State of consciousness

To help patients get used to being conscious of their own thought processes, we ask them to perform a quick examination of everything they are feeling and thinking, of any ideas they might have, a number of times a day. This self examination may be carried out mentally or, in some cases, written down so that it can be analyzed by the treating physician. A written report has the added advantage of forcing patients to formulate their thoughts more precisely.

Awareness is equivalent to the "gnoti seauton" of ancient philosophy; more than anyone, psychasthenics must learn to "know themselves" in order to arrive at an understanding of what is positive and what is negative about the functioning of their own brain. They must understand the way their mind works, and become aware of the abnormal ways in which they modify certain thoughts and impressions; they must also learn what thoughts or ideas provoke anxiety. They will learn that having uncontrolled thoughts is like being in a car with no driver - the vehicle has no direction, often heading toward a destination which is completely different from the one intended, and usually ending in disaster. They will learn that some thoughts must be avoided altogether, if they want to stop suffering; that certain ideas produce certain symptoms, and that fear of pain will almost surely bring on the pain.

If this analysis is carried out properly, it will give patients a field of experience on which to base further thoughts and actions; after a number of attempts, they will finally understand that certain thoughts are to be avoided, and that this can only be achieved through controlling thoughts and impressions.

Physicians have a very important role to play - they must show patients their errors, and also what to look for; they will also discover a host of indications for further treatment.

What patients should not be permitted to do is concentrate on all their little pains and anxieties, which is what they are usually preoccupied with, but rather shown how to look for the causes of their particular problem. This is quite different from the more traditional technique which requires patients to make notes of all their minor problems in a little black book, and which we believe is an ineffective treatment. Our analysis is designed to be useful and interesting. Instead of noting problems, patients keep track of the progress they are making, and see results in a relatively short time.

To achieve a more or less complete state of consciousness, patients must first look at the state of their brain.

0 0

Post a comment