Internationally Recognized Psychotherapist, Theorist, Educator, and Author, Marilyn Murray discusses the Murray Method and how it is used to treat people dealing with trauma and abuse.
Michelle King Robson: So now you've developed the Murray Method?
Dr. Marilyn Murray: Yes.
Michelle King Robson: And you've been developing those over years?
Dr. Marilyn Murray: Yeah 30 years.
Michelle King Robson: And so tell us what the Murray Method is?
Dr. Marilyn Murray: Okay. Well, it started out basically just helping people understand what I've just told you how we start out as this person that I believe that God created us to be what I call this original person or this original child, but that every person has a pool of pain of some degree and intensity some more, some less. And every person's pain is maximum to them.
But then how their defense mechanism deals with that whether you do it in a healthy manner dealing with it right away or doing like I did, and so many people just not pushing it down smile on your face or other people may be with the alcohol or drugs or food or whatever. But so how those three interact determines what you do in your life. And so that was the basic part of my theory, and that I taught that, but as over the years then as I became a psychotherapist, and then I also taught here at Ottawa University for seven years where they use my whole method in the treatment of trauma and abuse and deprivation.
But I after having many, many, many clients and students they would come up with new questions, new problem, so I kept adding more things into you know kind of pushing out the walls until I'd ended up being a whole treatment method, which many, many, many -- my new book called the Murray Method has 33 exercises in it, all different things. And so that's sort of what it is now.
Michelle King Robson: So with some of that let's talk about some of the exercises and maybe some of the -- a couple of the things that people I don't necessarily think people always know that they have trauma, right? They don't, like you they don't ever talk about it. They actually block it out so you see a lot of posttraumatic stress disorder for example --
Dr. Marilyn Murray: Exactly.
Michelle King Robson: -- things of that nature so what do you do to identify it, right? What are some of the trigger points where you can say I think this person is suffering, and then what is -- and then again how do you find the right person for treatment?
Dr. Marilyn Murray: Well, obviously I don't find the right person. They find me because but for people who are listening to this what I would say is this if your health is doing well and your relationships are doing well, and you're feeling good about yourself then probably you're okay. But the majority of people have some issue in their life whether it's there having problems in their relationships, or they're having anger issues, they're having lots of stress, they have really bad headaches, various different things, or they have some relationships perhaps with their parents or siblings that are estranged, and so when you're looking at all of those many different kinds of things, it's saying okay how did this get started?
Michelle King Robson: Right. Where is the root?
Dr. Marilyn Murray: Yeah where is the root? Is this just the current stressor that's may be just a temporary thing because maybe you've lost your job and etcetera. But if you've lost your job many times then you need to look at it so I think that I always say we don't go looking for black cats in dark rooms. We're not out trying to dig and find out those things, but I think that everybody could. I don't think that anybody's had a perfect life.
Michelle King Robson: No there is no such thing.
Dr. Marilyn Murray: No, no pain happens.
Michelle King Robson: It always looks like its perfect time yeah.
Dr. Marilyn Murray: Pain happens in the world. It just does, and so and also I've had many clients who come to me not because they feel they have trauma, but because they feel like I'm not doing the very best that I know I could be doing a lot. I had a young man who was in his 30s had said you know I'm married now and my wife's expecting, and I realized I don't know how to play.
You know I had a dad and mom that were gone all the time, and nobody played with me. I don't know how to read to this baby otherwise how can I be a better father, and then the others that especially the men now and in fact when in my private practice I had about 80% of men which is unusual, but they were men that were just saying you know I know that I'm capable of doing a lot more not for professionally, but personally that I don't know how to do, and I want to be better at that and what's blocking me, what's keeping me from that.
So I think it's not just changing our lives because we've had major trauma and abuse, but just because you know maybe that that we're capable and have the natural talents or the intellective ability to do and change some other things in our lives.
Michelle King Robson: Some thing is obviously missing or --
Dr. Marilyn Murray: Yes.
Michelle King Robson: -- you know just doesn't feel quite connected, and that's a great way to look at what else is going on.