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    Psychoanalysis I Definitions And Instinct

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    Scientific theories appear influenced for the conditions of the social life in the economic aspects, politicians, cultural etc. They are historical products created by concrete men who live its time and contributes or radically modify the development of science. Sigmund Freud (1856 1839) was a Viennese doctor whom changed in an extreme way the imagination about the psychic life. His contribution is comparable to Karl Max in the comprehension of the historical and social phenomena. Freud dared to place the [mysterious processes] of the psychism, its [obscure regions], that are, the fancies, dreams, the black holes, the interiority of the man, as scientific questions. The systematic inquiry of these problems took Freud to the creation of the Psychoanalysis. The Term Psychoanalysis is used to design itself as a theory, a method of inquiry and one practical professional. Theory is characterized for a set of wisdom systemized on the functioning of the psychic life. Freud published an extensive letter work, during all his life, telling his discoveries and formulating general laws on the structures and the functioning of psyche human being. Psychoanalysis (while an inquisitive method) is characterized for the interpretative method, that searches the hidden meaning of what is manifest through action and speech or the imaginary productions, as dreams, deliriums, free associations. Practical professional mention the form to the psychological treatment (the analysis), that aims at the cure or self knowledge. Analytical psychoanalysis is met in the paradoxical position of frequent rejected as a scientific system (at the same time that is accepted for its remarkable contributions for science) gave contributions for some fields, it stimulated the thought and the comment in many areas, until then neglected, of psychology: the meaning of the unconscious factors in determination of the behavior; the general importance of the sex in the normal and abnormal behavior; the importance of the conflict of infancy, the irrational and the emotional one. Freud himself carried through fine comments during a long life of untiring and daily work and contributed with hypotheses or facts (there isn’t possible to say still which are what) on vast areas of the human behavior. Instinct, to Freud, is the representative of the stimulations. The psychologists interest to verify new sources of motivation derived from the satisfaction of the instincts and not them somatic processes as source from the instincts, that is the source of comment of the biologist. Some new originated sources of motivation of the satisfaction of the instincts are the punctions. We do know now (and thanks to Freud) that instinct has biological nature and hereditary and the punction results of a shunting line of the instinct. The sexual punction becomes a shunting line of the instinct, as a baby who receives milk from the mother. After this milk its hunger and therefore it has the instinct to suck, but the contact with the breast also provides it pleasure, that is a shunting line of the instinct. Libido is the deriving energy of the instincts, that is deeply related with the pleasure and resultant affectionate impulses of the punctions. Libido is any instinctive or pulctional energy that has as sources sexual stimulations that appear in the body. Human being is a system that operates in function of the instincts and punctions in the search of the pleasure. There are different kinds of instincts as the instinct of death, visas in life and sadism cases. Life instincts lead to the conservation of the person: hunger, headquarters, escape, pain, sex. Instincts of death have as objective a return to a previous state of the substance: self destruction. Aggression also can be part of the life instinct: competition, fights. Instincts and punctions, at the most common, cannot find its exempt satisfaction. Therefore, it creates adjustment mechanisms to tolerate the frustration, alliviating or defending individuals from tensions, distress and anxiety. Conflicts generate intense emotional reactions, as anxiety, that is a compound of fear, apprehension and hope a feeling of real or imaginary threat to the individual security.



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    Critique And Defense Of Psychoanalysis

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    “I am actually not a man of science at all. . . . I am nothing but a conquistador by temperament, an adventurer.” (Sigmund Freud, letter to Fleiss, 1900) "If you bring forth that which is in you, that which you bring forth will be your salvation". (The Gospel of Thomas) "No, our science is no illusion. But an illusion it would be to suppose that what science cannot give us we cannot get elsewhere." (Sigmund Freud, "The Future of an Illusion") Harold Bloom called Freud "The central imagination of our age". That psychoanalysis is not a scientific theory in the strict, rigorous sense of the word has long been established. Yet, most criticisms of Freud's work (by the likes of Karl Popper, Adolf Grunbaum, Havelock Ellis, Malcolm Macmillan, and Frederick Crews) pertain to his long debunked scientific pretensions. Today it is widely accepted that psychoanalysis though some of its tenets are testable and, indeed, have been experimentally tested and invariably found to be false or uncorroborated is a system of ideas. It is a cultural construct, and a (suggested) deconstruction of the human mind. Despite aspirations to the contrary, psychoanalysis is not and never has been a value neutral physics or dynamics of the psyche. Freud also stands accused of generalizing his own perversions and of reinterpreting his patients' accounts of their memories to fit his preconceived notions of the unconscious . The practice of psychoanalysis as a therapy has been castigated as a crude form of brainwashing within cult like settings. Feminists criticize Freud for casting women in the role of "defective" (naturally castrated and inferior) men. Scholars of culture expose the Victorian and middle class roots of his theories about suppressed sexuality. Historians deride and decry his stifling authoritarianism and frequent and expedient conceptual reversals. Freud himself would have attributed many of these diatribes to the defense mechanisms of his critics. Projection, resistance, and displacement do seem to be playing a prominent role. Psychologists are taunted by the lack of rigor of their profession, by its literary and artistic qualities, by the dearth of empirical support for its assertions and fundaments, by the ambiguity of its terminology and ontology, by the derision of "proper" scientists in the "hard" disciplines, and by the limitations imposed by their experimental subjects (humans). These are precisely the shortcomings that they attribute to psychoanalysis. Indeed, psychological narratives psychoanalysis first and foremost are not "scientific theories" by any stretch of this much bandied label. They are also unlikely to ever become ones. Instead like myths, religions, and ideologies they are organizing principles. Psychological "theories" do not explain the world. At best, they describe reality and give it "true", emotionally resonant, heuristic and hermeneutic meaning. They are less concerned with predictive feats than with "healing" the restoration of harmony among people and inside them. Therapies the practical applications of psychological "theories" are more concerned with function, order, form, and ritual than with essence and replicable performance. The interaction between patient and therapist is a microcosm of society, an encapsulation and reification of all other forms of social intercourse. Granted, it is more structured and relies on a body of knowledge gleaned from millions of similar encounters. Still, the therapeutic process is nothing more than an insightful and informed dialog whose usefulness is well attested to. Both psychological and scientific theories are creatures of their times, children of the civilizations and societies in which they were conceived, context dependent and culture bound. As such, their validity and longevity are always suspect. Both hard edged scientists and thinkers in the "softer" disciplines are influenced by contemporary values, mores, events, and interpellations. The difference between "proper" theories of dynamics and psychodynamic theories is that the former asymptotically aspire to an objective "truth" "out there" while the latter emerge and emanate from a kernel of inner, introspective, truth that is immediately familiar and is the bedrock of their speculations. Scientific theories as opposed to psychological "theories" need, therefore, to be tested, falsified, and modified because their truth is not self contained. Still, psychoanalysis was, when elaborated, a Kuhnian paradigm shift. It broke with the past completely and dramatically. It generated an inordinate amount of new, unsolved, problems. It suggested new methodological procedures for gathering empirical evidence (research strategies). It was based on observations (however scant and biased). In other words, it was experimental in nature, not merely theoretical. It provided a framework of reference, a conceptual sphere within which new ideas developed. That it failed to generate a wealth of testable hypotheses and to account for discoveries in neurology does not detract from its importance. Both relativity theories were and, today, string theories are, in exactly the same position in relation to their subject matter, physics. In 1963, Karl Jaspers made an important distinction between the scientific activities of Erklaren and Verstehen. Erklaren is about finding pairs of causes and effects. Verstehen is about grasping connections between events, sometimes intuitively and non causally. Psychoanalysis is about Verstehen, not about Erklaren. It is a hypothetico deductive method for gleaning events in a person's life and generating insights regarding their connection to his current state of mind and functioning. So, is psychoanalysis a science, pseudo science, or sui generis? Psychoanalysis is a field of study, not a theory. It is replete with neologisms and formalism but, like Quantum Mechanics, it has many incompatible interpretations. It is, therefore, equivocal and self contained (recursive). Psychoanalysis dictates which of its hypotheses are testable and what constitutes its own falsification. In other words, it is a meta theory: a theory about generating theories in psychology. Moreover, psychoanalysis the theory is often confused with psychoanalysis the therapy. Conclusively proving that the therapy works does not establish the veridicality, the historicity, or even the usefulness of the conceptual edifice of the theory. Furthermore, therapeutic techniques evolve far more quickly and substantially than the theories that ostensibly yield them. They are self modifying "moving targets" not rigid and replicable procedures and rituals. Another obstacle in trying to establish the scientific value of psychoanalysis is its ambiguity. It is unclear, for instance, what in psychoanalysis qualify as causes and what as their effects. Consider the critical construct of the unconscious. Is it the reason for does it cause our behavior, conscious thoughts, and emotions? Does it provide them with a "ratio" (explanation)? Or are they mere symptoms of inexorable underlying processes? Even these basic questions receive no "dynamic" or "physical" treatment in classic (Freudian) psychoanalytic theory. So much for its pretensions to be a scientific endeavor. Psychoanalysis is circumstantial and supported by epistemic accounts, starting with the master himself. It appeals to one's common sense and previous experience. Its statements are of these forms: "given X, Y, and Z reported by the patient doesn't it stand to (everyday) reason that A caused X?" or "We know that B causes M, that M is very similar to X, and that B is very similar to A. Isn't it reasonable to assume that A causes X?". In therapy, the patient later confirms these insights by feeling that they are "right" and "correct", that they are epiphanous and revelatory, that they possess retrodictive and predictive powers, and by reporting his reactions to the therapist interpreter. This acclamation seals the narrative's probative value as a basic (not to say primitive) form of explanation which provides a time frame, a coincident pattern, and sets of teleological aims, ideas and values. Juan Rivera is right that Freud's claims about infantile life cannot be proven, not even with a Gedankenexperimental movie camera, as Robert Vaelder suggested. It is equally true that the theory's etiological claims are epidemiologically untestable, as Grunbaum repeatedly says. But these failures miss the point and aim of psychoanalysis: to provide an organizing and comprehensive, non tendentious, and persuasive narrative of human psychological development. Should such a narrative be testable and falsifiable or else discarded (as the Logical Positivists insist)? Depends if we wish to treat it as science or as an art form. This is the circularity of the arguments against psychoanalysis. If Freud's work is considered to be the modern equivalent of myth, religion, or literature it need not be tested to be considered "true" in the deepest sense of the word. After all, how much of the science of the 19th century has survived to this day anyhow?



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    What Are You Hiding Psychoanalysis And The Unconscious

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    When you sleep, what do you dream of? Do you dream of enjoyable things like lounging in the beach? Do you dream of being in a situation you’ve never even thought of? What is psychoanalysis? Psychoanalysis is a specific treatment wherein a trained professional, or an analyst, listens to a patient’s thoughts, then formulates and explains the unconscious basis behind the person’s behaviour or condition. In some cases, analysts ask about what the patient dreamt about the previous night and interpret information based on those images. This treatment was founded the man who introduced the concept of unconscious function – Dr. Sigmund Freud. Who is Sigmund Freud? Sigmund Freud was an Austrian neurologist and psychologist who started the psychoanalytic school of psychology. He introduced the idea of the unconscious mind and its mechanism of repression. He also said that dreams are the window to a person’s unconscious desires. The Unconscious Mind Throughout the evolution of Freud’s psychoanalytic theories, he considered the unconscious mind as a sentient force of will influenced by human drive and yet operating well below the perceptual conscious mind. For Freud, the unconscious is the depository of instinctual desires, needs, and psychic actions. While past thoughts and memories may be deleted from immediate consciousness, they direct the thoughts and feelings of the individual from the realm of the unconscious. Freud divided mind into the Ego, or the conscious mind, and the two parts of the unconscious: the Id or instincts and the Superego. The id is seen as the source of drives demanding immediate satisfaction, and the superego as internalized parental and social authority, the work of the ego being to mediate the resultant conflicting demands. He used the idea of the unconscious in order to explain certain kinds of neuroses. Defense mechanism Freud believed that people develop defense mechanisms to protect the conscious mind from certain aspects of reality that it may have difficulty accepting. Examples of defense mechanisms are: repression, reaction formation, regression, displacement, and rationalization. Repression This is the most commonly manifested defense mechanism among the ones mentioned above. It is the act of excluding desires and impulses from the conscious mind and attempting to hold it in the subconscious. Repression is commonly associated with traumatic or harsh event that happened in the past. But it appears that trauma more often strengthens the memory due to heightened emotional and/or physical sensations. Dreams Freud postulated that dreams were wish fulfillments. That it provides a fantasy satisfaction of inner desires that have been pushed back to the unconscious. Freud also said that the unconscious itself is timeless and does not mature. Even as the body and the conscious mind age and mature, our unconscious remains infantile, and demands immediate gratification of its desires. When you’re asleep, your repressed desires and impulses are relaxed. It doesn’t, however, mean that your inner desires will appear directly in your dreams. Freud said that these desires get filtered by a process he calls “dream work”. He believed there are four kinds of dream work: Condensation. Multiple thoughts merge into a single symbol in the dream. Displacement. Inner desires manifest themselves as objects related to it. Symbolization. Ideas and/or impulses are turned into pictures. Secondary revision. This is the rational gloss we put on a dream, turning the dream into a manageable story as we remember it. Freud believed dream interpretation should concentrate on the underlying symbols in the dream, rather than the story of the dream, which he believed to be just a disguise. As what the late Sigmund Freud said, your dreams are an extension of your innermost desires and wishes. The next time you dream of something, check and see if it has any relevance to what you’re feeling. Your unconscious may already be telling you something.



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    Self Help And Psychology

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    The self help movement really began with the advent of psychiatry and the first revolutionary ideas of Dr. Sigmund Freud. Although Freud’s ideas have been largely supplemented and many of them have been outright replaced, his work concerning the subconscious mind have revolutionized the way we view ourselves and our future. Psychology really began with Dr. Sigmund Freud and his inner circle of students who later went on to establish the science of psychoanalysis and the technique for raising the unconscious to the conscious level of awareness. This process of clinical psychoanalysis was the first rigorous science of the mind which has since been used as the foundation for many other practices and techniques that have spread throughout the Western world. Raising consciousness has always been a great value in spiritual traditions and, as a general rule, is far from being something new in history. As far back as 5000 BC, it is largely believed that Hindu sages practices rituals and techniques of mediation to raise their own subconscious minds to a higher level of consciousness and were monumentally successful in many cases. Even without the very detailed and succinct observations of modern psychiatry, these age old sages were capable of reaching incredible heights of transcendental consciousness all through the use of yoga and meditation. These practices have made a great comeback in recent decades because of the more rigorous discoveries in psychoanalysis which how that increasing your consciousness can actually be proven to bring about greater health and well being among many psychoanalytic patients. The self help movement has also gotten a giant boost from the discoveries of Sigmund Freud and his greatest student Dr. Carl Jung. Dr. Jung eventually broke away from his teacher and pursued a wider application of Freud’s ideas so as to apply the importance of spiritual reality to the discoveries of improving one’s level of consciousness. Freud was widely criticized for placing too much importance on the role of sexuality in our growth as human beings. Dr. Jung saw further than this and recognized that spiritual ideas also play an important role in our development and can be used to raise our consciousness in ways that Freud was never able to see. Dr. Jungs work involving the collective unconscious and archetypes of the mind have contributed to our understanding of the importance of self help and spiritual growth. In fact, it is widely known that Dr. Jung’s clinical practice helped to spark the earliest growth of the twelve step groups today and his specific work with the founders of Alcoholic’s Anonymous was the beginning of a movement which has utterly transformed our modern day society and the self help movement. Psychology has played an integral role in the development of the self help movement and this trend is far from being over. The most modern contributor to this great movement is Dr. David R. Hawkins who has written an even more influential work entitled Power Versus Force which now begins another great wave of contributions to the progress of higher consciousness and spiritual development. Dr. Hawkins discoveries concerning the science of kinesiology prove that consciousness itself can actually be measured according to the internal reactions of the body. This discovery brings great promise to the world of both psychiatry and spiritual growth because it introduces an actual compass for the spiritual seeker. Kinesiology may now be used to determine the level of consciousness of thousands of different spiritual techniques, practices, writings, teachers and even places or things which all carry with them a certain field of power that can be researched and understood directly through the reactions they have on the body’s internal energy meridians. The implications of this recent discovery are only just beginning to be recognized by thousands of people around the world. The future is bright for both psychology and self help as many new discoveries are being made each day that will soon transfer the way we view ourselves and the people around us. It will serve you best to be one of the wise people who gets on the self help bandwagon now while the discoveries are just making their greatest effect they will have ever made before.



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    Talk Therapy Effective Treatment For Panic Disorder

    #1

    Experts from the American Psychiatric Association are now in the process of revising its guidelines to accommodate recent findings about the significant effect of talk therapy for managing the usually crippling symptoms of panic disorder. Barbara Milrod, an associate attending physician at New York Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell Medical Center and an associate professor of psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, presented the successful 12 week course study which was published in the American Journal of Psychiatry. Using the psychodynamic psychotherapy regimen, the twice weekly sessions are focused on the symptoms of panic disorder which include intense fear, chest pain, heart palpitations, and shortness of breath. The talk therapy also garners insight on the various unconscious factors that may be the reason why the condition developed in the first place. Focusing on these unconscious factors is the basic foundation of psychoanalysis. Panic disorder is a serious condition that usually appears during early adulthood with no clear causes. It is a type of anxiety disorder characterized by unexpected and repeated episodes of intense fear with physical symptoms that may include chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness, or abdominal stress. The condition is usually linked to major events in life that are potentially stressful such as a college graduation, wedding, pregnancy, childbirth, reunions, even holidays. There is also some evidence of genetic predisposition, which means that if someone in your family has suffered panic disorder, it is more likely that you will go through the same experience under stressful circumstances. The new study involved 49 people with panic disorder. Using a standard scale to measure and assess panic symptoms, about 70% showed significantly less anxiety and other panic symptoms while only 39% of those who are involved exhibited an increase in their symptoms. The successful study is paving the way for a much larger scale experiment to compare the effects of psychodynamic psychotherapy to cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) in people with panic disorder. While psychodynamic psychotherapy aims to help people understand the underlying emotional meaning of their panic as it minimizes the symptoms, CBT is a time limited approach that aims to change negative thought processes and behaviors. According to Chicago based psychoanalyst Dr. Mark Smaller, who is also the director of the Neuro Psychoanalysis Foundation, psychodynamic psychotherapy is a step to diffuse the really intense and debilitating symptoms of panic disorder. “You need that (psychodynamic psychotherapy) in order for someone to do more in depth work or work on issues that contributed to the symptoms in the first place,” adds Smaller. Panic disorder can be treated. When one treatment doesn't work, there are other effective options available. Research is yielding new and improved therapies that can help most people with the condition to lead productive and fulfilling lives. Aside from therapy, medications such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors can also be prescribed and used as a therapeutic supplement.



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    Self Help For Women

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    Self Help has come a long way in the past several decades. It used to be that “women’s issues” weren’t even thought of let alone specialized in Universities, counseling centers and books all over the world. In just a few short decades, self help for women has burgeoned into a major industry and a worldwide movement. Entire countries that used to promote traditional cultures where women were expected to be submissive to their husbands are now taking up new values and becoming part of a globalization of equality. Women’s issues were traditionally overlooked in the past largely because of the fact that the jobs were simply held by men and the economy and industry of publications and counseling were exclusively male driven. Today, things have changed and there is plenty of self help available for specific women’s issues as well. Women have issues that they still face concerning self esteem, sexuality and even “the perfect body image” but they can now face these issues out in the open and learn to grow and change just like men are doing. As human beings, we all have issues to contend with and none of us are perfect. It is a great step that we can now recognize this together and learn to grow spiritually regardless of our genders. Some of the women’s issues which are constantly challenged by the media and by product advertising today concern objectification and marginalization. These are issues that concern women individually and often require a person who has already “been there” who can help. One great program which has pioneered the movement against the marginalization of women is the Oprah Winfrey Show. Setting herself apart from many other self help guru’s, Oprah avoids much of the negative language aimed against men and instead focuses on the solutions that women can use to overcome in society. The Oprah Winfrey Show also raises awareness of many other issues outside of just women’s self help and thereby makes itself accessible to an even wider audience. This places the struggle for women’s self esteem and self empowerment into a larger context of world issues rather than cutting it off from its connection to all issues that face humanity. Greater self esteem for women means greater self esteem for everyone and the Oprah Winfrey Show has been a great benefit to humanity because of this fact. Self help books for women are widespread but some of the earlier works are especially notable for those who wish to get a foundational understanding of the issues. Interestingly, Anna Freud, the daughter of Dr. Sigmund Freud actually contributed to the work of psychoanalysis in a very profound way when she wrote the famous work The Ego and Mechanisms of Defense. This is one of the classic works of psychoanalysis which actually brought together many of her father’s ideas in a more succinct and clear fashion thus making them more easily identifiable for all people. Another great book which is part of the classic works on women’s issues comes from Nancy Friday and is entitled My Mother Myself. Here, Nancy Friday investigates the core issues which involve women in relationship with their mother’s and uncovers the common reasons for self esteem issues in women. She leads the reader to a deeper understanding of herself so that she may identify her issues more readily and find a way to move ahead in her life. Although a third book has been largely left behind in terms of the women’s movement, Carol Gilligan’s book In a Different Voice was a groundbreaking work decades ago in terms of the women’s movement and is still offered in many University courses today. Wherever you choose to start, there is a wellspring of information on women’s self help today. Women have taken the lead in terms of personal growth in many areas and have caused men to stand up and take notice as they lead the way into a better future for all of us.



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    Female Orgasm During Sexual Intercourse

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    One of the most common myths about the female orgasm is that women should only reach orgasm through vaginal intercourse. This is definitely not true but it's a myth that has caused us to take women's sexual needs for granted for a long time. This myth actually started with Sigmund Freud, the developer of psychoanalysis, who had recognized that women could easily reach orgasm through clitoral stimulation. Freud dismissed this type of stimulation as juvenile and believed it was important for women to become more sexually mature by focusing only on vaginal stimulation to reach orgasms. The problem is that the vagina was not designed for orgasms. It does not have the concentrated nerve endings that one finds in the clitoris or in the head of a penis, for example. As a result of Freud's determination, women who could not reach orgasm through vaginal intercourse were considered to have some type of psychological impairment. All sorts of methods were devised in an attempt to “liberate” women from their reliance on the clitoris for sexual pleasure. Only in recent decades has society begun talking openly about the women's right to enjoy sex and to reach orgasm in whatever manner worked for her. Another common myth about the female orgasm is that only women fake orgasms. Even though this book is about female orgasms, I think its important for both men and women to realize that orgasms are not going to happen during every sexual encounter. About one fifth of men admitted that they have faked an orgasm with a partner. Their reasons for faking are the same as women's: they don't want their partners to be disappointed. Orgasms don't always come easily in a partnership. Sure, when we masturbate we can probably get off every time because we know our bodies and we know what works. Our sexual partners have to learn these things over time and, most importantly, with our help. Again, faking orgasms is not the answer for either sex. It just complicates the issue and prevents both partners from having a truly fulfilling sexual encounter.



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    The Revolution Of Psychoanalysis

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    "The more I became interested in psychoanalysis, the more I saw it as a road to the same kind of broad and deep understanding of human nature that writers possess." Anna Freud Towards the end of the 19th century, the new discipline of psychology became entrenched in both Europe and America. The study of the human mind, hitherto a preserve of philosophers and theologians, became a legitimate subject of scientific (some would say, pseudo scientific) scrutiny. The Structuralists Wilhelm Wundt and Edward Bradford Titchener embarked on a fashionable search for the "atoms" of consciousness: physical sensations, affections or feelings, and images (in both memories and dreams). Functionalists, headed by William James and, later, James Angell and John Dewey derided the idea of a "pure", elemental sensation. They introduced the concept of mental association. Experience uses associations to alter the nervous system, they hypothesized. Freud revolutionized the field (though, at first, his reputation was limited to the German speaking parts of the dying Habsburg Empire). He dispensed with the unitary nature of the psyche and proposed instead a trichotomy, a tripartite or trilateral model (the id, ego, and superego). He suggested that our natural state is conflict, that anxiety and tension are more prevalent than harmony. Equilibrium (compromise formation) is achieved by constantly investing mental energy. Hence "psychodynamics". Most of our existence is unconscious, Freud theorized. The conscious is but the tip of an ever increasing iceberg. He introduced the concepts of libido and Thanatos (the life and death forces), instincts (Triebe, or "drives", in German) or drives, the somatic erotogenic phases of psychic (personality) development, trauma and fixation, manifest and latent content (in dreams). Even his intellectual adversaries used this vocabulary, often infused with new meanings. The psychotherapy he invented, based on his insights, was less formidable. Many of its tenets and procedures have been discarded early on, even by its own proponents and practitioners. The rule of abstinence (the therapist as a blank and hidden screen upon which the patient projects or transfers his repressed emotions), free association as the exclusive technique used to gain access to and unlock the unconscious, dream interpretation with the mandatory latent and forbidden content symbolically transformed into the manifest have all literally vanished within the first decades of practice. Other postulates most notably transference and counter transference, ambivalence, resistance, regression, anxiety, and conversion symptoms have survived to become cornerstones of modern therapeutic modalities, whatever their origin. So did, in various disguises, the idea that there is a clear path leading from unconscious (or conscious) conflict to signal anxiety, to repression, and to symptom formation (be it neuroses, rooted in current deprivation, or psychoneuroses, the outcomes of childhood conflicts). The existence of anxiety preventing defense mechanisms is also widely accepted. Freud's initial obsession with sex as the sole driver of psychic exchange and evolution has earned him derision and diatribe aplenty. Clearly, a child of the repressed sexuality of Victorian times and the Viennese middle class, he was fascinated with perversions and fantasies. The Oedipus and Electra complexes are reflections of these fixations. But their origin in Freud's own psychopathologies does not render them less revolutionary. Even a century later, child sexuality and incest fantasies are more or less taboo topics of serious study and discussion. Ernst Kris said in 1947 that Psychoanalysis is: "...(N)othing but human behavior considered from the standpoint of conflict. It is the picture of the mind divided against itself with attendant anxiety and other dysphoric effects, with adaptive and maladaptive defensive and coping strategies, and with symptomatic behaviors when the defense fail." But Psychoanalysis is more than a theory of the mind. It is also a theory of the body and of the personality and of society. It is a Social Sciences Theory of Everything. It is a bold and highly literate attempt to tackle the psychophysical problem and the Cartesian body versus mind conundrum. Freud himself noted that the unconscious has both physiological (instinct) and mental (drive) aspects. He wrote: "(The unconscious is) a concept on the frontier between the mental and the somatic, as the physical representative of the stimuli originating from within the organism and reaching the mind" (Standard Edition Volume XIV). Psychoanalysis is, in many ways, the application of Darwin's theory of evolution in psychology and sociology. Survival is transformed into narcissism and the reproductive instincts assume the garb of the Freudian sex drive. But Freud went a daring step forward by suggesting that social structures and strictures (internalized as the superego) are concerned mainly with the repression and redirection of natural instincts. Signs and symbols replace reality and all manner of substitutes (such as money) stand in for primary objects in our early formative years. To experience our true selves and to fulfill our wishes, we resort to Phantasies (e. g., dreams, "screen memories") where imagery and irrational narratives displaced, condensed, rendered visually, revised to produce coherence, and censored to protect us from sleep disturbances represent our suppressed desires. Current neuroscience tends to refute this "dreamwork" conjecture but its value is not to be found in its veracity (or lack thereof). These musings about dreams, slips of tongue, forgetfulness, the psychopathology of everyday life, and associations were important because they were the first attempt at deconstruction, the first in depth insight into human activities such as art, myth making, propaganda, politics, business, and warfare, and the first coherent explanation of the convergence of the aesthetic with the "ethic" (i. e., the socially acceptable and condoned). Ironically, Freud's contributions to cultural studies may far outlast his "scientific" "theory" of the mind. It is ironic that Freud, a medical doctor (neurologist), the author of a "Project for a Scientific Psychology", should be so chastised by scientists in general and neuroscientists in particular. Psychoanalysis used to be practiced only by psychiatrists. But we live at an age when mental disorders are thought to have physiological chemical genetic origins. All psychological theories and talk therapies are disparaged by "hard" scientists. Still, the pendulum had swung both ways many times before. Hippocrates ascribed mental afflictions to a balance of bodily humors (blood, phlegm, yellow and black bile) that is out of kilt. So did Galen, Bartholomeus Anglicus, Johan Weyer (1515 88). Paracelsus (1491 1541), and Thomas Willis, who attributed psychological disorders to a functional "fault of the brain". The tide turned with Robert Burton who wrote "Anatomy of Melancholy" and published it in 1621. He forcefully propounded the theory that psychic problems are the sad outcomes of poverty, fear, and solitude. A century later, Francis Gall (1758 1828) and Spurzheim (1776 1832) traced mental disorders to lesions of specific areas of the brain, the forerunner of the now discredited discipline of phrenology. The logical chain was simple: the brain is the organ of the mind, thus, various faculties can be traced to its parts. Morel, in 1809, proposed a compromise which has since ruled the discourse. The propensities for psychological dysfunctions, he suggested, are inherited but triggered by adverse environmental conditions. A Lamarckist, he was convinced that acquired mental illnesses are handed down the generations. Esquirol concurred in 1845 as did Henry Maudsley in 1879 and Adolf Meyer soon thereafter. Heredity predisposes one to suffer from psychic malaise but psychological and "moral" (social) causes precipitate it. And, yet, the debate was and is far from over. Wilhelm Greisinger published "The Pathology and Therapy of Mental Disorders" in 1845. In it he traced their etiology to "neuropathologies", physical disorders of the brain. He allowed for heredity and the environment to play their parts, though. He was also the first to point out the importance of one's experiences in one's first years of life. Jean Martin Charcot, a neurologist by training, claimed to have cured hysteria with hypnosis. But despite this demonstration of non physiological intervention, he insisted that hysteroid symptoms were manifestations of brain dysfunction. Weir Mitchell coined the term "neurasthenia" to describe an exhaustion of the nervous system (depression). Pierre Janet discussed the variations in the strength of the nervous activity and said that they explained the narrowing field of consciousness (whatever that meant). None of these "nervous" speculations was supported by scientific, experimental evidence. Both sides of the debate confined themselves to philosophizing and ruminating. Freud was actually among the first to base a theory on actual clinical observations. Gradually, though, his work buttressed by the concept of sublimation became increasingly metaphysical. Its conceptual pillars came to resemble Bergson's йlan vital and Schopenhauer's Will. French philosopher Paul Ricoeur called Psychoanalysis (depth psychology) "the hermeneutics of suspicion".



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    In Defense Of Psychoanalysis

    #1

    No social theory has been more influential and, later, more reviled than psychoanalysis. It burst upon the scene of modern thought, a fresh breath of revolutionary and daring imagination, a Herculean feat of model construction, and a challenge to established morals and manners. It is now widely considered nothing better than a confabulation, a baseless narrative, a snapshot of Freud's tormented psyche and thwarted 19th century Mitteleuropa middle class prejudices. Most of the criticism is hurled by mental health professionals and practitioners with large axes to grind. Few, if any, theories in psychology are supported by modern brain research. All therapies and treatment modalities including medicating one's patients are still forms of art and magic rather than scientific practices. The very existence of mental illness is in doubt let alone what constitutes "healing". Psychoanalysis is in bad company all around. Some criticism is offered by practicing scientists mainly experimentalists in the life and exact (physical) sciences. Such diatribes frequently offer a sad glimpse into the critics' own ignorance. They have little idea what makes a theory scientific and they confuse materialism with reductionism or instrumentalism and correlation with causation. Few physicists, neuroscientists, biologists, and chemists seem to have plowed through the rich literature on the psychophysical problem. As a result of this obliviousness, they tend to proffer primitive arguments long rendered obsolete by centuries of philosophical debates. Science frequently deals matter of factly with theoretical entities and concepts quarks and black holes spring to mind that have never been observed, measured, or quantified. These should not be confused with concrete entities. They have different roles in the theory. Yet, when they mock Freud's trilateral model of the psyche (the id, ego, and superego), his critics do just that they relate to his theoretical constructs as though they were real, measurable, "things". The medicalization of mental health hasn't helped either. Certain mental health afflictions are either correlated with a statistically abnormal biochemical activity in the brain – or are ameliorated with medication. Yet the two facts are not ineludibly facets of the same underlying phenomenon. In other words, that a given medicine reduces or abolishes certain symptoms does not necessarily mean they were caused by the processes or substances affected by the drug administered. Causation is only one of many possible connections and chains of events. To designate a pattern of behavior as a mental health disorder is a value judgment, or at best a statistical observation. Such designation is effected regardless of the facts of brain science. Moreover, correlation is not causation. Deviant brain or body biochemistry (once called "polluted animal spirits") do exist – but are they truly the roots of mental perversion? Nor is it clear which triggers what: do the aberrant neurochemistry or biochemistry cause mental illness – or the other way around? That psychoactive medication alters behavior and mood is indisputable. So do illicit and legal drugs, certain foods, and all interpersonal interactions. That the changes brought about by prescription are desirable – is debatable and involves tautological thinking. If a certain pattern of behavior is described as (socially) "dysfunctional" or (psychologically) "sick" – clearly, every change would be welcomed as "healing" and every agent of transformation would be called a "cure". The same applies to the alleged heredity of mental illness. Single genes or gene complexes are frequently "associated" with mental health diagnoses, personality traits, or behavior patterns. But too little is known to establish irrefutable sequences of causes and effects. Even less is proven about the interaction of nature and nurture, genotype and phenotype, the plasticity of the brain and the psychological impact of trauma, abuse, upbringing, role models, peers, and other environmental elements. Nor is the distinction between psychotropic substances and talk therapy that clear cut. Words and the interaction with the therapist also affect the brain, its processes and chemistry albeit more slowly and, perhaps, more profoundly and irreversibly. Medicines – as David Kaiser reminds us in "Against Biologic Psychiatry" (Psychiatric Times, Volume XIII, Issue 12, December 1996) – treat symptoms, not the underlying processes that yield them. So, what is mental illness, the subject matter of Psychoanalysis? Someone is considered mentally "ill" if: His conduct rigidly and consistently deviates from the typical, average behavior of all other people in his culture and society that fit his profile (whether this conventional behavior is moral or rational is immaterial), or His judgment and grasp of objective, physical reality is impaired, and His conduct is not a matter of choice but is innate and irresistible, and His behavior causes him or others discomfort, and is Dysfunctional, self defeating, and self destructive even by his own yardsticks. Descriptive criteria aside, what is the essence of mental disorders? Are they merely physiological disorders of the brain, or, more precisely of its chemistry? If so, can they be cured by restoring the balance of substances and secretions in that mysterious organ? And, once equilibrium is reinstated – is the illness "gone" or is it still lurking there, "under wraps", waiting to erupt? Are psychiatric problems inherited, rooted in faulty genes (though amplified by environmental factors) – or brought on by abusive or wrong nurturance? These questions are the domain of the "medical" school of mental health. Others cling to the spiritual view of the human psyche. They believe that mental ailments amount to the metaphysical discomposure of an unknown medium – the soul. Theirs is a holistic approach, taking in the patient in his or her entirety, as well as his milieu. The members of the functional school regard mental health disorders as perturbations in the proper, statistically "normal", behaviors and manifestations of "healthy" individuals, or as dysfunctions. The "sick" individual – ill at ease with himself (ego dystonic) or making others unhappy (deviant) – is "mended" when rendered functional again by the prevailing standards of his social and cultural frame of reference. In a way, the three schools are akin to the trio of blind men who render disparate descriptions of the very same elephant. Still, they share not only their subject matter – but, to a counter intuitively large degree, a faulty methodology. As the renowned anti psychiatrist, Thomas Szasz, of the State University of New York, notes in his article "The Lying Truths of Psychiatry", mental health scholars, regardless of academic predilection, infer the etiology of mental disorders from the success or failure of treatment modalities. This form of "reverse engineering" of scientific models is not unknown in other fields of science, nor is it unacceptable if the experiments meet the criteria of the scientific method. The theory must be all inclusive (anamnetic), consistent, falsifiable, logically compatible, monovalent, and parsimonious. Psychological "theories" – even the "medical" ones (the role of serotonin and dopamine in mood disorders, for instance) – are usually none of these things. The outcome is a bewildering array of ever shifting mental health "diagnoses" expressly centred around Western civilization and its standards (example: the ethical objection to suicide). Neurosis, a historically fundamental "condition" vanished after 1980. Homosexuality, according to the American Psychiatric Association, was a pathology prior to 1973. Seven years later, narcissism was declared a "personality disorder", almost seven decades after it was first described by Freud.



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    Diagnosing Depression

    #1

    It is unfortunate that there is no test known to detect depression. A diagnosis is generally made if an individual suffers from a persistent low mood. This low mood has a tendency of affecting the everyday life of an individual. If one encounters five or more symptoms for a period of two weeks , they are diagnosed as suffering from depression. When seeking treatment for depression your general practitioner can most commonly treat you if you are suffering from depression. Often one may have to seek the help of a counselor, which are attached to GP surgeries. If one's diagnosis is found to be unclear , or the individual seems to be particularly ill, The GP may prefer to send the individual to a psychiatrist. Often there are community psychiatric nurses, that may be referred by an individual's GP or psychiatrist. Others suffering from depression may be seen by psychotherapists. Often humans experience bad times in their lives. At times one may be able to sit down and down to a friend or neighbor and talk through the problem. There are often times when that isn't enough, and one may need to seek professional help. Just remember that depression is treatable. Treatment may include medication as well as psychotherapy. You may wonder what psychotherapy is. This is being able to simply talk to someone or your doctor about your problems or situations , which can help to a great degree. It is always better to talk your problems out , than to keep them bottled up inside of oneself. If you should need formal psychotherapy counseling that would include cognitive behavioral therapy; interpersonal psychotherapy; or psychoanalysis. Psychotherapies are very effective just like medication if taken properly. For more severe cases of depression , medication is just likely to be needed, but is supplemental with psychotherapy. The type of therapy depends on the problems one may be suffering from. This is the doctor's call. There has been no indication that one therapy is better than another. Antidepressant medicine is used to help correct one's low mood, and any other problems one may be suffering from during one's episode with depression. They don't change one's personality and they are not addictive. There have been many new antidepressant drugs in recent years. The main advantage to these medication is that they tend to have less side effects than past drugs and they seem a lot more pleasant in taking. Your doctor will choose the correct medication for you and your particular symptoms. Antidepressants do act on the chemicals in the brain in trying to correct the abnormalities which may be causing one to suffer from depression.



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    More Common Ideas About The Female Orgasm

    #1

    As you know, there are hundreds of myths about the female orgasm. But, the question is: are they all true? Of course not! Here are some of the most common myths: Myth 1: Women take longer to reach orgasm than men. This is a common myth which has not been supported by research. The reason people believe this is that they don't understand the female arousal pattern. Women's arousal patterns are much different than men's and, as a result, they are physically prepared for intercourse later than men are. The time from optimal arousal to orgasm is pretty much identical for both men and women. The difference is in how long it takes to reach that level of arousal. Because men often don't know how to help their partners get to that point, it does seem to take longer. Once that's changed, however, men find their partners reach orgasm more quickly and even have multiple orgasms in quick succession. Myth 2: Women should only reach orgasm through vaginal intercourse. This is definitely not true but it's a myth that has caused us to take women's sexual needs for granted for a long time. This myth actually started with Sigmund Freud, the developer of psychoanalysis, who had recognized that women could easily reach orgasm through clitoral stimulation. Freud dismissed this type of stimulation as juvenile and believed it was important for women to become more sexually mature by focusing only on vaginal stimulation to reach orgasms. The problem is that the vagina was not designed for orgasms. It does not have the concentrated nerve endings that one finds in the clitoris or in the head of a penis, for example. As a result of Freud's determination, women who could not reach orgasm through vaginal intercourse were considered to have some type of psychological impairment. All sorts of methods were devised in an attempt to “liberate” women from their reliance on the clitoris for sexual pleasure. Only in recent decades has society begun talking openly about the women's right to enjoy sex and to reach orgasm in whatever manner worked for her. Myth 3: Only women fake orgasms. Even though this article is about female orgasms, I think it’s important for both men and women to realize that orgasms are not going to happen during every sexual encounter. About one fifth of men admitted that they have faked an orgasm with a partner. Their reasons for faking are the same as women's: they don't want their partners to be disappointed. Orgasms don't always come easily in a partnership. Sure, when we masturbate we can probably get off every time because we know our bodies and we know what works. Our sexual partners have to learn these things over time and, most importantly, with our help. Again, faking orgasms is not the answer for either sex. It just complicates the issue and prevents both partners from having a truly fulfilling sexual encounter. So, bottom line: don’t believe all myths you hear or read! You can please women with the best orgasms if you understand how the female body works!



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    Depression And Clinical Depression

    #1

    Today we know a lot more about depression, this disease is one of the common and dangerous mental conditions we can encounter in all societies and in all cultures, it is in fact, an across the board human situation which, in the last few years, significant achievements have been made. The understanding of depression and the recognition that it was, in fact, a serious mental condition, has brought about many opinions and researchers to try and discover more about the causes for depression and the ways to try and combat it. the modern ago, with psychoanalysis science and psychological research has discovered much about the human mind and spirit, and one of the most significant processes were the discovery of mental conditions that do not constitute a state of permanent mental disorder, these diseases were actually more like viruses, almost anyone had the unfortunate statistical chance of “catching” it, and everyone needed to know more about it so they could try and avoid it. Clinical depression is a serious medical condition that affects millions of people throughout the world. Also known as major depression disorder, clinical depression is experienced by various types of people in many different walks of life. Although most people experience a few terms of sadness throughout their lives, clinical depression is more than just a case of the “blues”, it is much more like a crashing force that does not let the person suffering from it to function properly, and sometimes even not function at all. It is estimated that clinical depression affects about sixteen percent of the world population. Imagine people suffering form depression 200 years ago, even 500 years ago, without proper understanding of this condition, many people throughout history have been outcastes and rejected from society just because of a case of depression. According to most studies, the average onset of a typical case occurs in the late 20s. Gender also plays a role; nearly twice as many females as males report or receive treatment for depression, though this difference seems to shrink after women reach the age of fifty, when most females have gone through menopause. Depression is currently the leading cause of disability in the United States and is expected to become the second leading cause of disability worldwide in the next twenty years or so. If you have ever seen a person that suffers from depression you are surely aware of the dangers or having this condition, life, with all its wonderful attributes is covered, and all that remains to a person with depression is the empty feeling of sadness, something this person can not just “snap out of”, even for a second, depression is a very serious thing, and we should all try to and know more about it. There are many different signs and symptoms of depression. Some of these may include an overwhelming feeling of loss, anxiety, or pessimism, a rapid gain or loss in weight, disturbances in sleep patterns, fatigue, self harm, and suicidal tendencies. It is advised that if you, or anyone you know, is experiencing these symptoms or symptoms similar to these, you should contact a mental health professional or support group. They may be able to help.



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