Contemporary Approaches in Clinical Psychopathology

General psychopathology is a discipline which, in the last two decades, has been disappearing from the mainstream of contemporary psychiatry and becomes more and more divided into an increasing number of schools. They, moreover, develop in isolation from each other. Within these schools new theories are being created and formulated, not seldom in hermetic languages. Communication between the respective orientations is becoming more and more difficult. New associations and schools are created....

Information Metabolism Structures

Variables in equations (1)-(8) are not defined explicitely but their values are calculated by means of activation of information metabolism structures. The situation is, in a way, analogous to theoretical computer science, where a specific class of functions, so called computable ones, are distinguished. Their values can be calculated by a Turing machine. Therefore, for creating a good model of mental processes dynamics, the structures of information metabolism should be well recognized....

Integrated Model of Mental Organization

Most of the commonly accepted ideas dealing with the dynamics of consciousness states may be integrated within a three-dimensional model of the states of consciousness developed in a series of publications, ending with a psychodynamic-cognitive model of information metabolism (Kokoszka, 1999). In the first version, the model was two-dimensional, and it distinguished and described four states of consciousness (Kokoszka, 1987-88) ordinary waking state of consciousness (OWSC), differentiated...

Model of the Main Everyday States of Consciousness

Diurnal, rhythmical changes between state of waking and sleep are obvious and well-documented alterations in the state of consciousness. There is also a convincing, well-known body of empirical evidence that there are some changes in state of consciousness that occur cyclically during sleep these are classified as REM (rapid eye movement) sleep and non-REM sleep. The first one includes story-like dreams, whereas the second consists of rather static experiences usually recognized as a dreamless...

Personality Its Features and Disorders

Neurotic Forms

Personality is understood as a set of relatively stable characteristics of one's own patterns of behaving and experiencing of oneself, of other people and of the environment. Personality is expressed by the tendencies to repeat certain patterns of adapting to the outside situations (adaptive mechanism coping mechanism) as well as mechanisms of reducing threatening emotions and drive impulses (defense mechanisms). Personality is formed as a result of interaction between genetic and environmental...

Phenomenology of Altered States of Consciousness

The very comprehensive descriptions of consciousness states were presented many years ago by James (1904) and Jaspers (1913,1963). Phenomenology of the states of consciousness has never been a topic of systematic experimental research. This issue had been avoided until recently mainly due to common distrust of introspective descriptions. Now it is acknowledged by many scientists as a human experience with crucially important meaning that should not be abandoned by psychology and psychiatry....

The Main Levels of Psychical Organization

According to Mazurkiewicz, four main levels of psychical organization are distinguished 1. Instinctive Subcortically instinctive mechanisms dominant until the age of three months are the source and drive of elementary psychic activities. 2. Reflexively Conditioned Isolated reflexively conditioned mechanisms of extrafrontal organs are dominant until the third year of age. 3. Prelogical Isolated prelogical mechanisms dominant until the sixth year of age are intracortical processes. 4. Logical...

The Main Principles of the Neo Jacksonian Theory of Mazurkiewicz

According to Mazurkiewicz (1980), the nervous system has a double function. The first one is purely physical, and reflexive, based on the structure of the reflexive arch, and it manifests itself on all levels of the nervous system. The second one is psy-chophysiological and occurs on the subcortical-instinctive and cortical-psychical levels. Psychical activity always has a mnemonic character therefore, it is limited to cortical processes. Psychical life is based on structures which gradually...

An Application of the Information Metabolism Model to a Comprehensive Synthesis of the Data on Post Traumatic Stress

Subjective experiences in PTSD may be understood as a manifestation of an insufficient ability to assimilate a traumatic experience to the mental structures and to accommodate them to this information, that are responsible for processing information transmission and selection (dependent on an activity of amygdale and hippocampus), and or decision-making (dependent on cortical activity). manifestations of disturbances in transmission and selection of traumatic experiences (personality dependent...

To Understand in Order to Raise the Spirit

The analysis of Kepinski's views led to the following conclusions (Kokoszka, 1996) 1. He understood psychotherapy as a method of therapy, which used the help of psychological influences, analogously to pharmacotherapy, physiotherapy, and other methods. 2. The goal of psychotherapy is to decrease suffering caused by disease symptoms, or if possible, to return the patient back to health. 3. Psychotherapy is taken up by the patient and therapist as a process of self-discovery. Not only...

Classical Theories of Consciousness 211 William James

In American psychology, the genesis of the study of consciousness is most often traced to William James (1890, 1904). His theory of the mind is known as func-tionalism. The mind is a function of the organism, which, in addition to permitting the individual to adjust to the environment, also allows the individual to change the environment according to his her needs. Consciousness plays a special role in this process. According to James, consciousness can be known through introspective...

Philosophical Description of Value Experience

Any general presentation of a system of values is a difficult task, because there is no single philosophy of values. Furthermore, the number of concepts in this field are as numerous as there are trends and viewpoints in philosophy (StroZewski, 1981). Value experience, in other words, axiological experience, has been a subject of interest for phenomenologically oriented philophers such as Scheler, Hartmann, and Hildebrand. This issue has been indirectly approached by both humanistic...

Emotions Personality And Psychotherapy Series Editors

Izard, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware and Jerome L. Singer, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut FINDING MEANING IN DREAMS AQuantitative Approach Written by G. William Domhoff FROM MEMORIES TO MENTAL ILLNESS AConceptual Journey Written by William M. Hall LANGUAGE IN PSYCHOTHERAPY Strategies of Discovery Edited by Robert L. Russell SAMPLING INNER EXPERIENCE IN DISTURBED AFFECT Written by Russell T. Hurlburt SHYNESS Perspectives on Research and Treatment Edited by Warren...

Preface

The state of consciousness is our common experience in everyday life. It is a natural and obvious phenomenon. We do not trouble ourselves with subtle or transient changes of states of consciousness. However, the pathological states, i.e, dysfunctional and painful ones, cause us to seek therapy. Psychiatric and psychotherapeutic diagnoses begin from the assessment of the patient's state of consciousness. The main goal of this book is to present a general model of states of consciousness that...

An Integrated Model of the Main Everyday States of Consciousness

The integrated model of the main everyday states of consciousness, presented in Figure 5.2., describes and differentiates four main states of consciousness ordinary waking states of consciousness (OWSC), differentiated waking states of consciousness (DWSC), Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, and non-REM (NREM). Each state is described along the following dimensions 1. biological rhythms, i.e., sleep-wakefulness and the basic rest-activity cycle 2. activity of the hypnogenic and activating...

Rationale for a General Theory of Relaxation 11 Introduction

Relaxation is an important element of many psychological processes. It is applied by psychotherapists using different psychotherapeutic approaches and in counseling and stress management. However, in spite of the fact that relaxation techniques are commonly employed, altered states of consciousness in relaxation, as such, are hardly studied in psychology. What exists are mainly descriptions of techniques and changes in psychophysiological parameters during relaxation. Relaxation techniques are...

Acute Mental Disorders 631 Acute Symptoms

Acute neurotic or psychotic symptoms may appear in any individual, irrespective of the type personality, as a result of influence of noxious agents or very strong stressors, which cause mental disturbances and eventually dissolution to a level at which it is possible to assess the relative balance using the so-called positive symptoms. The type of personality does, however, have an influence on the threshold of decompensation, as well as its course and the way it is experienced. For example,...

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a concept originating from Buddhist tradition that has been successfully introduced into contemporary psychology and psychotherapy, mainly due to meaningful research results. The comprehensive description of the main aspects of mindfulness was formulated by Miller et al. (1995, p. 193) The term of mindfulness is synonymous with awareness. Mindfulness meditation can be defined as the effort to intentionally pay attention, nonjudgmentally, to present-moment experience and sustain...

Application of the Evolutionary Model in Relaxation

The model presents perspectives for reformulation of our understanding of the mechanism of some relaxation techniques through a discussion about meditation and hypnosis. The model offers a reformulation of the levels of meditation described by Goleman (1974). According to him (Goleman, 1971, p. 196) meditation is a metatherapy freeing the meditator from past tensions. It seems to proceed on three levels body-level approximation of psychoanalysis desensitation of thoughts as they arise during...

Contemporary Theories and Models of Consciousness

In the course of nature, the phase of data collection is, in science, followed by the phase of data ordering, and the creation of models and explanatory frameworks which in due course is followed by their verification. In the domain of altered states of consciousness, there is a multitude of theoretical concepts explaining particular matters, e.g., what is hypnosis, what does meditation consist of for instance, Carrington (1986) quotes 11 conceptions explaining the effects of meditation....

Historical Background of ASC Investigations

The history of ASC investigations in Western culture may be, with some indispensable simplification, divided into five periods. 1.1.1. Period of Philosophical Investigations The history of philosophy provides contemporary researchers with significant knowledge about consciousness (e.g., analyses of Aristotle, Descartes, Lock, Hume) and altered states of consciousness (e.g., descriptions of mystical states by Plotyn, Saint Augustyn, Saint Bernard, Hugon). The main approaches to the mind-body...

Conclusions from Researchers Investigating Altered States of Consciousness Mechanisms

Researchers involved in studies on consciousness focused their interest on some processes that may lead to altered states of consciousness. Many of them hoped that investigations of meditation, hypnosis, and sensory deprivation would have a crucial meaning for psychology. The current knowledge on them is noteworthy. Meditation refers to a family of techniques which have in common a conscious attempt to focus attention in a non-analytical way, and an attempt not to dwell on discursive,...

Acknowledgments

This book, as well as my previous publications on consciousness, has been improved with the help of many people. I appreciate the guidance of Tadeusz Pasek, a pioneer of relaxation-concentration training in Poland and recently a visiting professor at the University of Toronto, who introduced me to the basic problems, theory, and practice of relaxation at the very beginning of my academic work. A scholarship at the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Oxford in 1987 gave me an impetus...