Saturday 21 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

Dear Reader: Can Psychotherapy Help?

We all have problems. Psychology has become very popular. Sometimes it is easy to slip into the idea that psychology can solve all our problems, but it obviously can't. On the other hand, I think there is no problem that can't be looked at from a psychological angle, and often this angle can open new doors and avenues.

Many people now turn to psychologists as they used to turn to a local priest or medicine man or woman. Psychology is attacked by some rationalists for being a new religion that replaces one irrationality with another. It is attacked, on the other hand, by some religious authorities for pretending to give what only religious faith can give.

Psychology is attacked from all sides but plows on. It seems to me it has gotten a foothold in other countries besides those in Europe and North America. This website receives maybe one quarter of its hits from Asian, South American, African, and Mid-Eastern countries. Why I am not sure, but my impression is that psychology is being looked to more and more by people with problems.

It should be noted again, as I have at many other places on this web-site, that psychotherapy and the search for self-knowledge has its down side. It can stir up very deep problems that can lead to dangerous behavior, and it can also breed a self-absorption that can become self-centeredness and selfishness. It can lead to people spinning wildly into uncharted and uncontrolled areas of their minds where anything goes.

On the other hand, a good psychotherapist can, many times, guide a patient through these dangers into a new approach to life accompanied by hope and vigor and meaningful ties with others and with the world at large.

You are a factor in every situation you are in, and if you change, the situation will change. In some situations the only thing in a situation you have any chance to change in a significant way is you and what is going on in you. This is not easy, but, at least, you have a chance but only if you want to adjust, adapt, and change. Here is where a psychotherapist, if there is one near you, might be able to help. Why do you need help? Because it is so hard to see yourself. It isn't necessary to have a psychotherapist be your mirror, but someone or other (or many people) has to help.

(to be continued)

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