Cognitive-Behavioral Cybernetics of Symptoms, Dreams, Lateralization: Theory, Interpretation, Therapy

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Trafford Publishing, 2002 - Medical - 300 pages
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This book deals with automatic responses such as pain, fear, anxiety, the symptoms of primary mental disorders, dreams, repression, hypnosis, laughter, tears, response to stage and screen plays, structural responses such as cerebral lateralization, and so forth. The reason why all those phenomena are studied together is that, according to the theory presented in this book, all such automatic responses have adaptive, self-protective functions that contribute to the realization of survival, and that most of them seek to protect not only all sorts of interests and the physical health of the person but also, and primarily, his or her mental health. In reality, this statement about the general function of automatic responses is almost a tautology, because they all are created by evolution, and evolution is directed to realize adaptation, success, and survival; moreover, proper mental functioning is necessary for realizing survival. Therefore the real problem is to understand the particular self-protective functions of particular automatisms and how they discharge those functions, not that they have such functions. Despite this fact, for example, the symptoms of primary mental disorders are considered by the authors of the DSM and by everyone else as harmful manifestations of unknown dysfunctions, and their self-protective functions are totally ignored. It is shown in this book that the harmfulness of symptoms is due to their side effects.

Mental disorders, dreams, and other automatic responses are insufficiently, or even not at all, understood, because (1) mental processes cannot be observed and are even unconscious to a great extent, (2) the experimental causation of mental disorders is ethically unfeasible, and (3) psychologists do not try to construct theories because they do not know how to do it and are also discouraged by the fact that Freud's theories turned out to be unscientific.

Newton explained the method that he used in constructing his theory of mechanics thus: "Propositions [that constitute the basic principles of theories] are deduced from the phenomena and made general through induction." He integrated such "propositions" with empirical and semi-empirical knowledge to explain and predict many mechanical phenomena and thus proved that his propositions were correct. This is the method used in this book to construct a theory of automatic responses and to test it.

A theory is empirically proved to be correct, or viable, by its usefulness in explaining, predicting, and controlling the phenomena in its field of validity. In this book, (a) the functions of several automatisms that are either discovered through research or are considered normal components of everyday behavior are explained on the basis of the theory, (b) the meanings and functions of about 500 symptoms and 200 dreams are likewise explained in detail, (c) the life experiences of those who produced them are predicted in general terms, (d) the particulars of those experiences are exposed, (e) the causal relations between those experiences and the resulting automatisms are explained, and (f) many examples of eliminating the symptoms and their harmful side consequences are presented, which constitute successful cases of psychotherapy. All these detailed explanations, predictions, and controls of particular phenomena constitute more than 2000 empirical proofs of the theory about the general function of automatisms. No other theory in the history of science has been put forth with so many empirical proofs. Future generations will have difficulty in understanding why the functions of automatic responses have not been understood earlier.

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About the author (2002)

I am holding two masters degrees in electrical engineering and physics. I learned automatic controls from engineering, and the methods of scientific investigation from physics. I have read psychology and philosophy books beginning at age 15 and also observed the behaviors of many mental patients at a very large mental hospital where my uncle worked as a psychiatrist. I also found time to study films and have produced 8 mm, 16 mm, and 35 mm films, because I considered the cinema a psychology laboratory where the most expensive and varied experiments of certain types could be performed. My first success in psychology has been the explanation of the automatic audience responses to films, such as fear, suspense, surprise, laughter, tears, and so forth, and the methods used by the masters of cinema to induce them, including the Freudian free-floating anxiety. An abstract of my first book Film and Suspense appeared in the February 1957 issue of Psychological Abstracts published by the American Psychological Association. Hitchcock wrote to me about this book, "I find it extremely clever in the analyses of the filmmaker and the audience." I later found out that Hitchcock had learned the use of free-floating anxiety from Shakespeare, although he had learned its theory from Freud, and that Freud never understood that Shakespeare knew about this phenomenon and used it consciously to control audience reaction. I analyzed in my books Hitchcock's two best films shot by shot, and Shakespeare's two greatest tragedies line by line.

I busied myself full time with psychology and psychotherapy after I retired from engineering in 1980. I have cured in very short times more that 120 patientssuffering from migraine and tension headaches and facial neuralgia and other neurotic symptoms.

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