I am once again turning to old posts from my previous blog site to re-visit the idea of nudity as a therapeutic process. I called the series, Nude Psychology 101. Over the past 30 years, I have been studying psychology as part of my role of counselling students, staff, and community members. Twenty years ago, I found myself needing to be counselled, a process that somehow went on for too long. Nine years ago, I basically gave up on all conventional modes of counselling as my depression seemed to only deepen. It was then that I remembered my first experience of nudity and healing, an event that happened fifty years ago. With that recollection, I began to seriously consider and apply the use of nudity in my own healing process. And know, I want to share my thoughts with you. Let me know what you think, please.
As the title of this post suggests, this is going to be the first of a series of posts looking at the idea of Nude Psychology as a valid and perhaps healing psychology. As a part-time prof and psychotherapist, I want to approach this series of posts with more structure as if I was teaching a course called Nude Psych 101 at some college or university in the modern western world. If the idea of ever having nudity included in the world of psychotherapeutic work is to be realised, there needs to be a serious study of the nature of psychology in relationship to nudism and naturism. That there will be attempts to blend the two together without knowing what is happening to the human psyche of both the therapist and the client, and in the process there is likely to be harm done, unconscious harm. There have been brief attempts with the practice of Nude Psychology and there are a few current attempts at using nudity in therapy practices.
At the right you will see an image of Psyche, Psyche is not a goddess. Rather, she is human, a woman so beautiful that she invokes both the love and wrath of the gods. The word psyche is Psyche has been a fascination for poets and artists for centuries. In almost all cases, she is depicted nude so that her full beauty in presented. Her beauty is magnified by her body, a beauty that brings about the union of mortal and gods and the birth of a child born of love between deity and human. Psyche is also the root of psychology.
Depth psychology in particular, honours the roots of its beginnings in mythology and other human stories. The human psyche is not so easily defined as it contains all that is conscious and unconscious, both personal unconsciousness and the collective unconscious. The human psyche is beneath the surface, beneath any coverings we may devise be those coverings be clothing or plastic surgery.
Psychology attempts to both define and understand the human psyche as well as find ways to assist in reducing the suffering of humans who have lost the thread of their life journeys, those who somehow have lost their sense of purpose and meaning.
Psychology today often forgets its purpose as it focuses on making psychology more about making a living, an economic enterprise. Often the world of psychology finds itself battling its own shadow as competing schools of psychology vie for coveted endorsements of legitimacy. And in many cases, it devolves into nothing more than power and politics.
For my purposes here, I want to turn back the clock and the mindsets to the roots of our attempts to understand ourselves and others, roots which begin with a healthy appreciation of the body, the naked body, which houses our psyche.