Emotions in psychotherapeutic process: Activate or manage?
Key words: Copingreaktion, Emotion, Ego structure, Psychotherapeutic process of treatment, Self-reference
Emotions are important for every process of treatment. The question that poses itself to us in therapeutic practice is, however, how much and which emotions help this treatment or, put in another way, how much objectification does someone need in order to enter into a treatment process and not simply to relive stressful and traumatizing situations. From a diagnostic point of view, copingreactions and self-reference are helpful here. They allow different approaches for the treatment process to emerge: The regressive form in which stressful situations as it was „back then“ are once more reenacted and re-experienced so as to develop an assessment rather than merely just coping. This approach demands an ego structure at least on the neurotic organization level. In the case of serious stress or traumas or where the ego structure is less developed, it demands a greater amount of objectification so that the subject can become aware of the burdens and „can“ remember „as it were from a safe location“ and can thus reach an assessment (adjustment). If in the case of the first mode the treatment process runs through „re-experiencing“, then in the second the emotions are „managed“ to the extent that the self image can remain intact.
Psychology’s view on emotions
Key words: behaviorism, theories of emotion, evolutionary biology, cognitive science, neurosciences
Academic psychology has various explanatory approaches towards emotions, each leading to different classifications, such as the talk of basic emotions. This article provides an overview of the most important theories of emotion, such as models based on evolutionary biology, behavioral theory and neuropsychology, as well as their central issues. The contribution is rounded off by an epistemological contemplation regarding to the psychotherapeutic implementation of the theoretical knowledge with reference to existential analytical anthropology.ont
On the culturality of emotions
Key words: research of emotions, anthropology, love, shame, mourning
This article offers insight into the diversity of cultural codifications of emotions. Through an examination of the emotional dimensions of „mourning“, „romantic love“ (infatuation) and „shame“ it shall be demonstrated how these concepts are formed, valued and made meaningful in different cultures. It is argued that cultures shape human emotionality not only superficially on the level of social conventions of expression, but also more deeply on the level of subjective perception: Cultural models of emotion indicate the parameters by which human beings perceive, classify, interpret and explain their feelings as distinct emotions to themselves and to others. They define what is to be regarded as emotional competence and incompetence.
Is freedom an illusion?
How much scope is left in a world determined by natural law?
Key words: emotion, decision, freedom, will
All though it is rarely contested, that emotions have certain influence on human action and decision-making, it is only since a few years, that the extent of this influence and the precise mechanisms through which it operates become evident. A range of new examination methods, especially the so-called imaging techniques, are also responsible for this. While it was initially assumed, that emotions rather pose an obstacle to true rational decision-making, there is evidence in the mean time that rational decisions and reflections are promoted by emotions. One of the reasons for the long-lasting underestimation of emotions probably lays in the fact that they often stay under the threshold of consciousness
It followed me all day
Understanding feelings in dreams during day
Key words: consciousness (day/night), existential dream work, emotional tracks, phenomenology
In existential dream work we inquire into the phenomenological meaning of the dream contents as well as the biographical background of the dreamer. The feelings of the dreamers – those accompanying the dream itself, those while waking up, as well as the feelings while writing it down or while recounting it – serve as one of the possible keys to understanding dream imagery.
In this lecture an illustration based on a practical example will show the existential meaning it can have for the dreamer, when those emotional tracks are followed, given attention to and appreciated.
Are we nothing but brain?
The self and its brain
Key words: self, depression, neuroscience
The issue concerning the self has occupied philosophers and psychologists since almost 2000 years. Since recently also empirical basics of the self are being subjected to research in neurosciences. But the precise relation between these different concepts of the self is unclear, and their underlying neuronal mechanisms still uncertain. In the present contribution, (a) a procedural definition of the self in form of self-related processing is suggested, (b) the self is defined through the phenomenal experiencing of the relation between environment and organism, and (c) a meta-analysis of previous studies on the self in functional imaging is described.
The present contribution concludes that self-related processing is linked to neuronal activity in the medial regions of our brain, the so-called cortical midline-structures. This not only has profound implications for the concept of self and for a future neuroscience of self-related processing, but also for psychiatric illness, such as depression and schizophrenia, where disorders of the self and the organism-environment-relation are experienced by the patient.
The significance of psychodynamics in existential analytical psychotherapy
Key words: mechanisms of resistance, emotion, existential analysis, methodology, person, psyche, psychodynamics
The importance of psychodynamics in its purpose regarding the constitution of existence will be pointed out: What is the significance of psychodynamics in the light of personal-existential striving and attitude? The statements are to be understood from the perspective of the development of Frankl‘s approach as seen by the GLE. Anthropological and psychotherapeutic-consulting aspects are reflected in particular.
Emotions in the therapy of personality disorders
Key words: acting out, emotions, projective identification, personality disorder, framework –conditions
Therapies with patients suffering from personality disorders impose specific requirements upon the therapist. The particular challenges are the intensity of emotions, acting out as an expression of absence of own opinion and the phenomenon of „Projective Identification“. The resulting difficulties can lead to the therapist being pulled into the dynamics of the patient, while losing the distance necessary to reflect on what is happening during the treatment. Clear agreements in the beginning of these therapies can establish a framework providing a firm hold to return to in phases of the often emotionally charged up process.
The Phenomenon of Greed (Unwillingness to Share) in Five to Seven-Year-Old Children
Key words: greed, personal development (children), self-worth
Parents and elementary school teachers have noticed that children reaching the age of five to six show a new attitude towards their peers. Compliance and indifference of four-year-old children change into aggression, touchiness, envy and greed. Most children outlive this acute conflict period without any consequences and by the age of seven their negative feelings give way to rather sociable ones: Not only do most children learn how to feel empathy but even how to share their peers’ success and joy. However, sometimes the experience of negative feelings becomes „fixed“ and continues to determine some children’s interaction with people. This may lead to the children’s unwillingness to share, in other words to the phenomenon of greed. In order to observe this behaviour, we conducted an experiment which consisted in modelling such situations in which the phenomenon of greed could be observed, though not all of the children in the sample displayed it. This report describes the phenomenon of greed from the perspective of Alfried Längle’s model of self-worth development and specifies the factors influencing its appearance.