Interview with Andy Bernay-Roman

How does stored pain (trauma) relate to disease?
At the Hippocrates Health Institute, I often work with people who have been given difficult medical diagnoses. I inevitably find some correlation with their disease process and the process of repressed feeling. Even to the point where the disease seems like the body’s pantomime of the inner repressed turmoil. I won’t go so far as to say this disease means this, or that condition means that, but I will say I’ve seen patterns of repression that seem to go along with certain body systems and certain ailments.

The science of it is just being discovered, but it basically has to do with the inner stress induced by repression of feelings contributing to an unhealthy flooding of the system with emergency hormones and the fight-or-flight response of the nervous system without letting up. Over time this unnatural flow inhibits oxygen delivery to certain parts of the body, increases muscular tension, and creates chemical havoc. It makes sense that that state would drive cells nuts, or seriously hamper healthy functioning.

If that weren’t bad enough, the body-response to trauma when it is repressed gets shunted upwards to the cognitive brain and influences our thoughts, beliefs, and sense of self, filling it with neurosis, phobias, dysfunctional patterns of relating, and all sorts of mental disorders. These things normalize when a person taps into and drains the pool of pain. It might be a bold thing to say that connecting with and feeling repressed pain sets the stage for physical healing, but I see it over and over again.
We know that certain diseases are psychosomatic, such as functional headaches, allergies, etc., But what about the non-psychophysiological disease? Does stored pain influence their course?
The understanding that some illnesses are psychosomatic has been around since the ‘40’s. The Psychosomatic Seven include asthma, migraines, allergies, and some others. It was revolutionary to think that back then. Now I believe the same psychosomatic influence plays into all physical ailments. I’m not saying that repressed feelings always are causative of illness, but I am saying repressed feelings inevitably help set the stage for illness, and always influence the course of an illness. I remember one woman in particular right now: she had severe liver cancer and was in marked pain in our sessions together. One time when she went especially deep into her anger and hurt, she emerged, to her surprise, physically pain-free. She got a first-hand experience of the mind/body connection.
As a therapist, do you find that everyone has repressed pain?
I think it’s almost inevitable that some part of the psyche gets repressed just because we grow up in family and social systems comprised of people who aren’t fully feeling, or who filter their own experiences through their particular beliefs and values that may or may not fit with those of the kid they are raising. Repression is a great survival tool. It helps us keep going in the face of pain. Anything with such strong survival value is going to show up a lot in the species. So my answer is: Pretty much, but not always. And we don’t always deal with repressed pain in therapy either. That’s only for the people who want to and are willing to go there; who understand that their present responses to things are being modulated by inner defenses to old pains; and that the way to be free from that inner twisting is through connecting and feeling.
Have you completed your own regressive therapy?
I believe I’ve achieved critical mass. I still regress sometimes, and sometimes to places deeper than I’ve been before. I especially like a deep hot bath for those times. Am I over all infantile behavior? Ask my wife.
Do you plan to write a future book? If so, what would it emphasize?
Writing my book helped me get all my insights and experiences with therapy out there, and I felt compelled to do that. I’m pleased that I did, and that I’ve gotten a great response from readers. People have asked me to write a follow-up to Deep Feeling . . ., and include many more tales of therapy, so I’m thinking about it. But frankly, I don’t feel so compelled to do so. I think my next book would focus on living in relationship from a deep feeling perspective. I think it’s the best arena for personal development because it’s so intimate and it’s harder to hide out. That would be a book I’d buy!
Published 2014-06-09.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Deep Feeling, Deep Healing: Mind/Body Wisdom for Bodyworkers
Price: $7.99 USD. Words: 36,750. Language: English. Published: June 10, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Health, wellbeing, & medicine » Massage, Nonfiction » Psychology » Mental health
Deep Feeling, Deep Healing showcases the latest mind/body discoveries in the field of psychoneuroimmunology (PNI), and offers bodyworkers a user-friendly model to help them better understand the impact of their work, as they bring more awareness and compassion to their clients.
Deep Feeling, Deep Healing: The Heart, Mind, and Soul of Getting Well
Price: $8.99 USD. Words: 101,390. Language: English. Published: June 9, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Health, wellbeing, & medicine » Mental health, Nonfiction » Psychology » Psychotherapy / counseling
Bernay-Roman transforms the latest findings from the mind/body science of psychoneuroimmunology into practical deep-feeling techniques for busting dysfunction, mobilizing the healing system, quickening recovery, and breaking out of ruts. Full of illuminating and moving case studies.