Dr. Darcia Narvaez, psychologist of child development, the evolutionary nest concept, and moral development. She comes at the ways to better understand what is human nature and healthy development from an evolutionary and neurobiological, psychological, anthropological and Indigenous worldview lens. This interdisciplinary thinker was recently giving a presentation and having a discussion with the gift economy (motherer) experts, and at one point she starts to talk about "fear" per se and how difficult it is to make the shift to a feminine-based gift economy and new paradigm of holistic health and sustainable sanity.
She says, "There's a lot of people who are afraid in the United States, and when you are afraid it can lead you into directions that are good or not so good...not so helpful. So, I think getting through the fear is something...the fear of pain I think...if we suffered as a young child our...it's in our body, our body remembers the trauma, the pain and we don't want to go back there, we have some resistance to it....we need ways to help people not be so afraid of feeling the pain, because once you feel the pain it's actually quite liberating...it wasn't so bad. People go to therapy for this." [she then says once we do this a few times] "a whole new life [is possible], it's like being reborn. [to help people through pain and fear we have a responsibility of] "reassuring people that you can pass through this...primal wounds...you pull them off, and its painful at the moment at the time, but then once you pull them off you can be yourself...unlock your heart." [I takes a lot of support from others too].
Then she concludes with a hope she has: "Hopefully, somebody out there is going to come up with...a great way to help people get through the fear."
My quick comments are critiques of this explication and hope Dr. Narvaez offers, although, in basic idea and with experiences, she is talking of the truth, I have no doubt. It is just that her discourse on fear management here is so conformist and 'normal' as to be nothing outside of the domination worldview and paradigm basically. There are so many who have offered the same advice as she and the same hope as she. I was really looking for something more radical from her in this discussion especially in light of being in conversation on the radical shift of an exchange (capitalist) paradigm to a gifting paradigm that was the theme of the entire conversation. But what this shows me is that even the radical gift economy types have not yet got "fear" figured out or configured out is more accurate. They have no radical vision of a new paradigm of fear management/education. Sadly, I have seen this also in the feminist movement, and most spiritual movements, etc. over the decades. The thinking about fear is still back in the old paradigm (what Narvaez herself is concerned about and has critiqued in part as "colonized psychology") they wish to leave and transform and so on. The fear thinking hasn't changed and they don't seem to look at the literature that is out there on new 'Fear' Studies and Fearlessness Paradigm.
In particular, one can recognize the same "individualist" psychology and morality within Narvaez's discourse that she falls back on, basically a kind of existential modernist philosophy, and practicality, because she says we really need to deal with fear differently in our society--okay, that's great--and yet, her answer to that fear problem is her immediate default to talk about "fears" (i.e., she mentions the core "fear of pain" problem)--and she then proceeds her diagnostic and prescriptions from there. As I said, there is nothing new paradigm at all about that, even if she is offering a weak medicine better than not for fear management.
Narvaez, defaults into her trained psychological and rather individualistic mind re: fear discouse. Even though, all her research is on interdisciplinary studies and community and social relationality as so important in the healthy development of humans and ecosystems etc. Her actual knowledge and theorizing on fear is however individualistic and typical of the modernist paradigm and of patriarchy (more or less) itself. So, why(?), I ask, over all these years of her knowing my work on fear and fearlessness, and knowing I am a fearologist with a transdisciplinary lens I bring radically to the topic of fear management/education, has she not engaged directly with my work with any depth and understanding , if she is saying that "fear" is one of the most important factors in a human beings life and a society (e.g., the USA)? Why has she thrown out a hope that "somebody out there" is going to find a solution to the fear problem--and, she is like waiting or something(?). That amazes me she seems dissociated from the vast literature and my work (including Four Arrows' work) on fear ('fear'), fearism, fearlessness, etc. I have found that she is like so many. There is a denial/blindness still operating even in the most sophisticated and mature academics and professionals in general (Dr. Narvaez is top-notch and very wise in my opinion)--and, "psychologists" have continually shown to be in this state of learning and training that they cannot receive the vast wisdom out there on fear already available. There is no need to hope for someone to come along with a magic bullet, Dr. Narvaez, there is only an opportunity and willingness to actually engage and study what is available already and then apply it sincerely.
So, my first agenda as a fearologist has always been to question and critique the very way we (especially psychologists) frame the discourse on fear itself, never mind trying to figure out which fears are most important (e.g., fear of pain, or fear of death), etc. Dr. Narvaez, and the rest of you, still hoping... why don't you consult with a fearologist, for starters and go from there? The "why" they don't do this, is critically important. I have suggested in my latest book it is because of a "resistance to fearlessness"  built deeply into the self-social-political fabric of how people are perceiving the world's problems and the answers to its problems. I actually sent that new book to her upon her request so she might write a book review, of which she has not done so, nor shared anything with me about my book and her reading it. Instead, she "hopes" there is some one out there who will make a silver bullet. I think her troubling view expressed in the above discussion is that she herself in my opinion, is still caught in the "colonized psychology" she is critiquing. It is not anyone's fault per se that our fear management/education discourses (at least, in the W. world) are so unhelpful.
1. Granted she did engage somewhat in a Psychology Today blog some years ago, supporting Four Arrows' and my work on fear and fearlessness; go to: https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/moral-landscapes/201801/stories-heal-primal-wounds
2. Fisher, R. M., and Kumar, B. M. (2021). Resistances to fearlessness. Xlibris.