Brené (Brown) and (John) Gray need an institute like (John) Gottman…situated on our planet (between Venus and Mars).
In his old (2014) TEDx Talk, it was good to see Gray reaching past his pop appeal to integrate neurochemistry for the professional credibility he deserves. I’d like to see him collaborate with Brené Brown to start integrating oversimplifications of neurohormonal bases for relationship chemistry, the reductionist explications of which are typically reluctant to venture past cute maxims into formulating hypotheses, or elaborating substantive discussions, about shame.
Shame is an emergent property of our neurochemistry because it is seated in the soul, beyond our conscious psyche. It is an internal dynamic that’s devastating to relationships–a fifth Gottman horseman, or the livery where all four are all bridled.
Psyche-ology is the study of the psyche, which is Greek for “soul.” That’s a dirty word and verboten notion in the academic and clinical realms, which prefer behavioral experiments and diagnostic obsessions or correlational meta-studies, respectively.
Brain-function’s and chemistry’s contributions to our consciousness and soul-deep experiences like shame are emerging frontiers in neuropsychology and philosophy, but still raw and disorganized. There are brilliant and innovative scientists braving that rugged terrain, but they are self-aware that they’re trodding on egg shells.
I wonder if highly visible and charismatic professionals like Gray and Brown can afford the risk that will come with the courage needed to start poking those dragons whose sedation is manifest in contemporary psychology’s poo-poohing disdain for the early founders of psychoanalysis (Freud, Jung,…) whose “study of the soul” seems to have been steadily abandoned for less philosophical pursuits. It sure smells like the root of that disdain is the limited scope of analyses those early philosophical founders can claim. There’s a dearth of resonance with today’s obsessions for data primacy via materially reductionist science.
What do you think? Leave a comment…
Neil D. 2020-03-30