The Psychology of Healing

 

When the notion of the mind in its relationship to the body enters into the realm of healing, something very interesting starts to happen.  Although the connection between mind and body is either well-established, or under constant debate, new perspectives and new arguments seem to arise every day.  This would seem to suggest that the very terms of the argument itself are constantly undergoing revision and new discussions.  It would also seem that we are living in a time where it’s become something of an urgency to reconsider just what we mean when we talk about the body and the mind.

 

The most essential element of the argument does center on notions of the concrete versus the abstract.  Or object and subject.  In these terms, the body is an object to be discussed, and the mind is the subject, the lens through which we do our discussing.  Although these are fairly straightforward ideas, they are not, by any means, universally accepted, and have been at the center of some fascinating arguments over the centuries.  Whether or not these ideas will help with certain ailments, from fibromyalgia treatments to blood pressure modulation, is up to the experience of the individual.  Generally, the wisdom of the past and present work together, where western and traditional medicine offer the best of all possible worlds.

In recent generations, there has been a gradual, and sometimes revolutionary, trend toward shifting toward a less dualistic notion of body and mind.  Where traditional western medicine would posit that it is the mind’s function to help heal the body, and the healing comes from access to conscious thought, there are other views that have helped to complicate this notion very nicely.  One of the best examples comes from Buddhism, or at least as it is presented in the west.  In this structure, the mind is ethereal and subjective, and healing can be achieved through conscious thought, but also through a mindfulness that leads to emptiness.

 

In another vein, but still similarly body positive, the work of Wilhelm Reich has shifted the focus of contemporary psychology from an inner experience of mind to one that begins deep in the body.  Although some of his ideas have been widely regarded as suspicious at best, the notion that the body is a center of knowledge is one that resonates with a lot of contemporary thought, as well as with some of the oldest healing traditions.  From a purely psychological perspective then, the unfolding story is still more complicated than anyone could reasonably suspect.

 

 

Global Thinking and Money

It has long been one of the big cultural taboos to talk about money in most social situations.  In somr parts of the country, and in particular areas of the world, this is more apparent than in others, but it seems to be the general rule that cultures with emphasis on proper decorum are less likely to speak of these kinds of things.  Because it belongs to issues related to class, and class is still one of the bigger unspoken prejudices today, it is considered better manners to keep quiet about anything concerning money.  This includes the costs of goods, salaries, and particular personal financial difficulties.

At the same time, there are so many people going through their own struggles concerning money, that it would benefit others to share stories, because experience can teach everyone how to avoid and overcome certain problems.  It is not at all unusual for working people to take out occasional loans, and it is helpful to let others know about positive experiences, money mutual reviews and other information about possible funding sources.  This is definitely related to a newer way of thinking about money, and it is related to opening ourselves up to a more global perspective.

This has less to do with considering an international monetary perspective than it does to thinking abstractly.  In psychological terms, thinking globally relates to getting the bigger picture.  Because money is such a personal issue, and because it is also hidden from public discourse in a lot of ways, it is particularly emotionally charged.  This means that in times of trouble, most people are likely to become bogged down in the details.

It is very difficult to get out from under any kind of undue financial constraints, whether these be excessive student loans, losing a job, or loss of assets from the housing crunch.  But finding ways of thinking on a larger scale, looking beyond the immediate strain lack of money can cause, is a way of helping to solve problems.  It is normal to feel stress about lack of funds, and most people tend to begin with a budget, cutting out all necessary expenditures.  Unfortunately, this is about as far as most of us get.  Moving into the abstract, there are suddenly other avenues that are open, and options can open up, almost magically.  Being able to think beyond the immediate inconveniences, and start to consider other options for generating income streams, is the answer, and global thinking seems to be the key.

Binge Drinking and Types of Alcoholism

Sometimes the realization that you have a problem with alcohol or even prescription medications can come as a surprise. This is especially true for those who consider themselves to be strictly social drinkers or who have very little history with prescription medicines . And while this message isn’t intended to declare all social drinkers or medicine consumers to be addicts, it is important to remember the potential for becoming one. Typically for a social drinker, who may only drink once a week, it can be considered to be a concern or even a problem when more than three drinks are consumed in an evening. Of course aspects such as gender, age, weight and other health circumstances figure into what constitutes an appropriate amount of alcohol for any one person. And if you find yourself drinking five or more drinks in an evening, even though you only do this once a week or maybe even two or three times a month, it will almost certainly indicate a potential problem and possibly even lead to or be indicative of binge drinking .

This is where the effects of binge drinking differs slightly from the chronic maintenance drinker. However, it is still a form of alcohol abuse and many binge drinkers are also alcoholics. That term also contains a stigma and unfortunately is part of the reason many people resist seeking the help they need. Alcoholism is a disease, and suffering from it is not something to be ashamed of. You would certainly go to the doctor if you had acute chest pains or a severe case of the flu or pneumonia. You should most definitely seek the help you need if dealing with a disease such as alcoholism.

Chronic maintenance drinking and binge drinking differ in certain respects, however they are both forms of alcoholism and carry the common traits, one of the significant ones being progressive degeneration. This means that when left untreated or dealt with, alcoholism always increases in lifestyle destruction as well as health compromise. And while it’s well known that alcohol abuse is damaging to the liver, heart and other organs, it’s interesting to know that many alcoholics actually die from falling down. The image of the stumbling drunk takes on its tragic association when placed in this context. If you’re in the Palm Beach area you can find further information and even treatment resources at a rehab in rehab in West Palm Beach center.

For more information on binge drinking visit http://www.drugrehabcomparison.com/research/binge-drinking-facts/

The Uses of Nostalgia

There are finally some decent attempts to define the decade that began the 21st century. Calling those years the Noughties seems to be as good of an option as any other, because it gives it a word, while also acknowledging the relative empty feeling that so many people get from thinking about that time. It’s not that there was nothing that happened, because obviously there were some enormously significant events. Every decade, it seems, is difficult to define for at least five years after it’s ended, but the sooner a moniker sticks, the easier it is to talk about it.

Calling it the Noughties is a way to reference a very prevalent nostalgia, one that is still very much with the times. While the 90s had a love for the new and innovative (along with its necessary counterbalance, grunge, which rejected all of this), retro is a self-correcting mechanism. This generation can take the things of the past that were good, and reuse and recycle. Innovation comes from the mastery and skill in the mixing, and for this generation, everyone is a dj, in music and fashion and culture.

Now it’s easier to mix the styles of the 50s and 60s, where the mod and the hood can exist in the same body, and cars can have nitto tires and mp3 player mounts on the dashboard.

It is nostalgia, but not in the old sense of the word.

Under the sharp and heavy influence of Freud, nostalgia has had a negative connotation. Taken from the Greek roots, it suggests a longing to return to the past, one that is characterized by more pain than anything breathtaking or uplifting. It is that uneasy place of living in a past without being able to enter into the present, because of a fear of the future. Although that has been an idea of nostalgia that dominated the early years of psychotherapy, and still seems to color our ideas of retro culture, there are significant shifts that are reflected everywhere. They even appear in pop psychology , where a certain fondness for the past is absolutely healthy. Taking the best of every experience into the present is one way of making a future much less threatening.

There are dangers of living in the past, but not if they are only an attempt to make the present bearable. The present moment is always a potential place of transformation, but it is one that is often marked by tedious and repetitive tasks. Our thoughts of past and future are sometimes our best tools to give this moment meaning.

Empirical Psychology and the Vehicle Dream

 

 

When confronted with a recurring symbol, especially when it comes from a dream, there is something that the person is consciously avoiding, or it has a meaning that is buried very deeply and is making an attempt to come to the surface. It is impossible to really analyze any dream symbol in any meaningful way, especially given the legacies of empirical psychology which make these meaning-making systems dependent on the individual dreamer. There are some speculations, however, where the simple image might suggest larger meanings which are somewhat common. So it’s not totally off the mark to say that in general tires will have something to do with movement, metaphorical or otherwise.

It’s also common to interpret a car, or a truck, as meaningful representations of the dreamer’s body. Again, the trouble with cultural definitions does come into play, where there are many ways of thinking about the body in general. This has become particularly apparent in the past century of psychoanalysis, where experiments with subjects from various backgrounds have demonstrated that although the subconscious may have its own language, that language is particular to the culture in which it is born. This is enough so that the specific details of vehicles in dreams are also significant, and rarely incidental. If the dreamer only remembers a red truck, then the analyst can pick up from that point. But if the dreamer remembers the kind of truck, the hankook tires, and specific names of other characters in the dream, one must assume that they are also significant.

This all points to that very elemental idea that everyone is much more complex than they would first appear. The old symbol for the ego, represented by the iceberg, is an apt one. That material that is below the surface is much more than the visible tip suggests. It is easiest to access the illustrations of the complexity of the psyche through looking at dreams and symbols, because every interpretation is not only possible, but very likely to be part of the picture. Even empirical psychology, in its purest form, if there is such a thing, is capable of revealing only a shadow of the shadows that are contained in every human subject. A car may very well only be an extension of a body, and a car crash in a dream might mean a life out of control, but there is also more to the story, and very likely more symbols that are active and apparent, but will defy any attempt at reasonable understanding.

Words and Subjects

 

Freud and Jung have been at the center of mainstream thought on contemporary psychology, and somewhere just behind them is Jacques Lacan.  There are many places in the world where the order of importance is reversed, with Lacan at the top, but it’s not necessarily the case in most parts of the English-speaking world.  It could very well be an issue of translation.  Not that the other two are difficult to translate, but there is a certain precision of the word with which it is harder to contend.  In part, this is due to the precise French language, versus its more flexible borderland language German, but it’s much more likely because of the content of his thought.  For Lacan, words really are the beginning and the end of it all.

 

That the unconscious is structured was a radical idea when it was first put into words, and it still can be radical, depending on the context.  That its structure is made of language, however, is where Lacan radically separates from Freud and Jung.  In the realm of philosophy and literary theory, this is very useful, and somewhat exciting.  The roots of post-structuralism that have guided a lot of the contemporary continental thought on reality are connected to Lacan’s own roots, making for a very interesting and rhizomatic web of interlacing conditions.  It is almost satisfying to read the world this way, in the guise of philosophy.

 

However, under a psychoanalytic cover, it becomes something else entirely.  The implications in literary theory are interesting, and somewhat useful, but the theory as applied to the human psyche becomes something a little more threatening.  It’s not as liberating as the notion that language creates meaning, and by extension, reality. Although this is true under Lacan, there are conditions that make any real freedom very tenuous.  The human, or speaking subject, becomes aware, through the psychoanalytic process, that their vision of reality is based on an interplay between a fantasy world, and one represented by symbols.  Beneath, and behind, and indeed above, all of this is a real, which is too powerful to be really knowable.  The real is the raw material of everything, and as such it serves to motivate or underline nearly all thought and action to some degree.  Since the subject is always contending with the imaginary, the symbolic, and the real, language has no lever, and no point of escape, and this is the crux of where the theory begins to unfold.  The speaking subject has never been the same since.

 

 

Breaking Up is Easier With New Tires

Breaking up is never easy to do, or is it? That’s a question that many people feel can only be answered by the specific relationship experience. And sometimes it depends entirely on which side of the break up you happen to fall. The person who is broken up with, left behind, dumped, however you wish to express it, frequently feels that they have the most pain and sadness associated with the split. However, many people who do the breaking, feel that they are the ones who experience the most pain and turmoil during the process. This seems to be counter intuitive, though there are many reasons why this might be true. And for those of us/you who have had to make this difficult decision, we/they realize that it takes a lot of strength and courage to walk away from a long term relationship, knowing full well that it’s going to hurt the person we, at least once, cared about the most.

These people also tend to argue that both parties knew the relationship wasn’t working and that it was only a matter of time, or a decision to permanently settle, and the one who initiates the split not only shows the most courage, but also bares the brunt of the guilt and responsibility. This is on top of the natural tendency to morn the loss of the relationship, regardless of how badly we may have wanted out, or the unhealthy condition in which it ended. So, the next time you watch your beloved partner peel out for the final time treading the rubber of their Cooper tires , think about what they’re going through and try and have some sympathy, or don’t.

That last decision was a bit sardonic, as it’s generally difficult to feel sympathy for the person who has just dumped you. However, it’s important to remember that there are two people, at least, in any relationship and both are responsible for its success or failure. In addition, there is always the question of the nature of human monogamy and whether or not we should expect relationships to last forever. With this in mind, the success of a relationship should be determined by its quality and satisfaction, not for its longevity and sustainability. These are tricky topics for relationships, and most people who enter them, don’t plan on how it’s going to end, or pre-designate who will break up with whom. And for the unlucky person who makes the difficult decision to leave, there are some American racing wheels for sale for that essential, though difficult, final getaway. And you’ll be styling it as you go.

The Right Math Practice for the Left or Right Brained Student

Eventually, high school students have to face a number of important tests that will challenge their memories and gauge the knowledge they’ve acquired over their many years in school. Even if the student has left school, he or she won’t escape the tests, if there’s a wish to pursue higher education.

At the very least a GRE will be required. From the GRE, to the SAT, to the Act, to the PSAT, or the LSAT, tests in English and Math will be in the students’ future. If you’ve ever heard the terms “right brain” or “left brain,” you may be familiar with the concept that most people are good in the use of language or math, but not both.

Essentially, for convenience’s sake, the brain may be thought of in two halves – “right” and “left” brains. People whose minds seem to focus on the right side of the brain tend to be more intuitive, doing well with instructions which can be visually demonstrated; they tend to solve problems by instinct or hunches, and they look for patterns in the chaos around them, finding like items; overall, they’re more spontaneous and freer with their feelings, and abstract information. A person operating from the left side of his or her brain, however, tends to be more rational. He or she likes instructions to be verbal, and solves problems logically, and by looking at for a sequence and the parts of things. Instead of seeking out simlarities, the left-brained person focuses on differences. This person tends to be planned, structured, and wants established information and likes to have feelings under control. This kind of student prefers multiple choice tests.

The right brained person tends to be more creative in approach, and usually is better with language skills and less so with mathematical skills. For this person, working with math puzzles in order to enhance his or her base of knowledge seems like it would be a “no-brainer,” so to speak. Puzzles appeal to the intuitive nature of the right-brained individual. There are gaps of information that need to be arrived at, possibly by hunches and guesses.

But what about the left-brained person?

Obviously the individual living primarily in the left hemisphere of the brain will want to brush up on his vocabulary. And as for mathematics? This person may have an advantage over the right-brained individual, but this doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be any practice at all. For a person used to sequencing and the rational, math flashcards might work best.

Car Colors, Wheels and Personalities

We all know that cars, trucks, whatever it is we choose to get around in provide us with a lot more than a simple means of transportation. In fact, for many people, their car is also their favorite hobby and for some it goes even further and is their passion. With this in mind, it is understandable why there are so many different vehicle options, accessories and individualization aspects associated with them. And with this in mind, it’s interesting to ponder the question of whether our cars are actually reflections of our own personalities, and if so, how do we interpret them? There are some fundamental aspects related to your maintenance and care of your vehicle that can be directly applied to your personality. In addition, there are specific make and model factors as well as color choices and accessory features that can all be representative of your personality.

Wheels
are one of the features that are both functional and aesthetically oriented. Of course the quality of the wheel itself plays a vital role in your vehicle’s stability, efficiency and safety, while interestingly, the quality itself can play a role in its attractiveness to some people. Do wheels also play a role in representing one’s personality? Well, it can certainly be suggested that big, flamboyant or gregarious personalities might be drawn to shiny wheels that spin, or show a special flair. In addition, for more reserved personalities, the wheel and tire choice can be their secret expression of individuality. Perhaps service professionals at discount tires stores and other wheel accessory stations can be trained in making suggestions based on their costumer’s personality. Of course, many of these professionals will already insist that they do.

What about other, more visible and prominent features of your car, such as color choice? If and what does the color of your car suggest about your personality? Interestingly, drivers who prefer the color black tend to be more aggressive on the road while silver cars tend to attract the calm and color personalities. White cars typically attract responsible and pure drivers. They are usually not found in many accidents, while black cars are typically part of a lot of crashes. Red cars are typically favored by romantic individuals and those with high passionate tendencies. Finally, blue cars are usually found in the possession of loyal, serene people. They are responsible and respectful to other drivers. See what you think, the next time you’re in rush hour traffic try to compare the driving tendencies and cars of those around you.

Inside the criminal mind: Factors that Influence Motive

 

Motive is often the most elusive of criminal investigations. Some crimes are so horrendous, it’s difficult for us to imagine what type of person could commit the act—let alone their motive. In many cases, justice lies with the motive. That is, prosecutors must show motive for an individual to commit acts. The jury must, in some way, be able to understand the unknowable—how someone could, and more importantly why, commit such terrible acts. Although motive is not a legal requirement for conviction, intent typically plays a role.

 

A motive for a crime is whatever causes the offender to move toward the certain offense. Keep in mind that the legal system does not consider motive to be an element of any crime, but is usable in court to generate plausibility of the culprit’s offense. Bear in mind that motive differs from intent—which refers to the specific mental reasoning to perform the criminal act.

 

Keep in mind that why an individual or group does something goes far beyond the simple explanation of the financial or emotional reasoning. Forensic psychologists can help begin to uncover motive and are therefore very crucial in the outcome of many criminal cases.

 

How do trained psychologists uncover the motive behind a crime? The answer is extremely complex and often is found using a variety of trainable tactics. For example, the following may be considered when determining motive of the suspect or suspects:

 

1.     Familiar or repetitive elements of a crime. Certain types of evidence or clues may point to the type of individual who may have committed the crime. Knowing the type of individual may help uncover motive.

2.     Associations. Who is the suspect involved with? Do they have someone that they could potential have a conflict with? Looking at the connections the suspect has may eventually lead someone to motive.

3.     Statistics. By the numbers, certain types of crimes are committed by certain people, for certain reasons. Being familiar with these scenarios may help a forensic psychologist to motive.

4.     Understanding the victim or victims. Just as the perpetrator is important to understanding motive, the characteristics and associations of the victim can be just as crucial.

 

Forensic psychology is really about understanding the criminal and the crime. It’s important that trained forensic psychologists be aware of the jurisdiction in which they work and be able to communicate appropriately with judges and lawyers. They are often asked to testify in trials and report their findings to others. The ability for a forensic psychologist to accurately interpret motive may be the difference between justice and injustice. They may be asked to, based on their findings of the criminal, motive and other factors, provide recommended treatment and/or sentencing.

 

It’s not surprising why so many individuals are interested in getting their forensic psychology degree. Those who are fascinated by the human condition and how we operate are drawn to the field. While there are many subfields of psychology, only forensic psychology is the truth cross section between understanding human behavior and applying it to the legal system.

 

Do you find yourself asking “why?” Are you interested in human behavior? You may be right for forensic psychology. Being able to analyze and answer questions about the criminal mind is fascinating, rewarding work. That is why, many individuals are seeking specialized training that is required to help answer these essential questions and help move justice forward.