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The rise of violence in society is of concern to various groups in society, as it is to the authorities. The State has put measures in place to fight against this using repression, sanctions against the guilty and to measures to protect victims.
The Four Key concepts of SAS
SAS can work at the level of preventing violence, using the four following stages of intervention:
1. Workshops with a therapeutic aim, group therapy to help victims of violence and adults who could themselves become violent.
2. Punctual intervention into the spiritual consequences of trauma. This workshop is called OPOH – Operation Open Heart.
3. Sustained work with broken off parts of the heart called Alters- short for Altered States.
4. The practice of “Palabre” which has to do with learning about human relations, reinforcing concepts such as loyalty, endurance, justice, truth, just as much as taking account of limits and norms, as well as seeking the meaning of one’s actions.
SAS is an accessible private sphere (i.e. non-government) social service where frustrations and anger can be expressed, heard and listened to via the intelligence of the heart. This means that the person concerned can express his or her emotions and find the place where relationships have broken down.
SAS is finding and constructing one’s true identity.
SAS is a safe road which allows us to get right at the root of suffering.
Validity of Group Therapy
Type of group therapy
Cognitive-Behavioural with additions timed to fit in with the needs of the group. Low threshold – Closed – with a short duration. These courses have a definite pattern, a beginning and an end. Confidentiality is strictly required of SAS staff and of all participants.
One session a week (except during Holidays) – two hours per session for a total of 24 to 26 sessions. A break and snacks are included in each session. At the end of the course a block of 3 to 4 consecutive days are set aside, according to the needs and wishes of the group.
This is an integrative/wholistic approach including cognitive behavioural psychology.
The Practical Aim of SAS’s actions
To allow the emergence of a reinforced identity, the restoration of communication and of relationship in a number of different spheres, that of: with one’s life partner, in a family, at work, in society in general. This is done by healing psychological traumas which bring up significant upsets in one’s daily emotional life.
Using a targeted, short term intervention to lower the cost of dealing with problems linked with physical ailments – those called “psychosomatic illnesses” and of recurring illness and of ruptures of relationships.
Who does SAS aim to help?
The workshops with a therapeutic aim at SAS are for those suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Adults, men and women from many different social backgrounds, who are grappling with violent behaviour, which in turn are due to unmourned losses following:
A – Different kinds of abuse
Abuse affecting children such as:
All these can lead to people closing in on themselves, to deep seated ambivalence which can unleash deep psychological disorders, both in individuals and in their families. This in turn affects social relations, creativity, health. Worse, if these problems are not resolved, they are transmitted from generation to generation.
For abortions, violence in rape or incest, the violence done affects both parties; as much the author of the violence as the victim – the emotional links made create a kind of solidarity or togetherness between the two. No one can wound without being themselves wounded. No one can kill without also killing something inside him or herself.
The family cell – like a biological cell – is the basic building block of society. When teh family suffers, society suffers the consequences.
According to the statistics, it would appear that maltreatment (abuse, violence, neglect) corresponds very closely with miscarriages and abortions, amongst others.
The loss of a pregnancy eliminates both the child him or herself physically inside the mother – and also eliminates the inner and intimate image of the child that the mother has inside her psyche. This breaks the genetic process and brings up deep reactions in the woman’s being. We are discovering today that the father of the child is also affected by this and also needs to mourn this loss.
Unresolved conflicts divide the person against him or herself. Broken off parts of the psyche which carry the sorrow due to the violence suffered react in order to protect the personality. This protection however is often carried out in an exacerbated or aggravated manner which upset the social relations of the person concerned. If the same kind of abuse has been repeated many times, the inner protection will be all the more entrenched, and so acess to care is also rendered more difficult to that extent.
The intensity of the symptoms depends on the number of losses suffered; the degree of order and security in one’s upbringing; on the reinforcing of Alters, or broken off parts of the soul; on an important Alter who can be called DENY, who tends to cauterise the person’s feelings which reinforces the tendency to suppress all attempts by other people to bring that person’s sorrows and conflicts to light.
The biggest and most frequent symptoms are:
A systematic approach is essential. The family heritage carries a lot of weight, and quite often violent tragedies can be seen over a number of generations and often in identical life circumstances. So, the family history will be the focus of a process of mourning , as will conflicts between couples and others in the family due to intergenerational cycles of violence.
A process of mourning is also required for: the deformed self image that victims of violence can have of themselves; what their life circumstances could have been like had things been different; the loss of an Idealised image of their family, father, mother, partner or others close to them.
B – “Incestuality”
This is a term that may not be familiar or whose meaning may be unclear to English speakers. So, I will start with a definition:
In individual or family psychic/psychological life, ‘incestual’ signifies that which carries the imprint of incest which is not fantisized, even though the physical (sexual) act may not have occurred. (This definition is by Professor P.-C. Racamier, in “Cortège Conceptuel” Published by Apsygée, Lyons.
In the Medical review Médicine et Hygiène of April 1996, two doctors, M. Hurni and G. Stoll, write (on page 1): “A finding that is generally corroborated by sex therapists today is that sexual troubles are not simply the harmless everyday symptoms that were discovered thirty years ago and that are supposedly easily treated. Rather they are signs that there is deep damage or trouble in the personality, at the very least for a majority of the patients who currently consult us. So, analogically, another important step has been taken by drawing a parallel between sexual troubles and perturbations in the emotional life of the couple concerned. Once again, the trouble is much deeper seated than was previously thought. In understanding these interactions, the concept of narcissistic perversion developed by Racamier and Eier has been of great value”.
...the unsuspected frequency of incest in families and the vile damage done both in the childhood and adult life of victims. All areas of the psyche – indeed one could say all areas of life are affected.
“So, incestuality denotes a family atmosphere where the child is lead against his or her will – in a manner that is even more pernicious than in incest itself – to welcome and satisfy the sexual desires of one or both abusive parents, at the price of the child’s own sexuality. Incestuality constitutes a relatively unknown form of what can legitimately call psychic or soul murder”.