There are some therapies out there that promise the body stuff and the emotional release and we can get a tremendous amount of benefit from those cathartic therapies. But there is a caveat. In the case of Core Energetics (CE), they might interrupt the automatic process of regression and reliving. Contrary to popular belief, to heal the past, you have to go back there. You don’t have a choice. This is something our bodies naturally do when nobody (or any belief systems of how to heal) is getting in the way. It’s only when we surrender to this natural biopsychospiritual process that we come out the other end of pain and can experience love and joy. I know this because I am doing the natural work (albeit nowhere near being done). Nobody is interfering with my process and so I am able to purge old emotions as they surface in a therapeutic setting.
You can definitely find relief from the past temporarily through using mainstream measures, but to fully and permanently recover, current dissociative cerebral-based measures must be replaced with bravely remembering what happened, holding our perpetrators accountable (even if they are dead), discharging the freeze response and by giving full expression to our emotions. All this can only been done if we have solid support.
Core Energetics might be one example of how therapies masquerade as cathartic therapy but only let you feel so much as they teach their clients to not blend with their feelings and to remain present. They teach living in the now and consider clients “stuck in their feelings” if they are “feeling too deeply for too long”. Unfortunately, the therapist decides what is too deep or too long instead of the client. Living in the now is all good and well when we’re not carrying the weight of our past on our backs, but the truth might be that we have to return to the past to heal it. This is why our bodies naturally regress when we don’t interfere with the process with our minds, our social conditioning or by way of a therapist who is not trauma informed. These CE therapists might have good intentions, but some of them probably cannot handle your pain if you are feeling it in a full cathartic way, have connected with the inner child (involuntary emotional regression) or have your eyes closed. And it’s probably because they are still walking around with open wounds themselves. As a general rule, a therapist can only take a client as far as they have come in their own process.
The problem is that most people cannot handle primal emotions (the emotions of the inner child) since it triggers up old stuff in them they are not ready to handle. They help clients who too don’t want to go deep, but it might be a disservice to those who are ready for the grueling nose-to-the-grindstone work of trauma recovery.
Core Engergetics teaches abreaction and Primal Therapy teaches about the importance of connecting to feelings. You might entertain the difference between abreaction and feeling in a connected way here. The only part of the linked article I don’t agree with is France Janov’s rejection of patient memories if memories of recovered satanic ritual abuse or past lives surface. Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA) and past lives are real. Those memories are unfolding not because someone is emoting with defenses but rather without them. Other than that, we can learn the difference between abreaction and the primally expressed emotions here.
Primal Therapy has its faults too which I may write about in the near future. Generally, due to litigation-culture, therapists are on the edge scared for their lives to make any mistakes that would render them losing their practice. I cannot say I really blame them, but at the same time, integrity is impossible with lawsuit culture.
In short, all therapies if run down with a fine-tooth-comb, have some level of mediocrity just because unhealed people are trying to help other unhealed people. We are all still human. Also, there is no one-size-fits-all because not all of us are here to heal THAT deeply. I really think healing happens over lifetimes and it happens in stages. We have been tricked into thinking healing is a quick painless process, but nothing can be further from the truth. The bottom line is that how to heal in our culture is based on opinions from those who have yet to start this process. So of course finding REAL lasting healing in this world is a challenge. While unhealed people might have some heads up on how to recover from trauma, they cannot fully understand the impact of childhood trauma (since they refuse connection to the inner child) and so their support is limited.