SECTION 1: Emotional and mental illness.
In dysfunctional families, children must learn to cope with unbearable situations or events, and often develop classical
symptoms in doing so. Therapists attempt to identify destructive behavior and emotions, and select suitable treatment options. In Section 1 below, we'll outline several common mental illnesses and respective therapies. Moving on to developmental psychology, the investigation of human evolution and enlightenment, Section 2 below focuses on systems of understanding, notably Tibetan Buddhism, Zen, Vedic Mythology, and the induction of trance states, whether via clinical hypnotherapy, hallucinogens, or African drumming and dance rituals.
is based on changing problematic behaviors, feelings, and thoughts by discovering their unconscious meanings and motivations. Psychoanalytically oriented therapies are characterized by a close working partnership between therapist and patient. Patients learn about themselves by exploring their interactions in the therapeutic relationship. While psychoanalysis is closely identified with Sigmund Freud, it has been extended and modified since his early formulations. Jungian therapy focuses on the collective unconscious, dream archetypes, and symbolic representation.
places emphasis on a specific problem and direct intervention. In brief therapy as outlined by Milton Erickson, the therapist treats clinical and
subjective conditions faster by precise observation, and temporary suspension of disbelief in the
patient to consider new perspectives. Rather than a prolonged analysis of historical causes, the primary
approach of brief therapy is to help the client to view the present from a more holistic context and to utilize more functional
understandings, not necessarily at a conscious level. By becoming more versatile in the present, successful clients will
undergo spontaneous changes. Brief therapy is highly strategic, exploratory, and solution-based rather than problem-oriented.
focuses on learning's role in developing both normal and abnormal behaviors. Ivan Pavlov made important contributions to behavior therapy by discovering classical conditioning, or associative learning. Desensitizing is classical conditioning in action. A therapist might help a client with a phobia through repeated exposure to whatever it is that causes anxiety. Operant conditioning relies on rewards and punishments to shape people's behavior.
is the branch of psychology that studies mental processes including problem solving, perception, memory, and learning. As part of the larger field of cognitive science, this branch of psychology is related to other disciplines including neuroscience, philosophy, and linguistics. Noam Chomsky criticized the behaviorists' notions of stimulus, response, and reinforcement. Psychologists make inferences about mental processes from shared phenomena. English neuroscientist Charles Sherrington and Canadian psychologist Donald O. Hebb used experimental methods to link psychological phenomena with the structure and function of the brain. With the rise of computer science and artificial intelligence, analogies were drawn between the processing of information by humans and by machines.
emphasizes people's capacity to make rational choices and develop to their maximum potential. Concern and respect for others are also important themes. Client-centered therapy rejects the idea of therapists as authorities on their clients' inner experiences. Instead, therapists help clients change by emphasizing their concern, care and interest. Gestalt therapy emphasizes what it calls "organismic holism," the importance of being aware of the here and now and accepting responsibility for yourself. Existential therapy focuses on free will, self-determination and the search for meaning.
is a form of psychotherapy where two or more clients work with one or more therapists or counselors. This methods is a popular format for support groups, where family members can learn from each others' experience and offer advice. This method is also more cost effective than individual psychotherapy, and sometimes more effective.
SECTION 2: The hero's journey, path of enlightenment.
Given available energy, and the sight to recognize that some paths have more merit or application than others, just choosing the
hero's journey is rare. More often are people saddled with inferior awareness, leading only to seek material comforts, well beyond
that level actually required for support, thus wasting the scant time available in a body. Somehow, you can't speak the truth
directly, neither will they hear, nor understand, for having looked upon the face of God, they would die. Thus, resorting to
allegory and myth, the speaker gently loosens their bindings.
Ego, Trance States, Development
Let's not get so involved with the world of sensual perception, materialism and making money, as to forget our search for meaning, creativity and love. First as children, and then later on again as parents, we have a busy schedule. There's not much spare time in a day to work on your inner self or search for meaning, after you throw in 8 - 10 hours of work, commuting, and just collapsing in front of the TV at night to unwind.
Writing in the field of human potential, John Gowan's major works are Trance, Art, and Creativity (1975), and Operations of Increasing Order (1980). Gowan's work led him to the notion of a developmental order within states of consciousness. Disruption of this order can lead to mental illness or lesser cases of emotional inhibition. Gowan used Piaget to define the rational development of the mind, and Erikson to chart emotional development. He notes that most adults become emotionally arrested at the level of vocational fulfillment, financial success, and a stable marriage.
Self-initiation through the inner guide may lead to conscious and unconscious integration. The person learns how to handle issues of identity, love and intimacy, and finally death. However, pushing on our boundaries, we run the risk of losing our sense of identity. This is why true creativity is always associated with the genuine danger of self-destruction. By closing the gap between unconscious emotions and rational understanding of behavioral patterns, psychotherapy may facilitate healing of mental and emotional disturbances. This is 'The Hero's Journey' into conscious transformation, the age-old spiritual quest.
Mystics may use information drawn from the Tree of Life, which depicts interactive elements of the psyche as well as the archetypal forces of the universe. This is a 'ladder of consciousness,' which each aspirant may climb toward higher mystical states. The physical basis of experience is symbolized by the bottom of the ladder, and has to do with safety and sensory impressions. From there, we move into the realm of feelings, intuition, and ideas, ultimately progressing to states of deep meditation or semiconscious day-dreaming. The goal is to contact the 'still, small voice within,' as it has been reported in many spiritual texts that 'no man shall look directly upon the face of the Lord and yet remain alive.'
This is a symbolic journey from the ordinary sensory consciousness of physical life toward the psychic capacities encountered in the trance state. A type of trance is achieved in therapy, and native rituals, by interrupting ordinary awareness and creating a discontinuity, wherein the ego is temporarily overwhelmed or simply ignored. Prayer and near-death experiences may help to point the way, but it is up to the individual to tread the path. One harvests not only a knowledge of Self, but also first-hand experience in the imaginary realms, the vision of the soul if you will. We can finally put it all together as an integrated, whole person, enjoying new insights, personal freedom, and enhanced creativity.
Romantic Love & Relationships
Men in love show more activity in the visual part of the brain, while women in love show more activity in the part of the brain that governs memory. Biological scientists speculate that men have to size up a woman visually to see how well she may bear babies, while women have to observe and remember aspects of man's behavior to determine if he would be an adequate provider. Men and women are biologically wired to express love in different ways. Women often feel loved when talking face to face with their partner, while men often feel closer to their partners when they work, play, or talk side by side. In an experiment, strangers of the opposite sex were together for 90 minutes where they talked about intimate details of their lives, and stared into each other's eyes. Many felt a deep attraction for each other, and two couples married within six months. The longer and more deliberate a courtship, the better the prospects for a long marriage. On the other hand, people who have intense romances are more likely to divorce after a few years.
Romantic love typically lasts just over one calendar year, perhaps because the brain cannot maintain a state of romantic bliss. As romantic love dwindles, a more stable love sets in. To remain in love for a lifetime, therapists advise couples to listen actively, ask questions about feelings, and stay physically fit. Men are more likely to be flexible in their romantic choices, but when they want to marry and have kids, they become pickier about basic qualities.
If a man meets a woman in a dangerous situation, such as on a trembling bridge, he is more likely to fall in love with her than if he met her in a normal setting, such as in an office. Girls are more likely to fall in love if they are looking for adventure, craving to leave home, are lonely, displaced in a foreign country, or passing into a new stage of life. Women around the world are more likely to fall in love with partners with ambition, education, wealth, respect, status, and a sense of humor. Women also prefer distinctive cheekbones and a strong jawbone, which are linked to testosterone levels.
You can buy most of these books at your local used bookstore, or on Alibris or Amazon online. Learning the material may enrich your personality, as well as broaden your ability to judge character in others.
Robert Cialdini Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
Milton Erickson My Voice Will Go With You
by Sidney Rosen
Daniel Goleman Emotional Intelligence at Work
Carl Jung Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious
Gail Sheehy Passages: Predictable Crises of Adult Life
Anthony Robbins Awaken The Giant Within
Dale Carnegie How to Win Friends and Influence People
GI Gurdjieff Meetings With Remarkable Men
Aldous Huxley The Doors of Perception
J Krishnamurti Think On These Things
Daniel C Matt The Essential Kabbalah
Idries Shah The Way of the Sufi
Shunryu Suzuki Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind
Teresa of Avila Interior Castle
Joseph Campbell The Power of Myth
Carol Pearson The Hero Within