The place of rationality in Stoicism and REBT -- Ellis and Epictetus: dialogue vs. method in psychotherapy -- The intellectual origins of Rational Psychotherapy: twentieth-century writers -- REBT and rationality: philosophical approaches -- Rationality and the shoulds -- When did a psychologist last discuss "chagrin"?: American psychology's continuing moral project -- The social psychology of "pseudoscience": a brief history -- Historical aspects of mindfulness and self-acceptance in psychotherapy -- Marginalisation is not unbearable, is it even undesirable?
Pt. I. Philosophy and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) -- Ch. 1. The "philosophical origins" of CBT -- Ch. 2. The beginning of modern cognitive therapy -- Ch. 3. A brief history of philosophical therapy -- Ch. 4. Stoic philosophy and psychology -- Ch. 5. Rational emotion in stoicism and CBT -- Ch. 6 Stoicism and Ellis's rational therapy (REBT) -- Pt. II. The stoic armamentarium -- Ch. 7. Contemplation of the ideal stage -- Ch. 8. Stoic mindfulness of the "here and (...) now" -- Ch. 9. Self-analysis and disputation -- Ch. 10. Autosuggestion, premeditation, and retrospection -- Ch. 11. Preditatio malorum and mental rehearsal -- Ch. 12. Stoic fatalism, determination, and acceptance -- Ch. 13. The view from above and stoic metaphysics. (shrink)
In this paper we attempt to understand the intellectual origins of Albert Ellis' Rational Psychotherapy (now known as Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy). In his therapeutic practice Ellis used a 'lumper' argument to replace the focus of change in psychoanalysis: not the lengthy uncovering and reworking of the individual's personal history, but the demands in self-talk through which the client is currently dis turbed. In constructing around this the persuasive (rhetorical) package that became his therapy, Ellis drew on a number of (...) popular intellectual movements, operationalism, General Semantics, the holistic theory of emotion, cognitive psychology, and psychoanalysis itself. (shrink)
Richard Brandt’s “Second Puzzle” for utilitarianism asks: What is meant to count as benefit or utility? In addressing this puzzle, Brandt dismisses “objective” theories of utility as prejudging substantive moral issues and opts for “subjective” theories of utility based either on desire-satisfaction or happiness, so as to welcome people with a variety of substantive moral commitments into his utilitarian system. However, subjective theories have difficulties finding principled grounds for elevating one desire over another. Brandt attempts to circumvent the difficulties through (...) his “reformed definition” of rationality, a definition that hinges on his notion of cognitive psychotherapy. Cognitive psychotherapy asserts that a desire is rational only once it is vividly exposed to relevant, available information. I argue that Brandt’s notion of cognitive psychotherapy tacitly builds substantive metaphysical and ethical commitments into his reformed definition of rationality, thus rendering his theory of utility an objective theory. Answering Brandt’s “Second Puzzle” forces not only Brandt, but also utilitarians more generally, to take up substantive metaphysical and ethical commitments from the outset, commitments that substantially predetermine the outcomes generated by their utilitarian systems. (shrink)
Somatoform disorder patients show a variety of emotional disturbances including impaired emotion recognition and increased empathic distress. In a previous paper, our group showed that several brain regions involved in emotional processing, such as the parahippocampal gyrus and other regions, were less activated in pre-treatment somatoform disorder patients (compared to healthy controls) during an empathy task. Since the parahippocampal gyrus is involved in emotional memory, its decreased activation might reflect the repression of emotional memories (which - according to psychoanalytical concepts (...) - plays an important role in somatoform disorder). Psychodynamic psychotherapy aims at increasing the understanding of emotional conflicts as well as uncovering repressed emotions. We were interested, whether brain activity in the parahippocampal gyrus normalized after (inpatient) multimodal psychodynamic psychotherapy. Using fMRI, subjects were scanned while they shared the emotional states of presented facial stimuli expressing anger, disgust, joy and a neutral expression; distorted stimuli with unrecognizable content served as control condition. 15 somatoform disorder patients were scanned twice, pre and post multimodal psychodynamic psychotherapy; in addition, 15 age-matched healthy control subjects were investigated. Effects of psychotherapy on hemodynamic responses were analyzed implementing two approaches: (i) an a priori region of interest approach and (ii) a voxelwise whole brain analysis. Both analyses revealed increased hemodynamic responses in the left and right parahippocampal gyrus (and other regions) after multimodal psychotherapy in the contrast ‘empathy with anger’-‘control’. Our results are in line with psychoanalytical concepts about somatoform disorder. They suggest the parahippocampal gyrus is crucially involved in the neurobiological mechanisms which underly the emotional deficits of somatoform disorder patients. (shrink)
Living in the Borderland addresses the evolution of Western consciousness and describes the emergence of the 'Borderland,' a spectrum of reality that is beyond the rational yet is palpable to an increasing number of individuals. Building on Jungian theory, Jerome Bernstein argues that a greater openness to transrational reality experienced by Borderland personalities allows new possibilities for understanding and healing confounding clinical and developmental enigmas. In three sections, this book charts the evolution of Western consciousness, examines the psychological and clinical (...) implications and looks at how the new Borderland consciousness bridges the mind-body divide. It challenges the standard clinical model, which views normality as an absence of pathology and equates normality with the rational, and abnormality with the transrational. Jerome Bernstein describes how psychotherapy itself often contributes to the alienation of many Borderland personalities by misdiagnosing the difference between the pathological and the sacred and uses case studies to illustrate the potential such misdiagnoses have for causing serious psychic and emotional damage to the patient. This challenge to the orthodoxies and complacencies of Western medicine's concept of pathology will interest Jungian Analysts, Psychoanalysts, Psychotherapists and Psychiatrists. (shrink)
Human Being Human explores the classical question What is a human being? and produces original and challenging insights in the process of providing an answer. In examining our human being, Christopher Hauke challenges the notion of human nature, questions the assumed superiority of human consciousness and rational thinking and pays close attention to the contradiction of living simultaneously as an autonomous individual and a member of the collective community. The main chapters include: Whose in Charge Here? Knowledge, Power and Human (...) Being That Thinking Feeling Is Modern Consciousness Different? Modern Consciousness and the Quest for Spirituality Endings, the Unconscious and Time Orpheus, Dionysus and Popular Culture The book is also structured around brief panel essays with a distinctly personal tone, such as: The Rise of revulsion: Spitting and The Stones, What is the Double When the Original is Gone? And "I lived with the speaking clock". All these themes are amplified by examples drawn from psychotherapy, film, literature and popular culture, and illustrated with many evocative photographs and film stills. Human Being Human provides an original perspective on what it is to be a human being, the value of popular culture, the relationship between the individual and the collective and our assumptions about truth, reality and power. Written in a highly accessible style, this book is both intellectually and emotionally satisfying and will fascinate anyone interested in contemporary psychology, cultural studies, film and media, social history and psychotherapy. (shrink)
Historically, "Healing Methods" (HMS) have not been based on rational theories. Of the thousands of HMs that have arisen over the ages, only a small number survive today, drawing their power and longevity mostly from their superior ability to act as a placebo within the context of modern-day culture, rather than through any other mode of action.When it comes to HMs, Western scientific culture has not yet evolved beyond a pre-scientific stage (Fancher 1995). A scientific analysis of the part played (...) by practitioner/subject empathy and other emotional influences within the healing situation is needed. Furthermore, the question "Does 'it'work?" should be reformulated as "Is 'it' an effective placebo?"Once one accepts .. (shrink)
I explore how many within modern industrial societies currently understand, manage, and respond to their emotional suffering. I argue that this understanding and management of suffering has radically altered in the last 30 years, creating a new model of suffering, “the negative model” (suffering is purposeless), which has largely replaced the “positive model” (suffering is purposeful) that prevailed in the 18th and 19th centuries. This shift has been hastened by what I call the “rationalization of suffering”—namely, the process by which (...) suffering is predominantly now understood in biological and psychiatric terms rather than in religious, philosophical, or moral. This process accompanied the great forces of secularization, medicalization unleashed at the enlightenment—forces gaining their modern expression through psychiatry, the behavioral psychotherapies, the happiness industries, as well as through aggressive market, individualistic, medical, and positivistic ideas and movements. This shift has entailed many socio/cultural implications important for anthropologists to explore further. (shrink)
Empirical assessments of Cognitive Behavioral Theory and theoretical considerations raise questions about the fundamental theoretical tenet that psychological disturbances are mediated by consciously accessible cognitive structures. This paper considers this situation in light of emotion theory in philosophy. We argue that the “perceptual theory” of emotions, which underlines the parallels between emotions and sensory perceptions, suggests a conception of cognitive mediation that can accommodate the observed empirical anomalies and one that is consistent with the dual-processing models dominant in cognitive psychology.
Josiah Royce (1855-1916), philosopher of community, taught that social consciousness arises from ego-alter contrasts and is guided by taboos and, before George H. Mead, by reciprocal gestures. A major Roycean contribution was his five conditions for coexperiencing consciousness of genuine community. Related to Freud (via Putnam), Royce did early work on âidentification theoryâ and helped midwife psychotherapy’s birth in America. Contrasting with William James’s basic differentiation of consciousness according to the quality of its contents (feeling, thought, and conduct), Royce preferred (...) a norm of increasing self-agency (shown in sensitivity, docility, and initiative). The temperaments of James as artist and of Royce as rational interpreter differentiated their approaches to psychology. (shrink)
Spinoza claims we can control any passion by forming a more clear and distinct idea of it. The interpretive consensus is that Spinoza is either wrong or over-stating his view. I argue that Spinoza’s view is plausible and insightful. After breaking down Spinoza’s characterization of the relevant act, I consider four existing interpretations and conclude that each is unsatisfactory. I then consider a further problem for Spinoza: how his definitions of ‘action’ and ‘passion’ make room for passions becoming action. I (...) propose two solutions to this problem, both of which yield a hint regarding what act Spinoza has in mind. Using that hint, I propose that we can appreciate Spinoza’s insight by considering how philosophizing about a feeling can 'kill the mood.' The act of grasping how a passion exemplifies certain general truths, I hold, is a distinctly rational activity that has all the features Spinoza describes. I conclude by showing how this interpretation fits with Spinoza’s larger views on rational knowledge, rational joy, the comprehensibility of passions, and the relation between second- and first-order ideas. (shrink)
Talking about emotion and putting feelings into words has been hypothesized to regulate emotion in psychotherapy as well as in everyday conversation. However, the exact dynamics of how different strategies of verbalization regulate emotion and how these strategies are reflected in characteristics of the voice has received little scientific attention. In the present study, we showed emotional pictures to 30 participants and asked them to verbally admit or deny an emotional experience or a neutral fact concerning the picture in a (...) simulated conversation. We used a 2x2 factorial design manipulating the focus (on emotion or facts) as well as the congruency (admitting or denying) of the verbal expression. Analyses of skin conductance response (SCR) and voice during the verbalization conditions revealed a main effect of the factor focus. SCR and pitch of the voice were lower during emotion compared to fact verbalization, indicating lower autonomic arousal. In contradiction to these physiological parameters, participants reported that fact verbalization was more effective in down-regulating their emotion than emotion verbalization. These subjective ratings, however, were in line with voice parameters associated with emotional valence. That is, voice intensity showed that fact verbalization reduced negative valence more than emotion verbalization. In sum, the results of our study provide evidence that emotion verbalization as compared to fact verbalization is an effective emotion regulation strategy. Moreover, based on the results of our study we propose that different verbalization strategies influence valence and arousal aspects of emotion selectively. (shrink)
Through a warm and passionate investigation of the most fundamental properties of human behaviour, Psychotherapy and Science shows how a scientific foundation for psychotherapy is both necessary and feasible. Addressing psychotherapy's need for a coherent theoretical grounding, the book argues that there are striking parallels between the emotion-processing mind and phenomena that have been scientifically observed and charted in the areas of evolution, the immune system and the brain. The idea that scientific theories might be applied to psychotherapy is thoroughly (...) explored in a surprisingly accessible manner. Throughout the book, the ways in which science has a bearing on the clinical techniques and practice of psychotherapy are emphasized, and priority is given to the needs of psychotherapists to focus their theoretical and clinical efforts on understanding the deep, evolved factors behind human suffering, deception, self-limitations and death anxiety. This rare and engaging insight into a scientific quest for better psychotherapeutic knowledge offers a truly original way through the current impasse of ever-divergent theories, and is one of the most cogent challenges to psychotherapy in recent times. It is essential reading for all training and practising psychotherapists, and for those involved in related research. (shrink)
_This paper proposes that eight positive emotions: awe, love (attachment), trust (faith), compassion, gratitude, forgiveness, joy and hope constitute what we mean by spirituality. These emotions have been grossly ignored by psychiatry. The two sciences that I shall employ to demonstrate this definition of spirituality will be ethology and neuroscience. They are both very new. I will argue that spirituality is not about ideas, sacred texts and theology; rather, spirituality is all about emotion and social connection. Specific religions, for all (...) their limitations, are often the portal through which positive emotions are brought into conscious attention. Neither Freud nor psychiatric textbooks ever mention emotions like joy and gratitude. Hymns and psalms give these emotions pride of place. Our whole concept of psychotherapy might change if clinicians set about enhancing positive emotions rather than focusing only on negative emotions._. (shrink)
Leading international scholars present novel dialogues between different psychoanalytic orientations as well as between the particularities of diverse socio-cultural and historical contexts in order to offer critical insights which are ...
For psychologists and psychotherapists, the notion of forgiveness has been enjoying a substantial vogue. For their patients, it holds the promise of "moving on" and healing emotional wounds. The forgiveness of others - and of one's self - would seem to offer the kind of peace that psychotherapy alone has never been able to provide. In this volume, psychologist Sharon Lamb and philosopher Jeffrie Murphy argue that forgiveness has been accepted as a therapeutic strategy without serious, critical examination. They intend (...) this volume to be a closer, critical look at some of these questions: why is forgiveness so popular now? What exactly does it entail? When might it be appropriate for a therapist not to advise forgiveness? When is forgiveness in fact harmful? Lamb and Murphy have collected many previously-unpublished chapters by both philosophers and psychologists that examine what is at stake for those who are injured, those who injure them, and society in general when such a practice becomes commonplace. Some chapters offer cautionary tales about forgiveness therapy, while others paint complex portraits of the social, cultural, and philosophical factors that come into play with forgiveness. The value of this volume lies not only in its presentation of a nuanced view of this therapeutic trend, but also as a general critique of psychotherapy, and as a valuable testimony of the theoretical and practical possibilities in an interdisciplinary collaboration between philosophy and clinical psychology. (shrink)
I discuss Toulmin's (1964) concept of backing with respect to the emotional mode of arguing by examining an example from Fogelin (1985), where emotional backing justifies a warrant concerning when we should judge that a person is being pig-headed. While Fogelin 's treatment is consistent with contemporary emotion science, I show that it needs to be supplemented by therapeutic techniques by comparing an analysis of an emotional argument from Gilbert (1997). The introduction of psychotherapy into argumentation theory raises the question (...) of the extent to which ordinary arguers can use such techniques. Psychotherapeutic techniques can be used in an intractable quarrel; is it fruitful to use them in the context of a deep disagreement? (shrink)
Psychotherapy is an activity which takes many forms and which has many aims. The present paper argues that it can be viewed as a form of moral suasion. Kant's concepts of free will and ethics are described and these are then applied to the processes and outcome of psychotherapy. It is argued that his ideas, by linking rationality, free will and ethics into a single philosophical system, offer a valuable theoretical framework for thinking about aims and ethical issues in psychotherapy.
Farhad Dalal argues that people differentiate between races in order to make a distinction between the "haves" and "must-not-haves", and that this process is cognitive, emotional and political rather than biological. Examining the subject over the past thousand years, Race, Colour and the Process of Racialisation covers theories of racism and a general theory of difference based on the works of Fanon, Elias, Matte-Blanco and Foulkes, as well as application of this theory to race and racism. Farhad Dalal concludes that (...) the structures of society are reflected in the structures of the psyche, and both of these are colour coded. This book will be invaluable to students, academics and practitioners in the areas of psychoanalysis, group analysis, psychotherapy and counseling. (shrink)
Psychiatric patients may try (or express a desire) to injure themselves in hospital in order to cope with overwhelming emotional pain. Some health care practitioners and patients propose allowing a controlled amount of self-injury to occur in inpatient facilities, so as to prevent escalation of distress. Is this approach an example of professional assistance with harm? Or, is the approach more likely to minimise harm, by ensuring safer self-injury? In this article, I argue that health care practitioners who use harm-minimisation (...) can be considered to be helping physical injury to occur, although they do not encourage the act. I consider why there are compelling reasons to believe that a patient who self-injures is not maximally autonomous in relation to that choice. However, I then move onto argue that allowing a degree of self-injury may enable engagement with psychotherapy (enhancing autonomy) and behavioural change. In these circumstances, allowing injury (with precautions) may not be harm, all things considered. (shrink)
This is a study of how self-transformation may occur through the practice of reframing one's personal experience in terms of a canonical language: that is, a system of symbols that purports to explain something about human beings and the universe they live in. The Christian conversion narrative is used as the primary example here, but the approach used in this book also illuminates other practices such as psychotherapy in which people deal with emotional conflict through language.
In this paper an attempt is made to look at Freud's contribution from the point of view of its scientific validity. A factual survey is made of the results of psychoanalytic psychotherapy, of the kinds of facts and arguments used to support the psychoanalytic doctrine and of the experiments carried out to test it. The conclusion arrived at is that psychoanalysis and the theories associated with it is not a science, but a myth; adherence to it is based on emotion (...) and prejudice rather than on fact and reason. (shrink)
What does it mean to be ethical in psychotherapy? Does adherence to ethical codes and rules make a psychotherapist ethical? This article examines standard ways of thinking about ethics in the field and argues that these ways are inadequate, creating a false dichotomy between the ethical and the clinical, and that they are designed only for formal and contractual relationships, in which psychotherapy is more often personal and affecting. The ethic of care and the approach to ethics of Emmanuel Levinas (...) are presented as additional approaches, along with their challenges to rationality and autonomy. An ethic of listening is then presented, and it is argued that ethics should be not an afterthought, but the primary consideration of clinical utility. (shrink)
Cognitivism is the ascendant movement in psychology these days. It reaches from cognitive psychology into social psychology, personality, psychotherapy, development, and beyond. Few psychologists know the philosophical history of the term, "cognitive," and often use it as though it were completely synonymous with "psychological" or "mental." In this paper, I trace the origins of the term "cognitive" in the ethical theories of the early 20th century, and through the logical positivistic philosophy of science of this century's middle part. In both (...) of these settings, "cognitive" referred not primarily to the psychological but, rather, to the truth-evaluable (i.e., those propositions about which one can say that they are either true or false). I argue that, strictly speaking, cognitivism differs from traditional mentalism in being the study of only those aspects of the mental that can be subjected to truth conditional analysis (or sufficiently similar "conditions of satisfaction"). This excludes traditionally troublesome aspects of the mental such as consciousness, qualia, and (the subjective aspects of) emotion. Although cognitive science has since grown to include the study of some of these phenomena, it is important to recognize that one of the original aims of the cognitivist movement was to re-introduce belief and desire into psychology, while still protecting it from the kinds of criticism that behaviorists had used to bring down full-blown mentalism at the beginning of the century. (shrink)
Cognitive scientists have a variety of approaches to studying cognition: experimental psychology, computer science, robotics, neuroscience, educational psychology, philosophy of mind, and psycholinguistics, to name but a few. In addition, they also differ in their approaches to cognition - some of them consider that the mind works basically like a computer, involving programs composed of abstract, amodal, and arbitrary symbols. Others claim that cognition is embodied - that is, symbols must be grounded on perceptual, motoric, and emotional experience. The existence (...) of such different approaches has consequences when dealing with practical issues such as understanding brain disorders, designing artificial intelligence programs and robots, improving psychotherapy, or designing instructional programs. The symbolist and embodiment camps seldom engage in any kind of debate to clarify their differences. This book is the first attempt to do so. It brings together a team of outstanding scientists, adopting symbolist and embodied viewpoints, in an attempt to understand how the mind works and the nature of linguistic meaning. As well as being interdisciplinary, all authors have made an attempt to find solutions to substantial issues beyond specific vocabularies and techniques. (shrink)
Psychoanalysis has had to defend itself from a barrage of criticism throughout its history. Nevertheless, there are many who claim to have been helped by this therapy, and who claim to have achieved genuine insight into their condition. But do the psychodynamic or exploratory psychotherapies - the so-called talking cures - really help clients get in touch with their "inner", "real" or "true" selves? Do clients make important discoveries about the real causes of their behaviours, emotions, and personalities? Are their (...) insights, and the psychodynamic interpretations offered them by their psychotherapists, true? Many think so. -/- Talking Cures and Placebo Effects contests this view. It defends the unpopular hypothesis that therapeutic changes in the psychodynamic psychotherapies are sometimes functions of powerful placebos that rally the mind's native healing powers in much the same way that placebo pills rally the body's native healing powers; and that psychodynamic insights and interpretations are themselves placebos. Few clients know this, and fewer still are informed of the potential placebo effects at play in exploratory psychotherapy, and of the consequent risks of self-misinterpretation and self-deception. Thus does Talking Cures and Placebo Effects target a host of problems that lie at the very intersection of the epistemology, ethics, scientific status, and public accountability of the talking cures. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to examine what heals and harms the client in the psychotherapeutic encounter, from the client's perspective. The experience of eight clients was explicated using a model based on Giorgi and Schweitzer. The counselling experienced as healing by clients has at its core a vibrantly warm and honest relationship where the client feels held in the safety of the good heart space of the counsellor. The counsellor is experienced as providing an intense beingness for the (...) client that embraces the client's suffering and provides solid ground created out of the crucible of the counsellor's own encounter with his or her shadow. The counsellor is emptied out of his/her own agenda and provides space for the client's experience. The counsellor can evoke the higher resources of the client. The counselling is experienced as renewing and reconnecting the clients to his/her sense of self, of other and the lifeworld. The counselling relationship experienced as harming is described as being drained of human presence and transforming power. There is no alive human connection. The counsellor is experienced as insubstantial, and has no ability to hold traumatic experience. The counsellor's cold reception to the client's vulnerabilities has the power to shatter, fragment and splinter the client. The counsellor is full of self. This fullness may be ego that manifests as dry intellectualising or playing manipulative games as a substitute for human presence. This may lead the client to terror, sickness and anxiety. The counsellor may be full of their own fears and are experienced by the client as chaotic, avoidant and overwhelmed. Their unavailability leads clients to experience emotional depletion, exhaustion and frustration. The counsellor's self-righteousness, judgement and critical disengagement are experienced by clients as being belittled, condemned and diminished. The therapeutic encounter results in a weakening of the human potential for recovery. Both client and counsellor emerge as lesser human beings, with weakened relationships to self, others and the world. Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology , Volume 1, Edition 2 September 2001. (shrink)
This article presents critical psychology in some new light. First, it presents the history of US critical psychology in terms of the overall foundation of its critique (identity-based, ideologically-based, and epistemologically-based). Second, it broadens the population that can be called critical psychologists. The argument is made to include: (1) philosophers of language, science, and mind critical of psychology’s foundational assumptions, conceptions, and methods of inquiry; and (2) non-professional, ordinary people who live their lives critical of psychology by eschewing mainstream approaches (...) and taking alternative routes to getting help with their emotional and physical pain, or the education of their children. Third, the article discusses ontology-based critique through the example of the practical-critical theory/practice of social therapy. (shrink)