It’s one thing to get well; it’s quite another to stay well and thrive. The psyche is such a confluence of negative and positive dynamics. One day we’re set on healing, the next instant we’re working against ourselves.Self care, its stabilization and furtherance, I’ve come to believe after nearly forty years as a depth psychologist, is the most challenging aspect of psychotherapy and personal healing and growth.

Dream images play out the necessity of self care especially when the dynamic has been impaired by adult or childhood chronic trauma. We learn to not take care of ourselves when we’ve been injured over and over, first by others or terrible situations, and then by the dark side of self. I dreamt of a patient showing me the rolls of fat on his abdomen, pointing to them as evidence of needed body sensitivity to the lingering aftereffects of trauma. Therapy needed to continue being sensitive to encouraging, within the context of empathic care, diet, exercise, time of appropriate relationality, and overall body sensitivity. He came to me at night, within a moving dream, and told me how much he needed support when it came to self care and his body.

This patient came into my office first thing the next morning and asked (right off), “Do I really need to follow through with everything we’ve talked about - diet, exercise, and all the rest? It seems like a bit much. This is psychotherapy, not body therapy.” Remembering the dream, I answered, “Of course we need to follow through. And, remember as we’ve talked about, the psyche is body and body is psyche. The psychological work we’re doing affects your body, helps it to heal. We need to follow through with everything that helps you to heal, including all the body work.”

Over time this insight settled in, self care becoming more habitual, not perfect but certainly good enough. In essence, our care of self is reflected in the care we provide for our body. Engaging in far-flung esoteric understandings of images, symbols and dreams are unnecessary if we but tend to the immediacy of self care, especially sensitivity directed toward the body. Self care, body care, will teach us all we need to know about well being of body, mind, and soul. Such body care is imminent, chthonic, inner, deep and tangible - the true reflection of how well we are caring for psyche, the treasure that is our soul.

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Comment by Paul DeBlassie III on November 18, 2017 at 6:55am

Deborah - just got your post as I was sipping my morning coffee - what a treat to find your encouraging words, a reminder of the inspiration that comes from words heartfully felt and communicated. Be well. Paul

Comment by Deborah Gregory on November 18, 2017 at 2:07am

A synchronistic and perfectly timed post! Great writing, I also appreciate these words ... "the psyche is body and body is psyche." Thank you for gently reminding me that the greatest wealth, is the wealth of the heart ... there is none greater! Warm and wild blessings, Deborah.

Comment by Paul DeBlassie III on October 31, 2017 at 11:17am

Anthony - your comment caused me to think about the hidden in plain sight parts of our lives and how vital it is that we see and listen to what is right under our psychic nose: the psyche is body and body is psyche." Be well!

Comment by Anthony Santiago on October 31, 2017 at 7:05am

I particularly appreciate your comment that, "...the psyche is body and body is psyche." I emphasize this point often with my patients, and it resonates well with them as they begin to recognize that maintaining wellness requires being aware of the often "hidden-in-plain-sight" parts of their lives that need nurturing. Thank-you for your insightful writing.

Comment by Paul DeBlassie III on October 29, 2017 at 8:47am


Thanks for your thumbs up. Be well and let's read on!

Comment by Mr. Jeffery J. Rahn on October 28, 2017 at 8:44am

spot on Paul.  your writing is terrific.

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