The ASMR Report is a new website about ASMR which should be quite helpful to anyone looking to learn more about ASMR.
The site does a very detailed job of reviewing and sharing resources about ASMR. I would strongly recommend the site for anyone performing research, searching for documentation, or writing an in-depth perspective about ASMR.
I reached out to the founder of the site to learn more about him and the creation of this terrific resource. We had several friendly and candid emails, and he immediately agreed to my invitation to do an interview. For appropriate privacy reasons though, he prefers his name and identity to be withheld from this article.
In my interview he shared a bit about his background, his inspiration and goals for the ASMR Report, the organization of his website, his views on the future of ASMR and his long term vision for the ASMR Report.
Below are my questions in bold, his replies in italics, and a link to the ASMR Report.
Share a little about yourself and your background
“I have a well-established background in psychological therapies, and work as a mentor, therapist, and supervisor.
I am particularly experienced in dealing with victims of trauma and abuse.
I am also a researcher, with a background in authoring and editing text books.
My particular interest is in the way active participation in artistic practice, such as writing and journaling, painting, and expressive arts can contribute to the process of identifying troubles and burdens that are often beyond the reach of words.”
What inspired you to create the ASMR Report website?
“I began the ASMR Report for several reasons.
Firstly, I thought it would be an exciting opportunity to document a cultural phenomenon ‘as it happens’, rather than waiting for it to be established, and therefore the subject of a historic inquiry.
Secondly, I have long been involved in expressive therapies, and am fascinated by the innate healing efficacy of the arts. However, I have become disillusioned by the way they have aligned increasingly with clinical paradigms descendant from psychodynamics, losing the art in favour of the therapy.”
What do you find particularly fascinating about ASMR?
“What fascinates me about ASMR is that it exemplifies a group of people finding for themselves what works, for example to help with insomnia, depression, and anxiety, without deference to authority.
Furthermore, ASMR is also an art form in itself, and very much a contemporary one, inseparable from digital video technology.”
How is the website organized?
“I decided to divide the site into two sections: Special Pages, and Reports. The reports document and journalize the development of a specific time, and/or project. The Special Pages aggregate the reports into a consolidated history.
I had intended to use the later as the basis for a documentary, until I found out that there are already three film projects in motion. So I am not sure what I will do with the material. It rather depends on what others feel would be most useful.
Certainly nobody is interested in reading a text book.”
How long did it take you to gather all the information for the website, and what motivated you to put in such effort?
“The whole project of gathering material and writing the site took 6 weeks of concerted work. And I did find it exhausting.
It is also difficult to know whether anyone else is that interested.
However, I think that the ASMR community do need those like yourself and the ASMR University Blog, who are willing to put time into bringing some kind of coherence to the subject.
I was also motivated by the fact that some research projects seem to have fallen by the way side. And I wanted to try and ‘save’ some of the hard work early pioneers put in to launching blogs and websites.
I also wanted a site with no ads or distractions that students and researchers could use to support their studies.”
Which page/report are you most proud of?
“The page I am most pleased with is the one dealing with Nitin Ahuja’s Article on Clinical Role Play.
I feel that this phenomenon, by which simulated clinical attention in itself affords some kind of relief, provides a crucial link between the physiology, psychology, and potential therapeutic benefit of ASMR.”
Which page/report do you wish there was more content for?
“Of all the pages, I wish there was more to report on the three films that are in motion.
I am convinced that film is the right medium to communicate the nature of ASMR, and I am excited to see what the film-makers come up with.”
Where do you see the understanding and application of ASMR in 10 years?
“It is difficult to predict where ASMR will be in 10 years time. It could have fizzled out, like many fads.
I would like to think that it would be aggregated into psychological therapies in some way, as an adjunct to other mind-body interventions.
However, that requires two things to happen. Firstly, key professionals would need to be on board. Secondly, the community itself would need to have sufficient enthusiasm and cohesiveness to organize itself around some kind of structure, such as an Association or Society of practitioners.
My fear is that the community is primarily comprised of many video consumers, and a few content makers, and that both parties will eventually move on elsewhere.
To me that would be a shame, because in my opinion, the physical localized sensation precipitated by specific acoustic and visual stimuli is only the tip of the iceberg, beneath which is potentially a way that discomfort can be, albeit perhaps temporarily and transiently, replaced with positive sensations.
The biggest failing of popular mainstream psychological interventions, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, in my opinion, is that they forget the degree to which conditions such as depression, anxiety, and insomnia are based in or accompanied by physical sensation.
It is one thing to help someone recalibrate their thought process, and dissipate negative feelings, at which psychological interventions excel. But to the person suffering, the main burden they carry is often the agonizing bodily sensations, ranging from daggers in the stomach, to lead weights around the neck.
Whilst ASMR may not ever be anything like a complete therapeutic solution, it can perhaps help address that missing piece, by precipitating a positive physical sensation, clearing the way for someone to experience sufficient relief to be able to consider the deeper issues of their predicament.”
What is your long term vision or goal for the ASMR Report?
“My hope for the ASMR Report is that over time, it can document the ASMR phenomenon thoroughly enough to persuade professional practitioners to consider its potential contribution to the field.
The most obvious link-up would be between ASMR and sensory arts therapy, which has already begun to show success in helping a range of people, not just with psychological conditions, but also those on the autism spectrum.
But as I say, this could all be pie in the sky.
One of the reasons I think your work at the ASMR University is so important is that you are really dedicating yourself to reaching out to those in the ASMR field, and so will be ideally positioned to formulate a representative opinion.
So I am extremely happy to have an opportunity to contribute to that in this post.”
Click HERE to visit and explore the ASMR Report website.
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