A look back at the most popular articles from the blog

by | Aug 13, 2023 | 0 comments

You might have missed some of the most popular posts from the history of our blog and podcast. Remember, Taproot Therapy Collective is only 3 years old, and only 2 years old if you count the birth of the “collective” as there being more therapists than just myself. GetTherapyBirmingham.com has grown quickly, and I wanted to collate some of our most popular and most reshared posts from our blog podcast and social media. We try to write about the state of the art approaches in psychotherapy and trauma treatment. We also try to write about the types of psychology inherent in all forms of art and design. We want everyone from the most severe trauma patient to the most high functioning executive or artist to read something on our blog that speaks to them. Therapy can cure trauma but it is also a part of art and life and growth. We hope to inspire everyone to get interested in the forces under all of our hearts, minds, bodies and souls. Take a minute to see something from the history of the blog you may have missed. 

Therapy, Spirituality, and Mysticism

Mysticism is a philosophical tradition that the search for ultimate knowledge of divinity and truth requires that we discover a deep knowledge of ourselves. The idea that the search to know the self is also the search to know God is a threatening ideology to many people at first glance, however few mystics believe that the self is God.

Frank Lloyd Wrong: Why we didn’t take the right lessons from Wright’s legacy

Where we live changes how we live and how well we live together. Architecture used to make our lives art and now it is an afterthought in the process of turning our lives into profit. Our buildings are still altars but they are altars to very dark gods. Grandiosity, ego, competition, hierarchies and greed are what we build temples too. The modern runes and hieroglyphs are advertisements, warning labels, and Hobby Lobby wall wraps with cheap sentiments. We need to remember our higher purpose, the natural world and developing our own soul is why we are here. We need to trust intuition, innovation and nature again. When I say that Wright is important these are the lessons I wish our civilization could remember. These patterns are still there if you have the eyes to see them.           

What do chairs say about culture, personality and psychology?

I believe that we can build a better world than one where all of our interactions with people and the spaces we inhabit are not merely transactions. We need to rethink where we assign value and where we place our identity. We need to admit that the places we live and work in effect us and are worth our mindful attention. Not just as practical considerations but as intuitive creative projects for us to find our own and our collective humanities soul.  Modernist designers sought to break away from traditional forms and create furniture that embodied their personal visions. This approach resonated with the American spirit of individualism. Breaking old ideas is always a risk but creation is a risky business. Good design is timeless because it comes from timeless elements and forms in the human psyche. It may take generations to map these unseen realms of our collective humanity through our intuition. We don’t always know good design when we see, but I would argue we know it when we feel.

Nothing Gold Can Stay: A thought experiment about money, wealth, power and the psychology of economy.

We often talk about values in an abstract and hollow way in politics, religion and identity. We seldom talk or think about what value itself actually is. How do we decide what has worth to us and what doesn’t. These assumptions about what is valuable and good and what the point of our societies should be is often based on outdated and unhealthy assumptions it does not occur to us to reconsider. By moving away from a mindset that prioritizes individual accumulation, gift economies encourage a sense of collective responsibility and interconnectedness. This shift in perspective can have positive effects on mental health, promoting a sense of belonging, trust, and reduced feelings of isolation, paranoia or competition.

Icky, Mean, Hateful: On the nature of evil in psychotherapy

The reason that the people who hurt you did that was because they were afraid to face their own fears. Your only choice is to face your own. When you don’t believe you can change, then constructive criticism is an attack because all intonations of what you could be are a reminder that that is not who you are right now. If this is all I think I can be then all I can take from the most constructive of criticism is that what I am is wrong. It is wrong because I was made to believe that what I am is all I can be. In screenwriting they teach that the antagonist cannot change. The protagonist changes and the antagonist gets stuck somewhere on the path to self actualization, attacking those that try to advance beyond that point. The antagonist has no possibility of change. When I start to change I can become the protagonist. 

Synesthesia: Blending the Senses to Distill the Soul

Synesthesia is a fascinating phenomenon where the stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway triggers an involuntary experience in another. This intermingling of the senses can result in extraordinary perceptions, where individuals might associate colors with numbers, taste shapes, or even hear sounds when seeing certain images. This can happen in psychosis, trauma to the brain when we take a psychedelic but it also happens partially to almost everyone under normal circumstances.

Existentialism vs Mysticism: What is the Ego Self Axis?

Intellect and emotion often contradict each other. We tell ourselves that our intellect can turn our emotions off, but our intellect can only let us ignore our emotional reality temporarily. Both of these experiences come from two different parts of the brain that process two different kinds of realities. Our ego and cognition comes from the prefrontal cortex, the newest part of the brain. This upstart new part thinks that it is all of us. We pretend that we are purely rational creatures until emotion overwhelms us and we try to tamp it down again. 

Don’t Block the Hearth Fire; Reclaiming the Soul of Therapy by Embracing the Awareness of Death

As a society we hide children from the dying, and often even from the elderly; not allowing young people to understand this important stage in the life journey. We do not value the wisdom of the aged; we simply treat their cultural experience as out of date. It is our general cultural practice to pretend that we are immortal. We hide from death and all the trappings of death until it is too late. We wait until we are at the end of our life journey and we have not developed any tools to help us understand how to die. This practice is to our own deficit and the deficit of our culture. Jenkins argues in his interviews that our culture needs to embrace death and the process of dying in order to reclaim the spirituality our culture has lost.

Brainspotting Changed My Life. Can It Change Yours?

Before brainspotting, I thought therapy was about learning information or knowing something new. After brainspotting I realized that therapy was more than this. Brainspotting changed my life but afterward I didn’t know anything new. There was no big reveal or discovery. Brainspotting let me feel how big my own soul was and how much work I have to do in the project of finding and becoming that potential. If anything, brainspotting helped me forget. I forgot my ego and saw how much my own intellect was stopping me from experiencing who I really was.

Leon Krier, Carl Jung, and the Architecture of the Archetype

Design itself is a kind of symbol. In the same way that a poem or song can make us feel something that is not present in the literal meaning of its text. Just alike a poem is more than a list or a story, architecture is more than creating a structure that won’t fall down. Like poetry, the arrangements of structural elements in architecture gesture towards a greater meaning than merely practical purpose. Architecture is meant to impart an emotional story, and sense of structural purpose. The point of a well designed building is to have an effect on our psyche.

Why are Trauma Patients Afraid of Space

Space threatens the importance of all the things our ego needs to maintain integrity. Space represents the ultimate existential threat to all of the projects we create andformat=standard&_thum all the things we identify ourselves with to make meaning. The most ambitious human projects mean nothing from the window of a rocket. Even the great wall of china is a thin line. The Vatican is a tiny dot. Our families, our careers, our religions, our sports teams… all of these things fail to matter in the midst of the cosmos. Space represents the ultimate existential annihilation. It reminds us of our ultimate limitations against the enormous scale of the universe.

Evidence Based Practice is Bul$*%!@ , Let’s Fix It!

What a brilliant system, I had thought. I then became enamored with research journals. I memorized every methodology by which research was conducted. I would peruse academic libraries at night for every clinical topic that I encountered clinically. I would select studies that used only the best methodologies before I would believe that their findings had merit. I loved research and the evidence based practice system. I was so proud to be a part of a profession that took science so seriously and used it to improve the quality of care I gave patients.

Is the Corporatization of Healthcare and Academia Ruining Psychotherapy?

If I had a nickle for every time I heard “You learn about that part of therapy in the field” when I was in graduate school, I could have made a dent in the cost of my tuition. If graduate schools are no longer teaching students the parts of therapy that they need for private practice, then why are we requiring students to go to them? Students could just learn during their apprenticeships “in the field.” The profit-seeking model of education is no longer weeding out the students that can’t do therapy, nor teaching the ones that can how to do it beyond the barest and most formulaic framework.

Corporate Tech Monopolies are Going to Ruin Therapy

This is a big deal because if a smaller practice did this they would be barred from providing care and likely be in court for a long time. BetterHelp removed all of the links I posted to news articles containing their press releases from their social media in an effort to not have to be associated with their own behavior and statement on social media. That is strange since BetterHelp also claims that they did nothing wrong in their press release about the settlement. Why cover up something that you do not view as a problem?

“This settlement, which is no admission of wrongdoing, allows us to continue to focus on our mission”. Yeah, don’t use better help. 

Living on the Inside of History

The sight of ruins invokes a somber melancholy in us because it is subtle reminder that we are not special or exempt from time just because we are existing right now. It asks us to give up our sense of entitlement to feeling special. At some point we must trade our naivety for wisdom and this is painful but necessary. We must give up our right to importance if we are ever to discover what actually makes us unique and important. There is no agreeable, absolute meaning to human life.

Interview with David Tacey

Joel: Shamdasani is of course the editor of the red book as well, yeah. So I mean he kind of is the reason it was published too. I mean, you have Richard Noll and company who’s attacking Jung, so maybe that motivates the family to want to defend him. But my understanding was Sonu basically got these copies of where Jung had mailed the red book to the publisher, but it was not a complete draft and said unless you let me publish the big one, I’m going to publish the imperfect one. And then the family gave him permission.

David: That’s right, but actually coming back to the red book, I think what we can see there is that direct experience of the god or the gods or the numina or whatever you want to call it. I don’t really care. I’m not attached to a particular language. It’s very disruptive. Jung’s red book is basically an analysis of his own psychosis. He couldn’t find an analyst for himself, so he tried to analyze himself through his own psychosis. And I think it’s rather coy and childish for the Jungians to constantly refer to this phase of his life as his creative encounter with the unconscious. Anyone with half an inkling about psychiatry can see that Jung was struggling with a full-blown psychosis.


Therapy, Spirituality, and Mysticism

Therapy, Spirituality, and Mysticism

In the medieval period it was common to take pilgrimages to the holy land from mainland Europe. The trip was an opportunity to face one’s fears and learn to know the deepest parts of self. The trip was long and dangerous. The terrain and culture were different from...

What Happens to the Eye During a Brainspotting Therapy Session?

What Happens to the Eye During a Brainspotting Therapy Session?

Brainspotting is a revolutionary new therapy for trauma and PTSD. We use many modalities of therapy at Taproot Therapy Collective, but brainspotting is one of the most effective treatments for PTSD and lowering anxiety that I've ever found. when doing brain spotting...

I Speak, Therefore I Am; Don’t you think?

I Speak, Therefore I Am; Don’t you think?

So different from the Midwest, where the possibilities sprawled bright and endless in every direction. He wondered if people in the Himalayas and Andes were affected similarly. Did they live in the passive voice, as if their lives were not really happening but instead...

Book Review of of Aztec Philosophy by James Maffie

Book Review of of Aztec Philosophy by James Maffie

Unlocking the Mysteries of Aztec Philosophy When Hernán Cortés and his expedition arrived in the Aztec capital, Tenochtitlán, in 1519, they were initially received with curiosity and even reverence by the Aztec emperor, Montezuma II.The Aztecs, interpreting the...


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