Case Illustration of the Current Findings Dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

The described case study may serve also as an illustration of the described earlier neurobiological, cognitive-behavioral and psychodynamic data on PTSD, described earlier. PTSD symptoms, including exaggerated startle response and flashbacks, may be related to a failure of hippocampus and medial cortex to dampen the exaggerated symptoms of arousal and distress that are mediated through the amygdale in response to reminders of the traumatic events the persistent re-experiencing of a traumatic...

Current Knowledge on Mechanisms of Pathological Responses to Traumatic Events

The analysis of literature on neurobiological, cognitive behavioral and psychody-namic aspects leads to some clear conclusions formulated by authors of comprehensive reviews of available data. 2.2.1. Conclusions form Neurobiological Research The main neurobiological findings dealing with the influence of trauma on an individual's life were summarized in neuroanatomic model of PTSD (Stein, 2000) that includes increased activity in the amygdala and its afferents, decreased activity in Broca's...

An Evolutionary Leveled Model of the Main States of Consciousness

An integrated model considers the states of consciousness only one, horizontal level. Given that states of consciousness differ in their developmental levels, several vertical developmental levels should also be in included in such a model. They should include the current level, and some regressive levels shaped in the main stages of human development. If the hypothesis of the potential, developmental, supralogical level is accepted, it should also be taken into consideration. Any evolutionary...

Conclusions from the Review of Existing Data and Theories of States of Consciousness and Altered States

Psychology still lacks a generally accepted theory of the organization of mental processes. Moreover, in the psychology of consciousness there is no commonly accepted terminology. The same phenomena and processes are considered in terms of consciousness, mind, psyche. and personality. In a review of the literature, Baruss (1987) indicated that there are at least 23 different definitions of consciousness. Consciousness, unfortunately, slips away from the mainstream of psychology in the 20th...

Constructivism

Constructivistic ideas have ages of tradition behind them however, constructivism per se is a relatively new outgrowth of cognitive therapy, which is, of course, a psychological and psychotherapeutic approach. The historical and conceptual foundations of constructivism are described by its important representatives e.g., Neimeyer (1999), Mahoney (1999), Lyddon (1999), Guidano (1999). Constructivism is a philosophical alternative to logical positivism, in which reality is considered to be...

Hypothesis of Mindfulness Hypofrontaliiy as the Means for the Achievement of the Higher States of Consciousness

The recent data on ASC supporting the hypofrontality hypothesis (Dietrich, 2002) may be incorporated into the presented model as the mean that facilitates the achievement of higher states of consciousness. I have to stress that I formulated this hypothesis on the basis of my personal experience with meditation, yoga breathing and long-distance running. My subjective experiences in those conditions are very similar. I appreciate them very much. It was very difficult for me to accept the...

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...

Mystical Like States

There is also a great deal of literature describing states that, from the point of view of different religious systems, are considered as positive, very valuable human experiences. They are traditionally called mystical states (Stace, 1979). However, this notion may be limited to a more specific meaning by representatives of particular religions. Therefore, it is more justified to use the term mystical-like to cover a wide variety of states described in the context of mystical experience in...

Near Death Experiences and Outof Body Experiences

Descriptions of interesting experiences of individuals who narrowly escaped death or who had been brought back to life after clinical death presented by Moody (1976) in his well-known book life after life started scientific research on near-death experiences (NDE). According to some research (Ring, 1980 Sabom, 1982), including a national poll of the general population, they are reported by about 5 of the adult American population, or 30 to 40 of individuals who came close to death (Gallup and...

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....

Summary

The Kepinski's concepts similarly as the theory of systems or theory of evolution constitute a synthesized approach and thus their experimental verification is possible but more difficult than in the case of narrower theories. For example there exist facts confirming the theory of evolution. These are, for instance, mutations of viruses and bacteria as the result of using medicine. This kind of verification is possible because the theory of evolution as a concept has been enriched by some...

The Basic Rest Activity Cycle

The fundamental idea for the creation of the model of the basic rest-activity cycle (BRAC) hypothesis was formulated by Kleitman (1963, 1982). He suggested the existence of a rhythm that causes not only cyclical, approximately 90-minute changes in imagination activity during sleep (reflected in the commonly known stages of sleep), but also analogous phenomena during wakeful-ness. Kleitman (1982) cites about 50 articles supporting his hypothesis, including some experimental data supporting it....

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...

Threatening Simplifications 251 Morality and Development

It is necessary to underline that in spite of the views frequently voiced by supporters of the developmental concept of consciousness beyond the logical level, development does not have to be recognized as the main value, nor should it be identified with morality. Man, as a result of his frequent functioning at the level of the supralogical, does not simply become morally better in analogy, an adult is neither more moral nor better than a child as a result of his older age and developmental...

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...

SASC and PASC

Sense of lack of any thinking Disturbed sense of time A sense of identification with someone else Construction of perception to only some limit Slackening of thinking Loss of sense of reality A feeling of being detached from reality A feeling of sadness (u 4.7)** (u 4.1)** (u 4.1)** (u 3.3)** (u 2.9)** (u 2.6)** (u 2.1)* (u 2.0)* a Underlined items were also accompanying the PASC significantly more often than the SACS in the preliminary study students (Kokoszka, 1992-1993b). Table 3.7. List of...

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...

Mystical Like States and Peak Experiences

Taft's (1969) investigations on peak experiences and other experiences connected with ego permissiveness indicate a relatively high frequency of occurrence of various ASC among healthy people. In the group of 254 subjects, mainly participants of the Summer School for Adults organized by the University of Western Australia, it was ascertained, among other things, that 40 had experienced a joyful emotion that was so strong that it seemed to blind them like a dazzling light 35 felt an enormous...

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...