Psychotherapy

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pink_trike
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Re: Psychotherapy

Post by pink_trike » Tue Mar 28, 2017 5:20 am

JohnK wrote:
pink_trike wrote:...84,000 paths to waking up ... all one path.
Just for another take on it (from Thanissaro Bhikkhu):
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... icism.html
Thanks for this.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.

R1111
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Re: Psychotherapy

Post by R1111 » Tue Mar 28, 2017 5:29 am

Well my question is how effective are the top 10 most popular treatments for victims of alcohol or drug addiction, sexual abuse or say OCD type of issues. I dont think its very impressive, i think its shamefully unimpressive relative to say a one, two or a three month long vipassana retreat, i think the ladder is alot better. I think its clear that its not even remotely close, if i was a therapist id just advice and encourage people to go on Satipatthana focused retreats virtually all time if i wanted whats best for them and id go for it myself litterally every time if practically possible. Id be out of job quickly i guess and go teach meditation as a monastic.

Why arent the therapists themselves healthier mentally than normal population?

As for semantics and my definition of psychological doctrine,it is indeed quite undefined and broad but let's say whatever views commonly taught by the academia to trained psychologists, views like consciousness being a function of the brain and mechanics of the mind in particular in regards to addiction, anxiety, worry, restlessness etc, in particular the origination and the cessation of these phenomena.

form
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Re: Psychotherapy

Post by form » Tue Mar 28, 2017 4:37 pm

Have you guys observed mental patients that stay in and psychiatrist in mental hospital. I think exposing themselves to these patients long term affect the psychiatrist as well.

Can you guys do an effective free association?

binocular
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Re: Psychotherapy

Post by binocular » Tue Mar 28, 2017 6:06 pm

pink_trike wrote:Let's be very clear here. Psychology professionals _are not_ in the business of religion and people who seek help from psychology professionals aren't asking us for religious advise.
People who seek help from psychotherapists are probably asking for help in terms of meaning of life issues, verbalized in less or more specific and direct terms.
We're in the business of dealing with people who are hurting or in trouble: victims of child abuse, those who experience crippling depression, runaway patterns of thought, suicidal ideation, psychotic episodes, self-harming, who are trapped in domestic abuse situations, who can't sustain healthy relationships, who are enslaved by compulsive behaviors, who hear voices, who are terrified of life, who suffer from post traumatic stress, who self-sabotage ... and this just scratches the surface. These are not 'religious' concerns and their treatment doesn't fall in the 'religious' domain.
These things fall in the domain of "meaning of life issues". Traditionally, religions deal with this domain, although not exclusively.
Do you also see physical medicine as "annihilist"? If not, then why see mental / emotional health medicine as such?
While there are newer trends that combine psychotherapy and philosophy, it seems that generally, psychotherapists have skirted philosophical (and religious) concerns.
Mental / emotional health medicine cannot be separated from philosophy or religion, even though many psychotherapists insist on this separation.
pink_trike wrote:There is no such thing as a general "psychology doctrine". There are countless schools of psychological thought. Specifically, what "psychology doctrine" are you referring to?
The idea that psychology operates from a neutral, objective ethical value system. When in fact, psychotherapists usually subscribe to a specific secular, atheist materialistic worldview. And making use of their help also requires that the patient adopts that worldview as well.

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pink_trike
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Re: Psychotherapy

Post by pink_trike » Tue Mar 28, 2017 9:50 pm

binocular wrote:These things fall in the domain of "meaning of life issues". Traditionally, religions deal with this domain, although not exclusively.
I don't agree ... victims of child abuse, those who experience crippling depression, runaway patterns of thought, suicidal ideation, psychotic episodes, self-harming, trapped in domestic abuse situations, can't sustain healthy relationships, enslaved by compulsive behaviors, hearing voices, terrified of life, suffering from post traumatic stress, self-sabotage ... these people don't have the luxury of contemplating the "meaning of life". These are survival issues.

Also, the concept of 'religion' is a very modern invention dating no earlier than the 13th century ... people have been dealing with the "meaning of life" you reference for at least a couple hundred thousand years and likely a million years or more.
binocular wrote:The idea that psychology operates from a neutral, objective ethical value system. When in fact, psychotherapists usually subscribe to a specific secular, atheist materialistic worldview. And making use of their help also requires that the patient adopts that worldview as well.
1. Got some data that shows psychotherapists (in all schools of psychotherapeutic thought) are "usually" atheist materialists? Also, a good case can be made that 'religion' is the spawn of a materialistic worldview.

2. It doesn't "require" that clients adopt any view. Psychotherapy doesn't operate the way that religion does and doesn't require a certain view in order for it to be effective. There is absolutely no difference in how I work with a non religious client or a religious client.

3. I doubt you'll find any psychotherapist that wouldn't snort at the idea of "neutral, objective". :smile:
binocular wrote:While there are newer trends that combine psychotherapy and philosophy, it seems that generally, psychotherapists have skirted philosophical (and religious) concerns.
We "skirt" philosophical and religious issues in the same way that we "skirt" quantum physics and political party affiliation ... as irrelevant unless a client specifically presents with issues that they identify as philosophical or related to religion in some way (recovering from religious indoctrination and addressing the damage it causes is a common presentation issue). When someone is plagued by the effects of crippling depression, runaway patterns of thought, suicidal ideation, psychotic episodes, self-harming, trapped in domestic abuse situations, can't sustain healthy relationships, are enslaved by compulsive behaviors, hear voices, are terrified of life, suffer from post traumatic stress, self-sabotage ... abstractions such as philosophy and religion are inappropriately irrelevant in the same way that a person seeking help from a physician for allergies requires no contemplation of such abstractions.

More importantly, a client's persistent focus on these abstractions can be understood as an avoidance mechanism that protects them from acknowledging feelings, processes, and realities that have been denied, that scare them, or that are potentially overwhelming.
binocular wrote:Mental / emotional health medicine cannot be separated from philosophy or religion, even though many psychotherapists insist on this separation.
Of course it can (again, assuming that religion isn't the root cause of the presenting issues, which it very frequently is). When someone is in great psychological pain because of being beaten by an abusive spouse, or they fantasize about killing themselves without knowing why, or are trapped in repetitive compulsive behaviors, there are more important things to be done than contemplate philosophy or religion.
Last edited by pink_trike on Wed Mar 29, 2017 9:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.

R1111
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Re: Psychotherapy

Post by R1111 » Wed Mar 29, 2017 1:12 am

One doesnt have to contemplate philosophy in times of emergency but taking refuge in The Triple Gem, this will include alot cognitive and behavioral therapy, instruction, exercises, coaching and mentoring if needed, free of charge. Resulting in utter destruction of greed, anger, conceit, restlessless, craving and delusion upon completion. People keep trying to reinvent the wheel tho.

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Dhammanando
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Re: Psychotherapy

Post by Dhammanando » Wed Mar 29, 2017 1:40 am

pink_trike wrote:Also, the concept of 'religion' is a very modern invention dating no earlier than the 13th century ... people have been dealing with the "meaning of life" you reference for at least a couple hundred thousand years and likely a million years or more.
Oh? So Thomas Aquinas (13th century) might have been religious, but Augustine of Hippo (4th century) couldn't have been, right? But on what basis do you make this claim? What has changed between the time of Augustine and Aquinas that would permit one of the saints to be denoted "religious" and the other not?

Edit
To put the question more simply: Since we know that the Latin source of the word ‘religion’ is attested to well before the 13th century (e.g. in the Pagan Cicero and the Christian St. Jerome), what change of meaning did it undergo between 1200 and 1300 CE? Who was responsible for this?

Justsit
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Re: Psychotherapy

Post by Justsit » Wed Mar 29, 2017 2:22 am

R1111 wrote:One doesnt have to contemplate philosophy in times of emergency but taking refuge in The Triple Gem, this will include alot cognitive and behavioral therapy, instruction, exercises, coaching and mentoring if needed, free of charge. Resulting in utter destruction of greed, anger, conceit, restlessless, craving and delusion upon completion. People keep trying to reinvent the wheel tho.
Do you mean to say that taking refuge cures mental illness?

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pink_trike
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Re: Psychotherapy

Post by pink_trike » Wed Mar 29, 2017 6:54 am

Dhammanando wrote:
pink_trike wrote:Also, the concept of 'religion' is a very modern invention dating no earlier than the 13th century ... people have been dealing with the "meaning of life" you reference for at least a couple hundred thousand years and likely a million years or more.
Oh? So Thomas Aquinas (13th century) might have been religious, but Augustine of Hippo (4th century) couldn't have been, right? But on what basis do you make this claim? What has changed between the time of Augustine and Aquinas that would permit one of the saints to be denoted "religious" and the other not?

Edit
To put the question more simply: Since we know that the Latin source of the word ‘religion’ is attested to well before the 13th century (e.g. in the Pagan Cicero and the Christian St. Jerome), what change of meaning did it undergo between 1200 and 1300 CE? Who was responsible for this?
Well ... we know that the term 'religo' was in use well before the 13th century, yes. However, it's my (among other people's) opinion that this term carried no 'religious' meaning or 'supernaturalis' connotations until sometime during the period between the 3rd and 13th century when the understanding and usage of the term changed. Different scholars point to different evidence / dates during this period for this change, some early, some late. I generally emphasize the 13th century because imo it was Aquinas (building on the writings of Averroes and Maimonides in the 12th century ... and with the help of high scholasticism) that put the final nails in the coffin, though I can just as easily argue for the late 5th century, acknowledging that the term degraded over time, culminating in the 13th century. Prior to this change, 'religio' had a variety of common closely related meanings, none corresponding to the modern concept of supernatural 'religion', nor making a distinction between religious and secular. The original meaning included nuances such as rite, protocol, decorum, sense of reserve, scruples, rules, and law, none of which are inherently 'religious' ... these can all be found in any military or corporate setting, for example.

Aquinas' new supernaturalized use of the term 'religio' (there is no record of the term 'supernaturalis' prior to the 13th century) was then used by Christian scholars to translate the Hebrew terms 'huqqah' and 'dan', (now understood to have simply meant statute, custom, or enactment); the Greek term 'threskeia' (now understood to have meant simply rite or duty); and the Arabic term 'dīn', from which the Hebrew term 'dan' derives (now understood to have meant simply custom, social transaction, social order, and law). As a result, these terms came to be newly regarded as carrying supernatural religious meaning also. However, there is no comparable term for religion in Proto-Indo-European (PIE), the common ancestor of Indo-European languages. Classical Greek has no term that functions as ‘religion’. In an article in the Encyclopedia of the Qurʾān, Patrice Brodeur writes of Arabic 'dīn': “Prior to the twentieth century, the English word ‘religion’ had no direct equivalent in Arabic nor had the Arabic word 'dīn' in English. They became partially synonymous only in the course of the twentieth century as a result of increased English-Arabic encounters and the need for consistency in translation” (Brodeur 2013). And the well-known Islamic scholar Fazlur Rahman Malik has suggested that 'dīn' is best considered simply as “the way-to-be-followed” (Malik 1979).

Many people in modern society have been taught to think, or unconsciously assume, that the concept and emotional experience of ‘religion’ and an imagined ‘supernatural’ (above the laws of nature) extend back to the origins of civilization, and even that they are somehow intrinsic to human evolution. Religious people in particular, peculiarly, resist investigating the origins of the concept of religion, taking it for granted or perhaps unsettled by what such an investigation might reveal about this thing they have used as a foundation to build a cherished identification of 'self' on. However, scholars are increasingly contesting the idea that the concept of religion is ancient. The concepts of religion and the supernatural, the habits of thought, the emotional states, and the way of seeing that are provoked by them (religiosity), and the redefining of ancient seasonal festivals and mnemonic rites as 'worship', are carefully manufactured products of the late Middle Ages, created in direct relationship / proportion to humanity's progressively pathological estrangement / alienation from the natural world over the past 1500 years or so. This very modern concept / perception was then imposed on the cultural astronomy, oral traditions, written records, symbols, rituals, and social / moral codes of non-Christian and non-Western cultures, and persuasively impressed upon the leaders of these cultures, often with economic promises tied to military threats. These cultures then gradually came to accept this conceptual imposition so that their oral traditions, social codes, and mnemonic rites, now religionized and supernaturalized, would be regarded on the same level as Christianity, and to protect themselves from Christian Europe’s aggressive and frequently cruel persuasion tactics.

Japan is a clear example of the Christian export and spread of the fairly recently invented concept of religion. Jason Josephson writes in The Invention of Religion in Japan: “Throughout its long history, Japan had no concept for ‘religion’. There was no corresponding Japanese word, nor anything that came close to its meaning until the 1850s when America forced the Japanese to sign treaties demanding, among other things, freedom of religion” (Josephson 2012). This freedom of religion clause was lobbied for inclusion by Western Christian leaders, who eyed Japan as virgin territory for Christian market share. To comply, Japan was forced to create an official state-defined category for religion. Shendao (Shinto)—the way, path, law (dao) of the celestial entities (shen) — cultural astronomy — was officially categorized as a science. All other variations of an ancient (cultural astronomy) tradition, thirty-six of them named in the scholarly documents of the time, became newly classified as religion / superstition to satisfy treaty demands.

Native American oral traditions / rites were similarly distorted and defined. Native American cultures had no concept of religion or religiosity prior to European Christian colonization and subjugation. Their oral traditions, rites, and symbols are components of a sophisticated cultural astronomy, historical record, and an environmental and ecological awareness, melded with a way of life; a social / moral code that kept an acknowledgement and familiarization of place at the foreground of the community’s vision in order to protect the wellbeing of society, individuals, and the non-human creatures of the earth. These traditions were brutally suppressed by Christian invaders and “settlers” who, in their cultural insularity, interpreted them as supernatural religion, while they systematically and violently dismantled Native American culture and killed millions in a very short period of time.

And, as in Classical Greek, there is also a notable lack of any word in premodern Chinese that signifies ‘religion’ or ‘supernatural,’ or anything that corresponds to those terms. The modern Chinese term zongjiao was first employed to mean supernatural ‘religion’ in the late nineteenth century.

The concept of ‘religion’ is entirely a modern Eurocentric subjective construct that functions as a comparison to Christianity, while applying classification and definition when used outside of Christianity. Defining and classifying the traditions of ancient cultures as religion, and defining their associated rites and codes as religiosity, is tantamount to colonization and erasure. Recontextualization is erasure. Whoever controls the story, language, images, and rites controls how the mind thinks. It is as aggressive and dominating as the burning of libraries, the destruction of standing stone circles, and the imprisoning, torturing, and murdering of scientists, mathematicians, and philosophers - for which Christianity is well known.

The body of ancient traditional records / practices (oral tradition and what we now refer to as mythology, symbols, geoconstructions, rites, architectural patterns) were all part of a global multilevel multifaceted mnemotechnical language, recorded in a brilliant and strategically constructed way that encoded complex knowledge (historical events and science) and related information / data, and also preserved a corresponding social / moral code (consistent with history and science) in the greatest number of biological hard drives and community for the greatest length of time. The many regional variations of this multilevel multifaceted mnemotechnical language and corresponding social / moral code, dating back tens of thousands of years, wasn't supernatural religion. They were a way of life, consistent with the laws of nature and the celestial mechanics that drive them ... referred to as the "Law", the "Way", the Dao ... and as "Dharma / Dhamma" (which also means, among other things, 'Law'). Humanity's understanding of this Law has degraded into supernatural ideations and literal interpretations of allegoric / symbolic / anthropocentric / 'mythic' constructions.

This is a very short explanation. Obviously, in the interest of length, much detail and nuance has been left out. If anyone has questions I'll provide more details.
Last edited by pink_trike on Wed Mar 29, 2017 6:47 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.

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pink_trike
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Re: Psychotherapy

Post by pink_trike » Wed Mar 29, 2017 7:27 am

R1111 wrote:One doesnt have to contemplate philosophy in times of emergency but taking refuge in The Triple Gem, this will include alot cognitive and behavioral therapy, instruction, exercises, coaching and mentoring if needed, free of charge. Resulting in utter destruction of greed, anger, conceit, restlessless, craving and delusion upon completion. People keep trying to reinvent the wheel tho.
My personal and professional opinion is that you have a deficit understanding of the biological / neurological mechanics of mental illness and emotional pain. Dharma / dhamma practices are very valuable ... they help to refine perception and can contribute to clarity, contentment, and even happiness ... but they weren't designed to deal with mental illness and they are ineffective as treatment. They can also be contraindicated and dangerous for various forms of mental illness and emotional pain.

I find your view to be as dangerous as the extreme fundamentalist religious view that physical illnesses are "god's will" and that medical treatment should be rejected, even if it causes death.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.

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robertk
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Re: Psychotherapy

Post by robertk » Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:23 am

Japan is a clear example of the Christian export and spread of the fairly recently invented concept of religion. Jason Josephson writes in The Invention of Religion in Japan: “Throughout its long history, Japan had no concept for ‘religion’.
Nara Big Buddha
Constructed 752 AD

Nothing remotely religious about this ancient Buddhist statue in Japan?
nara-daibutsu-TN-top.jpg
nara-daibutsu-TN-top.jpg (23.89 KiB) Viewed 522 times

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pink_trike
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Re: Psychotherapy

Post by pink_trike » Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:47 am

robertk wrote:
Japan is a clear example of the Christian export and spread of the fairly recently invented concept of religion. Jason Josephson writes in The Invention of Religion in Japan: “Throughout its long history, Japan had no concept for ‘religion’.
Nara Big Buddha
Constructed 752 AD

Nothing remotely religious about this ancient Buddhist statue in Japan?
nara-daibutsu-TN-top.jpg
Only if viewed through a very modern received conditioned concept / lens of 'religious'.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.

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Sam Vara
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Re: Psychotherapy

Post by Sam Vara » Wed Mar 29, 2017 9:47 am

pink_trike wrote: The many regional variations of this multilevel multifaceted mnemotechnical language and corresponding social / moral code, dating back tens of thousands of years, wasn't supernatural religion. They were a way of life, consistent with the laws of nature and the celestial mechanics that drive them ... referred to as the "Law", the "Way", the Dao ... and as "Dharma / Dhamma" (which also means, among other things, 'Law'). Humanity's understanding of this Law has degraded into supernatural ideations and literal interpretations of allegoric / symbolic / anthropocentric / 'mythic' constructions.
Many thanks for taking the time and trouble to produce your account - I found it very interesting. Does the section quoted above mean that you consider the apparently supernatural bits of the canon (post-mortem rebirth, kamma extending over various lifetimes, and the accounts of people flying through the air, etc.) to be something like misunderstandings or corruptions of what the Buddha taught?

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Re: Psychotherapy

Post by mikenz66 » Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:36 pm

Hi PT,
pink_trike wrote: Native American oral traditions / rites were similarly distorted and defined. Native American cultures had no concept of religion or religiosity prior to European Christian colonization and subjugation. Their oral traditions, rites, and symbols are components of a sophisticated cultural astronomy, historical record, and an environmental and ecological awareness, melded with a way of life; a social / moral code that kept an acknowledgement and familiarization of place at the foreground of the community’s vision in order to protect the wellbeing of society, individuals, and the non-human creatures of the earth. These traditions were brutally suppressed by Christian invaders and “settlers” who, in their cultural insularity, interpreted them as supernatural religion, while they systematically and violently dismantled Native American culture and killed millions in a very short period of time. .
This is a very interesting observation. I've little idea of the extent and nature of adoption of Christianity by Native Americans, but it's interesting that Christianity was widely adopted by Pacific peoples (such as the NZ Māori, Samoans, Tongans, etc). In those areas, and in some areas of SE Asia (such as in Borneo) there were no established large-scale organised systems (Islam, Hindu, Buddhist, etc), and so the Christian conversion was faster.

It seems to me that here the Māori have managed to preserve (or, perhaps, revive is a better term in some cases) their indigenous knowledge systems and rituals in parallel with Christianity. Perhaps, as I think you are suggesting, it has become obvious that their indigenous knowledge systems, which place high importance on their origins in terms of ancestors, land, mountains, etc, are simply different from Christianity, or science, and there is no point in trying to reconcile them - they apply in different contexts.

:heart:
Mike

form
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Re: Psychotherapy

Post by form » Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:44 pm

pink_trike wrote:
R1111 wrote:One doesnt have to contemplate philosophy in times of emergency but taking refuge in The Triple Gem, this will include alot cognitive and behavioral therapy, instruction, exercises, coaching and mentoring if needed, free of charge. Resulting in utter destruction of greed, anger, conceit, restlessless, craving and delusion upon completion. People keep trying to reinvent the wheel tho.
My personal and professional opinion is that you have a deficit understanding of the biological / neurological mechanics of mental illness and emotional pain. Dharma / dhamma practices are very valuable ... they help to refine perception and can contribute to clarity, contentment, and even happiness ... but they weren't designed to deal with mental illness and they are ineffective as treatment. They can also be contraindicated and dangerous for various forms of mental illness and emotional pain.

I find your view to be as dangerous as the extreme fundamentalist religious view that physical illnesses are "god's will" and that medical treatment should be rejected, even if it causes death.
I do not think Theravada will accept merging modern science and Buddhism.

R1111
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Re: Psychotherapy

Post by R1111 » Wed Mar 29, 2017 3:33 pm

pink_trike wrote: I find your view to be as dangerous as the extreme fundamentalist religious view that physical illnesses are "god's will" and that medical treatment should be rejected, even if it causes death.
I'll take extreme fundamentalism as a compliment in context of Dhamma. However im not as opposed to medication as you seem to think. I think it's often in one's best interest to adequately care for the body so that it can optimally function for training and life is sustained in this body until work is done. It's not like psychologists have monopoly on knowledge of biology and applicaton. The Buddha allowed medicine and i know of a case where Sariputta encouraged an Arahant to keep living but the problem was that painful feelings were not decreasing even tho they did what they could to treat the body.

To Form:
Taking refuge cures all mental illness and suffering. Not in the context of a ceremony obviously

R1111
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Re: Psychotherapy

Post by R1111 » Wed Mar 29, 2017 3:43 pm

pink_trike wrote:
My personal and professional opinion is that you have a deficit understanding of the biological / neurological mechanics of mental illness and emotional pain. Dharma / dhamma practices are very valuable ... they help to refine perception and can contribute to clarity, contentment, and even happiness ... but they weren't designed to deal with mental illness and they are ineffective as treatment.
.
This is very insulting and wrong.. i wont even bother commenting good luck to you sir.

binocular
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Re: Psychotherapy

Post by binocular » Wed Mar 29, 2017 4:36 pm

pink_trike wrote:I don't agree ... victims of child abuse, those who experience crippling depression, runaway patterns of thought, suicidal ideation, psychotic episodes, self-harming, trapped in domestic abuse situations, can't sustain healthy relationships, enslaved by compulsive behaviors, hearing voices, terrified of life, suffering from post traumatic stress, self-sabotage ... these people don't have the luxury of contemplating the "meaning of life". These are survival issues.
Survival issues are meaning of life issues.
I don't think it is possible to effectively help someone overcome trauma unless the bigger picture of outlook on life is addressed.

People don't just go to work for the sake of earning money so that they can put food on the table.
People go to work for the sake of earning money so that they can put food on the table so that they can live a life they find worth living.

It seems that psychotherapy is trying to get people to do things simply for the sake of doing them, mechanically, much like robots. So that those people externally become less bothersome to others, even if inside, they are falling apart.
Also, the concept of 'religion' is a very modern invention dating no earlier than the 13th century ... people have been dealing with the "meaning of life" you reference for at least a couple hundred thousand years and likely a million years or more.
Sure, doesn't change anything about what I said.
binocular wrote:The idea that psychology operates from a neutral, objective ethical value system. When in fact, psychotherapists usually subscribe to a specific secular, atheist materialistic worldview. And making use of their help also requires that the patient adopts that worldview as well.
1. Got some data that shows psychotherapists (in all schools of psychotherapeutic thought) are "usually" atheist materialists? Also, a good case can be made that 'religion' is the spawn of a materialistic worldview.
Just read any professional medical, including psychotherapy journal. Or better yet: the DSM. From the way the descriptions of the diseases are formulated and from the descriptions of treatment, it can be inferred what the worldview behind them is. (Hint: There is no reference to ask God or your spiritual master for help.)
2. It doesn't "require" that clients adopt any view. Psychotherapy doesn't operate the way that religion does and doesn't require a certain view in order for it to be effective. There is absolutely no difference in how I work with a non religious client or a religious client.

Maybe because you've never been a "client" yourself. Or maybe the people you've treated just happen to have a very similar value system and outlook on life as you do, so neither you nor they have problems in this regard. (And many religious people appear to have exactly the same values and beliefs about life as secular atheists; the only difference is that they officially count themselves to a religion. I have known Christians who believe that it is up to psychologists to figure out how the self exists!)

It is logically impossible to do much with the advice given by someone whose worldview is too/entirely different than one's own.
3. I doubt you'll find any psychotherapist that wouldn't snort at the idea of "neutral, objective".
Read any professional medical journal, and it's evident the authors believe they have it all figured out.
Asked point blank, probably very few people would admit to being neutral and objective, but they forget all about politically correct self-images as soon as the rubber hits the road.
We "skirt" philosophical and religious issues in the same way that we "skirt" quantum physics and political party affiliation ... as irrelevant unless a client specifically presents with issues that they identify as philosophical or related to religion in some way (recovering from religious indoctrination and addressing the damage it causes is a common presentation issue). When someone is plagued by the effects of crippling depression, runaway patterns of thought, suicidal ideation, psychotic episodes, self-harming, trapped in domestic abuse situations, can't sustain healthy relationships, are enslaved by compulsive behaviors, hear voices, are terrified of life, suffer from post traumatic stress, self-sabotage ... abstractions such as philosophy and religion are inappropriately irrelevant in the same way that a person seeking help from a physician for allergies requires no contemplation of such abstractions.
I think that depends on the person, too.
I read William Styron's "Darkness visible" and it struck me how on earth can an award-winning author write such a shallow book about his own experience with depression. I've read it twice, several years apart, because I couldn't believe someone could write something so shallow about depression. But alas, he did.

But most people aren't inclined to philosophy anyway. Probably most psychotherapists aren't inclined to philosophy anyway as well. So that explains a lot.

Which is why I am quite nicely suprised as I recently found the work of Matthew Ratcliffe -- http://www.academia.edu/3649413/Evaluat ... al_Despair
I want to write to him and thank him!
More importantly, a client's persistent focus on these abstractions can be understood as an avoidance mechanism that protects them from acknowledging feelings, processes, and realities that have been denied, that scare them, or that are potentially overwhelming.
I think that is a psychological construct, intended to establish the supremacy of that kind of psychology.
binocular wrote:Mental / emotional health medicine cannot be separated from philosophy or religion, even though many psychotherapists insist on this separation.
Of course it can (again, assuming that religion isn't the root cause of the presenting issues, which it very frequently is). When someone is in great psychological pain because of being beaten by an abusive spouse, or they fantasize about killing themselves without knowing why, or are trapped in repetitive compulsive behaviors, there are more important things to be done than contemplate philosophy or religion.
I can't imagine how someone could be in the situations you mention above without relating those troubles to a religious explanation or to not having an adequate one.

And when you say that mental / emotional health medicine can be separated from philosophy or religion, you are implying you operate out of neutral, objective system of values and beliefs.
Last edited by binocular on Wed Mar 29, 2017 5:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

binocular
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Re: Psychotherapy

Post by binocular » Wed Mar 29, 2017 5:04 pm

pink_trike wrote:
R1111 wrote:One doesnt have to contemplate philosophy in times of emergency but taking refuge in The Triple Gem, this will include alot cognitive and behavioral therapy, instruction, exercises, coaching and mentoring if needed, free of charge. Resulting in utter destruction of greed, anger, conceit, restlessless, craving and delusion upon completion. People keep trying to reinvent the wheel tho.
My personal and professional opinion is that you have a deficit understanding of the biological / neurological mechanics of mental illness and emotional pain. Dharma / dhamma practices are very valuable ... they help to refine perception and can contribute to clarity, contentment, and even happiness ... but they weren't designed to deal with mental illness and they are ineffective as treatment. They can also be contraindicated and dangerous for various forms of mental illness and emotional pain.

I find your view to be as dangerous as the extreme fundamentalist religious view that physical illnesses are "god's will" and that medical treatment should be rejected, even if it causes death.
If a random Joe who happens to have "anger management issues" and who has no clue or only superficial knowledge of Buddhism were to be prescribed a Buddhist practice -- yes, sure, that would probably be highly unproductive to say the least.

But the same doesn't apply to everyone, regardless of the quality of their religious life.

My stance is that when people who are involved with a religion and who also seem to have some personal problems (that Western psychotherapists would classify as "mental illness"), then this is in some way related to them having an inadequate or insufficient religious practice.
The major world religions seem to operate in such a way that when their members have an adequate religious practice, they are also socially and economically functional.
The people who seem to have the most problems are those in the grey area inbetween, ie. people who are not fully/adequately religious, but not entirely irreligious either. A religious solution cannot be prescribed to them for their problems because they have only a tentative footing (and as such insufficient) in the religion; but a secular solution cannot be prescribed to them for their problems because they are not entirely secular anymore either.

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pink_trike
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Re: Psychotherapy

Post by pink_trike » Wed Mar 29, 2017 5:13 pm

binocular wrote:
pink_trike wrote:I don't agree ... victims of child abuse, those who experience crippling depression, runaway patterns of thought, suicidal ideation, psychotic episodes, self-harming, trapped in domestic abuse situations, can't sustain healthy relationships, enslaved by compulsive behaviors, hearing voices, terrified of life, suffering from post traumatic stress, self-sabotage ... these people don't have the luxury of contemplating the "meaning of life". These are survival issues.
Survival issues are meaning of life issues.
I don't think it is possible to effectively help someone overcome trauma unless the bigger picture of outlook on life is addressed.

People don't just go to work for the sake of earning money so that they can put food on the table.
People go to work for the sake of earning money so that they can put food on the table so that they can live a life they find worth living.

It seems that psychotherapy is trying to get people to do things simply for the sake of doing them, mechanically, much like robots. So that those people externally become less bothersome to others, even if inside, they are falling apart.
Also, the concept of 'religion' is a very modern invention dating no earlier than the 13th century ... people have been dealing with the "meaning of life" you reference for at least a couple hundred thousand years and likely a million years or more.
Sure, doesn't change anything about what I said.
binocular wrote:The idea that psychology operates from a neutral, objective ethical value system. When in fact, psychotherapists usually subscribe to a specific secular, atheist materialistic worldview. And making use of their help also requires that the patient adopts that worldview as well.
1. Got some data that shows psychotherapists (in all schools of psychotherapeutic thought) are "usually" atheist materialists? Also, a good case can be made that 'religion' is the spawn of a materialistic worldview.
Just read any professional medical, including psychotherapy journal. Or better yet: the DSM. From the way the descriptions of the diseases are formulated and from the descriptions of treatment, it can be inferred what the worldview behind them is. (Hint: There is no reference to ask God or your spiritual master for help.)
2. It doesn't "require" that clients adopt any view. Psychotherapy doesn't operate the way that religion does and doesn't require a certain view in order for it to be effective. There is absolutely no difference in how I work with a non religious client or a religious client.

Maybe because you've never been a "client" yourself. Or maybe the people you've treated just happen to have a very similar value system and outlook on life as you do, so neither you nor they have problems in this regard. (And many religious people appear to have exactly the same values and beliefs about life as secular atheists; the only difference is that they officially count themselves to a religion. I have known Christians who believe that it is up to psychologists to figure out how the self exists!)

It is logically impossible to do much with the advice given by someone whose worldview is too/entirely different than one's own.
3. I doubt you'll find any psychotherapist that wouldn't snort at the idea of "neutral, objective".
Read any professional medical journal, and it's evident the authors believe they have it all figured out.
Asked point blank, probably very few people would admit to being neutral and objective, but they forget all about politically correct self-images as soon as the rubber hits the road.
We "skirt" philosophical and religious issues in the same way that we "skirt" quantum physics and political party affiliation ... as irrelevant unless a client specifically presents with issues that they identify as philosophical or related to religion in some way (recovering from religious indoctrination and addressing the damage it causes is a common presentation issue). When someone is plagued by the effects of crippling depression, runaway patterns of thought, suicidal ideation, psychotic episodes, self-harming, trapped in domestic abuse situations, can't sustain healthy relationships, are enslaved by compulsive behaviors, hear voices, are terrified of life, suffer from post traumatic stress, self-sabotage ... abstractions such as philosophy and religion are inappropriately irrelevant in the same way that a person seeking help from a physician for allergies requires no contemplation of such abstractions.
I think that depends on the person, too.
I read William Styron's "Darkness visible" and it struck me how on earth can an award-winning author write such a shallow book about his own experience with depression. I've read it twice, several years apart, because I couldn't believe someone could write something so shallow about depression. But alas, he did.

But most people aren't inclined to philosophy anyway. Probably most psychotherapists aren't inclined to philosophy anyway as well. So that explains a lot.

Which is why I am quite nicely suprised as I recently found the work of Matthew Ratcliffe -- http://www.academia.edu/3649413/Evaluat ... al_Despair
I want to write to him and thank him!
More importantly, a client's persistent focus on these abstractions can be understood as an avoidance mechanism that protects them from acknowledging feelings, processes, and realities that have been denied, that scare them, or that are potentially overwhelming.
I think that is a psychological construct, intended to establish the supremacy of that kind of psychology.
binocular wrote:Mental / emotional health medicine cannot be separated from philosophy or religion, even though many psychotherapists insist on this separation.
Of course it can (again, assuming that religion isn't the root cause of the presenting issues, which it very frequently is). When someone is in great psychological pain because of being beaten by an abusive spouse, or they fantasize about killing themselves without knowing why, or are trapped in repetitive compulsive behaviors, there are more important things to be done than contemplate philosophy or religion.
I can't imagine how someone could be in the situations you mention above without relating those troubles to a religious explanation or not having an adequate one.

And when you say that mental / emotional health medicine can be separated from philosophy or religion, you are implying you operate out of neutral, objective system of values and beliefs.
I could be wrong, but it sounds like your views about psychotherapy are the result of not having had a committed engaged extended psychotherapeutic experience. They sound like they are based on a very narrow reading about psychology and reflect confusion regarding the purpose and goals of psychotherapy (which is distinctly different from psychiatry). There are significant differences between the training / methods of psychotherapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists. And within each group, there are a myriad number of schools / styles / views. There is no monolithic 'psychology'. For example, I rejected the validity / effectiveness of the DSM while still in graduate school and never incorporated into my view / practice.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.

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