Integral Struggles & Therapy

Heya folks, really interested to hear peoples perspectives on therapy, be it lived experience or theories.

I’ve often wondered if certain emotional expression comes online at integral. I think a good chunk of my battles come fighting green altitude. I find the lower ones tend to be simpler for me to read and appreciate albeit family members at lower can be frustrating at times (blue, orange etc) and one of the most useful theories is something like spiral dynamics to actually quantify what level their base is at so not dispappointed hoping they can understand something that will only be a peak experience.

It occurs to me that many emotions, or perhaps intensities of them seem to come more online at integral. Anger and shame for example. The acceptance of hierarchy in the world is obviously a huge one. The increased requirement to appreciate the objective world, that facts do in fact matter. More aggression, toughness as well as balancing sensitivity, and actually stepping in to the outside world for a purpose all seem to require a serious energetic boost. Leadership, discernment, ‘this is better than this’ etc. Where green often seems more apathetic and pleasure orientated, at worse everything is relative and meaningless and at times borders on hedonism. At integral things seem to be extremely meaningful at times, sensitive to relative and personal truths as well as big spiritual callings, cultural trends, levels, wars and pathologies.

Another I’ve experience at integral is pain. No small thing it seems to me. Seems to possess alot more room to feel pain, accept and see it as inevitable part of evolutionary growth. Contrary to green which seems rooted in alot of pleasure. There is some dealing with pain but it seems mostly focused with healing the inner child from shame. Which is another point, shame comes on as a valid thing in integral. Green seems to struggle with shame as it goes against the obsession with equality. Shame being there to actually counteract immorality and lack of care.

And the last one which could be just something I struggle with is rage, although I think it is also to do with ferocious protection. It seems a deep primal animal care that goes intimately from protecting people at their most vulnerable to huge injustices that are trends in the outside world. I have my suspiciouns that perhaps it has a flavour of integral only, perhaps it’s the amount of really being able to sit in it which takes alot of mindfulness and care. There is rage in the lower levels but it’s almost a rage based on deep understanding of shadow and interior insight.

Personally, if I’ve heard integral perspectives talking to therapists it seemed like peak experiences because i was momentarily leading, and as soon as that runs out I have entered in to conflicts that didn’t seem remotely beneficial. Sacharine chats that seem to ignore the depths of my pain. And with that a lack of protection.

I remember hearing Dr. Keith saying that sometimes with his clients he will talk to a client and their family/ parents. To make it clear that there is an inevitable stage of anger the client will go through. Such a simple thing is profound. The amount of conflict that must save, either ensuring the client gets a safe space to deal with emotions that are going to be seriously volatile, or makes it much more obvious and quick to recognise abusive parents cannot respect boundaries. Or indeed recognising that such a thing is only a stage, some people still in therapy etc 10 years later ranting about their parents. Protection is a big issue for me and I know I needed someone to take the lead, or at times my inner child needed serious protection in a way I really couldn’t fast enough to fully protect myself. And I’ve only ever heard this from integral mouths.

And with that I suppose my hunch is about the balls to make a discerning judgement. I get the sense at times therapy is lost in the subjective world. I have spoken to some therapists where it sounds as though it is the one opinion vs. another, and everything is a matter of personal responsibility. A huge upper left quadrant bias, and yet not one strong enough to actually stand one’s ground in the real world by your beliefs. You can protect yourself by calmly removing yourself from the situation but you can never fight. Or the need to fight is barely seen. I think there is some joke out there about how much green struggles with red etc. But when you have a vehement force to deal with your own interior will rarely be enough.

Apologies if this is too long, very new to the forum :). It’s a subject I’m passionate about though. So would love any opinions folks have to share.

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It sounds like you are describing egocentric green (green infected with red), or the ‘mean green meme’. At least my understanding of it.

What do you mean by “fight”? Do you mean participate in conflict? Do you mean resort to violence? Do you mean assert your self, opinions, and/or needs in the situation? Are you talking about having the self-trust and self-boundaries necessary to assert yourself and advocate for your needs in an emotionally abusive situation?

Hiyas Coda.

Your feedback makes me wonder if I struggle with both at times actually, healthy green and ‘mean green’. I find my feelings overwhelming at times and so the very feeling spaces of green I sometimes find challenging. Although if I sense there is genuine care it’s alot easier. Green infected with red is a great way to put it. Yeah, I have for example had interactions where a few folks have said ‘I want to know how you feeeeeeeel, how do you feeel’ etc. Which at times starts to feel like this way of manipulating so that I feel in the manner that they want, because it comes at me incredibly impatiently and seems to bypass anything nuanced or I may say or with more emotional intelligence than just a simple feeling statement. It’s like they want to be close and merged, but if often seems to actually be coming from a place they do not want to be with the real intensity of what I may be feeling or the intellectual clout that has distinctions and judgements. Or, it’s kept at just the feeling state. Sometimes I find it childish and dumb to just stay in a pure feeling too much. ‘I am angry, I am sad’ etc. To me it’s bias the first stage of emotional exploration. Feeling, but then what does this feeling mean? Is my interpretation of it accurate? Where does it come from? How much emotion should I have vs. another, e.g. sadness and anger. A whole world and host of questions that come after just the feeling that are apparently not allowed in such a dynamic.

With the fight. I do not mean offensive physical violence, although I dare say there is something go finding a healthy sparring partner. Physical protection in my experience in therapy does seem to have inadequate help for. So yes, asserting my opinions and needs, especially in emotionally abusive situations, but not just emotionally abusive, one’s that threaten my physical space, inviting themselves in to my home or saying they are going to, to have an emotional conflict. Or at times there can be a potential threat based on an emotional conflict, the fight or flight impulse gets too strong and I feel like I can’t trust this person to manage their stress levels to where it gets on some level abusive.

I feel like I’m learning to find people who I can fight with in a healthy manner and trust the relationship will not break down or get lost in fight or flight mode. That’s so often what I see, people who cannot handle it, they flee the relationship or it goes into an impenetrable conflict where it’s no longer a back and forth between two people that care for eachother but just two egos butting heads. I can really see how I may look in to red actually to offer me some clarity as there seems to much there.

I can totally empathize with the feeling of overwhelm that accompanies attending to one’s emotions. I have found training and expanding my emotional intelligence skills quite helpful in increasing my tolerance for emotional discomfort.

“Merged” sounds like a blurring of self boundaries, which is very common in emotional abuse situations. Though exhilarating to experience, it can be quite unhealthy. Maybe these aren’t the right folks to share your feelings with as they might be trying to engage you in an unhealthy dynamic. Not sure why you’re smacking folks with your intellect. :slight_smile:

Feelings are the result of our programming (biological and experiential), so what a feeling means is about introspection and self-knowledge and you aren’t obligated to share these answers with anyone, but it does enhance intimacy when you can share it with a trusted person. If you were referring to sharing in a therapeutic relationship, then sharing and the reflection you receive could be helpful in enhancing your self-knowledge, but this depends on the skills of the practitioner.
Accuracy of interpretation can be learned, but it starts with self-awareness and paying attention to your interoception.
I’m pretty sure we all just have the emotions we have. There isn’t a should or shouldn’t to it and it’s not very helpful to apply value judgments (distinct from critical analysis). In my experience, feelings rarely come one at a time and are usually some mix of tertiary expressions of the basic 6-7 (this is my favorite list to reference )

In my experience, any truly healthy intimate talk that involves feelings will allow for these questions. And qualified therapists might vocalize them in an attempt to help the client gain greater self-awareness and knowledge. I believe healthy green would not just allow for these questions but be genuinely interested in the answers that arise from them, no matter what the answers are.

Boundaries! Has your therapist(s) worked with you to determine and practice boundaries? If not, this might be something worth asking about (boundaries and assertiveness).

It’s possible I’m not understanding you completely, but it seems like a lack of boundaries are the primary thing that contributes to you not feeling safe in the situations you have referenced. I’m sorry if I’ve misunderstood completely.

For me, this includes boundaries about what situations I’m willing to step into for my own safety. You can’t control what others are going to do, so the way to feel safest in any given situation is by determining what you are going to do no matter what others throw at you… even if it’s physical violence (like a mugging).

You might find this resource helpful in spotting emotionally abusive behaviors.

Depending on how rigid you express and hold your boundaries, yes, many people will flee the relationship. If you are able to gently and compassionately assert your boundaries (a skill I’m still working on), and they still flee, then it’s probably because they are looking for an abusive relationship and don’t want to participate in a healthy one. Their fleeing is a good thing in these cases, even if it’s quite painful. So many of our cultural expressions are showing unhealthy relationships in emotionally abusive situations that tons of people have no idea they are functioning in unhealthy relationships. They think this is normal and/or a preferred way to be.

My understanding of the ego stages is that it’s very easy to slip back into previously acquired stages if the situation calls for it. Opportunist/Self-Protection (red ego stage) often rises up when someone is not taking the time to care for themselves properly, like respecting their own boundaries (Diplomat/Conformist ego / Amber level) about diet, exercise, sleeping, etc.

I hope any of this reflection is helpful. Please forgive me if I misinterpreted some of your writing.

Was just testing how to grab someone’s text lol but can’t seem to delete this now. Hopefully does after the 24 hours.

Yep me too, could’ve done with some actual training in my time. Has been a messy process, probably going on 10 years properly. These days I really want some wisdom about trauma. Emotions I feel generally I can handle, but the deep trauma stuff to me often feels unknown and superly edgy.

I am actually considering this. The reason I am still in it is it does help me increase emotional intelligence. There is genuine care there, although sometimes I wonder if it is enough as I often come away feeling a pain of disconnect. It’s actually a branch off from The Integral Center who do alot of experiments of relating. So at the moment I’m working out if it’s just challenging or lacking. Why I smack intellect is because at times I feel like I’m talking to children who want to talk in very simple emotions lol. ‘I feel angry’ etc. I just can’t sit with that indefinitely, my brain screams for insight. And going on to your next statement true. I’m not obligated, I’m actually starting to really appreciate my own depth. The deeper the emotion the deeper the understanding needed in my experience. And what I’m starting to come across is a real sense of hiearchy which feels like very edgy topic in the group. As I say very green. Something I find a little annoying, I’ve done plenty of depth work with therapists, trauma, I would not be remotely offended if someone pointed out somebody is more skilled than I am if they were and the intent was genuine. Many get triggered at a hierarchy of care but I think it’s one to humble yourself to. Personally I disagree that it’s not very helpful to apply a value judgement. You can definitely be far too hasty to apply one, and to heavy handed which I would probably fall in to that camp at times. But a lack of care in expressing emotions to me always matters, it’s not the emotion itself that is a problem, it’s the care in which it is expressed, is it true, do they care about who they are talking to, or is this the kind of person to lesser or greater degree happy to project to somebody else.

I agree generally. Not sure about green, green seems very open but when value judgements and hiearchy come in, or aggression, or the ability to actually sit in a stress response sometimes seems to really trigger green. That said I am aware green triggers me also so I feel like it is a two way street, I am a hardass overly protective sort, vulnerability is tricky for me and green has a lot of wondreful skills here. It just feels tricky, perhaps lots of integral types feel this pull, the level before can be infuriating at times and then it’s also forget you still have alot to learn from that level. Oh to be stretched so :slight_smile:

You are correct though boundaries are definitely a huge issue for me. I feel alot of primal difficulties around safety and being in my body. And oh what a mess with my last counsellor lol. I will perhaps reveal that at one point what happened. My current feeling towards therapists is they are not so hot at helping with boundaries. I’m with one now I ilke but I don’t believe the trust is fully there, I just don’t know where to find one yet who will tick the boxes. Is why I wonder if an integral view may be able to help out to find someone.

My experience is limited with the therapy world but I feel the negatives I’ve had with it are not niche or fringe. It’s actually something I’ve been wondering, the extent to which the therapy world holds itself to account, or how well it has evolved.

That’s a great point I hadn’t considered. Perhaps I can do that. I have bdd (body dysmorphic disorder) which makes it hard to relate and be in my body much of the time although I’m always getting better. Actually thinking about protecting myself no matter what would feel empowering. I sort of feel when I’m in that stuck. The freeze impulse of trauma and in animals perhaps. Hence why I would like to read some wisdom on these sorts of trauma topics.

Yep. Great point. I can definitely be under or overboundaried, I improve all the time sort of feels like a learning curve. Currently I look out for a degree of playfulness. People who can handle some fight/ flight stress kicking in while maintaining some levity and not losing themselves. Otherwise something about it feels two intellectual and boundaries are not fully understood. Hence as you say fleeing. Fight and fleeing are good at times but ideally we would be with people trustable enough to need far less of that. Or it would be understood it is a temporary thing.

I actually think as I say the red really comes in to it. In some ways it feels like combining healthy red, with green. Green balancing out red to lose it and dominate, but green can be thoroughly oversensitive at times, prone to group domination and the opposite of a strong self, an environment where everybody is constnatly smothered by other’s emotions. Although thinking about it I think red does that with lots of stages. Or maybe not red I’m not sure, but the ferocity at times to protect yourself, family, group, nation etc etc up to as big a level as one can care about. To be honest though it’s all rather up in the air for me so I appreciate your own view. Your talk of amber had me curious.

And yes your reflection was very helpful. Misinterpretations can happen with so many complex things and you grokked the vast majority of what I said, who could complain about that. So thankyou :). And also thankyou for the link you posted. I’ve done alot of work on myself but these things are still there in the mix. It’s funny I’m thinking I see lots of subtle situations on the group calls or with deep friends where I would not call it abuse, that feels like a word that’s needed for the truly destructive. But these things are relative at times, and any awareness or reduction of uncaring activity is great to be aware of and this article is food for thought.

To clarify, I meant that judgment of the self for having an emotion is not very helpful, but I definitely agree that it matters how one chooses to express emotions.

In my experience, the ability to sit in stress response is a main skill that comes online more fully at green (Individualist ego). That’s what all the meditation is about, isn’t it? Accepting of authentic self, and finding value in the experience, even if the experience is quite uncomfortable/stressful/painful.

That really sucks, I’m sorry that’s been your experience. I’ve found this pdf workbook to be quite helpful in getting started on boundaries, though it is not as comprehensive as I would like.

I’ve found that if I trust (BRAVING - Brene Brown) my self, then I don’t have to trust the therapist as much to still be able to gain a lot from the relationship.

I have experienced this type of freeze response when unexpectedly threatened by violence. I’ve had to spend a lot of time introspecting about what, if anything, I could have done differently to avoid or resolve the conflict. The best that I’ve come up with so far, was having a better idea of my boundaries and how I would have liked to have acted in the face of violence and how I will try to act should the situation arise again.

I will keep an eye out for resources and send them your way if I come across any that I find useful.

I’ve definitely experienced a learning curve when it comes to boundaries in my personal journey towards self-trust. From my observations, children seem to catch on quicker than older adults who have lived most of their lives ignoring their own boundaries.

When you say “red” and “green”, which line of development are you referring to? It sounds like you might be conflating values (spiral dynamics) with self-identity, these are different developmental lines.

When it comes to self-identity (based on Loevinger and Cook-Greuter’s research), green has a stronger sense of self as an individual than red. Red’s (Self-protective/Opportunist) focus is on protecting one’s self, but green (Individualist) accepts the self as it is, trusting that it won’t suddenly change because of group pressures and being open to the discoveries about self, if it does, rather than feeling threatened by it. Because red self views the world as a zero-sum game, the group’s needs cannot be considered without jeopardizing one’s own needs.

Mind you, this is my understanding of the research conducted by Jane Loevinger and Susanne Cook-Greuter, so it’s entirely possible that I’m mistaken or missing something. Also, when I say “stronger” I really mean, “has more tools to adapt to a given situation” and so the self feels less threatened, not that green is “better”.

You’re very welcome, I’m glad you found it and my reflections helpful. We’re all works in progress, aren’t we? :smile:

I can understand the objection to the assigning of “abuse” to common everyday occurrences, especially if one believes the word indicates particularly harmful exceptions to normative behaviors. I held this belief for quite some time.

However, more recently, I have come to believe the word indicates any behaviors which hinders the optimal development of another by infringing on autonomy and attempting to control. Given this definition, the linked articles’ examples fall into the category. Emotional abuse (as referenced in the linked article), though less physically violent, has been shown to have more severe effects than physical or sexual abuse, because it attacks the development of the self, a crucial lens through which we process information (and because it is often experienced with greater frequency).

I am still sometimes guilty of perpetrating emotional abuse towards others, though I’m growing my autonomy skill set in order to continue reducing these occurrences. Because of this expanded understanding of abuse, I think I don’t react as strongly to its use, as others might.

I do hope my contribution to this thread remains helpful. I find your perspective quite challenging (in a good way) and growth inspiring. Thank you for sharing your experience and challenges.

Yeah that’s a great distinction actually. And it’s something to watch out for because sometimes an interpretation we have inhereted can well make a certain expression of an emotion harmful, but to actually return to a state of innocence with it and give it space is a very worthwhile reminder.

Yeah I agree and disagree with this, I find it very useful to really zone in one what green is and what it might not be. It’s definitely a demand to lower one’s stress response to hear multiple perspectives and to have respect for another’s views. I’m not sure I would map meditation on to green although I could be wrong, my associations with green and some mindful/ spiritual practice is it’s rather carte blanche. I will have a bit of yoga here, buddhism there etc. So in that vein anger really seems to lack at times, along with depth. I think in green world you can protect someone against a power imbalance, or to honor someone’s different individual identity. But to stand you ground, and say, ‘this matters more than this’ seems to really trigger a shame response.

Thankyou. Yeah, I’m still getting my head around it. My therapist was not terrible, I have pretty high emotional intelligence to see through many things, and she helped me tremendously but then again, I have been vulnerable in it for years and there is a huge imbalance of power and part of me wonders if I was retraumatised. It’s given me a certain passion about being involved in the therapy world. Sometimes it’s not about it being so bad, as it is an incredibly important profession that absolutely should be at the top of it’s game.

Yeah I agree. You need alot of trust in yourself to truly reveal things and at times doesn’t matter how good the therapist is you still need self care and integrity in yourself. That said, you are paying a therapist, week in week out. It seems to me that they do not talk to one another enough, and admit if they are not he best person for the job, or if they actually need more help from outside of themselves and are too willing to just have someone come in week in week out to basically talk to a glorified friend. Or some having it drag on for decades. I have no idea on the proportions of such things, and try not to be too critical but also my taste is if there is any dodginess going on and there surely is then it needs serious tackling.

Yeah agreed. I’ve thought often abuot traumatic experiences reliving them being more heroic. I believe at times though sitting in the freeze response actually opens up the trauma, going in to fight or flight can bypass it too quick. And it’s very strange, mysterious, ilke being dead in some ways. I’ve heard animals when they do it, they shut down their organs, because basically they think they are going to die so they go in to deep relaxation so it will not be painful. Only animals when they are not killed go through a sort of panic attack type state then basically get up and are back to normal. I kind of feel with humans, one we are nowhere near as good at being in our body. But also perhaps we have more ways in which to be traumatised. I find being in nature decidedly helpful even though it doesn’t take away the trauma, it feels like something mysterious slowly heals it. It’s probably the only thing in life when I’m in it almost trusting absolutely.

Yep big time. In my nature vein I would say animals may be even better than humans also. It’s funny how much I feel a need to relearn just to be natural :).

Yeah I am conflating I didn’t even know there was a difference lol. I hear people say red, and have this ballpark idea, spiral dynamics, ego centric etc. Thankyou for your clarification. That’s really interesting to consider, every time we discuss I’m struck truly trying to think of what green is. Perhaps I shall school up on Loevinger and Greuter’s definitions. I often wonder in regards to the colours where someone like a beneficial vigilante might fit in. Such as a robin hood figure. Breaking the rules to fight the good fight.

We are indeed, this becomes extremely apparent at integral lol. Entire stages of development and culture etc to see our evolution through.

Great point. Abuse does seem to be relative to the amount of care one actually holds, and it likely is more valuable to see it even in the highest subtelest forms than not. I suppose my reservation is because of snow-flake/ victim culture these days that make any qualitative distinctions meaningless. But as I say, does strike me better to have a nuanced gradations of understanding than just seeing abuse as abuse. Especially when it’s such a difficult thing to quantify anyway.

Yeah you are quite right abuot emotional abuse. That is the flavour of mine for the most part, some physical abuse but not violence, at least to the point of actual physical striking or anything. Emotions seem to linger way deep in the shadows and take vastly longer to heal and deal with.

Yes me too although I am more devil may care about it to an extent at times lol. I feel like I cause less emotional abuse to them than they do to me.

Me too :). I think trauma and the therapy world could really do with healthy amounts of challenge and rapport. And I think even two guys chatting it out about such an important subject can have a sizeable ripple affect. Eve if it’s just being able to help someone a bit better that really needs it. So yeah, so glad you jumped in with such meaty posts to chew on.

It wasn’t my intention to imply that meditation is solely a green practice. It was more an observation that folks espousing green values tend to advocate meditation practices. When I think of meditation I think of practicing alpha and theta brainwave frequencies through mindfulness, loving kindness, and non-judgement. These are specific skills that I’ve found very helpful in continued growth.

Perhaps this is true in folks who are new to green values and still breaking away from/resisting orange values or who haven’t yet developed green level ego (Individualist). From my understanding, Green ego is capable of saying “From this value set, this matters more than that.” and “From this other value set, that matters more than this.” When it comes to making decisions, Green is capable of saying “Because I hold this value set, this matters more, to me, than that, but it’s not a conflict if you have a different opinion because you might have a different value set. Based on the group’s value set, this matters more than that, so the group’s decision should be this.”
It’s basically being able to hold your own value set as object to yourself instead of automatic programming.

I couldn’t agree with you more! Part of the introduction process of considering a new therapist (usually the first session), I like to include questions about what (psychology and human development) theories and/or theorists they are aware of. I consider it a really good sign if when they admit they haven’t heard of someone, they also get excited about the prospect of learning something new from their therapeutic relationship with me.

My understanding is that freeze is a part of the natural threat response. It’s actually: fight, flight, or freeze (hide). It’s an effective strategy for a lot of animals (rabbits, mice, flies, squirrels, chipmunks, grasshoppers, etc.) in remaining undetected by predators. This is an interesting review analysis which discusses the mechanisms of this response in animals and the implications for further study of human responses to stress.

Oh what an interesting query! I suspect it would depend on the vigilante… Robin Hood (who’s version?), versus Batman (which one?), versus Kick-Ass. They likely all have differing levels of development along different lines. It might be easiest to base the analysis off a specific movie’s depiction of the character, as the best stories (IMO) involve showing the character(s) growth.

I think the victim culture that you are referring to is a result of red ego (self-identity) state sticking around (dominating) past its usefulness. Because a person has suffered a violation of self/body/etc. they drop into to self-protection ego mode where everything becomes me vs them. It’s an effective strategy while fighting the violation, but not so effective if you stay there after the violation has ended.

In my opinion, one of the greatest self work tasks someone in this state could do is to find genuine empathy for the perpetrator without losing their sense of self and the reality that the violation occurred and was harmful to them. Good boundaries are helpful (possibly essential) in this endeavor, as they require acknowledging the victim’s power.

I tend to think of “abuse” as a line that you can cross. A behavior is either on the “not abusive” side or it’s on the “abusive” side. This view requires that you decouple a person’s value from their behaviors, though. Just because a person behaves abusively, doesn’t mean they aren’t valuable or even loving in other ways. This is where boundaries come in again. Maybe boundaries serve the same purpose for me that gradations serve for you.

When I communicate with folks who are not able to see this distinction, I usually use a different word to avoid triggering them into self-protection mode, which minimizes the effectiveness of my communications. It would be nice to have more universally understood words to indicate possible gradations of violating behaviors.

I’m still learning to identify emotional abuse when I see it (including in my interactions with my parents, siblings, and extended family). I made up a game where I try to identify the unhealthy (potentially abusive) tactic used in every scrap of media I consume. Once identified, I try to figure out what sort of boundaries the characters should have in place in order to behave healthier. It’s ridiculous how often unhealthy/abusive beliefs (and tactics) are used as a theme or to heighten the drama of a plot. We have stereotypes (“overbearing Jewish mother”) and cliches (“parenthood = self-sacrifice, more sacrifice = better parenting”, “romance = boundary violations”, etc.) built around these behaviors. It’s kind of horrifying, but it’s also a fun skill-builder.
Being able to identify these behaviors and set appropriate boundaries has helped prevent a continued experience of emotional abuse, regardless of how loved ones behave.

I certainly hope so!

I’m glad you posted the reflection topic. Hopefully, other folks will have more to contribute at some point.

I agree generally but I think it’s more shallow than it is at integral, as is introspection generally. I think of the introduction of eastern philosophies to the west in the 60s but they were highly watered down.

Yes I suppose so but it always seems weak to me at green. There is alot of relativity, personal opinion and subjectivity. I may think this is more value, but Iam not really allowed to stand up and make it based on what I think to be universally true. Personally I think green alot of intuition and feeling comes online, but there is alot of confusion and it’s like a start rather than truly plundering deep. In part because it seems to be a level of development dominated by subjectivity, but unfortunatley the entire objective world becomes something that seems confusing, thoroughly up for debate where there seems to be little consensus on what we might call shared or factual reality.

Yeah I agree, skill and humility seems to be a very good trait therapists. To be confident but also humble that therapy, trauma, relationship etc is clearly a never ending learning curve. I find arrogance a turn off but I find a total lack of ability to discern or admit that where things are wishy washy to be just as annoying.

I believe of late this has alot of fruitfuleness for the more physical sides of trauma. I saw soething recently, in which it was talking about the fight, freeze and flight. Or rather from what I gather, it is fight or flight, and it’s only when those two options run out that freeze comes in to play. Which either works to stop a predator, or from what I heard induces a deep relaxation/ out of body experience which nullifies the pain of the carnage of dying. This also relates to me personally. I think there is actually alot of merit in being able to sit and empower your freeze/ fight response. It is very energising, and alot of folks with trauma seem to be in the freeze, turned down energy, their organs, repression, barely in their bodies etc. It seems to me something not well understand but extremely important. I actually think it may be my major breef with therapy. Thankyou for the article again, lots to read :).

Yeah, I watch a recent film with Winston Churchill, basically it was the start of the decision to go to war against Nazi Germany vs. cave in to them. My therapist this week said something to be which was fitting, and speaks to this. Every hero has his shadow destructive side which opened a whole world to me. People can easily praise a hero, or criticise a hero at times caling him destructive when it’s something very much based on values and opinion. Do they agree with what they are fighting for? And do they back the destruction of what the hero is trying to destroy. Again, central to my views on therapy, I think a hero was always what I wanted and suspected I always needed.

Another point of somwhat disagreement. I think it’s just a genuine pathology of green, in part because it seems to express itself different to the purely egotistical way of red. It’s often the initiator of group shame, evil white people who are seen as universally in power for example. It fights for the power of the minorities but to the point of destroying the so called majority. I’m actually left wondering if at each stage of development there is a need to integrate every level below to progress. So hit green, have to go right through tribal to modernism to get to integral or something. And each mini part of the rainbow expressing itself has a different flavour. I see red in amber, religious zealotry that I am more pure and pious than you etc. Modernism, you can see this I am more rational than you and on it goes. Greenis probably that I care more than you.

I would say a double edged sword in empathising with the perpertrator, and I see too much enabling in the therapy world. True empathy would have empathy, but also understand one’s own evil, and that there is choice, and with it real shame and disgust and rage the perpetrator should have to live through. Some people absolutely destroy lives, I don’t give too much of a dam how bad their own life is at times if they made their life that much worse and someone elses.

Very true, i find it easier to have compassion the more I can sit with a trigger response. Partly because I can understand my own which gives empathy, but I can see they are genuinely struggling, people have less control in such a state. I find treating all situations as abuse or not as useful and being considerate of the amount of care in all situations. Sometimes someone may be doing relatively ‘the best’ they can. But having an eye for care always pulls up a higher standard. An increased awareness of connection and the potential for destructive energies. And yeah, just about every positive trait has it’s shaming societal expectation to shut it up. I think some emotions and expressions are a survival threat at certain stages, so it’s not just a matter of human evil or lack of compasion. We generally become more inclusive the more we evolve. I remember Wilber saying how shame at some levels is a useful tool to keep people in line as certain stages just cannot handle some things because of survival needs.

I like that, sounds very useful and I can imagine people being a little suspcicious at your razor sharp boundaries lol. I’ve noticed lately actually when I embrace my fight of flight response how much more I can see of these things coming up.

Yeah I would think so, therapy has to be a juicy topic for folks. 2 people is alot better than none though :).