Then the holding therapist set off to walk home through the forest. He was pleased with his day’s work. But after a while he came upon a mother bear and her two cubs. The mother bear was eating raspberries on one side of the path and the cubs were eating blackberries on the other side. Just as the holding therapist came near, the mother bear began to growl loudly and the cubs growled too in their squeaky voices. The holding therapist was not afraid, because he knew how to replace their cortisol with oxytocin. “Look! “ he said to the mother bear. “I’ll show you how to hug your cubs and then you will all be happy and loving.” So he went toward the cubs. The mother bear knocked him down with one swipe of her furry paw and the bears ate him up, all except the teeth and the buttons. The cubs took turns wearing his spectacles. They were all very full and happy and loving to each other.
So the holding therapist was quite right, he did know how to replace cortisol with oxytocin, but the information was no longer very useful to him. Unfortunately he had forgotten that the mother bear’s high level of oxytocin made her very aggressive toward others as well as loving to her cubs. Also, the bears were hungry, so there was more at work than just stress hormones.
MORAL: Hormones and behavior are a lot more complicated than holding therapists tell you.