About the Author
Dr. Paul Vereshack, a medical psychotherapist, completed twelve years of post-secondary studies at the University of Toronto in 1969. He obtained a Diploma in Psychiatry in 1967. He did not pass his certification in psychiatry.
His training included three years of Arts, four years of Medicine, a one-year general rotating internship, and four years of full-time training in five Toronto psychiatric centres: The Toronto Psychiatric Hospital, Wellesley Hospital, Mount Sinai Hospital, The Clarke Institute of Psychiatry, and the University of Toronto Health Services' Division of Psychiatry.
At Toronto's York University he has taught psychotherapy, and has led week-long residential encounter groups. At the University of Toronto he has taught small-group process. For one-and-a-half years in the early 1970s he was on the psychiatric staff of the Toronto East General Hospital. Dr. Vereshack limits his practice to depth psychotherapy.
Since finishing his training, he has treated more than 1,000 people, more than 700 of them women. This represents approximately 32,000 hours of therapy experience. During this time he has not had a single suicide among his patients.
Dr. Vereshack's personal psychotherapy experiences have included: one year of psycho-analytically-oriented psychotherapy; one year of psycho-analytically-oriented group psychotherapy; one year of encounter-group-oriented group psychotherapy; four years of formal primal therapy; and thirteen years of daily personal primal work.
I was born with the name Paul Moss, in London England in 1937, three years before the Second World War.
My father was the successful manager of a small chain of radio and television stores in a suburb of London. My mother, much younger than he, was his second wife. He provided a home for us in a lovely tree lined town called Twickenham, and for my first three years, our life was idyllic, except perhaps for my thirty six hour birth which ended in a Caesarian Section, and for the rigid scheduled feedings that left me crying with hunger for the first six weeks of my life. My mother finally fired the nurse.
My mother was the daughter of a middle level executive in a very successful chain of London tea houses. Unfortunately, all his adult life he was in chronic severe pain from an abdominal ailment that no one, in that era, could properly diagnose. My mother's mother was said to have been highly educated, a rare thing at that time. Unfortunately she gambled, and this plus my grandfather's illness placed an aura of fearful uncertainty around my mother's childhood.
In 1940 my father sent my mother and me away to Canada, on one of the early naval convoys, to escape what was thought to be the coming German invasion. Our family was Jewish.
At this time, my only religious orientation is toward the heart of Zen teachings, as can be seen in my book.
I only saw my father once after the age of three, when I was fourteen. I spent an afternoon with him during a trip to England. The five years apart during the war had broken up my parent's marriage and I was adopted by my new step father, Sam Vereshack. He was a successful handbag manufacturer.
I was sent away to boarding school at seven years of age, which according to my mother's British background was an absolute necessity for success. Until the age of nineteen I lived in two of Canada's finest schools. I had every advantage, small classes, and intensive training in many different kinds of sports, coupled with fair and consistent discipline from my teachers (who we called “masters”). We lived in this atmosphere of "controlled growth", twenty four hours a day.
I learned to study hard, and evening homework was a supervised and mandatory affair. This would stand me in good stead later at University.
While my boarding schools provided excellent training in many ways, they lacked what I now understand to be the essentials of a healthy growth environment.
There was no love, no touch, and no deep empathy as we know it to be possible today. There was also no exposure to girls.
Thus, many normal processes that should have been catalysed into development were not.
My empathic systems were full of holes, and it would be a long time before I saw women for the human beings they are, and not just as bodies.
The school moto was, “Fight the good fight”, and accordingly, feelings were never really focused on. The result was the production of a “soldier” attitude, wonderful perhaps in battle but less than wonderful for the development of a healthy emotional life.
As a child, at night, in my little iron cot, my body full of the pain of not having parents in my life, I cried myself to sleep on and off across the six years between age seven and age thirteen. I prayed that my feelings would go away, and finally at age thirteen, I noticed with great relief that in fact they had. What I would not know, until I entered Primal Therapy at age 40, was that the deepest levels of healthy feeling process within me had also been buried. I was without a rudder in a complex world.
Eventually this would give rise to two marriages that would end. The first was a twenty nine year relationship and the second, six. I have two adult children from my first marriage.
None of this personal damage mattered of course because I wasn't aware of the loss. I was determined to become a doctor, in order to obtain the worship I needed, unconsciously hoping to replace my shattered self esteem, and also to keep up with the old family money all around me. Almost any child who is “sent away” from its parents will come to believe that it is worthless. Why else would we have been sent away?
During those childhood years, when I was at home on holidays, I struggled with a mother who was deeply hurt within herself. This struggle added greatly to my other problems and is frankly too private for this particular journal. Suffice it to say that my family life was chaotic in many significant ways. My step father simply did not have the strength to cope with what he found on his plate.
So I entered the world with a charming external personality, (“Yes thank you ma'am, and no thank you sir”), and the engineered strength of a soldier.
The pain of my childhood “cot years”, would return in my adulthood as early morning depression and terror. I began to seek therapy and went to some of the best people in Toronto for a number of years.
Of course these traditional “talk” sessions did not handle the issues.
Here I was, a successful M.D. Psychotherapist with a Diploma in Psychiatry and I could not stop my own pain.
Then the Universe moved on my behalf, as it has done so very often since that time. One of my best friends in the Psychiatry course, Dr. Mary Louise MacKintosh, needing some help for herself, went to someone called Arthur Janov. She stayed in therapy with him for a year.
Upon her return, she told me that if I was wise I would come into her new (classically run) Primal Therapy practice as a patient, and find out what had been missing from all our training and from all my attempts to get help for myself.
My three week Intensive occurred in the fall of 1976. Nothing has been the same since.
My life has had many mistakes in it. These mistakes, exposed to the work of deep feeling oriented therapy, have yielded up their insights slowly over many years.
The gift of being insightful which came upon me as a child, now had fertile ground to really develop for the first time.
The thousands of hours of work on myself, for the first six years supervised by my friend and by her five therapists, and since that time, the depth work done alone as a self primaler, have healed many things within me. These hours coupled with thirty five years of clinical experience, gave rise to the book I have written.
"Help Me - I'm Tired of Feeling Bad", would never have been born if the Universe hadn't embroiled me in the struggles that it did.
I am sixty four years old and my job, as I now see it, is to maintain what I call this "lighthouse" that I have created, on the Internet for as long as I live. After my death, I have arranged for its continued maintenance across a large part of the current century.
This on line book, is my gift to human beings everywhere, who are struggling toward a higher awareness of themselves and others.
It is my belief that this kind of knowledge must always be freely given.
(Interestingly, amidst the seriousness of creating this web site, I have forgotten to include some of the great joys of my life which are, canoeing, sailing, powerboating, swimming, music, cycling at least an hour every day, walking two dogs, the lakes of Ontario with their georgeous shorelines of rock and pine, reading, and the joy of deep and microscopically honest relationships.)
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