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by Hans TenDam

No, this is not about borderline people as clients. Though that might be an interesting topic. I want to share some thoughts about an area that we may come across now and then. Anyway, I did come across it. Actually, many times.

When we regress our clients to the source of their problems, we most often encounter early childhood experiences, including birth trauma and even traumatic experiences in the womb. Also very often, we find past-life experiences, usually traumatic death experiences. How do we know those are true? Well, apart from metaphysical considerations, the fact that these regressions bring healing to otherwise unsolvable problems, is a strong indication.

But sometimes we find as the source of the problem evil intentions by other people, often fired by envy or hate. In countries like India and Brazil, it is not uncommon to unravel something that we – romantically, but pretty realistically – could call black magic. In India we encounter usually Tantric rituals, in Brazil usually Macumba or Candomblê. I have come across African sources and Indonesian sohanstendam_400urces too.

In Surinam, a former Dutch colony, with many descendants of African slaves, colleagues were enthusiastic by the possibility of countering and undoing Winti spells. In India, I now find such influences in over half of my patients. In Europe, such people have been often in former colonies, or had parents who lived or fought in such countries.

I hope resolving such problems remains a marginal subject in our practice, because the work deals with sticky, dirty and sometimes dangerous influences. I am afraid we are making enemies in some quarters.

If you have affinity with such problems (no, I am not implying a past-life connection with such practices, though … ), thread carefully. If you haven’t, refer such patients to colleagues who are willing and able to deal with them. More generally speaking, if ever something happens that makes you afraid, or brings you into a fighting mode: abstain!

I think there is an important niche in our field for this kind of work, but it should remain a niche. By the way, psychotic people may sense evil external influences and may simply err. But who is to say what is cause and what is effect? Avoid doing intense work with ungrounded people without clear borders.

I imagine that in the future we may move effectively into the field of wilder psychological problems, but together with psychiatrists. Why? Because I suspect that psychopharmaca may be often part of the problem and often part of the solution.

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Sjoerd Bruijnen