieve their desires. This is contrasted to psychotherapy below.
Old Style Traditional Therapy:
The emphasis is on self-awareness and insight, with an inward focus. Change is inferred in the increase in self-awareness and insight.
More traditional or old-school models are based on a paradigm of pathology, in other words, a paradigm of brokenness. They diagnose and treat mental disorders, as categorized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the mental health equivalent of the medical diagnostic manual.
The focus is on history and self-examination, and asking the question “why?”
The relationship between therapist and patient is hierarchical. The therapist is the expert, the client is a patient. This is inherently paternalistic and keeps patients in a position of less personal power.
The medical model is central. Human Beings are viewed as a set of components, some of which need to be fixed, with little if any recognition of the whole person.
Individual methods of psychotherapy tend to de-emphasize the person in the context of her relationships, and the influence that relationships and families have on individual health and functioning.
Newer Models of Therapy:
Newer methods of psychotherapy are more solution-focused and brief. This is in part, a result of the impact of managed health care to achieve changes in behavior as quickly as possible, as well as a response to answering the question of “why?”. The primary focus of change is external, with some work to change feelings, thus the term “behavioral health”.
Still anchored in the medical model.
The paradigm is one of finding solutions. There is some moving away from the paradigm of pathology, though newer methods still diagnose and treat mental disorders.
Less hierarchy in the relationship between therapist and client. The client is now in a more equal position relative to the therapist.
Language is the primary tool.
Works with the mental, emotional, behavioral and relationship levels of the client(s).
Marriage and Family Therapy is among these newer models.
Focus is on the whole person in the context of her relationships and on her life story and her life journey.
While the mental level is predominant, and “mindset” or beliefs are seen as the critical focus of change, the coaching paradigm is more one of wholeness, potential and growth, empowering a client to live a more empowered, fulfilled and self-actualized life. Coaching is focused on quality of life.
The orientation is toward the future, and the outcomes clients wants to create, and includes movement from inner to outer worlds. The past is discovered and addressed as part of this orientation and movement.
Clients are seen as powerful, whole, capable and self-determining, with the ability to make the changes they desire, when provided with education and coaching tools. This lens is more empowering for clients.
The relationship is seen as a partnership of equals. The coach is a co-creator and guide.
Grounded in the Human Potential movement, coaching is not circumscribed or limited by the medical model or managed care. Coaching does not diagnose or treat mental disorders.
A NEW APPROACH: The Sophia Method™ of Energy Psychology and Spiritual Life Coaching
While I began my career as a Marriage and Family Therapist and retain much of this grounding framework and basic guiding principles and theory, The Sophia Method™ is aligned with the coaching model of change. I do not subscribe to the medical model of disease and brokenness, and I no longer diagnose or treat mental disorders. I see clients are powerful, Self-determined and whole with enormous potential for growth. If you enroll in a program and work with me, we will work in a collaborative partnership, and focus on your future and creating your highest quality, optimal, ideal life, marriage and highest contributions though your unique gifts and life experiences.
We include understanding your past, and discovering it’s meaning and significance in your life, and access this rich source of healing and empowerment as the means of healing the hidden roots for the challenges you want to move beyond. We work together as a team from an inside – out paradigm to create the new foundation for the deepened love, fulfillment, joy and contributions you Desire to create.
Energy Psychology (EP) is not psychotherapy as traditionally understood or described above. It is “a mind-body approach to understanding and improving human functioning. EP focuses on the relationship between bio-energy systems, neuro- and electro- physiological processes, and mental functions involving thoughts, emotions, sensations, and behavior. These systems and processes exist and interact within the individual and between people. They are also influenced by cultural and environmental factors.
Within an Energy Psychology framework, emotional and physical issues are reflected in bio-energetic patterns within and around the mind-body-energy system. Since the mind and body are thought to be interwoven and interactive, this mind-body-energy system involves complex communication involving neuro-biological processes, innate electro-physiology, psycho-neuroimmunology (PNI), consciousness, and cognitive-behavioral-emotional patterns.
The use of EP has resulted in the development of associated methods and models to treat psychological and emotional problems, facilitate health and well-being, and improve human performance. These models and methods are usually used within an integrative or holistic frame and include but are not limited to psychotherapy, counseling, coaching, integrative medicine, and other healing modalities.” 1
What this means is that Energy Psychology comprises an innovative family of approaches that build on our understanding of body/mind psychology and utilizes various aspects of the human energy system. This system includes the bio-field that envelops the body, the energy centers, and the energy pathways.
Positioned on the shared frontier of psychology, biophysics, and spirituality, Energy Psychology techniques show remarkable effects in treating and alleviating physical, emotional, relationship and spiritual distress. These include the relief of trauma, phobias, anxiety, stress, addictions, compulsions, allergies, personality concerns, long-standing relationship problems and learning disorders, to name a few. Energy Psychology tools are also effective in promoting high level health and peak performance on the physical, mental, and creative levels. Often within minutes of using Energy Psychology tools, physical or emotional symptoms are greatly reduced or no longer present.
Research about Energy Psychology
“Over 200 research studies, review articles and meta-analyses of Energy Psychology have been published in professional, peer-reviewed journals.” This includes over 50 randomized controlled trials, over 50 pre-post outcome studies, 7 meta-analyses, and 12 systematic reviews. Over 99 % of the pre-post studies document EP effectiveness. The evidence base for EP is growing rapidly in both quantity and methodological rigor. From the results through 2019, we can say that “multiple research studies have found that Energy Psychology methods effectively treat: depression, anxiety, food cravings, pain, trauma and PTSD.”
In addition, some studies have shown clinically beneficial shifts in stress chemicals and gene expression… In 2016, Thought Field Therapy, (TFT) a method of Energy Psychology, was validated by NREPP (the National Repertory of Evidence Based Practices and Procedures, a division of SAMHSA in the U.S.) as an evidence-based treatment.” Thought Field Therapy is a centerpiece element of The Sophia Method™.
“There are over 400 identified forms of psychotherapy, most of which have little or no research to validate them. Energy Psychology is both evidence-
based and in the top 10% in terms of published research for psychotherapy modalities.” 2
SPIRITUAL LIFE COACHING
Spiritual Life Coaching guides people to change on a deeper level than their conscious beliefs and feelings and their outward lived experiences. Two fundamental premises of Spiritual Life Coaching are that clients are spiritual beings having an earthly experience, and that their experiences are not their identity. This is the complementary other hand in partnership with Energy Psychology. Using these together, I guide clients to tap into your connection with the Divine within yourself and Divine Source. With Spiritual Life Coaching, I also teach you the Universal Laws of Life and guide you in learning to become the conscious co-creator of the life you want ~ the Soul-satisfying life that creates the most joy, fulfillment and meaning in your life.
To dispel a common misunderstanding, Spiritual Life Coaching is not religion, and does not promote or endorse any specific church or system of dogma or belief. Spiritual Life Coaching guides clients in deepening your direct connection with your Soul, and the non-physical dimension wherein is the Source of Ultimate Being.
When we understand ourselves from a spiritual perspective, and learn how to tap into the spiritual dimension, we access guidance, strength and power, and greater meaning in our lives. With the integrated and synthesized holistic combination of Energy Psychology and Spiritual Life Coaching, you discover your profound purpose, and the meaning and reasons for your unique life path. You then are empowered to heal and release the hidden, roots causes of your challenges, and then consciously co-create the life you Desire instead.
Sacred Practices empower you to live a conscious, spiritually-grounded life day to day. They guide and empower you to connect with yourself and the Divine and live your outward life from this connection and groundedness. The purpose of these practices is to include in your spiritual connection a practical spirituality that is a source of strength, guidance and power, and a pathway to open doors of communication and partnering with Divine Source in the co-creative process.
Sacred Practices are essential elements of learning to live from Soul and becoming a conscious co-creator of the life you Desire.
We live in an ordered cosmos ~ literally a beautiful order. The beautiful, harmonious whole of the cosmos is governed by physical as well as non-physical laws. Everyone knows the law of gravity and most have at least an introductory awareness of the laws of thermodynamics. Many have forgotten or never consciously studied or considered the non-physical Laws of The Universe and what they imply, yet these laws are where the process of creating the beautiful harmonious whole of the Universe as well as our own lives and relationships, and our experiences in life, begins.
Those women who in this lifetime are on a Heroine’s Journey, are also in a lifetime of gaining Mastery. This Mastery includes at its heart regaining your knowledge of yourSelf and your immense potential and power of creation. Whatever else your Heroine’s Journey includes, it always includes this. Relearning is really a process of remembering, because in a dimension before this lifetime you knew this, and you knew the Universal Laws ~ on a Soul Level, you still do. Mastery includes remembering them in this lifetime and learning to consciously work with them in such as way that you become a conscious co-creator in the physical world. You cannot gain Mastery without being physically embodied. You need access to the “stuff” of creation ~ the physical world of the third dimension ~ in order to gain your Mastery.
Learning to live in harmony with the Universal Laws is central to this process and meta-purpose of our Heroine’s Journey. And when we do, our lives start to flow and work so much more easily! Living in harmony with the Universal Laws in combination with The Sophia Method™ of Energy Psychology and Spiritual Life Coaching is how we learn to step off the roller-coaster of repeating the same issues and challenges over and over, and substantively transform our lives and relationships into what we most deeply Desire.
HOLISM, HEALING AND BECOMING: Healing, Growth and Transformation Unfolds Holisticly, a step at a time, and most frequently in Relationship
Just as the cosmos is a beautiful, ordered whole, so are we. In fact, sages and mystics throughout time have taught that human beings are a reflection of the cosmos, a microcosmic mirror of the macrocosmic universe. Just as the cosmos has energetic and physical elements, so do we. While modern psychotherapy and coaching almost exclusively focus on mental and emotional aspects and how they impact relationships and “behavioral health”, the more complete paradigm of multi-dimensional transformation and healing recognizes and uses this ancient understanding of the whole person.
The term “holistic” comes from this idea, that human beings are more than a body and mind, and that we have a spirit aspect to our being. A holistic approach to life, healing and growth is founded on this principle. While contemporary living largely focuses on the outward body and physical and mental well-being, the ancients understood that as whole beings, we are whole, integrated systems, and that optimal well-being comes through balance, integration, and recognition of the need to care for, nurture and listen to all levels or aspects of who we are.
Our Holistic Nature: 7 Levels of Being, 7 Levels of Healing 3
Most women have at least heard of the idea of holistic health or wellness. This in general refers to the idea of “mind – body - spirit” wellness. From my years working in the field of Energy Psychology, I have found that the spirit level, which is unseen on the physical plane, is really comprised of 6 subtle but very real levels that make up our whole person-hood. These levels are a cocoon of energy that surrounds the physical body, and are interpenetrating, and become finer and finer, meaning more refined and subtle the further out from the physical body. The further out from the body, the higher the vibratory rate, which is why they become finer and more subtle in experience. Working from the physical body outward, these successively higher levels include:
Etheric Level: The energetic bio-field that is closest to the physical body and includes the flow of subtle energy through the physical body.
Mental Level: The thoughts we consciously think, and the unconscious beliefs we take on in our families, through generational and cultural patterning, and that we conclude through life experiences. Most of this level is beyond our conscious awareness.
Emotional Level: The level of our feelings, which is energy in motion. The relationship between thoughts and feelings is well known and it is well documented that we can change our feelings by changing our thoughts. Yet emotions have a deeper level, meaning and power, and when we approach them in this deeper way, we gain greater healing.
Intuitive Level: The interface between the emotional and the spiritual levels. Many energetic attachments have their invisible roots at this level. This level of being and healing and the two that follow take us beyond the paradigm of conventional approaches to growth and healing.
Spiritual Level: The level of connection with trans-personal energy. This level pertains to this life and has to do with your connection with Source.
Soul Level: The level of Essence, your most Essential Self. This level includes that part of You that goes forward from lifetime to lifetime.
Because the higher the level, the higher the vibration, accessing and working at the higher levels to find where the invisible origin of your challenges is anchored is crucial to deeper, more lasting healing and growth. This is also how we create the new energetic foundation for your heart’s Desires. This is in harmony with the creation pattern that all life in the cosmos follows. We create at the spiritual and energetic levels first, and then bring it down through successive levels to the manifest, physical world.
Human Growth and Development
We know that children grow emotionally and cognitively, as well as physically. Growth doesn’t stop once a person reaches the age of 26 – 27, when the cerebral cortex is generally matured in functioning. Ideally, growth continues throughout a person’s life. Our growth and development include our moral reasoning, and our spiritual growth as well. 4
We are Eternal Beings on an eternal journey of growth along the great arc of the transmigration of the Soul. And as holistic, whole person beings, this is both an eternal, innate drive and an innately integrated process. We are born with both the drive and the capacity for growth. It is who we are, and essential to the process and purpose of life.
Earth is a School: Growth and Learning through Contrast
While growth and becoming all we are meant to be unfolds developmentally, one step at a time, it also comes about through experiencing contrast. Contrast, or what some term opposition, is central to life here on Earth school. Opposition simply means opposites in experience and choices, such as light and dark, pleasure and pain, health and sickness, connection and loneliness, abundance or lack. This is crucial to becoming conscious co-creators and Masters, because creation ultimately is brought to form on the physical plane, and without physical experiences of contrast on the physical plane, we are still learning theoretically.
It is in the experience of what we don’t want, that we get clarity and emotional motivation for what we do want instead. Just as children learn to run through the challenge of learning to stand up and then walk around a table, and then walking independently and finally running, so we learn and grow into becoming fully developed humans through the work of growing through contrasting experiences. The Desire, the hunger, and the process of striving and working to achieve what you want, itself pulls you up and out and through not only to the experience you want instead, but also along your own personalized journey of growth and transformation, into becoming who you intended to become when you came to Earth school.
By continuing to choose to grow, to do the inner and outer work experiences of contrast call forth from you, and by continuing to choose the higher path of choices in front of you, you grow faster and make the journey forward easier and more graceful. Ultimately, we learn that we can choose to evolve into the highest expression of ourSelves with far less experience of struggle and far more joy.
Relationships and Families: Emotional Connection is the Essential Heart of our Deepest Human Needs
I chose to become a Marriage and Family Therapist at the beginning of my professional career, (rather than choosing another therapy-related discipline to specialize in) because I intuitively felt, even then, the central place of relationships in human happiness and well-being. I knew this from my own life journey, and the healing work I had personally done to that point. I knew it from observing the lives of others. Personal mental and emotional well-being is crucial as well of course; and the distinction between personal and relationship functioning, health, well-being and fulfillment can be difficult to separate out. An early Family Therapy pioneer, psychiatrist Murray Bowen, developer of the Bowen Method was famous for studying seriously mentally ill patients in hospital settings, believing there is a family systems functioning component to individual patients’ mental health. 5 Murray Bowen was a trailblazer in his time, and profoundly shaped the early development of Family Therapy with his expansive theory. I studied Marriage and Family Therapy in the 1980’s with colleagues who had been trained by him. Interestingly, Family Therapy is still considered part of best practice in treating schizophrenia. 6
More recently, two predominant theories of relationship therapy propose contrasting models of what makes relationships healthy and lasting. One model states relationships are transactional arrangements where each person is trying to get the most benefits for the least cost. The other is that relationships are emotional bonds. “They’re about [our] innate need for safe emotional connection.” 7
This central premise of Dr. Sue Johnson’s Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy has led to the most researched and most highly successful mainstream relationship therapy method in modern use. That is because relationships at heart are about the bonds between people. We are in our deepest sense, relational beings. We seek and need secure connection from earliest life in the womb. 8 This continues throughout our lives.
The security of our attachments with those we love are huge factors in our well-being and success in every other area of life. This is also why injuries to our attachments with those we love are deep wounds to heal.
Though I only intuitively sensed it at the time I began graduate school, this key insight is at the very central heart of our happiness as fulfilled humans. It is also enduringly at the very heart of my own emotionally focused approach with The Sophia Method™.
WHAT dERAILS LIFELONG GROWTH, TRANSFORMATION, AND LIVING AN OPTIMALLY SELF-EXPRESSED LIFE?
If we are eternal Beings on a Journey of continual growth and expansion, learning through contrast, what gets in the way for so many of us on this Journey? Why do some get stopped, or blocked or don’t believe it is possible for them? Why do some quit or become complacent with their current level and stop moving forward on their Journey?
While this question has been the focus of deep conversation and contemplation for millennia, aside from variations of natural expression or biological conditions, or an individual’s Soul agreements for this lifetime, I think there is one answer that more than any other, causes people to get stopped or blocked, or to stop believing healing or growth or what they deeply Desire is possible for them.
That thing is unhealed trauma.
The Pervasive Impact of Unhealed Trauma
Trauma is more than challenges, obstacles or set – backs. Trauma is different than learning through contrast. Trauma happens whenever the body-mind perceives being in a situation of life-threatening danger; this includes physical as well as emotional or psychological danger or threat. This is an intentionally broad definition, and includes directly experiencing this danger, as well as witnessing it. Trauma include experiences such as natural or human-caused disasters, war, child abuse or violence, as well as emotional or psychological danger, such as emotional or psychological abuse or neglect, loss of a spouse, parent or important loved one through death or divorce. It can include the loss of a pet or moving. Anything that is experienced as life-threatening danger or loss of safety or security can be experienced as trauma.
When these kinds of experiences happen, the fight/flight/freeze stress response kicks in and the body is mobilized to get into action – QUICKLY – for safety’s sake.
Pulse, breathing rate and blood pressure increase.
Blood flow shifts from the cerebral cortex to the limbic brain - (from the thinking brain, to the emotional, reactive brain.)
Blood flow shifts from internal organs to arms and legs.
Muscles tense and prepare for action.
Digestive, immune and reproductive systems slow down.
What happens mentally is that the event/experience and your immediate emotional reactions and unconscious beliefs/conclusions/decisions about it get isolated and “imprinted” in a packet so to speak on a neural pathway. This is also part of the safety/survival mechanism to help you protect yourself and get to safety as quickly as possible. These become imprinted mental-emotional memories on a neural pathway, to be processed and released later. However, when they are not, they become frozen, trapped, unhealed trauma memories and reactions; people then become hyper-sensitized, and easily triggered by new events that somehow feel and seem the same. This is in combination with new traumatic events that are stored on neural pathways. If they are similar in nature, they are stored in layers on the same neural pathway. The more trapped, unhealed trauma memories that are encoded and stored, the more sensitive and easily triggered a person becomes.
This is in combination with stress hormones that are released when the stress response is activated. When stress hormones continue to be released and incompletely discharged, and the stressful events and body-mind memories not processed and released, unhealed trauma accumulates and begins to take a toll. Unhealed trauma disrupts normal brain and cognitive development. Unhealed trauma interrupts normal social-emotional development as well. These traumas can happen before a child can speak. They can become encoded before a baby is born, and they can even be passed down the DNA from one generation to another, as research is describing. 9 Unhealed trapped trauma becomes a blockage or obstacle that impedes the person’s growth and forward movement on their Soul Journey. 10
Not only do traumatic memories not just go away with time, and get triggered when similar events happen in current life, we know the impact of unhealed trapped trauma can affect all areas of a person’s life; their relationships, their health, their ability to form lasting secure bonds with spouse and children, their employment, they ability to earn the income they are trained and capable of, their ability to live joyfully in the present, and to fulfill their highest purpose in life. Living with unhealed, trapped trauma can make life significantly more difficult, while making learning through experiences of contrast much harder, in part because learning itself is negatively impacted by trauma. 11. As a client once said, “Unhealed trapped trauma makes you feel like you’re living one long Groundhog Day movie experience, only it’s your own life.”
Healing Trauma is the Crucial Need of our Age
Healing the trapped traumas in our lives is crucial to not only being freed from present-day repeating inner tyranny of traumatic memories, it’s crucial to being freed from the blockages and obstacles that impede moving forward on our own Soul Journeys in optimal growth, Self-expression, love, connection and contribution. And it is crucial to freeing our children and grandchildren from the tyranny of generational trauma.
DEEP HEALING, SPIRITUAL TRANSFORMATION AND THE JOURNEY OF THE SOUL
The timeless Great Questions of antiquity are still among the most powerful and empowering questions for deep healing and spiritual transformation today. These are the questions asked and answers taught in the Mystery Schools of the ancient world. They are the Great Questions because in asking and seeking the answers, the initiate steps consciously onto the path of spiritual awakening, and consciously onto the path of their Soul Journey in this lifetime. The Questions, beyond the first, and the discovery of the answers to all of them, were carefully guarded because they have profound power and it was understood that an initiate has to be prepared and ready for the Journey.
The first of the Great Questions was implied in the statement that was carved in the stone above many entrances to the ancient Mystery Schools. This statement was the first challenge, and I believe the most important of the initiate’s Journey. The statement is:
The deepest injury of the impact of trauma that is unresolved and unhealed is how it disconnects us from ourselves, in our earthly life; from our bodies, from our sense of continuity and connection with others, including our families, from our memories in general, in the attempt to shut out painful ones, and from our experience of ourselves in a larger sense. Trauma disconnects us from being ready to start the initiate’s Journey, and therefore, going deeper into discovering the truth of ourSelves. Unhealed trauma interferes with our awakening to our True Selves and the fulfillment of our Soul’s potential and purpose for this life.
Through my entire life journey, and over 30 years of professional experience, I’ve sought the answers to these Great Questions, and guided clients to do the same, beginning with coming to know themselves. Along the way, I’ve come to see that stopping and healing trauma is the central defining need and zeitgeist of our age. Healing trauma is foundational to personal deep healing and spiritual transformation. It’s been my life’s work and a spiritual quest to discover how to do this for myself and for those whom I am privileged to serve, and to bring together and synthesize this body of knowledge, powerful healing methodologies and creation principles with timeless wisdom and esoteric truth, so that trauma can be resolved and healed as a crucial step on our Souls’ Journeys.
All of us have trauma in our previous generations, if not in our own present lifetimes. It is time for the burden of traumatic imprint on humanity to be released, so that each one of us can create and live our lives with the most meaning and joy.
TRAUMA CAN BE HEALED
Through the experience of these 30 years of guiding clients on their Journeys, and through my own experience as well, I have learned that trauma can be healed and overcome. When released from trauma, a woman is freed to move forward joyfully on her Soul Journey, freed to flourish, to love deeply without reservation, to live fully, and to contribute her unique gifts that only She can give.
The Sophia Method™ of Energy Psychology and Spiritual Life Coaching is the gift that I am privileged to offer as the means to heal trauma, and guide women to the deep healing and spiritual transformation they are seeking and deeply Desire. This is among the most deeply moving, sacred work I have ever been privileged to be a part of. More than the sum of these essential elements, as a blueprint for multi-dimensional transformation and healing, The Sophia Method™ ultimately taps into and accesses the mystery and magic of being Human, and the mystery, magic, wonder and power of life itself, as I guide women deep into their Being, to find answers and healing of their pain and challenges, then to unleash their gifts and callings, freeing women to fulfill their exquisitely beautiful Heroine’s Journeys.
The sum of my life’s experiences and life’s work has been to synthesize The Sophia Method™ for just this time, so that awakening women can finally be freed to love and live fully, to serve and contribute in your highest capacity, and in so doing, to experience Soul-satisfying joy.
Excerpted from “What is Energy Psychology?” The Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology.
Excerpted from “The Science Behind Energy Psychology: Quick Facts.” The Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology.
Based on the holistic work of Dietrich Klinghardt, MD, PhD, a practitioner of neural therapy.
Developmental theorists who have mapped human growth and development include: Jean Piaget, Swiss psychologist who developed the theory of cognitive development. Alfred Adler, Austrian medical doctor and psychotherapist who broke from Freud and developed a whole person theory of personality. He was one of the first to recognize the importance of the human social context, and an early predecessor to Family Therapy. Abraham Maslow, an American psychologist, developed a famous hierarchy of needs that pertains to emotional growth and happiness. He was one of the first to study human potential and motivation. Eric Erickson, a German-American developmental psychologist and psychoanalyst. His stages of psycho-social development cross the human lifespan from infancy to old age. Laurence Kohlberg developed a model of psycho-social development based on the work or Piaget, that focused on moral development. His theory states that moral development is based on a person’s stage of cognitive development. More recently James Fowler, associate of Laurence Kohlberg, was a professor of Human Development and Theology, and developed a theory of faith development, meaning the way a person makes sense of life. His theory sees faith development as potentially spanning the life span, though many people stop their “quest for meaning” prior to reaching the last stage, similar to Erickson and Maslow.
Kerr, Michael E. “One Family’s Story: A Primer on Bowen Theory.” The Bowen Center for the Study of the Family.
From the preface: “Bowen family systems theory is a theory of human behavior that views the family as an emotional unit and uses systems thinking to describe the complex interactions in the unit. It is the nature of a family that its members are intensely connected emotionally. Often people feel distant or disconnected from their families, but this is more feeling than fact. Families so profoundly affect their members’ thoughts, feelings, and actions that it often seems as if people are living under the same “emotional skin.” People solicit each other’s attention, approval, and support and react to each other’s needs, expectations, and upsets. The connectedness and reactivity make the functioning of family members interdependent . A change in one person’s functioning is predictably followed by reciprocal changes in the functioning of others. Families differ somewhat in the degree of interdependence, but it is always present to some degree.”
Alejandra Caqueo-Urízar, Mar Rus-Calafell, Alfonso Urzúa, Jorge Escudero, and José Gutiérrez-Maldonado “The Role of Family Therapy in the Management of Schizophrenia: Challenges and Solutions.” Neuro-psychiatric Disease and Treatment. 2015: 11: 145-151.
Johnson, Sue. Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love. 2008. Pg. 5-6. Little Brown and Co.
See for example, Thomas Verny, MD, John Kelly. The Secret Life of the Unborn Child: How You Can Prepare Your Baby for a Happy, Healthy Life. 1981. Dell. This was one of the first to describe for lay readers the influence of the emotional life of the mother on an unborn child.
See for example, Yousseff, Nagy A., Lockwood, Laura, Shaoyong Su, Guang Hao, and Bart P. F. Rutten. “The Effects of Trauma, With or Without PTSD, on the Transgenerational DNA Methylation Alterations in Human Offspring.” Brain Sciences 2018 May; 8(5): 83.
Countless sources teach about the stress response and trauma. One of the best I know of that teach about the way traumatic memories are encoded and re-triggered on the neural pathways is in Rapid Eye Technology training materials. The Rapid Eye Institute. Salem OR.
Bassell Van Der Kolk, MD, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind and Body in the Healing of Trauma. Random House. 2014.