יום שבת, 15 באוקטובר 2011

How It All Should Be: Prelude to Psychoanalytics

In 3 days I will be 30 years old. I still have no children that I know of, I have not written a great book, and nor have I launched a successful app. 

Still, I believe I am about to write here, the stuff that will change the world. In a sunny October afternoon, just before seeking a hefty student loan, I will post all my secrets and hope for them to return to me with a bounty.

Here goes:

I see mental health as a personal experience that is influenced by  a lot of aspects. Psychotherapy helps, so it seems, but a lot of factors determine how much it helps, and a lot of other stuff like Yoga can help just as well. 

I was at my first year of literature studies, when we compared self psychology and Lacanian psychoanalysis. My teacher of psychoanalytic reading said how the same warmth of the self psychology approach could sometimes be experienced as poisoning and undermining independence. About Lacanian psychoanalysis, she commented that in certain situations it could be experienced as unsettling and brutal, while in others it is liberating and much more alive than its cuddly competitors.

Well maybe competition is the point. There is no need for competition. Sure there is, if we're looking at psychotherapy as a product where you want to create market value. But there isn't, if you look at psychotherapy as something that really helps and you want to find a way to pass it around.

I have the fortune of studying clinical psychology in Tel Aviv University. My teachers, as one would imagine the pantheon gods maybe, are not perfect, and do not contend to be right. Each of them comes from a different school of psychotherapy, and together they make up a respectable bunch of skilled and knowledgeable researchers practitioners. Although I may offend 1-4 of them right now, I feel they lack an impartial Zeus to manage their faculties by specific context. The same I feel about psychotherapy itself.

How do you know when to use CBT, when Yoga, and when to call your mom more often. There is empirical research you say, CBT for phobias, psychoanalysis for Oedipus. As a thumbs rule, this is very helpful. But how do you know, after spending 30% of your income on therapy for a period of 3 months, that your therapist is not undermining your dependence, but actually abusing your trust? "It's a process" is a dangerous hideout for contra productive efforts. Even if you have Oedipus, you might also be anemic, with bad karma, and ADD. You personally, unlike other Oedipal category members, might be helped more by a female therapist, good sleep and a student loan. How would you know this?

Psychology should exactly be about that, the human sensitivity that translates a categorical array of thumb rules into an idiosyncratic, personal disarray. That's a psychotherapist's job. Assuming you need a therapist and not an acupuncturist. 

Usually, articles I read have a good handle of what's wrong, and then spin off in a very bad direction when they start suggesting a better replacement. I am considering whether I should stop here. I think instead I will do it as Jesus did, and then logoff and let you pray for the next post.

There is an urban myth about the Dalai Lama actually being a robot. Once, as he was oiling his hinges, a disciple came into his quarters and was surprised to learn that his master was a robot. The Dalai Lama paused his hinge oiling and said, "and to learn that I am human would make you less at awkwardness?"

I will post about the way technology could help us improve human wellbeing after I conquer my fears of greatness. If I die today you can find enough hints in my past posts.


All the best,
Or.


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