Thursday 26 April 2018

Short Observations

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JMH International Essays — Announcement

Original Essays on the Psychology of Anger and/or Violence 

We thank all those who have submitted an essay to the JMH International Prize Essay Contest. As of now, February 1, 2017, we have decided not to continue with the contest.

For those who feel they have an important contribution to the subject of the Psychology of Anger and/or Violence, please feel free to submit your essay with the form provided here. If the judges agree that the essay is a significant contribution, we will publish it here (subject to agreement with the author).

We include here links related to past essays — For the 2014 contest, click here for the summary article and here for the list of winners; for the 2015 contest, click here for the summary article and the list of winners; and for the 2016 contest, click here.

Longer Observations

Defense Mechanisms

  • Dear Reader suffering from Ambivalence,

    (This is not meant as a replacement for psychotherapy! but as a thought that might be helpful for certain people at certain times who are already working in therapy.)

    The following presentation is taken from real life:

  • Ambivalence:

    Any two different organisms have different needs. At times they may function in harmony to get both of their needs met; at times they can't or won't.

  • Identification:

    The idea of Identification is complex, deep, and muddy. There is a technical use and a less technical one. Both uses are based on and connected with the idea that we have basic mental abilities that include the ability to notice things, to discriminate one thing from another and to notice differences between things and similarities between them. We can recollect having seen something or having experienced it and can identify it as something we know and remember. This is connected to the ability to name things.

  • Projection:

    Psychologists who focus on the behavior of their patients do not have use for this idea, but it is useful for people who are trying to learn about themselves.

  • The Law of Psychological Compensation:

    Carl Jung thought dreams were often compensations for the attitudes of consciousness. In my experience, there is truth in this view. And the truth seems so widespread that I have come to think of it as a psychological law. I will try to put the difficult idea in my own words.

  • Law of Condensation:

    Freud introduced the idea of condensation in his Interpretation of Dreams. Dreams, he found, condensed many aspects of the dreamer's experience into a single image.

    An image from a dream of one of my patients is a good example. The dream consisted of a single image. The image was of the Mormon Temple in Los Angeles, California.

  • Longer observation (8): A Mother's Sensitivity: When a mother becomes pre-occupied with some concern or other, she may not feel able to handle her children at the level required by her own standards. This is especially true if the children are also worried about what is worrying the mother. It's difficult enough for the mother to handle her own feelings.

  • Short idea (60): Success can serve as an anesthetic for the suffering that comes from peering into the deeper levels of reality.

  • Short idea (193): If you believe that there is a religious instinct, then atheism will be viewed as a form of neurosis. It can be seen as a form of hysteria (possibly conversion hysteria) in which one whole chunk of reality is denied.

Two Approaches to Understanding Psychology

via reflection on the world
via reflection on one's immediate experience

   the One   the Whole
the Sacred
the Ordinary
feeling stuck
feelings of failing,        of dying
 waking up — feeling reborn
   focusing   on the self
confronting the   unconscious
the whole person
living in multiple       worlds
learning about     the world
feelings of success,     of the good life