To rush into psychotherapy with hastily gathered conceptions of mental life may be sometimes successful for the moment but must always be ultimately dangerous. It is often most surprising what a haphazard kind of psychology is accepted as a basis for psychotherapy even by scientifically schooled physicians who would never believe that common sense would be sufficient to settle the problems of anatomy and physiology; as soon as the mind is in question, no serious study seems needed. Can we be surprised then that in the amateur medicine of the country within and without the church any fanciful idea of mental life may flourish? If we are to recognize the rights and wrongs of psychotherapy in a scientific spirit, a sober analysis of the mental facts involved was indeed at the very first most essential. Now we can easily draw the conclusions from our findings.
We recognized from the start the fundamental difference between two different attitudes which we can take towards the inner life of any personality, the purposive view and the causal. We recognized the sphere to which each belongs, and we saw that all medical treatment demands the causal view, thus dealing with inner life as part of the causal chain of events. Each inner experience became therefore a series of so-called contents of consciousness. These contents can be described and must be analysed into their elements. The basis of psychotherapy is therefore an analytic psychology which conceives the inner experience as a combination of psychical elements.
But the final aim was the causal connection. The appearance and disappearance of those millions of elements and their connection had to be explained. We recognized that such an explanation of the contents of consciousness was possible only through the connections between the accompanying brain processes. Every psychical change had to be conceived as parallel to a physiological change. The psychology which is to be the basis of psychotherapy had to be therefore a physiological psychology.
We recognized that these psychophysiological processes were processes of transmission between impressions and expressions, that is, between incoming nervous currents and outgoing nervous currents, between stimuli and reactions. Thus, we have no central process which is not influenced by the surroundings and which is not at the same time the starting point of an action. We have normal health of the personality as long as there is a complete equilibrium in the functions of the organism which adjusts the activities to the surroundings. Every abnormality is a disturbance of this equilibrium. A psychology which is the basis of psychotherapy thus conceives every mental process in relation to both the ideas and the actions; it avoids all one-sidedness by which the mind is cut off either from its resources or from its effects. The relations to the impressions are usually the less neglected: and we must the more emphasize the fact that the psychology needed for psychotherapy knows no mental fact which does not start an action and that every change in the system of actions involves a change in the central experience. Wherever this equilibrium of adjusted functions is disturbed, some therapy of the physician has to set in: whether psychotherapy is in order depends upon the special conditions.
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Reblogged this on ACCREDITED SENIOR PSYCHOTHERAPIST / COUNSELLOR -Dr.Fawzy Masaoud-LONDON, ENGLAND and commented:
WHAT IS THE FIELD OF PSYCHOTHERAPY?