Douglas Tataryn

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So far Douglas Tataryn has created 3 blog entries.

Cultural Alexithymia in an Evolutionary Context

In the 1970’s Clare Graves (a developmental psychologist and researcher) proposed a theory, based on research, that societal values evolve in a fixed sequence over time; stage-to-stage or level-to-level.  His work was subsequently elaborated upon by Chris Cowan and Donald Beck in an more accessible format called “Spiral Dynamics“.  In this system individuals within a culture have the potential to move through each of the developmental levels of their culture, though some may not attain the leading-edge level, depending on their immediate environmental circumstances and responses to life challenges.  The Spiral Dynamic framework provides an informative context for understanding cultural alexithymia.  First a brief summary of a few stages from Spiral Dynamics(which uses colors to denote stages): In Traditional (Blue) societies (e.g., North America prior to the 1960’s) tend to be organized around historical mythologies (E.g., the paternalistic structure of Christianity) with a strong emphasis on roles (I.e., the husband “provides for the family”, the wife is “bare foot, pregnant, and in the kitchen”, while children “should be seen and not heard”), in which individuals submit to local (e.g., priests) and ultimate (God) authority.  It also tends to be ethnocentric – “Us” against “Them”.  While this is a good and necessary stage of development in that it fosters basic communal skills; instilling a sense of right and wrong, a sense of morality (e.g., Do unto others as you would have them do unto you), etc, this level de-emphasizes the experience as well as the expression of the individual.Modernity (Orange), in contrast, broke out of the roles and [...]

By |2019-06-03T02:29:44-05:00June 3rd, 2018|Emotions|0 Comments

Perennial Triunism: The Triune Brain Keeps Being Rediscovered!

In my last few decades of being a research psychologist and then a full time psychotherapist, I've come to see the modular and quasi-independent functioning of our triune brain as one of the most profound and under-appreciated factors shaping our human culture and creating many of our modern day challenges.   More specifically, I would go so far as to say that once the implications of the triune brain are fully understood and integrated into our academic and folk cultures, it will create a total reconceptualization and treatment approach to mental health challenges, relationship challenges, and a deeper understanding of childhood and adult development. Most people are very aware that we have two hemispheres in the brain, and that the right and left hemispheres are specialized in processing different types of tasks; the right being more holistic and non-linear, while the left is said to be the seat of logical, rational, and linear reasoning processes.   What fewer people know is that the brain is also divided into three modules reflecting the major developmental stages in our evolution.  These are the physical, emotional, and intellectual modules. Of course the modules are highly interconnected and act as "the brain ", but each module can also function quite independently of the others, and this is where is gets interesting. Examples of How the Triune Brain Shows Up in Our Culture and History: In high school we type people into  "dumb jocks " (physical brain dominant), "Artsies" (emotional brain dominant), and  "Nerds " or "Brains [...]

By |2020-01-23T07:08:34-06:00February 5th, 2015|Triune Brain|4 Comments

Welcome to the Bio-Emotive Framework 

I hope you enjoy the site.  For many people, the material here will challenge the way you see the world and, I hope, the way you see mental health. For the last 50 years or so psychology has been dominated by the cognitive-behaviorism and psychiatry has been dominated by the bio-medical and pharmaceutical philosophies of mental health. What this means is that our cultural understanding of mental illness has been "externally oriented." From the bio-medical perspective Depression is a chemical imbalance that can best be addressed by chemical intervention, while from a cognitive-behavioral perspective, depression is the result of "incorrect thinking processes" or "dysfunctional environmental rewards" and contingencies. In the last 20 years however we have come to see the limitations of these ways of conceptualizing mental illness: the chemical-imbalance theory has been completely discredited (and was never empirically supported in the first place), the side effects of medications take their toll on the body and the mind in often unpleasant ways. Addiction and withdrawal symptoms when trying to come off some of these medical regimes can be worse than the initial condition the drug was supposed to be fixing.  Similarly, cognitive behavior therapies have limited effectiveness and for all but a few conditions (e.g., simple phobias) tend to focus on coping and living with your mental health condition rather than curing it. The last 20 years has also seen to other important developments in psychology. One is the introduction and integration of mindfulness as a popular intervention for all kinds [...]

By |2016-09-28T00:05:45-05:00February 4th, 2015|Emotions|0 Comments