Counter-dependency and the flight from intimacy are a set of avoidance behaviors that protect people from re-experiencing intense emotions related to developmental trauma that happened between the ages of nine and 36 months. These avoidance behaviors are specifically designed to block past memories and emotions from emerging in their present-time relationships. Counterdependency is not a disease. It is a set of protective adult behaviors that are directly related to experiences of neglect, abuse or abandonment during the toddler or “terrible twos” stage of development. [Read more…]
Building sustainable relationships requires learning new interpersonal skills, a disciplined commitment and the ability to love unconditionally. There aren’t any magical solutions for building sustainable relationships and lasting love–no quick tricks, fast fixes or fancy maneuvers. We aren’t selling “magical thinking” or magical tools. And the people who are selling this kind of stuff are con artists. We say this not only from our own experiences, each of us now with close to 50 years of married life experiences, but from our 30+ years of counseling hundreds of individuals, couples & families.
Breaking Free of the Co-dependency Trap YouTube identifies co-dependency as the result of developmental trauma during the first nine months of life that prevents the completion of the infant-parent bonding process.The premise of Breaking Free of the Co-dependency Trap radically challenges the prevailing definition of co-dependency as a permanent, progressive, and incurable addiction. Co-dependency is a set of behaviors that can be changed through inner work, by using effective self-healing tools, through conscious, committed relationships, and through self-help groups such as CODA.
Drawing on our decades of clinical work with individuals, couples and families, we correlate developmental trauma with co-dependent behaviors and relationship problems. Co-dependency issues typically involve problems establishing and maintaining boundaries, clinging and dependent behaviors, people-pleasing, and difficulty achieving success in the world. This YouTube talks about our developmental approach to healing co-dependency. It also talks about our book, Breaking Free of the Co-dependency Trap, contains compelling case histories and practical activities to help you heal your early trauma and transform your self and your primary relationships.
Watch us talk about our developmental approach to co-dependency:
Janae B. Weinhold
Trauma is defined as an overwhelming psychological experience that causes changes in the biological stress response. When children’s psychological and emotional needs are either not met in an appropriate and/or timely manner, these experiences are traumatic. They become hard-wired into the child’s brain and leave biological and physical symptoms of trauma.These earliest symptoms, which are very subtle and often invisible to the untrained eye, involve avoidant and anxious/ambivalent behaviors typical of insecurely bonded children. Both varieties of behavior symptoms also include typical physical markers of trauma such as fight/flight/freeze responses, rapid heartbeat, hypervigilance, hyperactivity and increased cortisol levels in the blood.
The correlation between bonding breaks and trauma is very new. Some of the groundbreaking research in this area has been done by Sheila Wang in the Department of Psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine. Ms. Wang, a researcher in the field of post-traumatic stress, found parallels between the cortisol levels in the bloodstream of children who experience chronic separation from their mothers and adults who experience chronic stress from natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods and human-made disasters such as wars, murders and bombings. This biologically based data provides the critical tie linking trauma and bonding breaks, a phenomenon that I call Developmental Trauma.
Hamer’s 5th biological law merely restates his premise that every degenerative condition is part of an SBS created to assist the organism in resolving or healing a conflict/shock at the biological level. He summarizes this law as follows:
Blinded, we brought upon ourselves this senseless, soulless and brutal medicine. Full of wonder, we can now understand for the first time that Nature is orderly, and every occurrence in nature is meaningful, even in the framework of the whole, and that the events we call diseases are not senseless disturbances to be repaired by sorcerer’s apprentices. We can see that nothing is meaningless, malignant or diseased. (Markolin, 2010, p. 37)
This statement is completely aligned with the principles and philosophy of our Developmental Process Work and Developmental Systems Theory (Weinhold & Weinhold, 2010). We believe, like Hamer, that the Mindbody has a tremendous capacity for self-healing if provided with the support and tools to do so. Our DPW professional trainings advocate giving this kind of support to clients who are interested in healing developmental shocks, traumas and stresses.
Markolin, C. (2010). New German Medicine. Electronically retrieved from here. Weinhold, J. & B. Weinhold (2010). Healing developmental trauma: A systems approach for counseling individuals, couples and families. Denver, CO: Love.
Hamer’s fourth biological law describes how microbes help heal the effects of an SBS on body organs and tissues. He applies this law through each of the three germ layers.
The endoderm and old-brain mesoderm produce fungi and TB bacteria. During the healing phase, fungi such as Candida Albicans or TB bacteria help decompose the cells that served a biological purpose during the conflict active phase.
During this decomposition process, the remnants of the microbial healing process are eliminated through the stool (colon-SBS), the urine (kidney-SBS, prostate-SBS), and the lungs, (lung-SBS). They are typically accompanied with night sweats, discharge (potentially mixed with blood), swelling, inflammation, fever, and pain. These are typically misdiagnosed as infections.
Bacteria (except for TB bacteria) support organs and tissues controlled by the new brain and cerebral cortex. During the healing phase, Hamer says that these bacteria help refill and replenish the tissue lost during the conflict active phase. These bacteria include staphylococcus and streptococcus that help rebuild bone tissue and replenish cells.
Should these bacteria be absent because of overuse of antibiotics, Hamer says that the healing will still happen, but not at the biological optimum. He also insists that microbes do not cause degenerative conditions, but rather play a beneficial role in the healing phase. He states that this makes the concept of the immune system meaningless and discounts the common premise that it is the primary defense against degenerative conditions.
Hamer states that whether or not the body organ or tissue responds to the related conflict with cell proliferation or with tissue loss is predetermined by a biological pattern that correlates with the evolutionary development of the human brain. This is the core of his third biological law.
This law shows the correlation between the psychological conflict/shock, the brain and the organs or tissues within the context of the embryonic (ontogenetic) and evolutionary (phylogenetic) development of the human organism. This law also shows that the location of the HH in the brain and the cell proliferation or tissue loss following a DHS are not accidental, but are connected to three separate germ layers that follow a genetic plan of human development.
These three germ layers are the endoderm, the mesoderm, and the ectoderm. This is based on the basic biological principle that ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny. Hamer was able to show that some organs, such as the colon, are derived from only one germ layer. Others, such as the heart, liver, pancreas, and the bladder, are derived from multiple germ layers, which are controlled by widely separated parts of the brain. He calls these morsel conflicts. Figuratively they translate into conflicts involving not being able to contact a person; encountering an offending remark that is difficult to digest; encountering things that are not possible to possess, things that were lost or taken away, or things that we cant get rid of.
In addition, this part of the old brain is connected to conflict/shocks such as life-threatening conflicts; those dealing with loud, annoying noise; feeling excluded in some way; having to flee your home; having an unexpected hospitalization; and experiencing ugly conflicts with the opposite gender.
Conflict/shocks linked to endoderm tissues involve the lungs, the organs of the alimentary canal, the prostate, and the uterus. Conflict/shocks linked to the old brain mesoderm include the skin, the breast glands, the lining of the abdominal cavity and abdominal organs, and the skin that covers the heart. In the mesoderm tissues, the issue of laterality has to be taken into account because of the crossover correlation from the brain to the organ. For example, a right-handed woman with a conflict with her child would have her right hemisphere affected and her left breast would show the tissue damage in the conflict active phase.
Conflict/shocks that are derived from the new brain mesoderm involve the bones, cartilage, tendons and ligaments, connective tissue, fat tissue, the lymphatic system, blood vessels muscles, the striated heart muscle, the adrenal cortex, the kidneys, the spleen, the ovaries, and the testicles.
Hamer found that conflicts linked to the new brain mesoderm tissues relate predominately to ‘self-devaluation conflicts such as the failure to perform a task, failing an exam, being put down or demeaned by somebody, the profound loss of a loved one (including a pet), a near drowning incident, making a wrong decision, an injury involving heavy bleeding, or feeling completely overwhelmed.
If something blocks the completion of the process in the healing phase, the person might develop symptoms that are mistakenly diagnosed as lymphoma, adrenal cancer, osteosarcoma, ovarian cancer, testicular cancer, or leukemia. If the healing process is interrupted by reenactments of the original conflict/shock, chronic conditions such as varicose veins, arthritis, or spleen enlargement may appear.
The ectoderm or third germ layer, controlled by the cerebral cortex, connects to the second or epithelial skin found in the mouth, the rectum, and the lining of certain organs. The kinds of conflict/shocks that correlate to this germ layer involve:
- sexual rejection or frustration,
- not feeling like you belong, a fright or scare within your home,
- fear of losing your home or actual loss of it,
- a fear of getting angry,
- feeling stuck or not being able to escape something dreaded,
- a fear of heading in a dangerous direction,
- a fear of being threatened from behind,
- and other conflict/shocks involving the sensory
Hamer also recognizes the importance of laterality and gender in the ectoderm or third germ layer in his paradigm. For example, a left-handed man with a separation conflict with his mother will be affected in the left hemisphere and that will manifest as a skin rash on the right side of the body during the healing phase.
During the healing phase certain so-called cancers may appear that involve the breast, bronchial system, larynx, cervix, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Chronic conditions such as skin rashes, hemorrhoids, colds, bronchitis, laryngitis, jaundice, hepatitis, cataracts, goiters, hypoglycemia, diabetes, visual and hearing impairments, and sensory-motor paralysis may occur because reenactments of the original conflict/shock disrupt the healing process.
According to Hamer, all of these conditions will eventually clear when the conflict-healing phase is complete, and any hanging conflicts due to reenactments of the original conflict are healed.
Markolin, C. (2010). New German Medicine. Retrieved from: http://learninggnm.com/documents/gnm_articles___introduction.html
Hamer’s second biological law describes two phases to the whole SBS process, provided the conflict is resolved. The first phase he calls the conflict active phase and the other the conflict healing phase. Interestingly, he found that the conflict active phase can cause cell proliferation in the organ if that is needed to facilitate the healing of the effects of the conflict/shock on the organ or tissues. If less tissue is needed to assist in healing the effects of the conflict/shock, the organ or tissue affected will produce a cell reduction or meltdown. According to Hamer, each of these natural healing responses is mistakenly diagnosed as a symptom of cancer.
Hamer found when the conflict active phase begins and the person becomes aware of the conflict, the normal day/night rhythm is instantly interrupted in a way that affects the whole organism. It throws the autonomic nervous system into a hypervigilant state leading to sleeplessness, lack or appetite, a fast heartbeat, elevated blood pressure, low blood sugar, and nausea.
This state also causes the blood vessels to constrict, which leads to cold hands and feet, a cold skin, chills, shivers, or cold sweats.
At the brain level, the concentric rings form and become sharply visible on a CT scan. At the organ or tissue level, signals from the brain either create a proliferation of new cells or a cell meltdown that follows the evolutionary development of the human brain. All organs and tissues controlled from the Old Brain (brain stem and cerebellum), such as the colon, the lungs, the liver, the kidneys, or the breast glands always experience a cell proliferation or tumor growth.
Organs and tissues controlled from the cerebrum (cerebral medulla and cerebral cortex) such as the bones, lymph nodes, ovaries, testicles, or the epidermis of the skin, always experience tissue loss. As the conflict active phase advances, so do the symptoms described above.
In the conflict-healing phase, the person feels a great relief from the stress of the conflict/shock. The autonomic nervous system switches into a calming stage where the person feels tired but has a good appetite. Rest and a healthy diet help the healing and repair process.
At the brain level, water and brain fluids are drawn to the related brain area, creating some edema in order to protect the brain tissue during the repair process. This may cause temporary symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, or blurry vision.
The conflict-healing phase is composed of two parts. First, the individual returns briefly to a state resembling the conflict active phase with symptoms of nervousness, cold sweats, shivers, and nausea, and the swelling of the organ reaches its maximum. This is followed by a release of the fluids through urinary excretion.
The second part of the healing phase shows up in the brain with the appearance of new brain tissue to assist with the repair process, and the tumors in the organs or tissues slowly degrade. Then the HH changes into a white ring configuration on a brain scan. According to Hamer, many people are misdiagnosed and mistakenly treated for a reoccurrence of their cancer during this part of the healing phase.
The tumors related to the old brain that developed during the conflict active phase decompose with the help of microbes such as fungi or TB bacteria. If these microbes are not available, the tumor stays in place, but no further cell division occurs. The cerebrum controlled tissue loss that occurred during the conflict active phase gradually replenishes and refills with new cells.
This process occurs in both parts of the conflict-healing phase. If there is a reenactment of the conflict/shock during this conflict-healing phase, it will prolong or abort the healing and repair process, leaving the organ or tissue not completely healed. In addition, Hamer says that chemotherapy or radiation treatments will interrupt the natural healing process even if the conflict is resolved.
Hamer refers to a hanging healing as a situation where the healing cannot be completed because of repeated relapses of the conflict/shock.
We would call this a repeated reenactment of the original conflict/shock. He also uses the term tracks to describe the group of trauma-based sensory cues that we call triggers. EMDR therapists refer to them as memory components and Gestalt therapists use the term gestalt to indicate a unified group of elements.
These tracks/triggers/gestalts/memory components contains a unique group of sensory, situational, and relational components that relate to the original conflict situation such as the location, weather conditions, relational dynamics, sounds or smells, and so forth.
If a person is in the healing phase and a track/cue/trigger associated with the original conflict/shock gets activated, the conflictorgan related symptoms immediately reemerge. This reactivation might cause symptoms of a common cold, night sweats, skin rash, asthma attack, or diarrhea.
The function of a track or trigger is to serve as a warning signal to avoid the same events that relate in some way to the original conflict/shock.
Hamer suggests that recurring symptoms such colds, asthma attacks, migraines, skin rashes, seizures, hemorrhoids, bladder infections, or other chronic conditions indicates that the conflict/shock has not been resolved and likely is being interrupted by repeated reenactments or the original conflict/shock.
According to Hamer, these reenactments can create chronic conditions such as arteriosclerosis, arthritis, Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis.
The key to truly healing these conflict/shocks is reconstructing the original conflict/shock event and clearly and precisely identifying all of the significant tracks or sensory, situational, or relational triggers contained in the original event. This is also a primary goal of our DPW clinical approach for treating developmental shock, trauma or stress.
In Chapter 9 of our book, Healing Developmental Trauma, we describe in more detail how DPW therapists help their clients reconstruct original incidents involving unhealed developmental shock, trauma or stress and all the potential triggers (or hot spots), and then use the TET protocol and other DPW interventions to help heal them.
Once this is done, the client no longer gets triggered into reenacting the original developmental conflict/shock. If a client gets triggered into a reenactment of the original developmental conflict/shock, it means that the therapist and the client have not yet identified and healed all of the tracks or triggers contained in the original conflict/shock situation.
Markolin, C. (2010). New German Medicine. Retrieved from: http://learninggnm.com/documents/gnm_articles___introduction.html
Weinhold, J. & B. Weinhold (2010). Healing developmental trauma: A systems approach for counseling individuals, couples and families. Denver, CO: Love.
Dr. Ryke Hamer founded German New Medicine after extensive research and a therapeutic practice as an oncologist dating back to 1979.
His paradigm contains Five Biological Laws that he claims totally invalidate the concept of diseases. The First Biological Law: A Redefinition of Disease.
In his first law, Hamer redefines diseases as Significant Biological Special Programs of Nature (SBS) created specifically by the body to assist an individual who has experienced an unexpected, highly acute conflict/shock or DHS. That shock is registered immediately in the psyche, the brain, and the corresponding organ connected to that part of the brain.
Through CT scans Hamer determined that the impact of the unexpected conflict/shock immediately creates sharp concentric rings in a very specific and predetermined area of the brain he calls the Hamer Focus or HH. The exact location and the size of the HH in the brain are determined by the nature and intensity of the conflict.
The exact location of the HH in the brain is determined by a person’s perceptions and feelings that are related to the unexpected conflict/shock. The moment the conflict/shock happens, a signal is sent to the organ or tissue that is connected to that part of the brain and an SBS is created to protect this organ or tissue from the possible effects of the conflict/shock.
Hamer also discovered that a single biological conflict/shock can have multiple elements that impact more than one brain area and consequently different organs or tissues. Western or allopathic medicine mistakenly refers to this multiple impact phenomenon as metastasis.
After 20 years of research and therapy with over 31,000 patients, Dr. Ryke Hamer finally established firmly, logically, and empirically how a physical or emotional event involving a biological-conflict-shock results in what traditional medicine would describe as cancerous activity in the body that leads to a cancer diagnosis within 1 to 2 years after the event.
He also established that once the conflict/shock is resolved through psychotherapy, the body reverses this process and spontaneously heals itself. This reversal causes a remission phase in which the damage is repaired and the individual returns to good health.
Hamer says that a biological-conflict-shock is not an abstract Freudian term. It is a real-life internal experience of an inescapable conflict/shock that is both biological and psychological and is experienced as very acute, traumatic, and usually isolating because it is not easy to discuss or mull over with others.
This biological-shock-conflict event also does not allow a person any time to prepare for it. Even a few seconds of preparation, Hamer says, could lessen the impact of the events, in Hamer’s case, the expected death of a loved one.
Typically, the shock is life threatening, contains fear-inducing news, and traps a person in a life-or-death situation not of his or her choosing from which there is no escape. Biological-conflict-shocks exist throughout the animal kingdom. If an animal experiences a biological-conflict-shock, it usually related to a concrete event. It can be choking on a morsel of food, have an obstruction in the intestine, or be facing a life- or procreative-threatening injury.
Biological-conflict-shocks have special meaning for humans because we have the capacity for symbolic thinking. Therefore, after experiencing the kind biological-conflict-shock that the Hamer had experienced, the shock registers first in the dermal layer of the brain. Then at the precise point in the dermal layer where the shock registers, a set of concentric rings form. He calls these rings a Hamer Focus or HH.
These rings are visible in a computerized tomography (CT) scan. The organ that is controlled by that specific part of the brain then begins to change. This change can manifest as a tumor, as tissue loss, or as a loss of function.
Hamer’s research also indicated that even getting a diagnosis of cancer can cause the brain to register another HH that affects a different emotional center in the brain than the one affected by the initial shock.
An example of this effect shows up in two recent large randomized trials that indicate labeling someone as a cancer patient and doing cancer screenings contributes to doubling the lifetime risk of getting prostate cancer (Brawley, O., Ankerst, D. & Thompson, I., July/Aug 2009, p. 264273).
One of the authors, Dr. Otis Brawley, the top medical official at the American Cancer Society, points out that men who are given the label of cancer patient suffer many emotional conflicts related to the negative consequences of this diagnosis, such as possible loss of sexual functioning, impact upon the ability to earn a living, and cost or availability of health insurance. He also estimates a 50% over diagnosis of prostate cancer and calls for an end to unnecessary prostate screenings.
Hamer says the organ in the body where a tumor begins to grow is related to an unresolved emotional conflict that gets triggered during the biological-conflict-shock event. When we have an unexpected conflict/shock that does not get resolved, the emotional reflex center (the HH center) in the brain that corresponds to the unexpressed emotions, such as anger, frustration, or grief, slowly breaks down.
Each of the emotional centers in the brain is connected to a specific organ. When an emotional center in the brain connected to a particular organ breaks down, it begins sending inaccurate information to the organ or tissues it controls, causing it to create deformed cells in its tissues cancer cells.
Hamer further discovered that the nature and content of the unresolved conflict determines which mindbody program gets initiated following the conflict/shock. The types of tumors that subsequently develop have symbolic meanings that reflect the nature of the unresolved internal conflict/shock.
Emotional conflicts involving swallowing, for example, symbolically express I can’t accept this, I can’t swallow it, and are related to cancers of the esophagus. A person’s inability to obtain sustenance; to express feelings of uncontrollable anger; to accept experiences involving of a loss of territory, a lay-off at work, or a dismissal; or a separation from a child or partner all involve conflicts that have biological analogies that are expressed symbolically in different organs of the body.
We’ve organized information from the Learning GNM website into a chart that describes the symbolic meaning. Click here to Download GNM Chart
Markolin, C. (2010). New German Medicine. http://learninggnm.com/documents/gnm_articles___introduction.html
Reno Integrative Medical Center (2010). New Biological Medicine. http://www.renointegrativemedicalcenter.com/german-biological-medicine.html
Screening for prostate cancer, CA: Cancer Journal for Clinicians,59(4) 264273.(2009, July/Aug). Retrieved from http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/fulltext/122477069/HTMLSTART