Heartbreak,New Approaches To Healing

Ginette Paris is Simply Elegant once again ! 

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Neuroscience and literature, Beethoven and iphones, new pathways for deepening guided Imagery
 
Heartbreak knows no limits to loss, loss either in a relationship or with a loss of one’s health as in chronic illness often becoming an encounter with heartbreak. In Ms Paris’ new work subtitled new approaches to healing she continues to draw from deep within storytelling, and opening readers to the essence of the quality of one's humanity. In her first chapter she shares such a vignette, in what her client professes to be in a state of  "love madness". His story an ordinary story of an ordinary heartbreak happening to an average, so-called normal and functioning individual while being archetypical because beyond the idiosyncrasies, his experience exemplifies the profound emotions of all heartbreaks. Ms Paris draws on her Jungian roots as an archetypal storyteller weaving a basic melody: “whatever variations you may add, however you mix and arrange the score, you can still recognize the melody. Hearing the first four notes of Beethoven's ninth Symphony on someone's iPhone is enough to identify the whole complex symphony. The melody of heartbreak is similar: it is a timeless and universal score in which you can recognize the basic emotions, regardless of the individual variations.” 
 
Simplicity is beautiful; simplification is dangerous
 
Simplistic approaches not only fail when a real obstacle presents itself, they also add to the collective burden of ignorance by confusing science with magical thinking, psychology with hocus–pocus tricks. Again, Ms. Paris is demonstrates a keen sense to extrapolate a Jungian perspective on symbolism, storytelling, image development while never ever losing her own ground which is free of a psychosocial viewpoint embedded in the culture of the United States. She embodies a broader depth one rooted in her French-Canadian culture. Thus she is able to draw from resources outside the traditional realm of current psychotherapy, psychology and literature expanding our menu of gifted writers.
 
Her art is the art of literary therapy the sharing of stories - “I am convinced that the person suffering the torture of heartbreak can, and should, be helped by all possible means: neuroscience and literature, medication and meditation, people and films, massages and humor, friendships and therapy, deep thinking and depth psychology.”
 
As a rule I have a tendency to skim over case studies because too often they are formulaic in their presentation- background, introduction to the problem, the issues, the problem, finally the treatment and outcome–neatly arranged case after case–not here. Paris is a skilled poet writer giving her work the depth and heart that engages the spirit of healing while unfolding case studies.
 
Paris the therapist reminds us that an evolutionary jump after a trauma, is possible only if one understands that the recovery process is not getting back to normal. What one was, because the definition of what feels good and normal has to change. Like a mutation, or like developing immunity to a psychological virus, a new identity must emerge. 
 
The crux of this material is entering recovery that has transformative power, its value that Ginette Paris so skillfully explores becomes more than its title “Heartbreak” and is a healing journey that mirrors our collective humanity for all of us to reflect upon.. A healing journey that fits our current psychosocial notion of nested and interacting systems, that of neurogensis (neuronal pathways - your brain) is truly the epitome of an interactive process, a co–creation. It matters and is of little importance whether or not it was framed in this book as that of heartbreak or trauma of illness in that they all contribute or fail to contribute to building new synaptic connections that make us who we are, who we become, how we evolve , thrive entering states of recovery or regress. 
 
Paris moves toward closure circling back to the sciences “neuroscientists have been able to explain how the brain's plasticity (its capacity for neuronal reconfiguration) depends on our capacity to imagine and then to try new ways of being. Science has demonstrated the necessity of a rich inner life, the health of our neurons; yet, delivering a rich inner life is not a full ownership of science. In other words, neuroscience, per se, cannot open our imagination, deepen our psyche, produce symbols; that capacity belongs relationships, to art, to depth psychology and to the humanities”. 
 
 
Her approach to the sciences is reader friendly, non-clinical again with a story teller gift “The plasticity of the brain is like an appetite for learning: if you feed it junk, it produces junk knowledge”. She also is connecting inner and outer disciplines. “What I mean by getting an education is not to get a diploma, but rather to open up to the deeper aspects of learning, ones that touch both the heart and intellect and activate neurogenesis.... One could as well use a simple spiritual term: being initiated, because both the notions of education and that of initiation implying intense intellectual adventure, combined with intense emotional engagement”.

Guided Imagery and symbolism
 
This work is both educational and transformative. Educational in that if it delves into the neuropsychology of human development: “the neocortical development that qualifies us as humans gave us the use of language, the ability to write, the capacity for logical informal operational thinking. It also gave us the abilities that are responsible for the development of the arts and the humanities because we humans need to symbolize, metaphorize and invent stories. We imagine ahead, we daydream, we fantasize; and it is only after the deployment of imagination that we are motivated to use rational means to make our dreams come true. You'll need to update absolutely all those connections: symbolic and factual, the right emotional hemisphere as well as the left rational hemisphere”.
 
Readers engaged in the work of guided imagery, in deepening the exploration of image creation and imagination will find this work a journey of discovery in finding textures to incorporate, images,symbols, a new inner vocabulary, a deeper well, a richer palette for accessing imagination as we are reminded by Paris as she draws upon her resources, “re-telling facts is not enough – but finding the images and metaphors for our situation will force open a deeper wholeness a well of imagination”. Here then is “Heartbreak” the catalyst, its message, heartbreak is messy business and so is giving birth, life’s traumas are if seen as transformative a kind of yoga of healing. 
 
Ginette Paris’ Heartbreak: New Approaches to Healing - Simple and always insightful, elegant and always heartful, A narrative always with essence, intensely engaging. Highly recommended.
 


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