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Alexispiritua: A Spiritual Counterpart to Alexithymia
I've been talking, in my lectures and workshops, for about 15 years about how emotional self regulation training and biofeedback can help alexithymia (inability to feel or express emotion, often experienced by sufferers of stress, pain, depression and other chronic illness).

Yesterday, while chatting with my colleague, Alfonso Bermea, about a presentation he'll be doing at my meeting on how he uses biblical references and sources to validate the use of self regulation and biofeedback related ideas to his inner city homeless clients, an idea came to me.

Perhaps, if these disorders (stress, pain, chronic illness, depression, etc.) produce alexithymia so often, there is also a spiritual counterpart to this-- a loss of ability to feel or express spiritual feelings or other dimensions of spirituality.

Emotional Self regulation approaches can so effectively enable clients to begin to feel and express emotions. It would seem that the same might be true for spirituality. I wonder if we could add moldy, rigid, organized religious organizations which aim more at self perpetuation and conformity than spiritual authenticity to the etiological sources of, shall I say, alexispiritua?

Again, I would see self regulation and biofeedback, offered with this in mind, as a valuable resource for helping people re-connect with this important dimension of their selves and an inner resource with great potential to aid self healing. The thing is, it is not enough to just tell someone to relax a muscle or turn on a feedback sound. It's important to coach the client so he or she can see how this self regulation skill development can be seen as a skill that can be appplied in other dimensions of life too-- to opening up and letting go, to becoming aware of being connected to something bigger, as Les Fehmi's Open Focus technique encourages..

Thoughts? about the idea of a spiritual counterpart to alexithymia, about the role of biofeedback and self regulation in helping people reconnnect with their spirituality, about factors which could lead to alexispiritua?

It seems that the dimensions of spirituality-- in the form of feelings, thoughts, beliefs, enlightenment, grace, transcendance, etc. are prime turf for the new field of positive psychology.

A panel discussion on spirituality and self awareness and self regulation training will be part of the Winter Brain 2000 meeting (Feb 3-8, 2000) and all individual recipients of this e-mail (not listerve recipients ) are invited to participate. Listserve recipients are invited to contact me to apply to participate.

Rob Kall
www.futurehealth.org go to winter brain meeting for meeting info.


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