Author Archives: forfreepsychology

Interview with Carl Jung

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For psychologists and psychology students some historical names are learnt at once. If you say “who” when somebody mention them, a look of surprise will manifest itself in the interviewer. Two of these famous names are Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. But even if many psychologist know about them, not everyone have read or delved into their theories. For that reason, I thought it would be interesting to see an interview with Carl Jung himself. He is old in the interview, but very clear in his opinions and memories. It’s fascinating to watch one of the “fathers” of psychology alive. Many are still inspired from his thoughts and views, even if many of them have been integrated into more sophisticated theoretical models.

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The examined life

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My New Year has been punctuated by some wonderful reads.  My most recent literary exploration has taken me to  The Examined Life, written by the estimable Stephen Grosz.

Above from Amazon

It is as compelling as it is powerful. This books provides a truly wonderful insight into the human condition, which is all the more illuminated by Grosz’s accounts of the human experience through those he has a privilege to care for in analysis. And this care, this bond between analyst and patient, shines forth from each and every page.

As I finished the book and flopped back onto my comfy sofa, my mind whirring as it started to mentally walk through each of the cases Grosz shared, and as I pondered what it would be like to to be a psychoanalyst from Grosz’s description of the work, I picked up my pen and started to write.

This is what I wrote:

“It seems to me like psychoanalysis helps (in a similar way to CBT – Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) each patient to develop a form of self-awareness of their situation and, thus, empowers them to actualise some kind of catharsis (a means of processing or providing relief from strong or repressed emotions) through this knowledge.

From the many accounts Grosz gives, it looks like this catharsis is predominantly achieved through Grosz’s patients wanting to know they were not alone. They wanted someone to listen to them, and therefore demonstrate that they were worth being listened to. They are valuable and worthy of time and consideration.

For others, providing an explanation for their actions, providing them with words to account for their experience brings clarity from confusion, and again, enables them to clear the mental haze and see the road ahead, and the various routes open to them to embark upon.

This kind of piercing insight, analysis, is invaluable.

Much like slipping into a hot bath, it strips us of our shivering fears, isolation and anxieties and soothes our very beings as we are enveloped with with caring, careful clarity – a way of making sense of our dis-order, which too, is why interpreting dreams is such a powerful catharsis. However, whilst understanding the mechanisms behind each dream by placing the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle together brings relief, all this really grants us is what we already knew. For Grosz, it was the fear of losing his son. I admit, there is great beauty in ordering and understanding our dreams, but as Grosz himself allows by sharing the sad case of one AIDS patient who acted upon Grosz’s insights by going on holiday (where he died from dysentery, rather than receiving the medication he needed), Grosz’s attempts to help this patient understand his situation, could not change the situation itself. It leads me to think something more is needed…

As Grosz notes the incident of an eminent American psychoanalyst (Ap) questioning him as to why he bothered helping another AIDS patient (Anthony) who could “expect to live for two years and hope to live for four” (p.199), the Ap asks, “Why are you wasting your time on this patient? He’s going to die. Why not help someone who’s got a future?” (p.201)

It strikes me that if what Grosz writes elsewhere in the book is true, namely that

The future is not some place we are going to, but an idea in our mind now. It is something we’re creating, that in turn creates us. The future is a fantasy that shapes our present” (p.157)

then, Anthony’s future is his present.

Grosz describes how this penetrating question felt cruel to him. After all, what was clear to them both was that analysis had helped Anthony to overcome his anxiety and depression (p.203). The reason, I wonder, Grosz found this challenge cruel was because his engagements with Anthony were meaningful. Not only was there purpose to the analysis, but it was yielding personal results in Anthony, even if these personal results did not change the ultimate outcome of his imminent death.

As I read on, I could not help but smile with joy when Grosz informs his audience that Anthony, twenty two years later, is in good health. It feels like an overwhelming victory. Not only was there evident contemporaneous meaning to Grosz’s meetings with Anthony, but, there is now ongoing life, too.

As joyful as this is, it does not really make up for “death’s finality” (p.210), which will ultimately visit Anthony. Perhaps I have oversimplified things, but it leads me to think something more is needed…”

The Examined Life by Stephen Grosz really is one of those rare penetrating reads, which will not only help you to understand others, but quite dramatically, yourself. I thoroughly recommend it!

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What we do with our women

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5 Minutes Of What The Media Actually Does To Women

 
What do we do with the women in the society when images of women on the internet are manipulated ? What attitudes do we want to transfer to our children? What kind of people do we want to be?
True fact: Almost 100% of the images you see of models and celebrities are altered.
Aren`t you good enough as you are?
Nina, psychologist

Milton H Erickson

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On the bus yesterday, I listened to an audiobook about a man I found very interesting. I would love to reproduce everything I heard, but this will be some facts that I found especially interesting

I had the nickname in grade school and high school, “Dictionary,” because I spent so much time reading the dictionary. One noon, just after the noon dismissal bell rang, I was in my usual chair reading the dictionary in the back of the room. Suddenly a blinding, dazzling flash of light occurred because I just learned how to use the dictionary. Up to that moment in looking up a word, I started at the first page and went through every column, page after page until I reached the word. In that blinding flash of light I realized that you use the alphabet as an ordered system for looking up a word…I don’t know why it took me so long. Did my unconscious purposely withhold that knowledge because of the immense amount of education I got from reading the dictionary?

Milton H. Erickson – Wikipedia

His story is impressive, and even more so when one considers his background: He was color blind, deaf and dyslexic. He learned hypnosis, and worked as a psychiatrist first. He married, got 5 children with his wife (he had three from previous relationships). He founded the American Society of Hypnosis. He died in 1980, and his ashes were strewn over a mountain top that many of his clients reached.

I had polio, and I was totally paralyzed, and the inflammation was so great that I had a sensory paralysis too. I could move my eyes and my hearing was undisturbed. I got very lonesome lying in bed, unable to move anything except my eyeballs. I was quarantined on the farm with seven sisters, one brother, two parents, and a practical nurse. And how could I entertain myself? I started watching people and my environment. I soon learned that my sisters could say “no” when they meant “yes.” And they could say “yes” and mean “no” at the same time. They could offer another sister an apple and hold it back. And I began studying nonverbal language and body language.
I had a baby sister who had begun to learn to creep. I would have to learn to stand up and walk. And you can imagine the intensity with which I watched as my baby sister grew from creeping to learning how to stand up.
– My Voice Will Go With You

He was recognized for his hypnotherapy, were he integrated his extensive knowledge collected from experience and intelligence. An example of his insights: “One day a horse wandered into his home place. He let the horse take him where he wanted, and he stopped where he came from. When the farmer asked how he knew where the horse came from, he said: I didn`t, the horse did”. By relying on the force of the unconscious, he could help both people and animals

Milton Erickson was an interesting therapist and scientist: With creativity he tailored therapy to each client so that it fitted perfectly. He was the perfect ”mirror” for others, so much that he actually could “talk” exactly like the client in front of him. He strongly believed in the unconscious, and in letting people find their own insights. He could tell little anecdotes that were completely right for the client. An example was an alcoholic that lived in a family where everyone drank (even his own wife) and drunk for several years. He was considered a hopeless case. Milton gave him a task: He should go to a park and sit down to watch a cactus for several minutes. Erickson told him this cactus could live without water ericksonfor three years. 5 years later his sister called Erickson and told him both he and his wife had stopped drinking. He also used Reframing, mirroring and the paradox intervention. And example of the first, is when he sent a rootless client to Flagstaff so that she created new positive associated to a place that just seemed negative before. An example of the second is when he met a patient that tore things apart. She tore and threw everything she saw: Clothes, curtains, wallpaper. Generally, she was acting out. Erickson stood beside her and did the same thing, he tore up pieces of the wallpapers and threw things here and there. He exclaimed: “This was fun! Let`s go somewhere else and do more of it”. They came to a hospital, where he ripped the clothes off a nurse.

After this event, the girl became an angel, not knowing that the nurse in on the whole thing. An example of the paradox intervention was telling a woman who had severe problems with her weight. Erickson told her to try a new method where she first would gain a certain weight before she started with dieting. When she no longer had to restrain herself, she suddenly lost the weight she needed.

BUCHis theories have been developed further after he died, and one of the results is NLP (Neuro-linguistic programming ). I actually know very little about NLP, but I have thought several times that I`ll have to check into it, since I`m very interested in theories integrating what we know about our brain, with psychology.

  1.  Milton H. Erickson | History of Hypnosis

    Milton H. Erickson (1901-1980) graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1

    Milton Erickson, Founder of Conversational Hypnosis | Business NLP

  2. Ericksonian Hypnosis: Breaking Habits with Tasks — NLP 

    PICTURES:  http://www.pinterest.com/pin/391391023837204618/
     http://ww2.odu.edu/~eneukrug/therapists/Erickson.html

The sound of living like a psychological millionaire

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The art of living as a psycholgical millionaire: To use your energy in a way that gives you a result you need.

A person with the possibility of becoming a psychological millionaire does just this. For this to happen, certain principles must be satisfied. Efficient mental energy has four caracteristic features. Its:

– Adaptive

– Goal-oriented

– Successful

and

– Devoid of waste

Examples of non-efficient living:

Certain diagnostic groups can have enough mental energy, but low mental efficiency. This can for example be clients with AD/HD or Borderline personality disorder. They might do a lot of things, like walking around in a room restlessly or having an emotional outburst. Their problem is using the energy in a good way: They can`t regulate it in a way that makes it able to live a good life. Some groups have too low energy to be efficient, like with depressed or fatigued clients.

When working with dissociation, parts have different levels of mental energy and efficiency. EP`s can actually be the most energetic parts in the system, but have very low efficiency, since they repeat behoviors in a dysfunctional way. It is possible to have a dissociative disorder like DID and borderline PF at the same time. In this case most parts will have borderline features, that is: High levels of mental energy but low efficiency.

Energy and efficiency in trauma

“Looking in a cupboard that is empty, will not work no matter how good the torch is”. Nijenhuis, 2013

Trauma can also be understood by using the concept of energy and efficiency. Trauma can be either too much or too little energy or efficiency. For example, an EP can feel stuck, with high levels of energy, but low levels of efficiency. The EP can`t “get out of it”. There is no symbolization of the event, since it “feels like” the trauma is still going on. The part or the EP is “stuck” in what was. To connect the then with the now, it`s necessary to reach the reach the higher level of language, and that is easier when an empathic therapist helps the EP. Empathy is necessary to tune in to the EP`s experience. If the EP is afraid, the voice of the therapist must be soothing and calm. The therapist must tune in so that the EP is seen and validated. When the therapist tries to understand the EP, the ANP of the patient might learn that it`s possible to collaborate and help EP`s.

Example of working with an EP with enough mental energy

Imagine a claustrophobic EP (picture 1). The EP has trouble breathing because her throat feels constricted. The therapist might observe this, and tune in to this with a low, empathic voice “It looks like you have trouble breathing ?” The therapist observes that the EP tries to nod. The therapist continues: “I see you tried to nod, but it looks like its hard to move?”. The therapist explores the EP`s experience, thereby respecting and validating her.

The therapist can also ask the EP to try to broaden her field of consciousness, by asking if they can try to breathe slower or by asking of if the EP could look at something around her that is comforting. He can also try to tell the EP that she is safe, that boundaries will be respected, or say that everything will be okay. Moreover, the therapits can make it clear that the EP decides what happens next, and that everything will be predictable and safe. The therapist watches the EP and helps her, where she is, there and then.


Working with a non-verbal EP

If the EP is young and can`t talk, one has to communicate non-verbally. For example, if the EP is in “freeze-mode”, the therapist can ask questions about the inner experiences of the EP: “Can you find a place in yourself where you have some ability to move?” If the EP moves the ANP`s finger just a tiny bit, the therapist might say: “Is it possible to move your finger a little bit more?” Gradually, the EP is exposed to new experiences that will be healing in time.

If the frozen EP is able to move, either by actually walking around in the room, the EP learns what it couldn`t when abuse happened. When the therapist is able to intone and be there for the EP`s, magic can happen. I`ve experiences this myself, and every time it feels so meaningful. To see a afraid little EP starting to feel stronger, feels like I`ve been able to lift a heavy weight together with them. Therapy is heavy work. The EP must shred the cloak of repression that weigh down on them, and that cost a lot of mental energy. This means that the client must have enough mental energy available.

If he is tired, starved, physicially unfit or doesn`t do anything inspiring that gives joy or energy, it might be best to wait until more energy is available. Trauma-therapy is hard work, and cost both physical and mental energy. Going into trauma-material before the client has filled up her batteries, is not recommended.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Small stories

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Every person can do many acts of love.

 

On our post “I presented our new cards, and already I have distributed some of them to readers and fellow humans who wants to help me distribute them. Yesterday I met a friend who will travel for 5 months and she would love to distribute the cards in South-Africa, India, America, South-America and Asia. I also got a reader from Portland (thank you Laurie) and one from Pennsylvania (thank you Niko), who wants to share the cards. If more readers of this blog would like to help me with distributing them, feel free to send me some contact information, so I can mail some business-cards you can give to people you know, or even complete strangers (thereby also getting extra stars in the «kindness project».

 

If you don`t want to do that, it`s perfectly fine.

 

I hope our readers like what we`ve produced so far. If not, we really love concrete feedback on how we can make the blog even better. We can only deliver high-quality content if readers tell us what could be better.

 

I want to than601835_580478758651088_1235832139_nk all the readers, contributors and people who`ve been involved so far. Without you I would be nothing. The next week I will collect stories from people: What small things have they done for others the last couple of weeks. I will then write a post describing those acts. Maybe I can even videotape it, if people would be interested?

Project kindness to a stranger: Give a smile to a stranger, and you might have made the world a little better

 

 

 

We go about our everyday lives wanting things to always be getting better. We hope that our work makes a difference and those who came before us are proud and we wish for our children to have more than what we were given. As anyone knows who has heard Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous speech—delivered fifty years ago this August~ dreams are at the center of any effort to make things better. And today we have something with more power than we might realize: The internet. It’s not without reason that China and North-Korea tried to keep their inhabitants away from news. The media also have immense power, and even if some might argue that they focus on the wrong things, a lot of journalist really want to make the world a better place. Combine the knowledge, motivation the internet and the media and you have a wonderful recipe: People who actually do something.

 

 

So, by now you might be thinking: Yeah, sure, but what can I DO? When we have the possibility to help, by little effort, we do it. For example, most people help the world by sorting our paper and throw it in a separate garbage bin, thereby saving the rainforest. So, what about potentially making somebody happy by smiling a little?

 

trueResearch shows that our mirror-neurons respond automatically by creating a smile on your own lips. This means that smiling AT someone, actually MAKE them happier. Research also shows that being happy yourself, gives you more energy to be there for others.

I would challenge the readers of this blog to do JUST one nice thing for somebody else (preferably a stranger, because that would have the biggest impact) the next week (five minutes, or if you are in a hurry, two second, is all that`s needed to fulfill the criterias).

 

When you have done that, write WHAT you did, and if you want,  email us at forfreepsychology@gmail.com

For every one of you who does that, you might have made the world just a little better.

  

Nina, psychologist

Pretending to be happy

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I wanted to share finding my inner courage`s latest post, since I find her incredibly brave in what she does. Living in excruciating pain is more than anyone can imagine, but still, she goes through it. The strength it takes to smile when all you want to do is cry out in agony, is immense. I send my best wishes, and cross my fingers for more pain-free moments in the future. You are a star.

Nina, psychologist

Pretending To Be Happy

15TuesdayOct 2013

Posted by  in BLOGS

≈ 7 Comments

Determinant of the circumstance, a lot of times it is heavily beneficial for me to keep a smile on my face, even though the emotional or physical pain that I am experiencing is weighing me down.

It takes more strength to be able to keep a smile on my face and to keep moving forward towards my goals, than it does to let a serious emotional or physical wound affect me, but what would life be without its challenges? Whether I choose to believe it or not staying positive and keeping a smile on my face is infectious, my positivity will infect everyone around me as will my negativity.

I must choose at times of extreme pain to be strong and make sure no one sees my pain!

Pretending to be happy when you’re in pain is just an example of how strong you are as a person. 

 

Happy hour

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Every day someone lives in pain. Sometimes it is physical torment, and sometimes it`s mental agony. A memo

Our blog tries to cover varied topics, but the underlying theme is that we want to inspire and give people hope. One of our goals is to do our part to make the world a better place, and maybe somebody else will want to do the same? We see people around us everywhere, and we don`t always know their stories. 

Today was a good day for the blog. Some weeks ago, I ordered business cards, small post-cards and a cup, and today it finally arrived. I was very happy with the result, especially the business-cards that look gorgeous. What do you think? If readers of this blog would like to help me with distributing them, feel free to send me some contact information, so I can mail some business-cards you can give to people you know, or even complete strangers (thereby also getting extra stars in the «kindness project».

If you don`t want to do that, it`s perfectly fine.

I hope our readers like what we`ve produced so far. If not, we really love concrete feedback on how we can make the blog even better. We can only deliver high-quality content if readers tell us what could be better.

I want to thank all the readers, contributors and people who`ve been involved so far. Without you I would be nothing.

Nina, psychologist

2013-10-15 16.41.36

Blog-cup

Card

Front-side of card

2013-10-15 16.41.13-1

Back-side of card

Validation: You can change things

Still not giving in | Free psychology (Edit)

The Validation Project | Free psychology (Edit)

Facebook: Pay it forward group. Meet and connect with others!

App Of The Week: CardMunch (stevenblaser.wordpress.com)

Are you affected? I sure hope so

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  Psychology – A class divided

A Class DividedElliott divided her class by eye color — those with blue eyes and those with brown. On the first day, the blue-eyed children were told they were smarter, nicer, neater, and better than those with brown eyes.

Throughout the day, Elliott praised them and allowed them privileges such as a taking a longer recess and being first in the lunch line. In contrast, the brown-eyed children had to wear collars around their necks and their behavior and performance were criticized and ridiculed by Elliott.

On the second day, the roles were reversed and the blue-eyed children were made to feel inferior while the brown eyes were designated the dominant group. What happened over the course of the unique two-day exercise astonished both students and teacher.

On both days, children who were designated as inferior took on the look and behavior of genuinely inferior students, performing poorly on tests and other work.

Like many readers already know: I am an incurable softy. I get touched by everything beautiful, especially people`s courage, personalities and thoughts. I must confess that this documentary awoke a mix of different feelings: Sadness for the wrongs we`ve done, but also hope for the future and love towards humanity. It also excited some thoughts: What if we could teach children by asking the right questions without feeding them our own pre-made solutions?  Do we learn teachers how to teach, what to focus on and how to take care of our future at all? Because, our children are the future, and I really hope they will do better than we did.

I`d rather know this before I have my own children; I want to know that the world can be better, before I let them run around in it. Peril will be everywhere, of course, but as long as there`s hope, I`m willing to take a chance. I want to protect them from landmines around the next corner. 

My eyes are still filled with tears, touched by the courageous woman who wanted to show her class what racism is by making them really understand it. My first sceptical «be-carefulness», was convinced by her gentle voice that soothed both the children in the “experiment” and me.

Thank you, brave woman. Thank you for not closing your eyes.

I embed hope in my touched tears, and know they won`t be shed for nothing.

Love, Nina. Clinical psychologist

The documentary

The horrible part was not that one was forced to join in: But that it was impossible not to.

G. Orwell: 1984

76 CommentsOctober 5 – World Teachers’ Day (teacherinsights.wordpress.com)
Socializing Race (warwithinmorris.wordpress.com)
You have something in your eye. (purpleturd.wordpress.com)
Brown Eyes, Blue Eyes (chewingmyfruit.wordpress.com)

https://forfreepsychology.wordpress.com/lets-change-the-world/project-validation/

 

Introducing another mental health advocate

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my lifeIt is wonderful to see quality posts coming from our guest bloggers daily. I must especially thank Niko, June, Judith and Rudy for updates on all things psychology related. Also thanks to all our readers, sharing their views, reblogging and spreading knowledge even further. I am grateful and happy because you make me so.

As this would not be enough, I have the pleasure of introducing yet another guest blogger: Jasper. Thank you so much for wanting to contribute and share your personal story and knowledge about depression. He has told me how he want to help others by writing this, and that deserves an applause!

Downboyblog is where I share my journey with depression; the ups and downs of the fight for my life, plus what helped and what didn’t. If you are dealing with depression or just feeling down, or if you know someone who is, please read on and participate. 

Depression is devastating. Writing about it, takes courage and is one of the most important ways to prevent stigma from making it even worse

Some of his posts:

 

Welcome the world of DOWNBOY

Chasing your tail: A snapshot of RUNNING AWAY INTO A WALL