October 02, 2008

What is the difference between the Psychologist and the Psychiatrist?

As a psychologist practicing psychotherapy, I have often been asked the question of what is the difference between psychology and psychiatry or of the psychologist and the psychiatrist.

The answer basically revolves around the difference between the mind and the brain. The psychologist's core training revolves around the mind (psyche) and the psychiatrist around the brain (soma). First, the two are not the same. And whereas the psychiatrist tends, given his core medical training, to retrieve mental phenomena to brain processes, we now -with the advent of a more profound understanding of consciousness- can say brain processes result from the mind.

The following quote of Freud sheds some light on this question:

"...in his medical school a doctor receives a training which is more or less the opposite of what he would need as a preparation for psychoanalysis. His attention has been directed to objectively ascertainable facts of anatomy, physics and chemistry...His interest is not aroused in the mental side of vital phenomena; medicine is not concerned with the study of the higher mental functions, which lies in the sphere of another faculty. Only psychiatry is supposed to deal with the disturbances of mental functions; but we know in what manner and with what aims it does so. It looks for the somatic determinants of mental disorders and treats them like other causes of illness.

Psychiatry is right to do so and medical education is clearly excellent. If it is described as one-sided...In itself every science is one-sided. It must be so since it restrict itself to particular subjects, points of view and methods. It is a piece of nonsense in which I would take no part to play off one science against another. After all, physics does not diminish the value of chemistry; it cannot take its place but on the other hand cannot be replaced by it. Psycho-analysis is certainly quite particularly one-sided as being the science of the mental unconscious."

Freud, "The Question of Lay Analysis', 1926, Standard Edition, Vol. XX, p. 230-231.

October 01, 2008

Thinking the Same Way and Expecting different Results

Day after day badness is increasing and worsening in the world, and still until now we don't realize that it is our own system of thinking which is the cause of this badness. Our system of thinking has turned us into immoral beings without feeling (the feminine; see video below). And worse yet we think that this very system of thought, which has converted us into these abominable beings, is the one that will hitherto liberate us from all badness. Our minds are so polluted, that the pollution which it contains inhibits us from seeing that we are ourselves creating that false hope in ourselves.

Quo vadis mon ami, Quo vadis?

Papiamento translation:

Dia tras dia maldat ta aumentando i empeorando riba mundo i tog te ainda nos NO ta quere cu ta nos propio sistema di pensa ta causante di e maldat aqui. Nos sistea di pensa a comberti nos den sernan inmoral i sin sentimento. Anto pa colmo nos ta pensa cu e mesun sistema di pensa cu a comberti nos den sernan abominabel, ta esun cu por sierto ta bai libra nos tambe for di tur maldat. Nos mente ta asina sushi cu e sushedad cu tin den dje ta stroba nos di mira cu ta nos mes ta creando e speransa falso einan den nos mes.

Quo vadis mon ami, Quo vadis?