The Dialogue of Dreams - Part I

Written by Sam Vaknin


Are dreams a source of reliable divination? Generations upon generations seem to have thought so. They incubated dreams by travelling afar, by fasting and by engaging in all other manners of self deprivation or intoxication. Withrepparttar exception of this highly dubious role, dreams do seem to have three important functions:

To process repressed emotions (wishes, in Freud's speech) and other mental content which was suppressed and stored inrepparttar 126336 unconscious. To order, classify and, generally, to pigeonhole conscious experiences ofrepparttar 126337 day or days precedingrepparttar 126338 dreaming ("day residues"). A partial overlap withrepparttar 126339 former function is inevitable: some sensory input is immediately relegated torepparttar 126340 darker and dimmer kingdoms ofrepparttar 126341 subconscious and unconscious without being consciously processed at all. To "stay in touch" withrepparttar 126342 outside world. External sensory input is interpreted byrepparttar 126343 dream and represented in its unique language of symbols and disjunction. Research has shown this to be a rare event, independent ofrepparttar 126344 timing ofrepparttar 126345 stimuli: during sleep or immediately prior to it. Still, when it does happen, it seems that even whenrepparttar 126346 interpretation is dead wrong repparttar 126347 substantial information is preserved. A collapsing bedpost (as in Maury's famous dream) will become a French guillotine, for instance. The message conserved: there is physical danger torepparttar 126348 neck and head. All three functions are part of a much larger one:

The continuous adjustment ofrepparttar 126349 model one has of one's self and of one's place inrepparttar 126350 world torepparttar 126351 incessant stream of sensory (external) input and of mental (internal) input. This "model modification" is carried out through an intricate, symbol laden, dialogue betweenrepparttar 126352 dreamer and himself. It probably also has therapeutic side benefits. It would be an over-simplification to say thatrepparttar 126353 dream carries messages (even if we were to limit it to correspondence with one's self). The dream does not seem to be in a position of privileged knowledge. The dream functions more like a good friend would: listening, advising, sharing experiences, providing access to remote territories ofrepparttar 126354 mind, putting events in perspective and in proportion and provoking. It, thus, induces relaxation and acceptance and a better functioning ofrepparttar 126355 "client". It does so, mostly, by analysing discrepancies and incompatibilities. No wonder that it is mostly associated with bad emotions (anger, hurt, fear). This also happens inrepparttar 126356 course of successful psychotherapy. Defences are gradually dismantled and a new, more functional, view ofrepparttar 126357 world is established. This is a painful and frightening process. This function ofrepparttar 126358 dream is more in line with Jung's view of dreams as "compensatory". The previous three functions are "complementary" and, therefore, Freudian.

It would seem that we are all constantly engaged in maintenance, in preserving that which exists and inventing new strategies for coping. We are all in constant psychotherapy, administered by ourselves, day and night. Dreaming is justrepparttar 126359 awareness of this on-going process and its symbolic content. We are more susceptible, vulnerable, and open to dialogue while we sleep. The dissonance between how we regard ourselves, and what we really are and between our model ofrepparttar 126360 world and reality this dissonance is so enormous that it calls for a (continuous) routine of evaluation, mending and re-invention. Otherwise,repparttar 126361 whole edifice might crumble. The delicate balance between we,repparttar 126362 dreamers, andrepparttar 126363 world might be shattered, leaving us defenceless and dysfunctional.

To be effective, dreams must come equipped withrepparttar 126364 key to their interpretation. We all seem to possess an intuitive copy of just such a key, uniquely tailored to our needs, to our data and to our circumstances. This Areiocritica helps us to decipherrepparttar 126365 true and motivating meaning ofrepparttar 126366 dialogue. This is one reason why dreaming is discontinuous: time must be given to interpret and to assimilaterepparttar 126367 new model. Four to six sessions take place every night. A session missed will be heldrepparttar 126368 night after. If a person is prevented from dreaming on a permanent basis, he will become irritated, then neurotic and then psychotic. In other words: his model of himself and ofrepparttar 126369 world will no longer be usable. It will be out of synch. It will represent both reality andrepparttar 126370 non-dreamer wrongly. Put more succinctly: it seems thatrepparttar 126371 famous "reality test" (used in psychology to set apartrepparttar 126372 "functioning, normal" individuals from those who are not) is maintained by dreaming. It fast deteriorates when dreaming is impossible. This link betweenrepparttar 126373 correct apprehension of reality (reality model), psychosis and dreaming has yet to be explored in depth. A few predictions can be made, though:

Psychology as Storytelling - Part II

Written by Sam Vaknin


To qualify as a "psychological" plot, it must be:

All-inclusive (anamnetic) It must encompass, integrate and incorporate allrepparttar facts known aboutrepparttar 126335 protagonist.

Coherent It must be chronological, structured and causal.

Consistent Self-consistent (its subplots cannot contradict one another or go againstrepparttar 126336 grain ofrepparttar 126337 main plot) and consistent withrepparttar 126338 observed phenomena (both those related torepparttar 126339 protagonist and those pertaining torepparttar 126340 rest ofrepparttar 126341 universe).

Logically compatible It must not violaterepparttar 126342 laws of logic both internally (the plot must abide by some internally imposed logic) and externally (the Aristotelian logic which is applicable torepparttar 126343 observable world).

Insightful (diagnostic) It must inspire inrepparttar 126344 client a sense of awe and astonishment which isrepparttar 126345 result of seeing something familiar in a new light orrepparttar 126346 result of seeing a pattern emerging out of a big body of data. The insights must berepparttar 126347 logical conclusion ofrepparttar 126348 logic,repparttar 126349 language and ofrepparttar 126350 development ofrepparttar 126351 plot. Aesthetic The plot must be both plausible and "right", beautiful, not cumbersome, not awkward, not discontinuous, smooth and so on. Parsimonious The plot must employrepparttar 126352 minimum numbers of assumptions and entities in order to satisfy allrepparttar 126353 above conditions.

Explanatory The plot must explainrepparttar 126354 behaviour of other characters inrepparttar 126355 plot,repparttar 126356 hero's decisions and behaviour, why events developedrepparttar 126357 way that they did.

Predictive (prognostic) The plot must possessrepparttar 126358 ability to predict future events,repparttar 126359 future behaviour ofrepparttar 126360 hero and of other meaningful figures andrepparttar 126361 inner emotional and cognitive dynamics.

Therapeutic Withrepparttar 126362 power to induce change (whether it is forrepparttar 126363 better, is a matter of contemporary value judgements and fashions). Imposing The plot must be regarded byrepparttar 126364 client asrepparttar 126365 preferable organizing principle of his life's events andrepparttar 126366 torch to guide him inrepparttar 126367 darkness to come.

Elastic The plot must possessrepparttar 126368 intrinsic abilities to self organize, reorganize, give room to emerging order, accommodate new data comfortably, avoid rigidity in its modes of reaction to attacks from within and from without.

In all these respects, a psychological plot is a theory in disguise. Scientific theories should satisfy most ofrepparttar 126369 same conditions. Butrepparttar 126370 equation is flawed. The important elements of testability, verifiability, refutability, falsifiability, and repeatability are all missing. No experiment could be designed to testrepparttar 126371 statements withinrepparttar 126372 plot, to establish their truth-value and, thus, to convert them to theorems.

There are four reasons to account for this shortcoming:

Ethical Experiments would have to be conducted, involvingrepparttar 126373 hero and other humans. To achieverepparttar 126374 necessary result,repparttar 126375 subjects will have to be ignorant ofrepparttar 126376 reasons forrepparttar 126377 experiments and their aims. Sometimes evenrepparttar 126378 very performance of an experiment will have to remain a secret (double blind experiments). Some experiments may involve unpleasant experiences. This is ethically unacceptable.

The Psychological Uncertainty Principle The current position of a human subject can be fully known. But both treatment and experimentation influencerepparttar 126379 subject and void this knowledge. The very processes of measurement and observation influencerepparttar 126380 subject and change him.

Uniqueness Psychological experiments are, therefore, bound to be unique, unrepeatable, cannot be replicated elsewhere and at other times even if they deal withrepparttar 126381 SAME subjects. The subjects are neverrepparttar 126382 same due torepparttar 126383 psychological uncertainty principle. Repeatingrepparttar 126384 experiments with other subjects adversely affectsrepparttar 126385 scientific value ofrepparttar 126386 results. The undergeneration of testable hypotheses Psychology does not generate a sufficient number of hypotheses, which can be subjected to scientific testing. This has to do withrepparttar 126387 fabulous (=storytelling) nature of psychology. In a way, psychology has affinity with some private languages. It is a form of art and, as such, is self-sufficient. If structural, internal constraints and requirements are met a statement is deemed true even if it does not satisfy external scientific requirements.

Cont'd on page 2 ==>
 
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