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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all you psychoanalytic amateurs out there, do you know of a good simple book on this subject? Maybe one that helps me learn how to spell it? I am reading Karen Horney right now (The Neurotic Personality) and find it fascinating, but am looking for something a little more hip and less on theory. Any suggestions?
jft
 
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Oh, my....well, if Karen Horney is not hip enough and is too much theory, God help you, lol.....

Most psychoanalytic writing is a thousand times more theory-intensive. SHE is the most "consumer-friendly" writer out there.

You might like Adam Phillips or Christopher Bollas. Phillips is probably more what you're looking for. Irving Yalom is an analyst who writes popular books about sessions, his work with patients. Might like those. Also, Sheldon Bach is VERY theory oriented, but just brilliant and totally readable for someone not an analyst.

Have fun!
Warning: this is how I started, lol
Janine
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Janine. I will check out Phillips and Bach. I agree that Horney is very "user friendly". I remember coming across her in Theory class at school and remember how refreshing it was after reading Jung, Freud, and guys like R.D. Laing (sp?). I find my mind is not as sharp as it used to be (lack of use) and I need more "stories" or kindergarten explanations to go along with theory, and that is what I was looking for. So hopefully your suggestion fits the bill. Thanks again.

I am on my way to Mr. Barnes and Mrs. Noble's!
jft
 

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I found something somewhere that kind of trivialized horney. I can't remember if it was a self help book or one I checked out at the university library...(There was a book called Formations of Fantasy and it was the last book I remember reading on psychoanalytic theory, but it was rather difficult). Anyway I do have Horney's "Self Analysis" and though I've hardly read it, I do remember she did mention some of the basics...and such basics are mentioned in other books and while they won't make you Dr so and so I find them crucial. The main deal (my uneducated take, mind you) with psychoanalysis is it deals with WHAT we do and WHY we do it, and what thoughts are occuring, also what we dream and fantasize about and why we do so and why/if we need it to fulfill us. (And if we use it in lieu of reality). Also it deals with hidden drives and desires and feelings we choose to exclude from our reality because we find them threatening to the version of ourself that we have created.

But yeah...analysis seems to me that while it is a specific study it is also a part of life...learning to view things differently, coming to new conclusions...a lot of our troubles come from when we are ignoring certain truths (a light example: "My husband and I really are not that compatible") and instead trying to analyze everything in the situation to fit into OUR edited version of reality (or complete disregard of reality) that, for some reason we feel we need. (such as, the same example being a woman who is CONVINCED her husband and her are made to be together, and yet she wonders why something isn't right, why he acts in contradiction to what she thinks of him, why she feels "numb" toward him...or maybe she changes HERSELF to be what her idealized image of him would want to be...anything to realize at all costs that hey, this whole thing could be not working out. She might see that as a threat to her ability to love and be loved and have a family, when in reality she IS deserving of those things but she won't find them in this situation. She is instead trying to mold reality to fit into what she deems as acceptable and survivable.)

Also how one views themselves vs the world, how well they are able to understand that they are separate of everything else in the world and open to the randomness of it all...

just some thoughts.

the REALITY of MY situation is that I'm AVOIDING studying because i've fallen out of love with a teacher I could never have (ok jk on that last part...it was a five minute crush) ( i swear)
 

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I just had a thought....
the more we try to find ANSWERS for something and the deeper we dig, the farther we are away from the real answer, which usually requires very little search and analysis. And it's usually opposite and possibly quite detached from whatever you're searching for. Because the only evidence we have to work with are the minds that got us in this mess in the first place.

Sometimes the truth is too threatening.

Oh also another thought...

sometimes allegory provides amazing answers...sometimes when you read a book or watch a movie where someone exhibits a behavior of yours but you can see it from a distance...(especially biographies on people!) it seems to make more sense and you're more willing to accept it because it's not such a direct attack on you. I think that's why satire works so well...

Ok i'll shut up now
 
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VERY interesting stuff there, person3. And you're right - psychoanalysis is more than "treatment" - it's also a way of viewing reality and our human motivations, experiences, etc. Many people have an interest in that lens, even if they have nothing to do with the clinical aspects of analysis.

There are courses taught on politics, world events, economics, etc. viewed through the lens of psychoanalytic thought - nothing pathological is implied, it's not at all about an Illness Model - rather as a way of seeing, or of interpreting events and human actions.

There are fundamantal "truths' within analytic thought that the vast majority (if not all) analysts accept - then within the remaining areas of discussion, there are major disagreements depending on which "school of thought" the particular analyst belongs to.

The Unconscious, it's effects on human behavior, your point about "the closer we think we are to The Answer, chances are the farther and more defended we actually are - totally right! - those are general principles within analysis.

Subgroups then divide further into: The Ego psychologists, the Self psychologists, the Moderns, the Freudians,the Object relationists, the Relationals, the Jungians, and even further divisions more subtle within each - that is where the differences become appearant. What seems TRUE for one group will not be accepted by the others. It's really not that fundamental principles are differing, but the Approach is different, and/or what each consider to be the best Gateway to finding the core of self - through examining one's relations to others, through examining one's sense of identity/self, through one's connection to a collective unconscious, etc. etc. etc.

Fun stuff. lol...but not for the fainthearted!
 

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Ok, you are scaring me now. As someone just starting to (or at least thought they were) understand basic principles of psychology, I am now wondering if my already easily overloaded brain can cope with this degree.

I love the subject, (to the point where I read books I don't even have to - which by my standards is quite significant) and everytime I think I understand a certain concept I throw a celebration. Admitted, I often use my self as a reference point, but I don't have another human mind to compare stuff to and isn't it standard practice that every new student identifies with every diagnosis ?!!!!

Eg, 'Narcissism and Denial of the True Self' Alexander Lowen. Not exactly what I'm meant to be reading right now ( which should be something about collecting data from experiments on rats or something) but I can't put it down. I find it hard to see how anyone who hasn't experienced problems such as ours, can really understand it.

In fact I'm not even sure I get the gist of any of this thread!!! All I know is that if you suffer with your own mental health it can either be a major hindrance or a major help when trying to understand all this 'stuff'.
 

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I have probably bought 50 self-help/psychology books in the last year or two, and read a lot in each of them (and all of some)...and I'm taking a psychology class now, and I've been on this board for a while...that's probably the only difference between you and I, g-funk. If you can read a book like 'Narcissism and Denial of the True Self' rather than some lame ass "ten herbs for reducing anxiety", then you are likely embarking on something of a good learning experience. And the more you learn the more you will get used to it..

BTW about my psychology class. Right now I'm going to be a few minutes late for it. Fuck it, it's an introductory class and because I've done so much reading of the DP board and of the books I have bought, the stuff in class is putting me to sleep. WAY too slow.

So don't worry about all the details and stuff so much. If you can truly GRASP the ideas as a whole, if you can understand how all these things work together and how A leads to B, THAT is far more important than knowing the name of every type of psychological approach. And believe me, if you're interested in psychology, you'll one day find yourself KNOWING all those little details because you picked up on them while reading the good stuff!

" Admitted, I often use my self as a reference point, but I don't have another human mind to compare stuff to and isn't it standard practice that every new student identifies with every diagnosis ?!!!! "

Liberal arts education, my dear. Are you taking this at a university? I would say that you should probably be filling up your schedule with a well rounded set of electives, like history, humanities, art, science, logic, literature...seeing human expression and behavior in all these subjects tends to "stabilize" you in that arena...I think that a lot of people who have trouble with this are also fresh out of high school and haven't had their mind expanded in a university setting for a while, which does indeed build confidence and give perspective on the world. THIS kind of experience, the well rounded university education and not JUST psychology, will put things into perspective. You will see the application of thought and even the names of certain DISORDERS as applied to general human behavior and this will calm your anxiety greatly re: identifying with every disease. Such as you might read "It was a manic time in Germany, everyone modeling themselves after the Kaiser", or "This period of art showed the general anxiety of Parisians", "the schizophrenic politics of this country", etc...you will find that labels like those are really far more loosely used and that as a human you're not actually slotted into a certain category of disorder.
 

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I too could open a book shop with the amount of books I've bought on this stuff. I love it. Can't get enough of it. And like you, find the stuff in class doesn't always run parallel to what I'm learning by myself. But it is giving me a good grounding and filling in gaps in basic knowledge about human behaviour and evolution etc etc

Actually, this is my second degree, (part time) and and my first was an arts, and I left school 8 years ago, otherwise what you say makes perfect sense for people who are in that vulnerable transitional phase. And infact, I could even say it applies to me in a certain sense (since I always feel as though I am in a transitional phase) because I'm self employed and work from home most days, so it is easy to lose touch with human expression and behaviour, as you put it. It certainly is a breeding ground for dp, since when I worked my arse off in London I was too busy to even think about it. I will find a balance one day...
 
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Well, it's like Turn of the Century Vienna, and a few intellectuals sittin' around having coffee, lol......too fun.

gfunk, Lowen is excellent. I forgot about him - that is a very good recommendation for the originator of this thread. Yes, Lowen's books on narcisissm, VERy good intros.

Also, if you like him, check out Sheldon Bach (probably can't find his stuff in a regular bookstore) - he's like Lowen for the Advanced.

Love you guys,
p.s.
J
Admitted, I often use my self as a reference point
- so did Freud. That's where this all starts..the ONLY reference we have that is 100 per cent verifable, is self.
 

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Lowen for the advanced...

Hmmm. I need Lowen for the remedial class please?!?!

I like the idea of sitting about drinking coffee (well, tea, cos I'm British) and theorizing, putting the world to rights and making hypotheses on why we might have dp and how to cure it. Would be a great job - can we club together and open up our own research center? Get funded by the government, get a kettle/or a coffee maker thingy, and a couple of comfy chairs and sit about chatting all day :D
 
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and there you have perfectly described the very first psychoanalytic institutes, lol

That's what we do! We sit around and have a fascinating time and get paid for it.
 

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G-Funk second degree? My, you don't look a DAY over 18! My mistake...you're way more into this than I thought. I'll tell you I had that same "diagnosis" worry too...but I don't know it's really not a big deal now. (Just pop an occasional Xanax and you're on your way!) (not medical advice)

Hm...Janine...are you saying what I think and what is too good to be true, that you are PAID to go to an analytic institute????!!!!

or are you talking about the actual job?
 
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LOL....no, only in a Philip Dick universe would we get PAID to study and train. Sadly, I was referring only to the outcome - that once trained, we can continue to interact and talk and share and explore while perhaps being paid to teach, train other analysts, and/or see patients.

Love,
J
 

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'don't look a day over 18...' ?

I don't think I've got a photo on this website...unless you are referring to my avatar. That's actually my cat... :wink:

I'm scared to post a photo on this site in case anyone I know pops in for a look and finds out how much of a nut I really am. Especially my family, they have no idea about any of this. Though I think I may have blown my cover since one-eyed cats are often recognisable, especially to their families...
 
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I don't think I've got a photo on this website...unless you are referring to my avatar. That's actually my cat
HOWLING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

see, poor person3 has some ahem....vision issues, lol.....
Oh, that is priceless.

By the way, gfunk, the avitar in question is the PERFECT photo of his L'ness for this site....everytime I see it, I think the caption should be "but...but....who am I?" LOL.....he's my favorite cat of all time.
 
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