PSIology Evolutionary Step in Psychology
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Evolutionary Step in Psychology
by Dr. Barbara Condron
Introduction–Looking in our Crystal Ball
Defining the Crisis–What is Normality?
Taking Charge–Your Respond Ability
Our Present Status
Look into My Eyes
Evidence of Things Seen but Forgotten
Actions Speak Louder. . . ?
Giving Life to a Plastic Flower
Exploring Anxiety Neurosis, or
I’m Afraid, I’m just not sure what’s scaring me.
Looking in Our Crystal Ball
As we grow nearer to the close of this century and turn our eyes toward the year 2000, changes will occur in all fields of human endeavor. As the naivete of a century past left supersonic transportation, mass communication and placing a man on the moon to the minds of the dreamers, so it is also today. As it was in the 1800’s, those with the adventure to expand their perceptions and ideas today are often criticized, labeled and categorized. Yet, stop to think where we would be today without the Einsteins, the Marconis, the Bells, the Vernes, the da Vincis. Those of similar vision exist today, gently prodding the slow to change, staunchly rising above the limited view of the mass.
One of the significant fields which will be utilized increasingly with more awareness and understanding will be the field of psychology. The 21st century psychologist will be a “psi”ologist. He will be what will be termed a metaphysician and will treat the total individual from a mental viewpoint. A metaphysician realizes that for each physical manifestation there is first a mental cause working under the law of cause and effect. In order to understand the behavior and “abnormalities” that many individuals experience throughout their lives, the 21st century psiologist will know the necessity of dealing with the individual as a total, whole functioning Self.
In psychology, as we have known it to be, there have been many discoveries creating broad avenues in understanding. It is the intention of this author to, in many ways, preview the perception and scope the psiologist will display and use. This will be done primarily by comparing, contrasting, and integrating popular beliefs used today broadening these perspectives, tying them together where they seem to conflict and bringing them into a new realm for the new age.
In reviewing the history of abnormal psychology, as with most sciences, there are strong ties to the past. However, psychology is probably unique in the fact that older thoughts concerning methods of treatment and the causes of certain disorders reoccur in relatively unchanged form. We are undoubtedly removed from the Middle Ages when treatment and attitudes of the mentally ill were totally different than they are currently. In those days, patients were either possessed by a demon or subject to the specialized wrath of God. Psychologists for the most part have abandoned this type of rationalization to explore exactly what is happening to the emotionally disturbed person as well as trying to use this in their diagnosis.
It is a historical fact that many early religious manuals neglected containing anything positive for or about the disturbed. Rather, they set aside a number of rules for conducting trials of those “possessed” and, in this way, began a trend toward the eventual separation of church and state regarding matters of commitment or dealing with the disturbed. Furthering this need for reform, was the fact that George III of England was mistreated in a mental hospital. Man, at this time, felt that the way to help those with serious problems was not to torture them. Phillipe Pinel showed that mental patients could be freed from chains without serious or drastic results. Dorothea Dix was the individual who made certain that the conditions in various institutions were improved. Benjamin Rush contributed two significant ideas. First, Rush’s support that mental “illness” was disease eliminated much of the witchcraft concept even though by labeling mental illness as a disease misconceptions arose that abnormal behavior inevitably was of physiological origin. Rush’s second contribution was treating the individuals as if they were in a regular hospital creating a more humane atmosphere. Through these individuals and the atmosphere they created , the medical profession began to gain greater strength in the field of mental disorders. Following Rush’s discovery of brain diseases and the discovery of organic problems such as syphilis, the medical profession gained control from the moral therapist.
Medical treatment led to the concept of nosology–a method of classifying patients into various categories in order to provide them with even more specific treatment. Its goal involved a classification system based on a physical problem for each of the supposed mental diseases. Nosology never succeeded, probably because physiology is a small part of abnormal behavior and in most cases irrelevant. When it became evident that the purely physical approach was not productive, one attempt to salvage it was the label “functional disorders.” A functional disorder was a psychological disturbance of behavior or functioning without any obvious evidence of organic involvement. However there was still the underlying assumption that in some way an organic factor was involved. At the present time such an assumption has not been clearly supported. We are evolving into the new age.
More and more as we work with individuals, whether as psychologists, psychoanalysts, psychiatrists, or psychotherapists; we will begin to discover the problem is within the mind. The psiologist will view each individual as mind, with all capabilities of utilizing that mind to its fullest extent. When optimum performance is not obtained a disorder will occur within one or many of the mind’s operations. It is from this vantage point that the psiologist will truly be able to aid the individual suffering from mental turmoil or conflict, helping him to redirect errant energy into a constructive end. Using the valuable research of the past and present theorists, the psiologists will integrate seemingly opposing concepts. This is what we will explore in this book.
Defining the Crisis – What is Normality?
Taking Charge – Your Respond Ability
Defining the Crisis–What is Normality?
Of all the questions which individuals ask themselves when alone, the most prominent and frequent is “Am I normal?” You might wonder if you’re crazy or sane, or if you’re really the kind of person you pretend to be when around others, or if you sometimes don’t have layers to your personality. Are you normal or abnormal? Is there really any difference between the two?
In the past’s broad spectrum of trying to gauge normality and abnormality, society has labeled individuals as either psychologically abnormal–or creative. Probably the most distinguishing factor between the abnormal and the normal is the abnormal cannot get out of problems by himself and cannot make constructive use of problems as can the artist or frantic businessman who is thought to contribute to society by an endless quest for power. Of course this concept, often raised presently, is placed upon the individual involved by society as a whole. Peculiar feelings are normal in the sense that they occur in all of us. We often pretend to others that our lives are 100% “normal” at least until we come home from social contacts.
Psychologists currently recognize that anyone will come apart under sufficient stress, that all people do have problems or periods of depression or act strange at times. The difference between normal and abnormal is frequency, degree and the individual’s ability to recover from any significant bout, whether problems, depression or bizarre behavior. It is undoubtedly true that in the mental health field many succumb to their own problems just as on occasion a physician will develop a major disease. Interestingly enough, among physicians, the suicide rate is highest among psychiatrists.
There is a concern at the present time as to who exactly should be treating the abnormal. The mental health field is crowded with many specialists, including psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, ministers, counselors, nurses, and even your next door neighbor. This vast number of divisions evolves not so much from a clearcut idea that specific groups should treat specific patients as from the fact that currently it is difficult to pinpoint the exact nature of mental disturbances and what kind of treatment it deserves. This is the major source of conflict that psychologists or those trying to help experience. To make matters more difficult, each of us whether trained or not, somehow evolve into self styled experts in the field of personality analysis. Few of us could enter a chemistry lab, and take over without being noticed by someone that we were about to burn down or blow up the building; however, the case is not so clearcut with mind.
Abnormal behavior tends to confuse professional and layman alike primarily because there is still such a mixture of folklore, morality, hope, and conflicting theories involved. As we move into the new age and man begins to recognize more of the value of his intelligence, reasoning and intuitive abilities this conflict within Self will disappear. Today, people tend to react emotionally to what they perceive to be abnormality which tends to lesson the clarity of viewing situations as neutral or seeing them in an objective manner.
The first step we should consider is who is abnormal? It would be well for you to consider your own normality. In this way, the seriousness of the issues can be put into a more proper perspective. Many students in college clamour for a course in abnormal psychology. Why do you think this is true? An explanation for this popularity could be that the topic deals with bizarre and unusual incidents and these are intrinsically interesting to all of us. However, this explanation is not complete. Any instructor in this field will tell you that no sooner has the class begun than questions appear from the students which have a self-centered reference. For instance one may ask, “My best fried has a problem,” or “Often I worry about. . .” or “ I dream of death all the time.” This indicates that we’re dealing with a very personal phenomenon. Is there anyone of us who does not have at least one skeleton in the closet that we feel would humiliate us if others discovered it?
Another problem we face in defining abnormality is that it usually does not have a clearcut origin. While it is always possible to state that abnormality exists it is extremely difficult to point to some physical cause. As far as the medical profession is concerned we could point to a specific virus as the cause for a physical illness–the same is not true with identifying the source of behavior disorders. (Nor is it true for physical illness, which we will discuss later.) They arise from hundreds of variables rather than one or two. Yet the metaphysician realizes that physical illness arises from similar variables. When you begin to examine your own illnesses you realize physical disorders are directly related to your ability to think clearly and objectively and to effectively express these thoughts and emotions when necessary.
The mind and body are linked together. They cannot be separated as long as you choose to remain in this physical body. Granted, your environment can effect you in a variety of ways; however, your Self concept, how you feel about yourself, will always govern your well being–mentally, emotionally and physically. If it is true that the receptivity to any physical disease is created first in your mental attitudes, then it would follow that any psychological disorder would also be of mental origin or at least involve the emotional part of the mind.
What is commonly termed abnormal behavior will always be a reflection of society and the culture in which the individual lives. For instance, if a man fell down on the ground, in the face of very loud voices he thought were talking to him, was plagued by dreams of falling off cliffs and thought that he was being devoured by swarms of yellow-jackets, what would you think? Imagine that then he entered into a trance-like state lying rigidly on the ground. Shortly thereafter he recovered and danced for three nights in a row, the first night performing as he held onto a rope dangling from the ceiling. In Western society, this would certainly be called aberrant or abnormal behavior. Actually this man is a shaman. He is not only accorded respect, but enjoys prestige in American Indian tribes, yet the majority of American culture would hospitalize this man.
To make matters even more complicated, within our own culture certain religious groups place a high premium on individuals who show presumably highly inspired behavior, such as fervent evangelistic groups who speak in tongues and often dance in trance-like behavior, or with Catholicism whose devotees for generations have held in highest esteem “saints” who have displayed bizarre symptoms and afflictions.
A good example is Joan of Arc, who has been the subject of both reverence and scorn throughout the ages. Those of a religious persuasion have been impressed with her devotion to the cause of cleansing France of undesirable elements and dedicating the “new France” to God. A few others, who ridiculed her as a fanatic or maniac who martyred herself for no reasonable purpose, point to the fact that Joan heard voices and saw things that no one else did.
So the society and culture in which we live tends to deem, even to the psychologist, what abnormal behavior is. Social definitions often entwined with sex, guilt, and morality create problems for the current psychologist to actually develop an objective criteria for what mental disturbance actually is. In current methods, there is taken into consideration possible causes, however the types of therapy which are offered are so diversive that in many ways it seems that psychologists are working at cross purposes. This will change in the future as the perspective of man expands to include the whole functioning Self and emphasis is placed upon the mental and emotional state rather than totally linking problems to the physical personality or behavior. Currently there are a variety of therapies available from psychotherapy to psychoanalysis, to humanistic and existential approaches, to chemotherapy to electrotherapy to group therapy. Which really obtains results? Are there ways? How will psiology differ from previously (used) methods?
Taking Charge —- Your Respond Ability
To the psiologist of the future, the debate of normal versus abnormal behavior will be obsolete. This is primarily because the psiologist or psi counselor will be dealing with the “psi”. Psi basically means mind in action. This is a concept which most people can grasp on a physical, conscious level however, few at this point recognize themselves as being more than this physical body or brain. This is most easily evidenced in where society focuses attention.
We are raised and conditioned in the culture where our parents live. We are continually bombarded everyday with these social customs which in actuality program, from the moment of birth specifically through age seven, the patterns and responses which will dictate the remainder of our lives until the moment that we choose to change these. And excellent example of this is the predominant attitude in American society that when we are physically ill all we need to do is consult a physician. At this point, the cold we have can be diagnosed and a symptomatic relief in the form of an antihistamine or a shot of penicillin will be prescribed so the effect can be temporarily relieved. Or perhaps surgery will be recommended to eliminate kidneys stones or cancer. However, this is a high incidence of later reoccurrence of many disorders. With scientific brilliance developed enough to put a man on the moon, modern technology is still unable to cure the common cold. Obviously we must be looking in the wrong place. This ignorance will persist as long as the attention is focused on the symptom and its relief rather than its cause and understanding. This is true also of any psychological disorder, disease or disharmony. These are directly related to how the individual views himself mentally and emotionally.
The psiologist will recognize that many of the theories previously acknowledged and developed to treat the “abnormal” require and expansion of perspective. He will see that individual as more than the physical mind and body. The psiologist will refer to this part of the individual as the conscious mind. The conscious mind is that part of yourself which functions directly with the brain and physical body. It is the part which functions while you are awake, taking in information from the moment you were born, storing it in the cerebrum of the brain to be used and called upon whenever the information is required. Within this part of mind is also a division referred to as the unconscious mind. This part of mind stores information rarely used. Perhaps it has been used once or twice within you entire lifetime. For instance, multiplying two times two is part of the conscious mind because the answer is readily available. The information required for that correct response has been understood and used frequently. However eight times sixty-four is not an automatic response. Undoubtedly you have multiplied those numbers at some time, but the answer has not been thoroughly understood or used repeatedly. Hence it becomes a part of the unconscious mind. The information stored in this part of mind is not readily available for use because it has not been consistently and constructively used.
This relates much to habits. When you form a habit, there are neuron pathways created to specific brain cells in the cerebrum. These pathways are widened and deepened so specific responses can easily travel that route. Each of you can recognize the difficulty within yourself of breaking an unwanted habit. Perhaps it was kicking the cigarette habit. After many years of formulating that habit, it was difficult to change conscious desire and thought. It also took discipline and will power over your physical body, for the body had become conditioned to that initial desire or impulse to smoke. In the same way, pieces of information filed with in the brain and not frequently used, do not have this strong neuron pathway built toward their individual storage cells.
For instance, take a person you met only once, perhaps ten years ago, if you were to meet them on the street you might recognize their face; however, their name might not be as easily accessible to you. Yet at the time you met them, you knew their name and perhaps even repeated to it yourself. However this information and the neuron pathway leading to it is not a strong one since it has lacked use. It would take a considerable amount of conscious, concentrated effort to draw this information from the brain. The information has not disappeared. It is still in the brain, but the pathway has not been consistently used. It is not only those things unfamiliar to us that are stored in the unconscious, but also those things we wish to forget. For instance, if you were four years old and just learning to play the piano–create this scene in your mind. You’re practicing, because your coordination is not highly developed, there is much fumbling and many mistakes made in trying to execute movements properly. Your father comes home from work tired and irritable. He walks into the kitchen where your mother if fixing dinner and begins yelling, “Why is he playing the piano now? Why can’t he play it when I’m not here? He’ll never get it right!” Your reaction at age four would be considerable hurt and disappointment. At this age you lack the sufficient information in your brain to understand the total situation; therefore, you do not understand why your father is reacting in such a manner. At four you are oblivious to the pressures of a job and the irritability it can instigate in your father, so you have an emotional response which is not understood. You might run from the room in tears, not understanding how your father could reject you in such a manner. Your parents would probably not even recognize what you have experienced. Because you do not want to believe that your father would say such a thing about or toward you, you would file this information in the unconscious mind–not wanting to face it, not understanding it at the present time.
When you’re nine years old, having attempted for five years to practice and become a good pianist, you still find you have difficulties perfecting the art. You become frustrated, angry and feel you have failed. You do not understand the cause at age nine since the initial incident which is still causing problems occurred at age four. You do not understand the lack of improvement, but buried in the unconscious is your father’s voice continually defeating your efforts. This defeatist attitude would eventually cause you to neglect and perhaps even abandon the attempt to develop a talent that at four years you very much wanted to develop.
This is often the way people react throughout their lifetime due to things stored in the unconscious mind. Using the example given, it is quite obvious if you will honestly create it and relate it to perhaps a significant incidence of your own or someone you know, that it is definitely related to the emotions and the reaction to that particular situation. The psiologist of the future will begin to recognize the full import of emotional response, recognizing that this is not a function of the conscious mind, but the subconscious mind. This subconscious part of mind holds only understood experiences, those you have encountered with the conscious mind coming to a certain amount of understanding. Those situations which you find yourself in and do not understand are placed in the unconscious part of the brain. Two entirely different and separate parts of the mind; however, both work together to create significant parts of the total individual. The more you understand about each part of yourself, the better you can direct each thought to create your life.
Your emotional responses, no matter what your age, are extremely important to your health and well being as well as your happiness. The key to having a balanced and healthy outlook–mentally, emotionally and physically–is being able to direct intelligently each thought you create. Most people tend to deny their ability to direct and control thoughts. They would rather give the responsibility to the thoughts themselves, seeing the thoughts as having control over them, rather than the other way around. The “I can’t help what I think” or “You make me mad” or “These need to be out today because the boss says so” syndrome. As long as we divorce our attitudes and emotions from ourselves, we are not accepting them as part of ourselves. This makes direction or control virtually impossible until one accepts and realizes any thought is his creation and since he created it initially he has the same option to recreate it toward a positive and beneficial end. This attitude creates a respect and a recognition of the right to be a reasoning, intelligent being. The reasoning process is one we have developed and earned as a group and as individuals. Each individual has the right to think, to develop this ability; however, most people allow others to think for them. A good example of this in today’s society is the new media. There is a great thrust within the journalism of today to report primarily negative occurrences. Many journalism schools and editors impress upon their reporters the importance of being muckraker. Broad headlines rarely reflect a positive nature. The concept for the modern newspaperman is that this does not sell newspapers. Due to this media opinion whether newspapers, radio or television, the public is continually bombarded with negativity. It is each individual’s decision as to whether this negativity will effect him. And, if so, to what degree.
When you objectively view the media, you will find what at one time might have seemed a subtle influence is one of the most obviously powerful influences on society today. This subtlety occurs because we are all too willing to believe what we see or hear without discriminating, reasoning, thinking to see if it makes sense. Allowing others to think for you (“You make me mad”) weakens your ability to make decisions. It also gives the control you could have to others. This often occurs in families. A spouse will make his or her decisions contingent on the wife or husband. What at first begins as a noble effort to compromise or create harmony in the relationship often develops into a dominant-passive relationship. The passive partner ultimately sacrifices their own individuality–continually “giving in” to the wishes or demands of the dominant partner.
It can occur with parent-children relationships also. In an attempt to give children what “I never had”–many parents take all responsibility from the child by making all his decisions. This restricts the child building a combination of resentment, dependence, restriction, and lack of confidence, denying him the opportunity to make decisions whether correct or incorrect.
This brings us back to choice. If you truly have a choice, then you recognize that you do have the capability of intelligently directing what you will think and how you will think it. Will those thoughts be positive or negative? Will they foster an “I can” attitude or an “I can’t” attitude? Will they reflect quality or quantity? This to the psiologist will be one of the criteria for effectively dealing with any problem that occurs, whether within Self or in individuals seeking their aid. The continual attention will revolve around the individual and that person’s capacity to become a whole functioning Self, being the controller of his thoughts, words and actions. The key to this approach will be having the ability to see each situation as neutral, neither positive or negative, detrimental or constructive. Rather the psiologist will view all situations as they are, without emotional attachment or involvement. With this ability in hand, the psiologist will be able to see the value of any and all situations as well as people. He will then reflect this to the person seeking help, offering him this concept through examples and mental tools to aid in practicing this objectivity. This will take a desire on the part of the “patient” to begin to see situations and circumstances as neutral, but it is merely developing the objective perspective thereby strengthening the reasoning ability.
When highly emotional or intense reactions to these situations can be seen, the individual might for instance be asked to put his emotions temporarily aside so that he can view the situation, then the emotions, objectively. At this point he can weigh all factors and reason through the exact process of what is happening and decide what he as an individual intends to do with this situation . With objectivity, the individual can clearly and without any emotional coloring decide if he wants to make this a positive or negative situation. For instance he might be asked to view the situation causing disturbance as a total stranger. With this perspective, the individual can begin to see the situation as neutral, choosing a positive response rather than a negative. Once this is determined, the individual can review the emotional response to this situation, beginning to understand what the emotions are and how they can be intelligently directed the next time such a situation occurs. This does not imply emotional repression or suppression, rather it indicates constructively using the emotions and that specific and unique energy within that part of mind.
Each person, within the subconscious mind, has the emotional level of consciousness to work in and through. To deny this part of self its to deny part of yourself as an individual. For instance, say you are an advertising executive. You have been working seven days on a particular layout design. Repeatedly writing copy and drawing illustrations to create an effective ad for perhaps an automobile. At the end of your work your superior comes in and tears it apart, crossing out much of the copy and totally rejecting your illustrations.
At this point in the situation, most people’s reactions would reflect disappointment, frustration and anger. However, if the individual can temporarily set his emotional reaction aside and view the situation as neutral, he can see that allowing negative emotions to become involved would indicate either repressing the emotions which in the future would cause mental and emotional disturbance and perhaps even a physical disease, or totally releasing them, exploding and perhaps quitting his job. In the case of a disease, this could incapacitate the individual for months from the working situation, cutting his source of income and sense of self respect for what he is accomplishing. Likewise, if he walked out, he would be immediately without financial support and perhaps go through an emotional period of feeling that he had failed. At this point, if the individual could become objective, seeing the situation as neutral, he could become also objective from the creation he had developed. This is the point where most people tend to allow the emotions to be out of control, especially when their creativity is involved. There is the tendency to become involved or attached to the object which is being created hence when the boss comes in and rejects this manifestation of creativity, it is often taken emotionally as a personal affront.
If the individual can become objective at this point there is no negative reaction involved. The individual can choose while being objective, to act emotionally positive, rather than reacting negatively, recognizing that this rejection is no reflection upon his own value or creativity. Rather, there is something he may learn from this situation if he remains open to the suggestions of his superior. To complete the cycle of value in this situation, the individual would realize what first seemed life self-defeating mistakes, have suddenly become valuable tools to further improve his own ability if the person uses this situation rather than allowing it to use him.
So how would you react in this situation if you could achieve that objectivity? The key is that you would act rather than react, saying “I think I’ve done a good job. How do you see that it could be better?” or “What do you specifically object to? Why?” In this way, as with any situation you might encounter, whether with family, spouse, employer or friends, the individual can begin seeing himself function as a total self being the director and controller of his own mind in the mental, emotional, and physical realms. He will recognize that any situation he encounters is a deep and meaningful learning experience from which he can gain much understanding of himself and others. This type of circumstantial reasoning and logic will have a role in the psiologist’s therapy.
Unfortunately, most people find themselves on a merry-go-round reacting from the emotions continually. This only reinforces this practice in the future. This technique of placing the emotions to the side could be termed by some psychologists as negative reinforcement; however, this is only true if the emotions are never brought forward to experience and understand. One can move the emotions to the side or even express them, but unless there is conscious attention placed upon either decision the individual will still be reacting.
If the person makes the decision to actively express the emotions or to place them aside temporarily, then an intention is created. If this intention is to bring the situation into perspective in order to choose action, no negative reinforcement occurs simply because the emotions are being consciously understood. At this point, you can begin to see the cause for the emotional reaction, bringing out many unconscious attitudes as well as understanding habit patterns. In this constant watch and observance of our own attitudes and emotional involvements we can begin to understand ourselves and direct our thoughts more productively. It is important to realize that thought comes before the emotional response or reaction.
The major “problem” in anyone’s life will stem from the axis of response and reaction. In the example given of the boss–the first examples related were reactions. These were stimulated by someone in the environment outside of Self. The control of the individual’s thoughts was given to the employer. He allowed himself to believe that his employer knew his own thoughts, capabilities, and value better than himself. If the individual had responded in this situation, he would have realized his own thoughts and chosen which emotions or feelings he wished to express. A word much abused in our society is “responsibility”. It weighs heavy on many minds, conjuring images of doing anything other than what we would rather do. However responsibility is merely your ability to respond. This is not to anyone or anything outside of Self, but rather your ability to respond to your own thoughts concerning what is happening. How often have you found you Self watching and movie and your thoughts say, “I’d like to go there.” Or perhaps you meet someone and you think, “I’d like to have that kind of job.” The thoughts are as limitless and varied as individuals, but how well do you respond to your desires and thoughts? You will discover in reviewing your life that the times when you were the happiest were times you responded to your desires.
The psiologist will understand the subtlety of thought and the workings of mind. He will view each individual as mind, recognizing that these two divisions, conscious and subconscious, work together systematically and in harmony if the individual recognizes the function of each and calls upon his creative intelligence to cause the minds to function in that manner. This allows the individual to build self respect and dignity into himself and the life he is choosing.*
This is basically how the psiologist will work with the individual seeking aid. It is necessary to understand these two parts of mind to fully perceive the progressiveness and deepened understanding that the psiologist will display over the present psychologist. This will be further explored as we compare and integrate past and current theories of therapy reflecting the new concept of psiology.
* There is a third division of mind called the Superconscious which is the balanced, fixed part of ourselves. Unchanging, it could be termed the spiritual part of man. For more on the divisions of mind read The Mind and its Divisions by Dr. Jerry L. Rothermel available here at som.org.
Our Present Status
*Look into My Eyes
*Evidence of Things Seen but Forgotten
*Actions Speak Louder. . .?
*Giving Life to a Plastic Flower
Look into My Eyes
Before we can accurately and honestly develop present psychological theories comparing and correlating them to the new step in psychology, it would be wise to explore these present existing theories and methods touching on their evolution.
The first we will consider is the Freudian concept. Today, when dealing with abnormal psychology much of the treatment is still based on assumptions made by Sigmund Freud (l9th century Austrian physician) especially concerning the existence of an unconscious and the conflicts created by this part of mind. Also the concept of defense mechanisms is highly viewed and used in dealing with mental disturbances. To understand Freud’s system better it helps to take an overview of historical developments serving as a foundation for his theories.
Anton Mesmer’s (18th century medical doctor) animal magnetism and his ability to “cure” people by this method was probably the most sensational event in the pre-Freudian era. His important contribution was bringing to the forefront the power of suggestion rather than that of magnetism. Eventually this evolved into the technique of hypnosis.
Early hypnosis was a significant development because it indicated that people aren’t always what they seem to be on the surface. In other words, it was possible to bring forward other facets of an individual under a trance state. Actually two things were occurring simultaneously, first there was a hint that we had underlying feelings beneath our behavior or personality, and second it was possible to psychologically aid a patient by either the power of suggestion or through the establishment of a special relationship between therapist and patient. It was not until Freud visited the Charcot Clinic in France that he became interested in hypnosis and evolved the concept that some thoughts have a sexual tinge to them. Most probably at the same time he tied the unconscious with sexual drives.
Freud’s early concept of the unconscious had a very physical bent to it. This probably evolved from the theories of philosophers and psychologists of that day. Many believed that physical forces within man motivated his behavior. Freud found the concept of “psychic energy” as being non-atoms within man which constitute a sexually tinged force ultimately driving the individual toward certain acts especially those involving the unconscious need of what Freud termed the id. When Charles Darwin made his evolutionary theory known, Freud founded the concept that there are opposing forces within the individual–the superego or the conscience, the ego the mediator, and the id or the primitive animal nature of man. These factions of the individual, which are constantly in battle, form the most evident part of the Freudian theory.
Freud ultimately abandoned the idea of using hypnosis in his practice for what he termed a “talking cure”. This method was designed so the patient could liberate certain psychic conflicts through verbalization. Certain emotions and drives could come forth from the unconscious.
With this overview of Freudian theory, it would be wise to retrace our steps in looking at the present approach and analyze it from a psiologist’s point of view before delving deeper into the reactions and steps of ignoring or becoming aware of the unconscious motive.
Let us first deal with hypnotism. Dr. Friedrich Anton Mesmer (from his name we derive mesmerism) undoubtedly was one of the first to explore what eventually evolved into hypnosis. “Animal magnetism” refers to Mesmer’s claim of possessing great quantities of a magnetic ability which he used to align the disorganized magnetic fields of his patients. During the Age of Reason in the 1700’s this theory agreed with scientific discoveries being made. Electricity and magnetism were both prominent in this period.
As time progressed it became evident that what Mesmer was actually bringing to the attention of the public was that something special was occurring when a doctor and patient interacted. Empathy developed. In retrospect, it is easy to see that what was being focused on at this point of psychological research, was the special rapport, strong interpersonal attraction, dependency, and mutual influence between two persons involved in the intimacy of the psyche or the mind.
In 1842, Mesmer’s theories had fallen into disrepute and the term neurohypnotism means a state of nervous sleep. This was coined primarily because the assumption was made that a paralysis of the eyelids had been induced causing the subject to stare off into space.
In the century and a half since this technique was introduced, hypnotism has been used by a variety of psychologists. In the July 1977 issue of Psychology Today, there appeared an article entitled “Hypnosis Comes of Age”. It was noted in this article that although at one time hypnosis was viewed as a devil’s device to control men’s minds or a parlor trick, it was pointed out that now hypnosis is allied with psychiatry and medicine. It is being recognized as a clinical tool to be used to avoid pain and fear. Many individuals presently undergo childbirth or surgery without the injection of various stupor-inducing drugs. It was also noted in the article that many experts say there is such a state as hypnotic trance and it does work therapeutically: “The fact that the state cannot be measured or identified may simply mean that we have not found how to do this not that the state does not exist.”
Other experts in this field reject the validity totally. This constant process of theorizing support and alternatively disputing theories is and has throughout history been one of the major challenges of working with the individual and mind. For every theory or concept there seems to be an equal polarization of the opposite viewpoint. What the psiologist will do is bring these into balance recognizing the validity of both and integrating them into truth of the individual as a whole functioning Self. The problem with psychological theories is that they tend to remain theories even though therapies and techniques may be used to prove them substantial or beneficial. However, in stressing and becoming enveloped in their own theories, therapists often reject the validity of other views. Hence never is a truly integrated approach used in dealing with the individual requesting help. This will be the prestige and value the psiologist will bring to the field of current psychology.
The integration of these theories is most important. With hypnosis, the psiologist will find a valuable tool to use to unearth many of the misunderstandings and understandings in the total individual. Anytime hypnosis is used, it imposes a state much like sleep, or a drugged state where the conscious mind does not fully function or control the mental happenings. As we have said earlier, the conscious mind is that part of mind that functions during the waking state. This is always true unless this is interrupted by the inducement of sleep, drugs, death or hypnosis. In actuality, when someone is hypnotized they are merely placed within a deeper part of their own mind whether it be the unconscious or deeper within the subconscious. Many therapists do use hypnosis at the present tome to relax their patients and stimulate them to remember things occurring at a young age. Many things uncovered which currently cause problems in the patient’s life are found to occur between the ages of one and seven. It is at this time that information not understood is stored in the unconscious mind. The following part of this book will deal primarily with the unconscious mind. However, for the present, suffice it to say that hypnosis can be an effective means of removing emotional blocks placed on information related to early childhood.
Many have used hypnosis or the trance-like state to reach beyond the unconscious into the subconscious part of the mind. The advantage of doing this is to bring forth understanding from this part of the mind which can then be integrated consciously in the individual’s life. And example of this is the work of Edgar Cayce. While in a self-induced trance state or self hypnosis, Cayce catalogued thousands of readings for people from all over the world whether relating the state of health or significant lifetimes. this has also been the case with many others including Taylor Caldwell and Bridey Murphey. The School of Metaphysics has conducted over 25,000 life and health readings over the past five years. These are catalogued at the headquarters in Springfield, Missouri and are offered as tools for the individual to better understand his own mental and emotional attitudes and how these relate to his physical circumstances and environment. The life readings relate a significant incarnation in the past to the present to relay what is going on with the individual requesting the reading at the present time. Their greatest value lies in the fact that correlations are given between that lifetime and the present lifetime with suggestions for improvement towards directing the thoughts and actions more constructively. The health readings examine mental and emotional attitudes which are potentially or presently causing problems such as cancer, kidney stones, or spinal misalignments. Suggestions are given for natural treatment such as vitamins, minerals, chiropractic treatment, herbs, foot reflexology, etc. Suggestions are also given to help change thought patterns and brain pathways which are the source of physical problems.
In these readings, the reader uses a conductor, or another individual, to direct them to a place within mind to obtain this information. This is done under a form of hypnosis for speed and accuracy. Accuracy is determined by the degree of objectivity. By using hypnosis the conscious mind and emotional involvement is totally eliminated giving only truth as seen deeper within mind. Since this is merely a use of mind, one can through the development of concentration and practice develop techniques to go within mind and do readings consciously. With the conscious mind there with full attention, anyone can learn to read the Akashic Records, where life readings are obtained, or the health aura, where information on health is obtained. Hypnosis is used in this case much as it may be use by therapists. This merely removes the conscious mind from what is taking place which is bringing forth valuable information from the remaining part of the mind.
The fact that the same information can be obtained consciously through concentration and practice may well serve to draw together conflicting theories, that on the one hand hypnosis is a valuable tool for psychologists to use and on the other hand that the same effects can be achieved without using hypnosis. Both viewpoints are correct.
In the same Psychology Today article, Theodore Barber, a former stage hypnotist who holds a Ph.D. in Psychology, often disreputes the fact that hypnosis can be therapeutically valuable. This stems primarily from Barber’s opinion that when a hypnotist does the “famous theatrical trick wherein the hypnotist enables his subject to lie rigid with his head on one chair and his ankles on another is a hoax. We assume that without hypnosis such a feat is impossible but Barber has had unhypnotized people do the same thing.”
To totally understand that hypnosis is merely a tool which can be effective but is not absolutely mandatory or necessary would once again bring these two seemingly opposing factions into a balance recognizing that each would have its place and seeing the importance and value of both. Both basically function the same way as far as mind is concerned, however, that each have their place whether consciously using this technique or consciously producing the hypnotic trance. In essence, at this stage of psychological development in the field of research where conflicting theories would seem to violate the validity of either side, in actuality both contain truth and both can be effectively used.
Evidence of Things Seen. . . . But Forgotten
Freud undoubtedly made valuable contributions to dealing with mind; however, one of the most important points which has yet to be convincingly and positively clarified is his use of the unconscious mind. Freud considered psychic energy as being used by the conscious or unconscious mind. However, in Freud’s research psychic energy would be referring to all parts of mind, basically. the conscious and subconscious as we are dealing with them in this book. Rather than the unconscious being a separate part, if you will remember the unconscious is part of the conscious mind.
The tiny atoms within an individual which were supposedly responsible for levels of activity forming the wellspring of human psychological activity or mind activity were what Freud referred to as “Psychic energy”. This is undoubtedly a large part of the individual’s make-up as far as mind is concerned. Each part of mind does utilize energy to form ideas and thoughts. Much like television or radio waves are sent presently, thought can also be relayed in the same manner. Much research has been done in this field of telepathy especially in countries behind the Iron Curtain. An excellent source for more material on this is Sheila Ostrander and Lynn Schroeder’s Psychic Discoveries Behind the Iron Curtain and its offspring the ESP Papers.
What Freud’s psychic energy consisted of is just what the name implies. it is energy and substance which the psi or mind uses to build and formulate thoughts. With the use of thoughts, attitudes are built. The theory of the minute atoms came from Gottfried Leibnitz, early 18th century German mathematician and philosopher. Freud based his psychic energy theory upon this, however, he moved to a more comfortable position of seeing the individual as a special creation that is a fascinating mixture of biological needs and instincts yet able to engage in elaborate symbolic thought both normal and pathological. He also insisted upon keeping his concept of the unconscious.
Freud borrowed his biological needs and instincts from the evolutionary
theories of Darwin. The symbolic thought stemmed from his own interest in art and literature and the concept of the unconscious came from the forces of what could be termed primitive man. It was his position that the individual is motivated by energy inherent in the basic biological drives which set up a tension system within him called psychic energy. This tension system can be viewed as polarity. As the positive push and negative pull which keeps anything alive. If you will, consider a light bulb. In order to have light from a bulb you must have a positive and negative operating. You mush have an AC and DC current. If part of this cycle is broken you do not get the expected results. The same is true with physical and mental life. In order to sustain them you must use the polarity. In mind this would be aggressive and receptive qualities in balance working together to form a new creation–thought, then working through the subconscious into the physical.
As far as Leibnitz’s atoms were concerned, the underlying current of all life according to scientific data today, is that any life form is made of molecules, composed of atoms, formed by photons or electro-magnetic particles of light. In essence, everything existing in the physical earth is composed of the same basic substance but in a variety of forms, colors, textures, and potential intelligence.
Freud termed this psychic energy force the unconscious, the psiologist will only see it as part of the unconscious as long as the individual refuses to recognize himself as a total functioning individual. This is done by placing your attention merely in the conscious mind, neglecting the other divisions of your mind. In other words, how much do you really think about what occurs when you sleep? You do not consciously recognize that you tossed and turned, perhaps throwing the covers off the bed, yet when you return to conscious awareness you see that these things have transpired. You have not physically died during the eight hours you slept. Something kept you alive. This something which continues to function is your subconscious mind. If the subconscious mind has enough intelligence to keep you physically alive (you are breathing right now, yet it requires no conscious attention) then it undoubtedly would have more information to offer you. This information is offered to each of us through our dreams.
This is where the most drastic difference between psiology and Freudian psychology occurs. Whereas Freud viewed dreams as the unconscious’ attempt to be rid of guilt through symbolic actions, the psiologist will view dreams as a valuable tool of understanding enabling the individual to know his mental and emotional states as well as his physical health state. Since the subconscious mind takes control during the sleep state, it would be necessary to remember that the subconscious mind knows only understandings, hence it holds no guilt. Creations of the subconscious mind could not be based on the Freudian theory.
To clarify exactly what Freud was saying when he created the term unconscious mind, it would help to recognize that Freud felt the need of the unconscious forces was to be liberated and the restrictions imposed upon such liberation seem to exist side by side. Due to this, Freud felt that we build a set of defense mechanisms prohibiting us from realizing that we have many of these thoughts and feelings within us. Each of his defense mechanisms are valuable to understanding the unconscious mind as the psiologist views it.
Beginning with denial, the most primitive defense mechanism as Freud saw it, the person refuses to acknowledge that these thoughts and feelings exist within himself. This would be linked to an unconscious attitude or aspect of the self which has been pushed far back into the memory banks. It is apparent enough for the denial process to take place, however the individual wishes to see this as separate from himself as earlier discussed. This separation seems to create a false sense of security which never rests well within the individual for this security relinquishes the necessity to “deal” with the problems occurring. This type of denial or repression, which we will discuss in a moment, is the single most significant factor of manifesting any physical disease or disorder.
In repression, using Freudian terms, the person keeps the thoughts from moving out into the conscious level. In other words there would be a type of emotional response or behavior to a specific situation or circumstance. However, there would be no conscious desire to show any reaction during this process. An emotional reaction would clearly occur concerning an area they know you are highly sensitive to. For instance, a friend continually talks about your relationship with your former spouse. If you are denying your feelings, when your friend states your spouse never loved you, you will continually insist that this is fabrication. Although there are many deep seated unconscious attitudes linked to this feeling of not being loved, this would be one way to deal with unconscious attitudes–merely ignoring their existence. Whereas repression might react in an “I don’t care” attitude, or perhaps a curt reply of resentment would be the key to underlying emotions attached to an unconscious attitude.
In rationalization, also a Freudian term, an individual will admit his behavior in the conscious mind, but tend to justify it as harmless. This is an attempt to reason through the emotional response. The emotions are expressed or allowed to be expressed; however, there is an immediate attempt to reason or justify why this reaction occurred. Isolation, intellectualizing and departmentalization, all Freudian terms which mean essentially the same thing. With these reactions, the individual will isolate or set certain acts apart from the remainder of his behavioral responses so that they can be explained. An example of such a process is one going to church on Sunday but embezzling from his firm during the week. These behaviors, stemming from thoughts, are kept separate in the person’s mind because they obviously conflict with one another.
Projecting and regression are basically the individual’s attempt to absolve him of all responsibility. Projecting is a response of blaming another person for what you are feeling or experiencing when truly as mind this is each individual’s own responsibility. You can choose to act or react in any manner you see appropriate. Since you have mind and the right to use it you are always responsible for it. Regression would be an attempt to return to an earlier stage of childhood or adolescence in an attempt to free yourself from already accepted responsibility for thoughts and actions. Once you have realized you are a thinking reasoning being with much information to use in the conscious mind you realize you are responsible. For most people this occurs by the age of fourteen and is well on its way by age twenty-one. However most experience this as forced upon Self by the environment–whether parents, spouse, employer or society.
Within the Freudian concepts the words ego, id and superego are used frequently. In fact, they have been so frequently used that they have become a part of our present day jargon and in some cases slang. Basically, Freud viewed the superego as the conscience, the ego as the mediator, and the id as the primitive animal part of man which is not socially evolved. Relating this to psiology, the superego will most accurately correspond to the subconscious mind, the ego to the conscious mind and the id leaning toward the unconscious mind, but also the conscious mind in some cases. The superego, being the subconscious mind, would be the conscience of the individual, continually nudging you with understanding into positive avenues of thoughts and activity. Even when you’re choosing consciously to act or react negatively in the conscious mind the conscience is always there. The id would be those thoughts or attitudes relatively hidden from most people, which hinder or hamper your growth or understanding. These would be linked to the unconscious mind. The ego would be found within the conscious mind but also in each level of consciousness in the subconscious and superconscious. It represents you individuality, the part of yourself that would choose whether the self would lean toward the superego (or subconscious) or allow the id (or unconscious) to rule and control you reactions in conscious existence. This choice gives value to the conscious ego. Indeed each individual can choose and has earned the right to make these choices to become either a productive and constructive individual or a destructive and detrimental influence on himself as he meets each situation or circumstance requiring objectivity and the subsequent subjectivity for balance and understanding.
Those individuals following Freud and building upon his theories have adapted his concept to include more than the id or the unconscious drives.
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Individuals such as Karen Horney and Erik Ericson have attempted to show how society plays an important role in the response a person might illicitly. This refers back to how information is stored in the unconscious mind. The culture and society in which we’re raised gradually conditions children to codes. As we are raised within these codes, to question them is often unaccepted. However, each of us, being thinking beings and in the present stage of evolution as a mass, will have to be considered as individual regardless of societal codes or backgrounds if further understanding is desired. These influences remain so predominant, placing many attitudes within the conscious and unconscious minds, that they must be recognized in order to progress and view the individual as a whole functioning Self. In this way, the psiologist will not discount environmental factors, rather he will recognize the important role they play in placing many things in the unconscious. These can either restrain or further the progression of understanding in any time period. It was once said, “I think, therefore I am.” This is still applicable to the individual today. How you appear to others and what your works and actions reflect, will always be a direct result of what your thoughts are and how they are directed.
Actions Speak Louder. . . . ?
The tendency to judge the abnormal by their behavior is reemphasized by the branch of psychology called behaviorism. Behaviorists differ from other psychologists because they underplay symbolism and background factors to emphasize current problems or symptoms. For instance, they maintain that the elimination of symptoms such as bizarre speech is hitting the major problems the patient experiences. They contend that once this is eradicated other facets of the life will fall into place.
Behaviorism began with physiologist Ivan Pavlov in the early 1900’s. Pavlov was able to demonstrate that a considerable amount of learning is the result of simple conditioning, at least this was the inference from his studies with animals. He was able to induce experimental neurosis in animals by forcing them to make discrimination then punishing them or “wrong” behavior. Pavlov’s theory that man was nothing but a series of reflexes, was further developed by Jon Watson, the most notable psychologist in this are. Watson was able to show that children could be fear conditioned. By the same token he showed that children could be deconditioned. So behavioral therapy was well on its way to establishing principles illustrating that human neurosis could be directly condition as well as removed.
Today’s operant conditioning theories of abnormal behavior evolve around the works of 1940’s behaviorists John Dollard and Neil Miller. Their use of animals show that not only classical conditioning but operant conditioning as well can produce abnormal behavior. They contend that actions on the part of an individual which are associated with a negative result can lead to neurotic symptoms and behavior. These behaviorists integrated Freudian principles of motivation by the id-like drives; whereas, earlier behaviorists totally ignored these theories. Learning theorists developed systematic procedures of deconditioning by associating relaxation with anxiety-producing situations. Or simpler corrective procedures such a sounding a bell when a child wet the bed.
Behaviorism came into its own with the rise in stature of the theories of B.F. Skinner. Skinner maintained that man is much akin to an animal in his conditionability and that philosophizing about man’s nature is not an appropriate endeavor for scientifically examining his behavior. Skinner’s most important contributions center around his use of operant conditioning with patients. for instance, considerable success has been possible in reconstructing, redirecting and redesigning a patient’s behavior through the use of “shaping procedures” that reinforce each step of the patient’s activity until eventually a whole sequence of behaviors become an acceptable whole. For example, by a progressive series of reinforcement, patients who were unable or unwilling to speak were gradually enticed to make sounds, then small words and eventually were able to speak again.
Skinner’s major theoretical contribution to the understanding of how some problems might develop included superstitious behavior. What happens here is that the patient makes a connection between some unusual act on his part and the relief of anxiety. This act later becomes a part of his regular repertoire. Or there is the concept of intermittent reinforcement in which the patient faces negative consequences at unexpected intervals and as a result the personality changes occur.
Next to Skinner, the most prominent behaviorist is Albert Bandura. His theories are not as limited as Skinner’s and many feel more comfortable with his emphasis on social learning especially modeling and imitation in which the person behaves in conformity with his environment depending on how he interprets the situation. Thus even though he is a behaviorist, Bandura sees in man the ability to consider the consequences past and future. From his viewpoint, man has a greater opportunity to exhibit something resembling complex human behavior.
The psiologist will view behaviorism as overlooking a very important and distinct part of the individual. This is free will or choice. To draw correlations between the ability to condition responses in animals to the human being, is negating the factor that there is a difference between the two.
There obviously is a difference. Although they are evolutionary steps, the human individual differs drastically from any animal. Animals function from the subconscious mind, whereas man has earned through experience and mental development, reflecting in an increased cerebral cortex size–the right to use conscious free will. Free will merely means you have the right to make a choice. Unless you can discriminate and reason, you will not recognize choices are available.
This is not to imply that this right of choice is always utilized. There are cases where people will forfeit this right. This most often happens in cases such as an individual allowing his parents, a spouse, a family, an employer, or friends to make decisions for him. This direct result of noncentering always leads to discontent in the individual for he never feels he is directing his own thoughts and activities. However, if this pattern is traced to its origin it will readily be seen that at one point the decision was made to turn the “control” to one or more of these individuals.
In essence, the point of free will still stands. We do indeed have the right to choose how,when,where and by whom our lives will be directed.
The foremost behaviorist is B.F. Skinner. Skinner in his philosophy of man tries as much as possible to avoid cause and effect. His theory stresses acts as they occur in the environment and his goal is to change these acts if they appear harmful to the organism, regardless of the origin. In other words one ignores the origin of delinquent acts since the emphasis is on eradicating the behavior itself. Watson and Skinner both opposed the metaphysical viewpoints of man’s mature. In fact, during Skinner’s college years he made a point of disrupting ritualistic activities such as debates and commencement exercises, so one might conclude that he has a rather strong emotional reaction to any activity which represents man as a symbolic creation significantly different from lower animals. This in itself would be in Skinner’s own term an unusual behavior. Where does it come from?
If cause and effect are not considered, then how can behavior ever be effectively changed? The psiologist will view merely the changing of behavior through conditioning as not treating the whole individual, not respecting him for what he is, or recognizing that the individual can choose his life exactly as he wants. The idea of merely changing behavior is a dangerous one indeed for what is normal to one culture may be totally abnormal in another, as in the case of the shaman. As far as the strict behaviorist is concerned, there appears a thin line–someone has to decide whose behavior will be changed and how. Is this a right of only a select group of people? Or is this decision making ability inherent in each individual? If the therapist or behaviorist feels that he can judge behavior as being positive or negative would it not also be true that any person if they utilize that right can make the choice of what is beneficial or detrimental for them?
Most behaviorists; however, are not as stringent as Watson or Skinner. These individuals do attempt to find some explanation which involves complex human motivation that might lead to abnormal behavior. Dollard and Miller attempted to integrate the Freudian theory into behaviorism, however, their primary means of doing such was with the environment or peer group.
If the problems were with the parents then the solution would be to be with the parents in order to correct this response. Their primary emphasis was still on behavior, in making the individual or patient comfortable in situations that often produced anxiety. Although many of the concepts relate to the id, there is a lack of understanding of what the idea is an how it could influence the behavior of any individual.
Of the behaviorists, there is one well-respected, middle-of-the-road theorist. Between Dollard’s and Miller’s stress on complex Freudian principles and Skinner’s making man into a robot lies Dr. Albert Bandura. Whereas early behaviorists tended to ignore entirely the influence we have on our own responses, Bandura feels that our previous learning and experiences, and our present interpretations are all combined, so that when we respond to a stimulus is the environment we do so in a rather idiosyncratic manner. Bandura states, “Contrary to popular belief, the fabled reflexive conditioning in humans is largely a myth.” (Bandura, 1974)
Bandura is not discounting behaviorist theories but instead he is reminding us that people are social beings and they operate on principles of conduct observed in others. Bandura feels given reinforcement for change, obviously a concept far above the level of anything an animal can understand, the human can be motivated to alter his behavior in as many diverse directions as there are people. In other words, values can be altered and as a result behavior changes. Because of this middle of the line philosophy Bandura was elected president of the American Psychological Association in 1973. This was an important recognition of behaviorism in current psychological thought.
Bandura appears to be, more so than any other renowned behaviorist, a forerunner of the psiologist. His emphasis on social learning occurring through exposure and imitation does have a place in dealing with the total individual; however, we seem to still be reacting to the individual in merely a physical way much as Freudian theories dealt with the individual. Undoubtedly there are many ways of thinking and modes of behavior we acquire from our environment at a young age. This coincides with the concept of the unconscious we discussed earlier in this book. Where Bandura falls short is in placing equal or more value on the social situations, the reactions of those we come into contact with each day. His theory does stress the influence we have on our own responses; however, this is not as yet a very developed and highly integrated view of the individual. Once again this enters into the concept of free will, that each individual does have the right to choose exactly what his reactions will be in any situation.
The behaviorist theory would hold true if we were merely experiencing and exposed at any age to the same type of behavior. However, this is highly unlikely in a society as large as the one we live in today. Included within this is the exposure to media (including television), to friends, to business, to classmates, as well as the parental influence. What we perceive as individuals will indeed influence us, but only to the degree that our understanding, acceptance and respect of our own ideas and opinions, how we conceive ourselves to be, will allow at any particular time.
The psiologist will definitely be interested in the behavior of individuals; however, in no way will the psiologist categorize or imprison the individual seeking aid merely because his behavior displays a certain trait mar. The psiologist will look further into the cause and effect just as with a disease. The disease within a physical body is merely the effect of a prolonged type of thought which has not been expressed. This is similar to our behavior. Some behavior is consciously directed through the use of will, others are unconsciously motivated. As discussed in the chapter on Freud, these unconscious attitudes are often the ones creating problems and causing what many would consider abnormal behavior.
At at this point it would be interesting to note that behavior considered abnormal in today’s society will eventually, to the psiologist displaying a fuller understanding of the mind and how it functions, no longer be considered aberrant or deviant. Recalling the case of Joan of Arc, the behaviorist would view her insistence on hearing voices as definite signs of abnormal behavior. To the psiologist who understands the function of the subconscious mind, this will be taken into account as possibly not a conscious imagining or daydreaming but a subconscious reality. Since the conscious mind works directly with information in the brain, there is distance between conscious minds. In other words, there is a difference in the information each brain stores depending on what each person has been exposed to throughout life. This creates distance between conscious minds; however, in subconscious minds there exists no distance. Jung called it the collective unconscious, however the psiologist of the future will recognize that this is a function not of the unconscious mind but the subconscious mind.
We have said that the subconscious mind holds all understood experiences. These experiences are of great benefit to the individual as well as others since they have been earned through trial and error and perhaps many mistakes. When speaking of hypnotism, we mentioned life readings. A life reading is merely information gained between the fourth and fifth levels of consciousness in the subconscious mind. This in some ways could be termed the collective subconscious. The term Akashic Record refers to that place in mind where events, people, places and actions are recorded from the present time throughout the past. It is comparable to a library or volumes of history books where information on anything or anyone could be obtained. This is available for anyone to tap at anytime if they have the degree of concentration and a mode of getting to this place.
In this way, with significant study and practice, one can tap within their own subconscious understandings stored there. Many of the current “psychic” happenings are still disregarded by psychologists, primarily because there is not the understanding of the individual as a whole functioning Self. “Psychic” happenings are a function of the subconscious mind whether out of the body experiences, experiences catalogued by Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross or near death patients, or such psychic happenings as telepathy, clairvoyance or clairaudience. Joan of Arc probably was experiencing clairaudience, or hearing with the subconscious mind. This could have been listening to her own subconscious or to another entity since there is no distance in subconscious minds–a type of telepathy. To most psychologist the behavior she displayed would definitely have been viewed as aberrant. The diagnosis would probably have been schizophrenia or psychosis. However, the psiologist will view these behaviors according to his own understanding of mind and how it functions so that indeed many of the behaviors individuals display will no longer be termed abnormal or aberrant but will be seen as significant tools to be used to better understand the full functioning Self.
At this time it wold be of benefit to reflect back to chapter one where we mentioned that each individual will questions his own normalcy or sanity from time to time. Each of us have mind to work with and until that mind and its functions are understood there will always be questions. It is well to consider that for every question you can conceive within your mind there is truly also the answer to that questions within your mind.
For the psiologist to judge an individual by his behavior is dangerous ground unless the behavior is understood in a cause and effect manner. Otherwise behavior which could be simply explained and understood could be reconditioned to a totally different behavior which does not suit the understandings or the needs of the individual seeking help. This is the insight the psiologist will incorporate into the behaviorist’s point of view.
Giving Life to a Plastic Flower
In the 1950’s humanism and existentialism began their impetus. They are difficult terms to define since they are not so much specific methods of treatment for the patient as they are an approach to a philosophy of man. In both theories man is basically good. He is like the flower that is goal directed to blossom and fulfill its purpose in life. Both existentialism and humanism center their philosophies around this inner “good” emphasizing that when man goes awry it is the result of a twisted environment rather than some inherent defect in the person.
Existentialism differs from humanism in at least one major aspect, namely its emphasis on death. The fact that we must learn to cope with knowledge of this inevitability in order to work toward full attainment of our goals in life is a major premise.
Psychologist Carl Rodgers has been one of the strongest supporters of humanistic approaches to abnormal behavior or mental disturbance. His basic theory stresses that therapy should focus on bringing out the inner goodness in the individual by setting up an accepting situation which will allow this goodness to come forth. The major function of the humanistic therapist is to guide the patient or “client” as he works through various problems. The client has to explore his own perceptual field in order to bring this about to reach his ideal self which is what we feel we are supposed to be. Once this ideal self status has been obtained by allowing the Self to blossom, the person has become the ideal, a full functioning individual who has united what he thinks he should be with what he is. Of all currently existing therapies, Rodger’s approach will be closest to the psiologist’s. With cases of slight to moderate disorders this will work quite effectively, fostering and building a sense of respect and control in the individual. However, in humanistic approaches most of the work is put upon the client. When dealing with extreme abnormal behavior this cannot be the case when therapy begins. What Rodgers calls a full functioning self parallels the whole functioning individual, but the psiologist will offer detailed understanding of what that full functioning self is. The theory that man is intrinsically good is still a judgmental attitude which recalls to mind the behaviorist’s tendency to judge what is “good” and “bad” behavior.
The psiologist will recognize that each individual is a reasoning being and can recognize cause and effect, difficulties will stem from not using these faculties. In extreme cases of mental disturbance such as catatonia and psychosis the psiologist will first rely on his ability to communicate subconsciously. Once this is established, the psiologist will be able to bring the patient into the conscious mind without disorientation. The individual will slowly be able to see cause and effect, through examples related to or not connected at all with the patient. When this is understood, he will better be able to choose how he wishes to act or react. Once again, the emotions play a significant part. One can learn to express to their fullest extent any and all emotions ranging from anger to love. When this energy is intelligently directed there is not the feeling of wishing that you had not done or said something which is often a source of guilt. You are in control and direct this energy at all times.
Good and bad are relative terms–relative to the understanding and experience of any individual, relative to differences in cultures. What the individual must realize is what is beneficial to himself as well as to others, rather than resorting to the self pity, self degradation, or self annihilation which many experience while displaying abnormal behavior. Rodgers’ theories will gain more importance and meaning in the future as man better understands mind. It will prove to be a bridge between old psychological theories and the new psiology.
Psychologist Abraham Maslow embraces Rodgers’ theories but places more responsibility on society for the downfall of those working toward self actualization. Maslow’s term self actualization corresponds to Rodgers’ “fully functional individual”. Maslow constructed a hierarchy of needs which suggested that self actualization could best be obtained by first overcoming lower level needs in a specific order from the lowest physiological, safety, belonging and self esteem. This can be an effective groundwork for the psiologist; however, by no means will the responsibility be placed on society due to the individual’s right to choose the type of reaction or response he will have toward anything in his environment, including society as a whole. The psiologist will also stress the understanding of those four needs–placing them in proper perspective to allow the individual to experience a sense of fullness and completion.
Rollo May is the clearest exponent of the concept of death for the existential view. May contends that the acceptance of death is an integral part of man’s need to realize his own potential. this perhaps stems from May’s own brush with death at a relatively young age. May emphasizes the need to face suffering and unhappiness in order to obtain the higher goals or the concept of turning pain into good. He stresses the plastic in our lives and dealing on a day-to-day basis with the real world. Although this approach to your everyday life has value to the psiologist, the psiologist’s understanding of death will play the most important part toward dealing with the existential view. The psiologist will not view death as an end at all, but as merely a transition or change. This change is merely removing the attention from the physical and placing it within the subconscious, much like the process we do each night when going to sleep. When you sleep, there is no conscious attention placed upon the amount of times you tossed and turned, or on the fact that you received an important phone call which your spouse took for you. However, these things occurred. It is not until you awake that you consciously know what transpired while asleep. The death state is very much like this sleep or dreamstate. When physical death occurs you do not cease to exist as an individual, rather you withdraw into the inner portions of mind, or the subconscious. This has been catalogued through the various individuals who reached this state of withdrawal and came back to the physical through the works of Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross and Raymond Moody.
It is interesting how much death rules our lives. For most people death is the only certainly in a sometimes confusing and tumultuous life. American society holds an aberrant attitude toward death as far as the Indian, Irish, or even Southern Black is concerned. The Indian seeing value in the reincarnation theory does not fear death. He sees it as a welcome and challenging transition from physical life. The Irish celebrate death with much food and dance during a “wake”. The Southern Black also celebrates the withdrawal of a loved one with music and song. These cultures significantly differ from American culture in one respect–the Indian, Irish and Blacks place their attention on the person who has died whereas the American society places the attention on the Self. This shift of focus creates a selfish attitude in most Americans of mourning and loss. The attention is solely on what might have been, could have been or what will not be merely because the individual has chosen to die. This attitude of “how could you leave me” stems from the predominate selfishness in not wanting to understand the dying process. the evitability of death is so frightening for most people that they will not even listen to the dying patient’s experiences. Ironically, changing that selfish attitude to one of helping might just lead us to greater understanding of the death process. Such has been the case with Kubler-Ross and Moody.
In essence, May’s emphasis on suffering and unhappiness will not be a part of the psiologist’s view, for with a greater understanding of what the death process is, there will be no need to view this in a negative emotional manner.
Dealing with the world on a day-to-day basis is a large part of the psiologist’s point of view. Being able to emotionally and mentally adjust to any situation by using intelligence allows the individual to make this conscious physical existence a very definite reality. The concept of the world as being plastic will merely mean replacing roles or pseudo-masks with honesty toward the Self then towards others.
Psychologist R.D. Laing is the most outspoken of any of these individuals. He maintains that man is twisted almost completely by an insane society and that society has the problem rather that the individual patient. Thus his methods for therapy focus on the realigning of the distorted inner world of the patient away from the twisted behavior of society toward a more meaningful existence. This concept seems to belie the fact that society is not something external but begins with individuals. As the individual recognizes his own potential, understanding his own mind and creativity as well as his ability to direct thoughts, words and actions, society as a whole will begin to change. The psiologist will not place the blame for any aberrant or abnormal behavior on society as a whole. He will work with the individual stressing the needed charges for that individual according to his own desires and sphere of experience including family, friends, occupation, or education.
The greatest amount of peer criticism to the humanistic-existential viewpoint of coping with abnormal behavior is that it is not scientifically measurable. The psiologist will not place great emphasis on present scientific rules or regulations; however, as science develops a greater recognition of the individual as more than the conscious mind and level, scientific evidence will be available to support the psiologist’s point of view that man is indeed more than a physical body and brain. The same problem of scientific data could be placed upon the psiologist until this is developed; however, with new developments in technology such as Kirlian photography and attempts by various scientific groups to understand the total individual this will be of no concern .
The psiologist will deal with individuals seeking help or aid. If it is the individual which encounters problems, it is the individual who needs to understand the source of these problems. Then he can apply that understanding to his everyday life in order to respect himself as a whole functioning being, not dependent upon any other person, place or thing for his peace contentment and happiness. This in no way should infer that one should become a robot, not expressing emotions or using other people. The introduction of the word “use” here may intrigue you. There is a great difference between using and misusing. “Using” often implies a negative connotation when actually “misuse” would describe the more detrimental or negative factors of interacting with other individuals. We all use people, places and things for our own growth and understanding. In other words, it is not wrong to use people, but it would be considered an incorrect decision to misuse people. This understanding gives value and respect to your Self as well as others.
Exploring Anxiety Neurosis,
or, I’m Afraid,
I’m just not sure what’s scaring me.
In this basic review of the major approaches to dealing with individuals, whether the Freudian, the Behaviorist, the Humanist or the Existentialist, we have attempted to show how the psiologist of the future will integrate each of these, recognizing value in what has been previously discovered as theories that will work. These theories lay an important foundation for the future of psiology. However, in no way will these limit the psiologist. He will deal with the individual as just that–a person with mind to use. He will aid that person in understanding his conscious behavior and reactions, his emotions, his mental attitudes, as well as the spiritual part of himself. Working systematically with the levels and divisions of mind briefly discussed earlier, he will encompass the total individual.
This vantage point will release many of the anxieties, tensions and misunderstandings that have occurred in the past through various different theories and treatments. The psiologist will be working toward understanding his own whole functioning Self. In this way there will not be the problems or pitfalls in becoming emotionally involved with his patients or in storing emotional energy that will work against him. As earlier stated psychiatrists have the highest degree of suicide, this will not be a fact with the psiologist for as he continually learns, observes and applies his understandings he will become of more benefit to those seeking his assistance. As opposed to many psychologists who get trapped in their own theory of dealing with abnormal behavior, the psiologist will be open in his own life to learning and understanding. As he improves and gains more, so his understanding and effectiveness to aid others will improve.
Exploring Anxiety Neurosis,
or, I’m Afraid–
I’m just not sure what’s scaring me.
In an attempt to show or illustrate what the psiologist will do with present clinical disorders, we will briefly look at neurosis. In general psychology today, neuroses are viewed as mental disturbances characterized by severe discomfort from which the patient seeks relief. This discomfort may take many forms–exaggerated fears, overwhelming feelings of anxiety or fright, loss of memory, physical lethargy, debilitating tension, shyness and so forth. The various symptoms are divided by psychologists into a number of subclassifications. It is important to remember that no neurotic patient restricts his behavior to only the symptoms listed to each subclassification designed. There are overlapping symptoms.
To get an overview of all neuroses. we should note that the patient feels he has lost control of himself and that the world is going to crash in on him. More than anything he is overly sensitive to what is going on around him. As opposed to psychoses, the neurotic may feel threatened and his world may be turned upside down, but he is still able to see more or less what it is without grossly misrepresenting or distorting what is going on. The neurotic is at least still oriented to a physical reality, as most of us view it, even though this reality may seem intolerable most of the time.
In order to effectively aid and help an individual suffering from any neurosis, the psiologist will have to be familiar with what the patient is experiencing in his own mind. What many psychologists or psychiatrists tend to think of as another world created by a psychotic person or experienced periodically by the neurotic person is in actuality a reality. From the outside looking in (from the conscious mind looking into the subconscious mind these experiences will often appear as another world or reality. Where the mentally ill or disoriented patient loses his effective control is in not understanding his experiences while in the subconscious mind. The irony is that most psychologists do not recognize that these levels of inner consciousness of the subconscious exist in their own mind and can be utilized at any time. The mentally ill patient experiences these levels and their qualities, however, has no sense of reference or stability in using those experiences to create a whole, functioning self. Their major problem is relating their experiences to physical reality. Since psychologists rarely recognize or understand the totality of their own minds, it is difficult to aid someone who is functioning in those levels with no balance, control or stability. A good case in point is dealing with a psychotic or schizophrenic who, to the outside world, has created a world of his own–not only individuals or creatures, but perhaps his own language. A psychiatrist who tries to aid this individual from the conscious mind by breaking into this world will find himself rejected at every turn. The patient will delve deeper into his mind because he feels threatened.
An excellent example of this is in the 1977 movie, “I Never Promised You a Rose Garden”. In this movie, the attempt by one psychiatrist to “break into” the world of the schizophrenic patient is immediately met with distrust and ambivalence. The psychiatrist in this case is trying to relate to the subconscious mind of the patient through his own conscious lack of understanding. There is not the least consideration on the part of the psychiatrist that he could indeed communicate with the patient if he were to use his own subconscious mind and meet the patient on his own ground. In this way the therapist could interpret what is occurring and benefit the patient through understanding and guidance. This would not only speed therapy but pose no threat to the patient, building trust rather than alienation. The psiologist will first place his attention upon the development and understanding of his own mind in order to aid other individuals.
The most predominant problem recognized today for the neurotic is overcoming his fear of the reactions to him of others. To simplify matters even more I would specifically like to explore anxiety neurosis. First it would be helpful to discuss what anxiety actually is. Some theorists believe that anxiety is at least in part responsible for all neuroses; however, in the subclassification devised by psychiatrists anxiety rates an entire classification itself. Anxiety basically is a generalized feeling of apprehension effecting the emotions. Often a distinction is made between anxiety and fear, because with fear there is a specific threat to you but with anxiety you may not be sure what it is you fear. Both however stem from a fear.
For instance, if you are attending a speech class, designed in theory to provide all of us with self confidence in public, there might be a sinking feeling when you must present a lecture to the class. With the looming of ridicule and smirks, or the possibilities of saying something that inadvertently becomes obscene, or of not being able to speak at all, you might find your palms sweating, your hands trembling and a queasy feeling at the pit of your stomach. These are all symptoms of anxiety. You know you have it, but it’s hard at surface value to pinpoint why. In this case you’re afraid, but you’re not exactly sure what you’re afraid of , so we are dealing definitely with an emotional response with no apparent reason behind it.
The psychologist will recognize that this basically stems from a lack of self confidence and a fear of others not giving their approval or outwardly rejecting the person. The Freudian view of anxiety is that the neurotic is “infinitely expressive although often reluctantly communicative.” This means that we may develop all manners of psychological disturbances, but even if we choose not to talk about them or act them out, they will be expressed into the physical through physical symptoms or diseases. Thus the strange or unusual behavior of the neurotic is nothing more than the physical expressions of energy forces that are inside us and about to burst open. Abnormal behavior; therefore, is symbolic because it represents what is going on beneath the surface. It is an external manifestation of a seething cauldron of unacceptable energy impulses trying to free themselves.
Freud believed a neurotic behaves as he does because the pressures of society, relationships or people around him create stress in the individual trying to express himself. For Freud, the central problem in the development of neurosis is the accentuation of anxiety beneath the surface of consciousness as a result of unacceptable desires which create a moral conflict. The psiologist will agree with this viewpoint to the extent that external stimuli or the rejection or approval by others, govern our expression through the emotions or the conscious mind. When the demands of those around us do not meet with our own perceptions–conflict often results. The psiologist will see this as potential for change, a very beneficial aspect rather than a detriment. He will attempt to point out to the individual that he is responsible for his decisions whether correct or incorrect, and that incorrect decisions are merely stepping stones to greater understandings. The psiologist will also realize that what Freud saw as an energy force of the body giving protection from symptoms, was indeed the basic workings of any physical disorder or disease.
In our discussion of abnormal behavior we have found that we could fit into some of these categories if not most of them. Is it so outrageous to consider that our thoughts and our attitudes do indeed influence the state of our physical health?
There is probably not one person who at one time has not thought himself ill, so it would stand to reason that if we can think ourselves ill we can also think ourselves well. Through constant information gained through experiencing, observing and utilizing the subconscious mind one can readily see that all attitudes, if not expressed into the physical and conscious mind, will seek outlets in the physical system manifesting eventually as a physical disease or disorder. Physicians have been trying for years to find a cure for the common cold by eliminating the symptoms of the cold rather than finding the source or cause. Physically speaking, the psiologist will recognize that a cold involving the respiratory system is actually the result of a mental attitude of restriction, that there are decisions which need to be made and expressed containing several emotional factors. A person who manifests a cold would be the one that is indecisive about something in his life;however, he is not expressing his viewpoint or lack of decision to anyone, choosing to hold this to the Self. Such could be the case with someone trying to decide whether to change physical locations due to his occupation or end a marriage. However, this
consideration and indecision is never expressed to the present boss or spouse. This conflict and turmoil remain in the Self creating more related thoughts which also seek expression. If no other avenue is open or used, then you will manifest a cold. The severity of that cold will depend upon the individual, his receptivity to the virus which he attracts to himself, the degree of emotional turmoil called into action, as well as the weight the decision carries.
To illustrate how receptivity comes into play, visualize a room of ten people. Now imagine that someone enters this room displaying all the outward symptoms of a chest cold. Of those ten people present only one catches the cold so to speak. What would cause one person to “catch” the virus when the other nine are left unaffected? Consider the importance of your thoughts and attitudes. Remember the last time you had a cold, recall your mental and emotional state. I think you will begin to see there is a definite connection between certain attitudes and their manifestations and specific diseases. A further list of disorders and their mental and emotional cause can be found on the following pages.
Neo-Freudians agreed with Freud’s emphasis on the importance of early conflict between the ages of one and seven as was discussed earlier, (when) information is placed in our unconscious mind. This is the source in most cases of inexplicable fears. If you will consider your own fears, hesitations, or doubts you will begin to see that they are not the same as those around you. Some may have common ground but many are different. What causes one person to fear, for example flying, while another never travels unless by plane. We are individuals and have mind to work with in creating our desires and fears. If a fear exists it is merely that we know enough about a situation or incident but do not have a complete understanding of this. Our reaction is to eliminate the possibility of having to experience this, so we continue to illogically fear the unknown whereas the personal experience would relieve this feeling of not knowing.P. 105-107 Chart YOUR BODY IS THE SHADOW OF YOUR MIND
A further assumption by Neo-Freudians is explained in the definition of one who finds himself in an intolerable job. Yet this occupation is one which satisfied the requirements of society or perhaps his spouse or family. This individual feels he has the potential to move onto better positions but is afraid of failure which society condemns. This fear probably is the result of frustration and earlier attempts to break away from his hamstrung condition originally instilled by his parents. This could indeed have stemmed from interactions with the parents, however the individual is still an adult reacting to external stimulus or the demands of others rather than the demands of the total Self.
Another Neo-Freudian viewpoint of the same dilemma suggests that at a very early age we develop an idealized image of ourselves. Our ego, in Freudian terms, thinks of us as something we are not, thereby creating a large gap between reality and fantasy. Neurosis strikes because we are unable to live up to the expectations we’ve set for ourselves. We then have the choice of facing reality that we are not fulfilling our wishes, needs and desires or we have to admit defeat in order to satisfy ourselves, an anxiety provoking conflict. However, this is often a limited viewpoint on the part of psychologists or psychiatrists. Not recognizing the full workings of the mind themselves, they do not recognize that imagination and fantasy, or dreams do create what a physical reality is. The problem with the neurotic is very similar to the psychotic or schizophrenic. They do not know how to relate what they perceive as imagination or dreams into a physical reality integrating the total Self in what they see themselves as being and what they can become. An excellent example of this is someone raised in a ghetto area who through consistent dreaming, effort and imagining ultimately builds and wills himself into a situation of becoming successful and wealthy. This potential within mind is available to anyone who integrates and uses it. Each individual will use mind each day, but how often do we place attention upon exactly what is happening and how the mind works. If we understand the answer to the questions we begin to gain understanding about abnormal or neurotic behavior.
The major evolving step the psiologist will take will be not to view the person as abnormal or something to be changed, but will see them as a total individual, not suffering from a mental disease but merely lacking the mental tools to gain a better understanding of mind and how he can best use it to suit his desires and needs within his physical life.
The humanist basically sees the neurotic as deficient in the art of enjoying himself and the world around him much like the phobic who fears elevators or closed places, the anxious neurotic places himself in such a restrictive environment that he cannot enjoy what the world and others have to offer. Most of the neurotic’s problems are located in the belongingness and esteem areas according to the humanist. Because of early blocking of his potential, the neurotic is not able to share love with others and because he is deficient in this expression he lacks self esteem. One who lacks self esteem is so inwardly grown he becomes a neurotic mass of confusion rather than an orderly creation working toward a worthwhile end with others. This will be an important perspective for the psiologist, seeing this concept as implying a lack of goals and purposes to the activities in a day. Confusion will always indicate some form of indecision, that a decision has not been made to travel one route or another. Once a decision has been made a goal is in mind. The ideal, what you picture in your mind, and purposes, why this is so important to you, so that you are stimulated to put forth the activity to make the mental concept a physical reality. Whether this is a quality within yourself, obtaining a job, or accomplishing everyday tasks in this way you can create your life to be well-ordered with you as the intelligent director. As the director you can channel and direct your thoughts, words and actions in the ways that will benefit yourself as well as others.
From the existential point of view, neurotics (have) distinct behavior patterns. Intellectually they express feelings of meaninglessness and uselessness and emotionally they rarely get farther than to express blandness, boredom and depression. Behaviorally they fail to get involved with others and spend only a minimum amount of effort in everyday life. Underlying the existential point of view you may recall is the need that each of us has (while we can) while still accepting our finiteness. A fear of nothingness can ironically freeze a person, so that rather than do something with the time one has, it is spent in a continued state of anxiety. To the existentialist many neurotics seem to be caught in this bind. The neurotic is bound within himself, the only escape is to become more external and find a deeper meaning in life. In essence, the psiologist will use this point of view for it integrates well with the others, unconscious fears related to how others will react often seem to force the individual into himself, not relating to an individual. Therapy will definitely include an inventory of self, honestly evaluating and exploring things in the unconscious mind achieving understandings that can be used and applied towards not only the dealings with self but the environment as well. The major point of difference for the psiologist will be the fatalism or finiteness expressed by the existentialist.
The psiologist will explore and make usable concepts of the continuity of existence, thought and the total self. Death will cease to be an unknown creating fear in the individual, but will be understood as withdrawing the attention from the conscious mind, retreating into the subconscious. A process undergone each night when you sleep. If you can understand the sleep state or your subconscious mind, you will realize what death is and place it in its proper perspective as merely a change–an indication of growth and accomplishment.
The behaviorist’s viewpoint is that anxiety and any other manifestations of the neurotic is that they are learned, just as anything else is learned, through association. Undoubtedly as a child if you are continuously and severely punished for a certain behavior you will as an adult have a tendency to ignore, reject, or avoid anything related to that particular stimulus which at one time resulted in great pain being experienced. However, this is not to say that we are robots not having the intelligence to think and choose who we will act or react. Once again this is external stimulus; is there a reward or is there negative reinforcement?
If one can learn to respond from Self then each action will be fulfilling within the self and more fulfilling to those around the self as well. In essence, the psiologist as with anxiety and neurotic behavior will draw from all psychological theories which have to the present time been acknowledged as beneficial and acceptable. The difference with the psiologist will be tying the loose ends together.
In recognizing the individual as total mind, understanding the functions and workings of each part of mind, the psiologist will better be able to integrate and aid the individual in understanding his own situations and circumstances, then giving that person mental tools so that he may become the director of any of those, fulfilling his life as he would choose and therefore becoming much more fulfilling to those around the self. As is acknowledged by most psychology texts today, inevitably the thing the Greeks called soul, the philosophers called mind, and psychologists call psyche will come into prominence even though at this time, from that point of view, most people do not know what it is.
The psiologists will integrate the soul, mind, or psyche into the person’s concept and perception of himself, enabling that individual to see himself with greater appreciation and respect. Once this is understood within a general context and better accepted by the majority of therapists today we will see the evolution of psychology into an integrated workable system to help develop the total individual not dependent upon any other person, place or thing for their peace, contentment, or happiness. From this vantage point each person will truly be an individual with the highest ideal and purpose to each activity he chooses.
As this is fostered and recognized in the individual the effects will be widespread and long range to humanity as a whole. Just consider how such an individual would raise his own children. If indeed information is stored in the unconscious primarily from external stimulus between the ages of one and seven, just think of the lessened amount of unconscious attitudes that will be created by the environment of a child who is born to parents who recognize who they are, what they are and where they are going. The world will change considerably.
This is what we can create and anticipate with a fulfilling sense of respect, pride and accomplishment. ©1980,School of Metaphysics