In recent years in Australia the issue of domestic violence has been in the news on a regular basis. Rosie Batty was made Australian of the Year in 2015 for her strong advocacy for victims of domestic violence. Rosie suffered violence from her partner, and in a horrible scene on a sports field, this same man bashed their 11 year old son to death.
This horrendous act was the catalyst for members of the community, lead by Rosie, to try and rectify the scourge of domestic violence. Apart from children being victims of domestic violence, it has been highlighted that in Australia approximately two women a week are being murdered by a partner.
Rosie Batty has advocated for changes in police response, the delivery of support services and government engagement.
These ideals are all good, and I don’t deny they are needed, but they all deal with the symptoms of a disease and not the disease itself. In all the media coverage I have not heard of anyone trying to explain how a man could bash the woman he is supposed to love and kill his own son.
Surely if we as a society want to do something about domestic violence then we need to understand why it occurs. What is going on in a man’s brain when he bashes his partner and murders his own son? What is wrong with our culture that raises so many people that want to harm others?
The professionals in the field of mental health have done research that almost conclusively proves that a traumatic childhood can lead to mental disorders later in life. The Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) research is the most current and talked about example.
So if a traumatised brain is responsible for mental disorders, then how do we stop these disorders from occurring, and if they do occur then how can they best be treated? These problems are best answered from the understanding of the three levels of consciousness. The mental health industry’s main focus is on the conscious mind, and therefore most treatment plans are cognitively based. Cognitive behavioural therapy, mindfulness and the psychoanalytical approach are common examples of treatment.
But these methods only attempt to treat the cognitive mind, which is only one level. As I have explained in previous posts, it is the brainstem sensations that are really the controlling force within the human brain. Early trauma is registered in the brainstem, and these early imprints at the first level of consciousness drive what we feel at the second level, the feelings then driving how we think at the third level.
When the partner of Rosie Batty was bashing their son to death, it is my opinion that he was most likely reflecting the horrible trauma that was imprinted in his own brainstem.
I had a good insight into this process during my own primal therapy. During therapy I got so angry at my father and the way he treated me that I ‘killed’ him. I imagined that I had a knife in my hands and I was stabbing him in his big fat belly. It surprised me I had so much anger and rage buried deep inside. I remember thinking I didn’t want him to die too quickly, but to bleed slowly to death in agony. I was a bit surprised and horrified that I was capable of feeling and acting in that manner. However I later found this to be a common theme among people undergoing primal therapy. We are taught during therapy that if we act it out in the therapy room we are less likely to do it in real life. Acting it out in therapy somehow disarms the ‘psychic energy’ stored at the first level that had the capacity to override the rational mind at the third level. Overriding of the third level by the first level basically forces people to do unloving actions on others.
Unfortunately, in my view, Rosie Battys’ partner did not get the opportunity to address his anger in a therapy room and acted it out on his son.
Until our culture understands the human brain, from a psychological viewpoint, as having three separate levels of functioning, domestic violence, and many other mental disorders, will continue to ruin many lives.