The introduction of the subjective experiencer into healthcare.
A theoretic approach as studied by Jung, Catsup, Moore and Hippocrates.
As a 20+ year survivor of chronic illness who has navigating the labyrinth of the Western Medical and Healthcare Model, I can say affirmatively we have much improvement to make. My, maybe bias, important contribution revolves around the depth of help I sadly lacked around my many years traversing the likes of Johns Hopkins Hospital, NYU Langone, and many more.
Thank God I had been introduced tothe world of yoga and eastern medicine prior to my life threatening diagnosis. 20 years later, I know I have my finger on the pulse of something I have not only experienced and by witnessed time and time again. We are failing so many patients and now it's widely known, providers and medical students as well. We have been objectively relying of science and matter based approaches and completely leaving our the emotional, spiritual, and aspects of the mental.
I barely survived my physical illness and I honor the expertise of the deeply detailed world view of the physical in healthcare. But I would be lying if I didn't mention there was a whole world around my illness that I felt the medical system was blind to. I honestly feel most providers are not avoiding, obfuscating, repudiating, or ignoring. I feel most are blind. This is where the peer "experiencer" comes in to fill a gaping whole in which many patients get lost in, the abyss or fog when we ignore our whole being.
Carl Jung, a renowned Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, believed in the importance of the subjective experience in understanding oneself and achieving holistic healing. He believed that the psyche, or the totality of a person's conscious and unconscious mental processes, was intimately connected to physical health and wellbeing. In this article, we will explore Jung's perspective on the subjective experience, its relationship to healing and healthcare, and how allowing archetypes to express themselves can inform our healing process.
Jung believed that the subjective experience was essential to understanding oneself and achieving holistic healing. He coined the term "individuation" to describe the process of becoming aware of one's unconscious aspects and integrating them into one's conscious personality. According to Jung, this process required a willingness to explore the inner depths of one's psyche and to confront the shadow, or the dark and unknown aspects of oneself. He believed that this process was essential to achieving a sense of wholeness and inner peace.
In the context of healthcare, Jung believed that the objective and subjective aspects of healing were intimately connected. He believed that healthcare professionals needed to take into account the patient's subjective experience, including their emotional and spiritual needs, in order to provide effective care. He wrote, "The physician's task is not only to alleviate physical symptoms, but also to awaken the patient to a sense of wholeness in body, mind, and spirit" (Jung, 1964).
Jung's perspective on healthcare is echoed by modern researchers and practitioners who recognize the importance of the subjective experience in healing. Bernard Kastrup, a philosopher and researcher in the field of consciousness studies, argues that "healthcare must embrace a holistic, subjective approach that places the human experience at the center of care" (Kastrup, 2019). Robert Moore, a Jungian analyst, writes that "the psyche is not an object to be treated, but rather a subjective experience to be understood" (Moore, 2014).
Jung also believed that allowing archetypes to express themselves could inform our healing process. Archetypes are universal symbols and patterns that are present in the collective unconscious of all human beings. According to Jung, archetypes could provide insight into the deeper aspects of our psyche and inform our understanding of ourselves and the world around us. By allowing archetypes to express themselves, we can gain a deeper understanding of our inner selves and promote healing.
Allowing and honoring the perspective of our subjective experience is essential in understanding oneself and achieving holistic healing. Healthcare professionals must recognize the importance of the subjective experience in healing and take into account the patient's emotional and spiritual needs. Allowing archetypes to express themselves can inform our healing process and promote a deeper understanding of ourselves. As Hippocrates said, ""It is more important to know what sort of person has a disease than to know what sort of disease a person has" (Hippocrates, 400 BC).
It is time for the Western Medical Model to create the space within their own psyche to broaden their world view. This is my clarion call as the patient the providers claim they are in service to.