There are no easy answers: Two people can experience the same traumatic event and one becomes entangled and enmeshed within despair while the other chooses life and becomes whole. The questions as to how and why one dies and one lives have puzzled the best minds in the treatment domain since the dawn of time, really. For me, there are not enough tools available to reach those stuck within their toxic circumstances. So, I’ve built my own, though it might be more accurate to say that I’ve appropriated concepts within a framework I understand and can apply both to me and to my clients.
I’ve seen and experienced the immense confusion that emerges from the nature of human existence. As the only animal on the planet that is aware of and can reflect on his or her own mortality, humanity becomes embroiled in an internal struggle to live in spite of our pending demise. Something like Terror Management Theory (TMT) attempts to explain an unconscious defense mechanism of the mind that protects us all from the existential harm that our awareness of death can cause. The difficulty is that death is prevalent and the negative energy associated with its reality cannot be sublimated by anything, unconscious or otherwise. While TMT places self-reflection as the cause of what ails us, my framework requires it.
My whole approach and framework for substance abuse treatment is built on and around the concept of the “Collective Capacity.” The Collective Capacity (CC) is the unfettered choice of will to live in spite of the unfettered awareness and knowledge of death. CC is a dynamic, NOT static, entity within which all humanity plays a role in extending. To live within the CC is to see, create, an extend all that is good and strong and beautiful. The key word in CC is unfettered: Chains of protective beliefs prevent awareness both of life and of death and become the means through which people trapped in confusion decide. Only in liberation from those chains can people realize their free will to choose.