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 [...]

By |2020-02-27T00:52:43-06:00June 3rd, 2018|Emotions|0 Comments

Emotional Clearing in Meditation

In November 2015 my life circumstances underwent a rare convergence of events, all sorts of things fell into place, and I was able to participate in a one-month Co-working Retreat Program at the Center for Mindful Learning in Vermont (I highly recommend this retreat center).   As excited as I was, I was also quite terrified.   Not a lot of Formal Sitting practice but... I hadn't been to a formal retreat for decades and my daily routine did not include a formal sitting practice. (I had however been "sitting" once a week with my wife, my brothers and a few close friends for a few decades).  I started into the retreat with 6 to 8 hours of sitting a day, to find myself actually settling into some fairly deep states.  This surprised not only me, but the wonderful, wise, and compassionate Soryu Foral, [...]

By |2017-12-02T11:31:06-06:00September 1st, 2017|EBIQ Integral, Emotions, The Four Facets|3 Comments

We Are All Alexithymic

A nine minute talk presented at the symposium “Working With Feelings: Affect and the Practice of Everyday Life”, St. John’s College, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada (March 12, 2010). BEF we_are_all_alexithymic_v5

By |2017-07-04T23:22:05-05:00July 4th, 2017|Emotions|0 Comments

The Nine Core Feelings

I “discovered” these nine core feelings after three years of data collection with my clients (presented at the 2010 Integral Theory Conference).  After I arranged them into this table their relationships and meanings became much clearer and this table became the foundation of the Bio-Emotive Framework, giving rise to the three-step sequence of emotional processing: Interpersonal feelings elicit core feelings which in turn elicit emotions (and their behaviours) The video series goes into detail about how and why these are such powerful words and yet ask a person how they are feeling and very few will actually come up with any of them (see cultural alexithymia).   If you want to get a sense of how potent they can be, try sitting quietly and saying “I feel X” (where X is one of the core feelings) out loud to yourself or a partner two or three time.  Go through all nine of [...]

By |2017-07-04T23:02:52-05:00July 4th, 2017|Emotions|0 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 [...]

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

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