Psychoanalysis i - definitions and instinct

Scientific theories appear influenced for the conditions of the social life in the economic aspects, politicians, cultural etc. They are historical products created by concrete men who live its time and contributes or radically modify the development of science. Sigmund Freud (1856-1839) was a Viennese doctor whom changed in an extreme way the imagination about the psychic life.

His contribution is comparable to Karl Max in the comprehension of the historical and social phenomena. Freud dared to place the [mysterious processes] of the psychism, its [obscure regions], that are, the fancies, dreams, the black holes, the interiority of the man, as scientific questions. The systematic inquiry of these problems took Freud to the creation of the Psychoanalysis.

The Term Psychoanalysis is used to design itself as a theory, a method of inquiry and one practical professional. Theory is characterized for a set of wisdom systemized on the functioning of the psychic life. Freud published an extensive letter work, during all his life, telling his discoveries and formulating general laws on the structures and the functioning of psyche human being.

Psychoanalysis (while an inquisitive method) is characterized for the interpretative method, that searches the hidden meaning of what is manifest through action and speech or the imaginary productions, as dreams, deliriums, free associations.

Practical professional mention the form to the psychological treatment (the analysis), that aims at the cure or self-knowledge.

Analytical psychoanalysis is met in the paradoxical position of frequent rejected as a scientific system (at the same time that is accepted for its remarkable contributions for science) gave contributions for some fields, it stimulated the thought and the comment in many areas, until then neglected, of psychology: the meaning of the unconscious factors in determination of the behavior; the general importance of the sex in the normal and abnormal behavior; the importance of the conflict of infancy, the irrational and the emotional one.

Freud himself carried through fine comments during a long life of untiring and daily work and contributed with hypotheses or facts (there isn’t possible to say still which are what) on vast areas of the human behavior. Instinct, to Freud, is the representative of the stimulations.

The psychologists interest to verify new sources of motivation derived from the satisfaction of the instincts and not them somatic processes as source from the instincts, that is the source of comment of the biologist.

Some new originated sources of motivation of the satisfaction of the instincts are the punctions. We do know now (and thanks to Freud) that instinct has biological nature and hereditary and the punction results of a shunting line of the instinct. The sexual punction becomes a shunting line of the instinct, as a baby who receives milk from the mother. After this milk its hunger and therefore it has the instinct to suck, but the contact with the breast also provides it pleasure, that is a shunting line of the instinct. Libido is the deriving energy of the instincts, that is deeply related with the pleasure and resultant affectionate impulses of the punctions. Libido is any instinctive or pulctional energy that has as sources sexual stimulations that appear in the body.

Human being is a system that operates in function of the instincts and punctions in the search of the pleasure. There are different kinds of instincts as the instinct of death, visas in life and sadism cases. Life instincts lead to the conservation of the person: hunger, headquarters, escape, pain, sex. Instincts of death have as objective a return to a previous state of the substance: self-destruction. Aggression also can be part of the life instinct: competition, fights.

Instincts and punctions, at the most common, cannot find its exempt satisfaction. Therefore, it creates adjustment mechanisms to tolerate the frustration, alliviating or defending individuals from tensions, distress and anxiety. Conflicts generate intense emotional reactions, as anxiety, that is a compound of fear, apprehension and hope - a feeling of real or imaginary threat to the individual security.

The roots of pedophilia

Pedophiles are attracted to prepubescent children and act on their sexual fantasies. It is a startling fact that the etiology of this paraphilia is unknown. Pedophiles comes from all walks of life and have no common socio-economic background. Contrary to media-propagated myths, most of them had not been sexually abused in childhood and the vast majority of pedophiles are also drawn to adults of the opposite sex (are heterosexuals).

Only a few belong to the Exclusive Type - the ones who are tempted solely by kids. Nine tenths of all pedophiles are male. They are fascinated by preteen females, teenage males, or (more rarely) both.

Moreover, at least one fifth (and probably more) of the population have pedophiliac fantasies. The prevalence of child pornography and child prostitution prove it. Pedophiles start out as "normal" people and are profoundly shocked and distressed to discover their illicit sexual preference for the prepubertal. The process and mechanisms of transition from socially acceptable sexuality to much-condemned (and criminal) pedophilia are still largely mysterious.

Pedophiles seem to have narcissistic and antisocial (psychopathic) traits. They lack empathy for their victims and express no remorse for their actions. They are in denial and, being pathological confabulators, they rationalize their transgressions, claiming that the children were merely being educated for their own good and, anyhow, derived great pleasure from it.

The pedophile's ego-syntony rests on his alloplastic defenses. He generally tends to blame others (or the world or the "system") for his misfortunes, failures, and deficiencies. Pedophiles frequently accuse their victims of acting promiscuously, of "coming on to them", of actively tempting, provoking, and luring (or even trapping) them.

The pedophile - similar to the autistic patient - misinterprets the child's body language and inter-personal cues. His social communication skills are impaired and he fails to adjust information gained to the surrounding circumstances (for instance, to the kid's age and maturity).

Coupled with his lack of empathy, this recurrent inability to truly comprehend others cause the pedophile to objectify the targets of his lasciviousness. Pedophilia is, in essence, auto-erotic. The pedophile uses children's bodies to masturbate with. Hence the success of the Internet among pedophiles: it offers disembodied, anonymous, masturbatory sex. Children in cyberspace are mere representations - often nothing more than erotic photos and screen names.

It is crucial to realize that pedophiles are not enticed by the children themselves, by their bodies, or by their budding and nubile sexuality (remember Nabokov's Lolita?). Rather, pedophiles are drawn to what children symbolize, to what preadolescents stand for and represent.

To the pedophile ...

I. Sex with children is "free" and "daring"

Sex with subteens implies freedom of action with impunity. It enhances the pedophile's magical sense of omnipotence and immunity. By defying the authority of the state and the edicts of his culture and society, the pedophile experiences an adrenaline rush to which he gradually becomes addicted. Illicit sex becomes the outlet for his urgent need to live dangerously and recklessly.

The pedophile is on a quest to reassert control over his life. Studies have consistently shown that pedophilia is associated with anomic states (war, famine, epidemics) and with major life crises (failure, relocation, infidelity of spouse, separation, divorce, unemployment, bankruptcy, illness, death of the offender's nearest and dearest).

It is likely - though hitherto unsubstantiated by research - that the typical pedophile is depressive and with a borderline personality (low organization and fuzzy personal boundaries). Pedophiles are reckless and emotionally labile. The pedophile's sense of self-worth is volatile and dysregulated. He is likely to suffer from abandonment anxiety and be a codependent or counterdependent.

Paradoxically, it is by seemingly losing control in one aspect of his life (sex) that the pedophile re-acquires a sense of mastery. The same mechanism is at work in the development of eating disorders. An inhibitory deficit is somehow magically perceived as omnipotence.

II. Sex with children is corrupt and decadent

The pedophile makes frequent (though unconscious) use of projection and projective identification in his relationships with children. He makes his victims treat him the way he views himself - or attributes to them traits and behaviors that are truly his.

The pedophile is aware of society's view of his actions as vile, corrupt, forbidden, evil, and decadent (especially if the pedophiliac act involves incest). He derives pleasure from the sleazy nature of his pursuits because it tends to sustain his view of himself as "bad", "a failure", "deserving of punishment", and "guilty".

In extreme (mercifully uncommon) cases, the pedophile projects these torturous feelings and self-perceptions onto his victims. The children defiled and abused by his sexual attentions thus become "rotten", "bad objects", guilty and punishable. This leads to sexual sadism, lust rape, and snuff murders.

III. Sex with children is a reenactment of a painful past

Many pedophile truly bond with their prey. To them, children are the reification of innocence, genuineness, trust, and faithfulness - qualities that the pedophile wishes to nostalgically recapture.

The relationship with the child provides the pedophile with a "safe passage" to his own, repressed and fearful, inner child. Through his victim, the pedophile gains access to his suppressed and thwarted emotions. It is a fantasy-like second chance to reenact his childhood, this time benignly. The pedophile's dream to make peace with his past comes true transforming the interaction with the child to an exercise in wish fulfillment.

IV. Sex with children is a shared psychosis

The pedophile treats "his" chosen child as an object, an extension of himself, devoid of a separate existence and denuded of distinct needs. He finds the child's submissiveness and gullibility gratifying. He frowns on any sign of personal autonomy and regards it as a threat. By intimidating, cajoling, charming, and making false promises, the abuser isolates his prey from his family, school, peers, and from the rest of society and, thus, makes the child's dependence on him total.

To the pedophile, the child is a "transitional object" - a training ground on which to exercise his adult relationship skills. The pedophile erroneously feels that the child will never betray and abandon him, therefore guaranteeing "object constancy".

The pedophile – stealthily but unfailingly – exploits the vulnerabilities in the psychological makeup of his victim. The child may have low self-esteem, a fluctuating sense of self-worth, primitive defence mechanisms, phobias, mental health problems, a disability, a history of failure, bad relations with parents, siblings, teachers, or peers, or a tendency to blame herself, or to feel inadequate (autoplastic neurosis). The kid may come from an abusive family or environment – which conditioned her or him to expect abuse as inevitable and "normal". In extreme and rare cases – the victim is a masochist, possessed of an urge to seek ill-treatment and pain.

The pedophile is the guru at the center of a cult. Like other gurus, he demands complete obedience from his "partner". He feels entitled to adulation and special treatment by his child-mate. He punishes the wayward and the straying lambs. He enforces discipline.

The child finds himself in a twilight zone. The pedophile imposes on him a shared psychosis, replete with persecutory delusions, "enemies", mythical narratives, and apocalyptic scenarios if he is flouted. The child is rendered the joint guardian of a horrible secret.

The pedophile's control is based on ambiguity, unpredictability, fuzziness, and ambient abuse. His ever-shifting whims exclusively define right versus wrong, desirable and unwanted, what is to be pursued and what to be avoided. He alone determines rights and obligations and alters them at will.

The typical pedophile is a micro-manager. He exerts control over the minutest details and behaviors. He punishes severely and abuses withholders of information and those who fail to conform to his wishes and goals.

The pedophile does not respect the boundaries and privacy of the (often reluctant and terrified) child. He ignores his or her wishes and treats children as objects or instruments of gratification. He seeks to control both situations and people compulsively.

The pedophile acts in a patronizing and condescending manner and criticizes often. He alternates between emphasizing the minutest faults (devalues) and exaggerating the looks, talents, traits, and skills (idealizes) of the child. He is wildly unrealistic in his expectations – which legitimizes his subsequent abusive conduct.

Narcissistic pedophiles claim to be infallible, superior, talented, skillful, omnipotent, and omniscient. They often lie and confabulate to support these unfounded claims and to justify their actions. Most pedophiles suffer from cognitive deficits and reinterpret reality to fit their fantasies.

In extreme cases, the pedophile feels above the law – any kind of law. This grandiose and haughty conviction leads to criminal acts, incestuous or polygamous relationships, and recurrent friction with the authorities.

V. The pedophile regards sex with children as an ego-booster

Subteen children are, by definition, "inferior". They are physically weaker, dependent on others for the fulfillment of many of their needs, cognitively and emotionally immature, and easily manipulated. Their fund of knowledge is limited and their skills restricted. His relationships with children buttress the pedophile's twin grandiose delusions of omnipotence and omniscience. Compared to his victims, the pedophiles is always the stronger, the wiser, the most skillful and well-informed.

VI. Sex with children guarantees companionship

Inevitably, the pedophile considers his child-victims to be his best friends and companions. Pedophiles are lonely, erotomanic, people.

The pedophile believes that he is in love with (or simply loves) the child. Sex is merely one way to communicate his affection and caring. But there are other venues.

To show his keen interest, the common pedophile keeps calling the child, dropping by, writing e-mails, giving gifts, providing services, doing unsolicited errands "on the kid's behalf", getting into relationships with the preteen's parents, friends, teachers, and peers, and, in general, making himself available (stalking) at all times. The pedophile feels free to make legal, financial, and emotional decisions for the child.

The pedophile intrudes on the victim's privacy, disrespects the child's express wishes and personal boundaries and ignores his or her emotions, needs, and preferences. To the pedophile, "love" means enmeshment and clinging coupled with an overpowering separation anxiety (fear of being abandoned).

Moreover, no amount of denials, chastising, threats, and even outright hostile actions convince the erotomaniac that the child not in love with him. He knows better and will make the world see the light as well. The child and his guardians are simply unaware of what is good for the kid. The pedophile determinedly sees it as his or her task to bring life and happiness into the child's dreary and unhappy existence.

Thus, regardless of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, the pedophile is convinced that his feelings are reciprocated - in other words, that the child is equally infatuated with him or her. He interprets everything the child does (or refrains from doing) as coded messages confessing to and conveying the child's interest in and eternal devotion to the pedophile and to the "relationship".

Some (by no means all) pedophiles are socially-inapt, awkward, schizoid, and suffer from a host of mood and anxiety disorders. They may also be legitimately involved with the child (e. g., stepfather, former spouse, teacher, gym instructor, sibling) - or with his parents (for instance, a former boyfriend, a one night stand, colleagues or co-workers). They are driven by their all-consuming loneliness and all-pervasive fantasies.

Consequently, pedophiles react badly to any perceived rejection by their victims. They turn on a dime and become dangerously vindictive, out to destroy the source of their mounting frustration. When the "relationship" looks hopeless, some pedophiles violently embark on a spree of self-destruction.

Pedophilia is to some extent a culture-bound syndrome, defined as it is by the chronological age of the child involved. Ephebophilia, for instance - the exclusive sexual infatuation with teenagers - is not considered to be a form of pedophilia (or even paraphilia).

In some cultures, societies and countries (Afghanistan, for instance) the age of consent is as low as 12. The marriageable age in Britain until the end of the nineteenth century was 10. Pedophilia is a common and socially-condoned practice in certain tribal societies and isolated communities (the Island of Pitcairn).

It would, therefore, be wise to redefine pedophilia as an attraction to or sexual acts with prepubescent children or with people of the equivalent mental age (e. g., retarded) in contravention of social, legal, and cultural accepted practices.

Distinguishing of your temperament

Psychology is a very interesting science. With the help of it’s achievements we can research the hidden corners of our souls. This can be really exciting and even make you discover something new about your personality and traits of your character. You can make numerous tests to determine what will your reaction be to a certain event, how you act in extreme situations, what is your aim that you don’t notice, how well you get along with others. All the above stated questions and the answers you’ll get make up your temperament, a psychological term used to show types of personality by I. P. Pavlov, famous scientist from Russia.

He made a theory of temperament after doing some research on the topic and his theory is proved by experiments. In his personal experience essay and just notes he gives a detailed description of person’s reaction to the same event. You sit peacefully on a bench in the park and read the newspaper. You bought a new cap today, but the day is hot so you put it nearby on the bench and continue to read. You see an old lady approaching. She takes a free seat near you and says nothing, opens a book and reads. Suddenly, it dawns on you that she’s sitting on your new cap. What is your reaction? If you laugh and make jokes to calm the poor granny down you are a sanguine; if you start yelling and your face turns red of the strain and you don’t care about the granny who is probably going to have a heart attack, you are choleric; if you burst into tears and allow the granny to comfort you, you are melancholic; and if you ignore everything including granny’s sitting on your cap and the start of the rain you are a typical phlegmatic. These for types can be described by anybody who makes observations in an experience essay, if you have enough patience to observe your reactions to different situations long enough.

Temperament is not the only field to research and find out new things about you. You may also try to prove Freud’s theory, who says that intellect is completely subjected the passionate nature of a human being and his/her needs. You may see for yourself if you can find “collective unknown” and “individual unknown” which may also be very exciting. Finally, there are a lot of IQ tests that make you understand better in which direction to work to make your mental abilities better. You can not only experiment with yourself but have a friend who is willing to find out something new about his nature. Psychology is still a developing science so that can be a motivator to try your skills in this field professionally. Who knows, maybe you are a born psychiatrist?

How to make miserable decisions

If you've ever been around someone who is persistently miserable you'll find that they have a working strategy for making their experience unpleasant for themselves.

This article will give a few explanations why they use a strategy that makes them miserable, how that process works, and if this describes you, why you might want to change. It will also describe what you'll have to sacrifice if you no longer want to be miserable.

Also, if the benefits of being miserable are enough you'll learn how to continue to make choices and decisions that contribute to your misery.

The Benefits of Misery.

It's hard to believe that there are benefits to feeling bad but the fact is that there are. Some of these benefits include:

* Uniqueness. If you are suffering you at least can see yourself as special and even persecuted.

* Righteousness. If you are miserable because of something outside of your control you can hold it up as a banner and proclaim that you must be right to have such an enemy.

* Blame. As long as your misery can be something external to you then you can blame it for all your problems. This releases the burden of self-reflection and change.

* Familiarity. Sometimes misery is the only thing that seems familiar. Getting rid of it would mean launching yourself is a completely unfamiliar territory and might mean new things about yourself that you had never considered before.

* Misery is easy. There are very few people who go through life and are naturally happy. Those that are have found a strategy that works for them often after a lot of effort. It takes some work to change ones thinking process.

How to make decisions that make you feel miserable.

* Ask a series of miserable questions of yourself like

"What could go wrong about today?"

"What do I have to feel guilty about?"

"Why do bad things always happen to me?"

"Why am I feeling so terrible?"

* Make vague and unreasonable expectations and goals.

By making a goal or expectation unreasonable you'll make it impossible to achieve. By making them vague you'll never know exactly if you achieve them and you'll always be able to say "No, that's not what I meant."

* Think the worst first.

For any event that occurs you have a million ways of thinking about it. Go for the worst possible interpretation. For example, if you walk into a store and teenagers are outside laughing and smoking cigarettes they are probably laughing at you.

* Cling to past hurts.

Progress can be easily inhibited when you use past hurt of slow you down. These can take the form of lingering on why your life has been so terrible or even by saying “We've never done it that way before. Why start now?”

Why you might want to stop feeling miserable.

* Without a doubt misery is the number one cause of suicide. If you want to live you want to get rid of your misery.

* You will have more power (much, much more) and control over your life if you stop all the misery producing processes and take responsibility for your life.

How to stop making miserable decisions.

* Set reasonable goals using the S. M.A. R.T. goals process. If you don't know what this is do a google search.

* Know when your emotions are trying to influence away from your goals and work to keep your focus.

* Agree to take responsibility for your life and especially for your emotions. This is very hard work but very rewarding.

What you will have to give up when you stop making miserable decisions.

* You will have to give up on the belief that your suffering makes you unique. The fact is suffering is ordinary and boring to most people. We've all experienced it and there is little you can say about your suffering that will make us think of you for very long. What is exceptional and unique is someone who makes no excuses for their life and decides to excel and feel joy AS A CHOICE.

* You will have to give up blame. This means blaming anyone or anything. It means even giving up blaming yourself.

* You will have to give up on fear and timidity. Only boldness and audacity can overcome a longstanding habit of misery.

Final note.

While all of this may seem vary callus and cold it's important to point out that this is not an essay by which you should judge other people but only yourself. Bad things do happen to good people and it's a good idea to help them when you can. On the other hand, if you find someone who is persistently and habitually miserable it's generally a good idea to keep your distance from them lest they infect you with their misery and, beleive me, they can do that more easily than you think.

Power we want it. we have it. we don t use it

If power begins in controlling something, then are we powerless prior to controlling?

Yes and no.

We have potential, which is a power in itself, but unused and undirected potential is NOTHING.

Are we powerless prior to controlling?

I would say we are not powerless, but ignorant (Which is a version of powerlessness, I guess.)

We don't know that we have power and don't know to know to test it.

The end of all powerlessness begins with awareness.

A Samurai Warrior would learn this by practicing a meditation of sitting on the top of a mountain with his arm extended and sword pointing skyward in a position ready to fall. He would meditate on that fleeting moment when a balanced piece of metal would turn into an unpredictable falling/killing weapon. His awareness was on the potential of the weapon. When he learned that then he could study the application of it's power.

What is power?

What is power like?

How great is power?

Where is power now?

To Know. To Will. To Dare. To Keep Silent.

These were the powers of the Sphinx and they remain dormant in all of us to one degree or another.

You don't know what you don't know. Thus you must seek knowledge in whatever realm you wish to control.

You must Will and Dare to use that knowledge.

To keep silent. This is where power turns to craft. It is the most subtle application of power. So subtle it may seem that things are all happening in your favor when in fact they happen by your design.

A bolder resting precariously on a cliff, a bow string pulled tight, these have a quality of potential force, What the Chinese strategist, Sun Tsu, called "shih". With just the right action and the force is unleashed.

The silent art of power and control is to see the potential force in everything and arrange it so that, if released, it works in your favor.

The keys to this power are first to know what you want far into the future and to know it in rich and glorious detail. The next step is to develop a precise and detailed plan to your goal and to meditate upon it day in and day out. By having this constantly on your mind you will function with the greatest efficiency toward your goal.

You will see the world about and know "This action will lead me to my goal. This action will lead me nowhere."

This task that is unnatural for most of us because of our natural tendency to focus on the thoughts of the present and to respond to the urgencies at hand. To master this skill we must alter our thinking and see every action that we perform as an act of manipulating "shih".

To do this is the height of Sphinx-like power and makes mere men to seem magical as if they controlled the forces of nature.

Discover the secrets of personality type

Have you ever wondered why your spouse, coworkers, or children seem to think so differently from you? You may not understand why they make the decisions they do, or why they place such importance on things that seem inconsequential to you. It is possible to understand the answers to all these questions. The secret lies in the theory of Myers-Briggs personality type.

In the 1960’s a psychological theorist named Katharine Briggs had many of the same questions you do. She wondered why some of her family members had such logical, linear thinking processes, when she herself was more likely to take values and feelings into account when considering an issue. In her research with her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers, she looked into this question and others, and discovered four central aspects of personality. Each one of us can be classified as either:

• Extroverted/Introverted—Do you get your energy from being with people, or being alone?

• Sensing/Intuitive—Do you see what’s actual, or what’s possible?

• Thinking/Feeling—Do you make decisions with your head or your heart?

• Judging/Perceiving—Do you like to make decisions, or keep your options open?

Our classifications on each of the scales is combined to make a four-letter type, for instance, ENTP, or ISFJ. There are sixteen types in all, encompassing all possible combinations.

With so many possibilities, you can imagine how much potential for misunderstanding there is with those around us! If we marry, or parent, or even work with someone who is very different from us, we can become increasingly baffled as to how their minds work. The key to unlocking the mystery and understanding those around us is to first understand yourself.

Where do you think you fall on the scales listed above? It can be difficult to decide, but fortunately the creators of this theory have also created a scientifically validated assessment that can tell you where you fall. This personality test is called the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and is the most accurate and efficient way to identify your own type. Most recently it has become available in an online format, which allows convenient access to anyone wishing to discover more about themselves. The official Myers-Briggs Type Indicator can be used to produce several different types of reports, from basic to detailed, all of which you can refer to as you learn more about your own Type.

Once you have discovered your Type, you can begin to think about how others may differ. If you are an extrovert, you may be surprised when others want to leave a social gathering or end a conversation before you do. It doesn’t mean they’re unfriendly or not having a good time; it’s just that introverts rely on their alone time to recharge. As another example, if you’re a Thinker, you may mistrust people who seem to make decisions based on their “gut” or their feelings rather than logic. But turn this around and you’ll realize that your own decisions may seem cold and uncaring to someone who is a Feeling type. There is no right or wrong; only individual preferences.

The world is made up of many types, and this is for the best! We need people who are gregarious, and those that are content to live much of their lives independently. We need visionaries with their heads in the clouds, and people who will take care of all the details. We need planners, and people who fly by the seat of their pants; when making decisions we need both someone to remind us of the logic of the situation and someone to help us do a “gut check.” Learning more about personality types can help you appreciate all the variation you’ll see around you. Most importantly, it will help you use your differences to everyone’s benefit.

What makes gossip so interesting

Gossip fans are everywhere, in all countries, in all cities, on all continents. Since old ages, people just liked gossip and rumors, they enjoyed talking about their peers when they were not around. Celebrities are included on the gossip topics most agreed list. Celebrity gossip makes the news so many times, so it is obvious that it is in the human nature to notice the leaders, the people who stand out from the crowd, and dissect their words, their clothes, their hair or their behaviour.

Celebrities like Paris Hilton or Britney Spears made the first page of many international publications, and not only once. Some of the famous people of this world had to suffer because of paparazzi, and in some cases, they even lost their lives because of indiscrete looks. Princess Diana is only one example in this respect. She got killed in a car accident while she and her friend were chased by scandal journalists. Is a human life worth all that? I suppose not. But time cannot be turned back, so it's time to head for the future and try to avoid such catastrophes from now on.

But who decides which celebrities make news headlines and which ones pass barely noticed? Is mass media responsible for this? It is very hard to tell. Journalists, and especially tabloid magazines ones are searching for a particular type of news. They seek things that are blamable or shocking, and many times they chase misery. Happiness is not news. Misery is. If a movie star has troubles, let's say she is stealing from supermarkets, this seems to be a hot topic for millions of people. Do you remember Winona Rider, to give you only one case of a star chased by media for her supposedly bad habits? How many other people steal from shops and nobody cares? Too many, probably.

One simple explanation for the love for gossip, and for the important place it occupies in humans' life, is that most of the people live a dull, boring life, so they seek excitement in the life of others. This explains also the success recorded by reality shows. Who would have thought that a time will come when millions of TV viewers will watch every night for one hour or so how a bunch of people are eating, sleeping or taking showers in a house where they are like in prison, all time in the objective of cameras.

Have you noticed how appreciated the celebrity gossip websites are, how many readers they have and how many comments they receive on each article? This surely shows a huge interest for the private life of successful people, a desire to take models, and on the other hand to accuse and reveal ugly things from beautiful lives of remarkable people. Like sex, drugs and rock and roll, celebrity sells. Every hosewife has dreamed at least once to become a great dancer, or a famous singer, or a Hollywood movie star. Instead of that, here she is, at the age of 30 or 40, washing dishes and taking care of four - five kids who mess everything around the house and who are equal to an atomic bomb.

The pathology of love

Recent studies buttress the unpalatable truth that falling in love is, in some ways, indistinguishable from a severe pathology. Behavior changes are reminiscent of psychosis and, biochemically speaking, passionate love closely imitates substance abuse. Appearing in the BBC series Body Hits on December 4, Dr. John Marsden, the head of the British National Addiction Center, said that love is addictive, akin to cocaine and speed. Sex is a "booby trap", intended to bind the partners long enough to bond.

Using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), Andreas Bartels and Semir Zeki of University College in London showed that the same areas of the brain are active when abusing drugs and when in love. The prefrontal cortex - hyperactive in depressed patients - is inactive when besotted. How can this be reconciled with the low levels of serotonin that are the telltale sign of both depression and infatuation - is not known.

The initial drive - lust - is brought on by surges of sex hormones, such as testosterone and estrogen. These induce an indiscriminate scramble for physical gratification. Attraction transpires once a more-or-less appropriate object is found (with the right body language and speed and tone of voice) and is tied to a panoply of sleep and eating disorders.

A recent study in the University of Chicago demonstrated that testosterone levels shoot up by one third even during a casual chat with a female stranger. The stronger the hormonal reaction, the more marked the changes in behavior, concluded the authors. This loop may be part of a larger "mating response". In animals, testosterone provokes aggression and recklessness. The hormone's readings in married men and fathers are markedly lower than in single males still "playing the field".

Helen Fisher of Rutger University suggests a three-phased model of falling in love. Each stage involves a distinct set of chemicals. The BBC summed it up succinctly and sensationally: "Events occurring in the brain when we are in love have similarities with mental illness".

Moreover, we are attracted to people with the same genetic makeup and smell (pheromones) of our parents. Dr Martha McClintock of the University of Chicago studied feminine attraction to sweaty T-shirts formerly worn by males. The closer the smell resembled her father's, the more attracted and aroused the woman became. Falling in love is, therefore, an exercise in proxy incest and a vindication of Freud's much-maligned Oedipus and Electra complexes.

Writing in the February 2004 issue of the journal NeuroImage, Andreas Bartels of University College London's Wellcome Department of Imaging Neuroscience described identical reactions in the brains of young mothers looking at their babies and in the brains of people looking at their lovers.

"Both romantic and maternal love are highly rewarding experiences that are linked to the perpetuation of the species, and consequently have a closely linked biological function of crucial evolutionary importance" - he told Reuters.

This incestuous backdrop of love was further demonstrated by psychologist David Perrett of the University of St Andrews in Scotland. The subjects in his experiments preferred their own faces - in other words, the composite of their two parents - when computer-morphed into the opposite sex.

Contrary to prevailing misconceptions, love is mostly about negative emotions. As Professor Arthur Aron from State University of New York at Stonybrook has shown, in the first few meetings, people misinterpret certain physical cues and feelings - notably fear and thrill - as (falling in) love. Thus, counterintuitively, anxious people - especially those with the "serotonin transporter" gene - are more sexually active (i. e., fall in love more often).

Obsessive thoughts regarding the Loved One and compulsive acts are also common. Perception is distorted as is cognition. "Love is blind" and the lover easily fails the reality test. Falling in love involves the enhanced secretion of b-Phenylethylamine (PEA, or the "love chemical") in the first 2 to 4 years of the relationship.

This natural drug creates an euphoric high and helps obscure the failings and shortcomings of the potential mate. Such oblivion - perceiving only the spouse's good sides while discarding her bad ones - is a pathology akin to the primitive psychological defense mechanism known as "splitting". Narcissists - patients suffering from the Narcissistic Personality Disorder - also Idealize romantic or intimate partners. A similar cognitive-emotional impairment is common in many mental health conditions.

The activity of a host of neurotransmitters - such as Dopamine, Adrenaline (Norepinephrine), and Serotonin - is heightened (or in the case of Serotonin, lowered) in both paramours. Yet, such irregularities are also associated with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and depression.

It is telling that once attachment is formed and infatuation gives way to a more stable and less exuberant relationship, the levels of these substances return to normal. They are replaced by two hormones (endorphins) which usually play a part in social interactions (including bonding and sex) - Oxytocin (the "cuddling chemical") and Vasopressin. Oxytocin facilitates bonding. It is released in the mother during breastfeeding, in the members of the couple when they spend time together - and when they sexually climax.

Love, in all its phases and manifestations, is an addiction, probably to the various forms of internally secreted norepinephrine, such as the aforementioned amphetamine-like PEA. Love, in other words, is a form of substance abuse. The withdrawal of romantic love has serious mental health repercussions.

A study conducted by Dr. Kenneth Kendler, professor of psychiatry and director of the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics, and others, and published in the September issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, revealed that breakups often lead to depression and anxiety.

Still, love cannot be reduced to its biochemical and electrical components. Love is not tantamount to our bodily processes - rather, it is the way we experience them. Love is how we interpret these flows and ebbs of compounds using a higher-level language. In other words, love is pure poetry.

Narcissist vs. psychopath

We all heard the terms "psychopath" or "sociopath". These are the old names for a patient with the Antisocial Personality Disorder (AsPD). It is hard to distinguish narcissists from psychopaths. The latter may simply be a less inhibited and less grandiose form of the former. Indeed, the DSM V Committee is considering to abolish this distinction altogether.

Still, there are some important nuances setting the two disorders apart:

As opposed to most narcissists, psychopaths are either unable or unwilling to control their impulses or to delay gratification. They use their rage to control people and manipulate them into submission.

Psychopaths, like narcissists, lack empathy but many of them are also sadistic: they take pleasure in inflicting pain on their victims or in deceiving them. They even find it funny!

Psychopaths are far less able to form interpersonal relationships, even the twisted and tragic relationships that are the staple of the narcissist.

Both the psychopath and the narcissist disregard society, its conventions, social cues and social treaties. But the psychopath carries this disdain to the extreme and is likely to be a scheming, calculated, ruthless, and callous career criminal. Psychopaths are deliberately and gleefully evil while narcissists are absent-mindedly and incidentally evil.

From my book "Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited":

"As opposed to what Scott Peck says, narcissists are not evil – they lack the intention to cause harm (mens rea). As Millon notes, certain narcissists 'incorporate moral values into their exaggerated sense of superiority. Here, moral laxity is seen (by the narcissist) as evidence of inferiority, and it is those who are unable to remain morally pure who are looked upon with contempt.' (Millon, Th., Davis, R. - Personality Disorders in Modern Life - John Wiley and Sons, 2000). Narcissists are simply indifferent, callous and careless in their conduct and in their treatment of others. Their abusive conduct is off-handed and absent-minded, not calculated and premeditated like the psychopath's."

Psychopaths really do not need other people while narcissists are addicted to narcissistic supply (the admiration, attention, and envy of others).

Millon and Davis (supra) add (p. 299-300):

"When the egocentricity, lack of empathy, and sense of superiority of the narcissist cross-fertilize with the impulsivity, deceitfulness, and criminal tendencies of the antisocial, the result is a psychopath, an individual who seeks the gratification of selfish impulses through any means without empathy or remorse."

What is hypnosis

Before anyone experiences hypnosis and starts using it to make wonderful, beneficial changes in their life, this article is designed to perhaps to answer a few questions you may have and also to dispel a few myths and misconceptions about hypnosis.

You know, I still meet people that believe that experiencing hypnosis is like being unconscious. I always reply, “What would be the point of that? Spending money and time to be unconscious in someone else’s company?? If I wanted you to be unconscious we would simply bash you over the head!” So it is important that you also know that hypnosis is not about being unconscious and that you have the correct expectations about the hypnotic experience that you are going to have, should you choose to invest in one of our products or experience hypnosis for yourself with a hypnotist.

In order to understand hypnosis, it is important to understand and differentiate between our minds. By that I am referring to our conscious mind, where we are now and just below that level of awareness is our unconscious mind (also known as the subconscious mind, for the purpose of easy understanding they are the same thing).

The conscious mind is where we usually spend most of our waking time, you know that internal dialogue we have that thinks “hmmm, what shoes shall I wear today” that is your conscious mind. Your conscious mind basically does four things;

Firstly, your conscious mind analyses. What is that? Well that is the part of us that looks at problems, analyses them and tries to create solutions to those problems. It is that part of us that makes decisions all day every day “shall I open the door?”, “Shall I have something to eat”, even though they are automatic behaviours, we make a conscious decision about whether or not to do these things.

The second part of our conscious mind is our rationale, the part of us that, especially in western cultures, always has to know “Why” things happen and “Why” we behave in particular ways. This can cause us so many problems as we give any problems more and more credence and power. More conventional and traditional methods of counselling or psychotherapy are often very much concerned with looking at causes of our problems and it is my opinion that all this does is teaches us “why” they happen as opposed to giving us the skills required to changing unwanted habits and behaviours. The more we think about “why” we do things the more we seem to embed the unwanted behaviour into our psyches!

The third part of our conscious mind is will power, that teeth-gritted determination that so many of us are proud to demonstrate. How many times have we used our will power alone to make changes and found that our will power weakens and that change is temporary or non-existent.

The final part of our conscious mind is your short-term memory. By that I am referring to the things that you need to remember to function on a day-to-day basis, so that when your phone rings you know to answer it rather than stare at it wondering it is, or ensuring that you cross the road without being run over.

That is the conscious part of your mind, it is logical, rational and analytical, a bit like Mr Spock from the Start Trek series and as much as it pains me to say it, our conscious mind is frequently wrong about things.

Your conscious mind is wherever you happen to be pointing it at any given time. I am sure you have been in a busy, noisy environment, such as a restaurant or a bar and have been engaged in a conversation with another individual, and all the sounds going on around you just seem to blend into the background. Then someone else ten metres away can punctuate their sentence with your name and you pick it out as if it was being spoken to you. This illustrates that unconsciously, you are aware of many, many pieces of information every second of your life, sounds, colours, thoughts etc, yet your conscious mind allows you to focus upon what is pertinent or relevant to you at that moment.

If you take that conscious awareness and point it inside of yourself instead of outside into the world, you begin to become aware of your inner self, your unconscious self, which is the part of you that we work with in hypnosis.

Your unconscious mind is tremendously powerful and automates as much behaviour as it possibly can so that we do not have to think about it. For example, there was a time in your life when you had to be shown how to tie your shoelaces, and you concentrated on doing this. I suspect that by this stage in your life you know how tie your shoelaces very well and you don’t even think about doing it, you just do it. I have a lonely Auntie who as a boy, my mother would ask me to phone on a weekly basis as she thought this would make her happy and I vividly remember hearing her lighting up a cigarette and heavily exhaling the smoke while on the phone, she didn’t even think about what she was doing, she just associated smoking with being on the phone.

We are amazing learning machines and we learn behaviours and habits and then our unconscious mind automates them and does them on auto pilot so that we do not have to think about doing them.

Your unconscious mind has within it all your long-term memory. Just about every blade of grass that you have seen in your entire lifetime is stored away in your long-term memory that serves as an amazing storage centre. These memories affect us in varying ways, some more than others. Sometimes our ability to remember them is not as fluid as we need, as it is often not necessary to have all our memory in the forefront of our minds. For example, right now you are unlikely to be thinking about everything that happened to you on your last birthday, however, me just mentioning it, you can dig into your unconscious, long-term memory and remember.

Another example is if you have ever seen a live stand up comedy show. You watch the comedian and laugh (or not as the case may be!) heartily as you listen to lots and lots of jokes. Then when you leave the venue, you can remember none of them, or one or two at best! Then, a week later, a friend that you were with can say to you “do you remember such and such a joke from last weeks comedian” and you think “oh yeeeaaah!” as you bring that information out from your long-term memory. You know that you know the joke, it was just not at the forefront of your conscious mind, it was tucked away in the deeper unconscious.

Your unconscious mind knows more about you than you consciously that you know. Sound confusing? Well, just think, you are currently breathing, your heart is beating (I do hope!) you are digesting, your body is regulating its body temperature, it is doing a range of wonderful things without you having to consciously think about it. You are not sat around thinking “I really must remember to breathe”. We are not machines, there is an intelligence within us that knows how to do these things, and it is that intelligence that we tap into with hypnosis.

Your unconscious mind is where you get your gut feelings, your instincts and intuition that communicates with you sporadically from time to time. Like when sometimes, someone can be saying all the right words to you, but you get a different feeling about them.

Your unconscious mind is a bit like a computer. Throughout your entire lifetime it has been programmed with all your experiences, relationships, interpretations of the world, influences and all this has culminated in your computer functioning with that programming. Hypnosis is simply a way of accessing that computer and updating that programming so that it becomes instinctive and intuitive for you to make the changes that please you.

Your unconscious mind is the seat of your emotions and where your behaviours exist and it is the part of you that we work with in hypnosis. Hypnosis is a way of us stepping over your conscious mind and accessing the unconscious mind to make powerful and profound changes.

Now, I am sure that you have experienced natural trance states many times before, in fact I know it. For example, when you have been driving in a car and thought to yourself “ooh, how did I get here?” or when you have been reading a book and you’ve turned the page and thought “I have no idea what I have just read, I am going to have to read it all again”. I can remember being at school watching my history teacher teach me, yet my mind was a million miles away wishing I was doing something else. All common experiences, daydream like states that we all experience, many times a day. The only difference between these naturally occurring states and those that we use in therapeutic hypnosis, is that with the hypnosis, you intend to enter the state, you are in control of it and it is just like a slightly amplified, deeper version of the state. That is it. Sometimes it is simply like sitting in a chair with your eyes closed, not the magical mystical or unusual experience that some people are led to believe it is.

It is important here to know that you cannot be made to do anything that you don’t want to do. Very important. I had a guy that a doctor referred to me, came to see me and said to me “my doctor told me come and see you as I have emphysema and am going to die of it unless I stop smoking”. I said to him, well I presume you want to stop, he said “oh, no, I love smoking, it is one of few remaining pleasures.” I had to send him away as I cannot make him do something that he does not want to. Can you imagine if I could do that!! Wow. I could go and see my bank manager and make him give me million pounds without returning it! You never read about “Baddy hypnotists” making people rob banks or anything else absurd, because it cannot be done.

People usually then say to me “ok Adam, I hear and understand what you are saying and it all makes sense”. However, I have seen stage hypnosis and seen people dancing like chickens, are you telling me that they want to do that?” I am saying that these people are not being made to do things that they don’t want to do.

When someone buys tickets to a stage hypnosis show, they are being permissive to the notion that they are going to see hypnosis for entertainment; they expect certain things to happen. Secondly, when the stage hypnotist asks the audience “who wants to come on stage” the people that agree to do so or put their hands up are saying “yes, I want to be hypnotised”, they are not being made to do anything they don’t want to do. The stage hypnotist ensures that the individuals on the show are receptive and follow a large number of compliance exercises and it begins to create the illusion that these people are doing things that they don’t want to do, when they are not. The hypnosis can step over the inhibitions of the conscious mind, so that the individuals behave with more openness, they just cannot be made to do things they don’t want to do.

Anyone can be hypnotised. I work with insomniacs, heroin addicts, schizophrenics, people experiencing chemotherapy, these are all people that are often convinced that they cannot relax or cannot be hypnotised, and as long as they want to, they all can and they all do.

All that is required is that you have an open mind, that you expect it to work and have progressive, motivated thoughts about the processes, follow the sessions and allow them to help you help yourself to make the changes you want and deserve.

Finally, at the beginning of the recorded hypnosis sessions and/or individual NLP or hypnosis sessions with me (I cannot speak for other therapists, we all do things differently) individually, you may be asked to do a number of different things with your mind and you can be forgiven for thinking, “well, he asked me to do this, and now something else, and now another thing, what exactly am I supposed to be listening to?” The simple answer is that you listen and follow as much or as little as you want to, remember that is your conscious mind thinking those thoughts and that is not the part of you that we are working with and making the change with. I am sure that there will also be times when you’ll be thinking “hmmm… am I in hypnosis, what am I supposed to be thinking or feeling.” Again that is your conscious mind thinking that thought and does not matter what it is thinking. It can be attempting to follow everything that I am saying or just wandering off and thinking about whatever you like, just trust that your unconscious mind is absorbing all that you want it to.

There will be times in the sessions when you may be asked to imagine things. Imagining things does not have to mean visualising. If I ask you to think of a favourite place, you can imagine what it would be like, you don’t have to be seeing a picture perfect cinema version of it in your mind. You can imagine, sense, think, or just know it without seeing it or picturing it in every detail. If I asked you to imagine the sound your feet make when you walk across gravel, you know the sound I am talking about and you can imagine it, but you are not necessarily hearing it in your ears, you can imagine it. That is all you'll need.

So, hypnosis is not like being unconscious, it is almost like having heightened awareness, it requires you to want the change, have an open, positive mind, as best as you can, and allow whatever happens to happen, without trying to grasp at what you think should happen, just letting it happen.

I wish you all the very best with whichever hypnosis product, or with any consultative sessions you are considering having with any qualified therapist or any training you plan to attend and I just know that having come this far, you really can do it, and make the changes that you want to make with hypnosis.

How hypnosis can help you

Hypnosis has long been recognised as an effective means of treatment for a number of psychological conditions. Hypnotherapy can help you to create more confidence for yourself and improve feelings of self worth. You can also learn to overcome problems like the fear of public speaking; phobias like being terrified of traveling on the tube; and become more at ease with yourself by building your confidence and self-esteem.

Typical examples of area where hypnotherapy can help include:

Overcome the fear of public speaking

Do you freeze before or during meetings or presentations? Suffering from dry mouth, blushing or sweating? Are you lost for words, desperate to escape? Are you terrified of interviews? Is public speaking anxiety your number one fear? With hypnotherapy you can overcome this anxiety, speak with confidence and feel more comfortable with other people. Come and see how hypnotherapy works with an experienced and confident speaker - visit my home page and call or email me today.

Low self esteem and depression

Are you depressed or feeling low in self-worth? This is an increasingly serious problem: find out how hypnotherapy can help you create and build up feelings of self worth and self belief. Overcome the hurts of the past and move on towards a more positive and hopeful future. You can move into a better future. Please visit my home page and email me for more information.

Panic attacks

Do you ever feel as if you are losing control of yourself in everyday situations? Have you ever been in the grip of frightening physical symptoms, like intense sweating, palpations, nausea, fainting? Hypnotherapy can calm your nerves and get to the root of the problem - reducing or even releasing this terrifying anxiety. Visit my home page for my contact details and ask me how hypnotherapy can help you.

Build confidence

Do you want to lift low self-esteem and improve relationships or career prospects? Is lack of self-worth getting you down or holding you back? Find out by calling or emailing me from the home page how hypnotherapy can help you create a more positive YOU.

Fears, phobias & flashbacks

Hypnotherapy can be most effective in releasing phobias - amongst the ones I am often asked to treat is the fear of traveling on the tube in London. It can also deal with the effects of trauma, including flashbacks. Modern techniques can substantially reduce or even remove the symptoms in 2/3 sessions. If you are in the grip of any irrational fear then please contact me now. Visit my home page for contact details.

Post traumatic stress

Have you have been the victim of a traumatic and frightening event? Then you could be suffering the disabling effects of post traumatic stress. Nowadays there are techniques which have been seen to effectively and safely release the symptoms.

The diagnostic and statistical manual dsm - pros and cons

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, fourth edition, text revision [American Psychiatric Association. DSM-IV-TR, Washington, 2000] - or the DSM-IV-TR for short - describes Axis II personality disorders as "deeply ingrained, maladaptive, lifelong behavior patterns". But the classificatory model the DSM has been using since 1952 is harshly criticized as woefully inadequate by many scholars and practitioners.

The DSM is categorical. It states that personality disorders are "qualitatively distinct clinical syndromes" (p. 689). But this is by no means widely accepted. As we saw in my previous article and blog entry, the professionals cannot even agree on what constitutes "normal" and how to distinguish it from the "disordered" and the "abnormal". The DSM does not provide a clear "threshold" or "critical mass" beyond which the subject should be considered mentally ill.

Moreover, the DSM's diagnostic criteria are ploythetic. In other words, suffice it to satisfy only a subset of the criteria to diagnose a personality disorder. Thus, people diagnosed with the same personality disorder may share only one criterion or none. This diagnostic heterogeneity (great variance) is unacceptable and non-scientific.

In another article we deal with the five diagnostic axes employed by the DSM to capture the way clinical syndromes (such as anxiety, mood, and eating disorders), general medical conditions, psychosocial and environmental problems, chronic childhood and developmental problems, and functional issues interact with personality disorders.

Yet, the DSM's "laundry lists" obscure rather than clarify the interactions between the various axes. As a result, the differential diagnoses that are supposed to help us distinguish one personality disorder from all others, are vague. In psych-parlance: the personality disorders are insufficiently demarcated. This unfortunate state of affairs leads to excessive co-morbidity: multiple personality disorders diagnosed in the same subject. Thus, psychopaths (Antisocial Personality Disorder) are often also diagnosed as narcissists (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) or borderlines (Borderline Personality Disorder).

The DSM also fails to distinguish between personality, personality traits, character, temperament, personality styles (Theodore Millon's contribution) and full-fledged personality disorders. It does not accommodate personality disorders induced by circumstances (reactive personality disorders, such as Milman's proposed "Acquired Situational Narcissism"). Nor does it efficaciously cope with personality disorders that are the result of medical conditions (such as brain injuries, metabolic conditions, or protracted poisoning). The DSM had to resort to classifying some personality disorders as NOS "not otherwise specified", a catchall, meaningless, unhelpful, and dangerously vague diagnostic "category".

One of the reasons for this dismal taxonomy is the dearth of research and rigorously documented clinical experience regarding both the disorders and various treatment modalities. Read this week's article to learn about the DSM's other great failing: many of the personality disorders are "culture-bound". They reflect social and contemporary biases, values, and prejudices rather than authentic and invariable psychological constructs and entities.

The DSM-IV-TR distances itself from the categorical model and hints at the emergence of an alternative: the dimensional approach:

“An alternative to the categorical approach is the dimensional perspective that Personality Disorders represent maladaptive variants of personality traits that merge imperceptibly into normality and into one another” (p.689)

According to the deliberations of the DSM V Committee, the next edition of this work of reference (due to be published in 2010) will tackle these long neglected issues:

The longitudinal course of the disorder(s) and their temporal stability from early childhood onwards;

The genetic and biological underpinnings of personality disorder(s);

The development of personality psychopathology during childhood and its emergence in adolescence;

The interactions between physical health and disease and personality disorders;

The effectiveness of various treatments - talk therapies as well as psychopharmacology.

Debunking psychics

Have you ever been curious about your future? Have you ever called a phone psychic to get some answers?

If you wonder how “psychics” work, read on. This article is for you.

Most “psychics” are plain scammers. They use cold reading to make calculated guess about the sitters. Cold reading is an interactive psychological technique which extracts information from a person through verbal and non verbal cues. More often than not, psychics utilize known psychology techniques that can apply to almost anyone. An example would be claiming the sitter is cursed and he or she could lift that curse for a fee, because most people visit a psychic when they are down and depressed, “being cursed” is a quick, convenient reason to blame. Paying the fee to lift the curse would be the quickest solution to their complicated life problems.

There seems to be several common factors in psychic readings. The psychic usually:

+Skillfully extracts information from non verbal cues such as breathing patterns, voice, dress, skin color, and body language.

+ Makes statements that seem to give information when they are actually out to fish for it. E. g. Prompts feedback from sitters by saying “I see a man in uniform, why would that be?”

+Feeds back to the subject what the latter wants to hear

+Makes general “Barnum statements” such as “You are worrisome on the outside but insecure on the inside.”

The sitter of the reading is the key to a 'successful' reading. The sitter's willingness to connect vague 'clues' came up by the psychic will often decide how successful the reading is. Many sitters who try to contact their deceased loved ones are very motivated in the first place, and will take the psychic's message as a sign that he or she have made contact with the other side. That is why psychics subtly encourage cooperation before and during the reading. Once the psychic gains the trusts of the sitter, the latter usually actively supply information and clarifications.

Although facial expressions and body languages could mean differently to people from different cultural backgrounds, many psychologists believe that certain facial and body expressions are universal to the mankind.

How to tell dominance: People who dominates have a tenancy to stand up with an erected body, speaks slowly and rarely, and look people in their eyes for an extended period of time. Because of the demonstrated link between testosterone and aggression, people with square jaws ( testosterone induced feature) are thought as more domineering and aggressive.

How to tell submissiveness: Submissive people touches themselves a lot when they are confronted with a difficult situation. This is because human have an inborn mechanism acquired very early on in life to link physical touching with comfort and safety.

Most important to keep in mind: Real, powerful psychics don't advertise on the back of a supermarket magazine and do readings for $1.99.

How to access states in hypnosis using revivification

Conversational Hypnosis is a type of hypnosis where it is very important to access certain states of mind in order to set triggers to change lives for the better. In order to do this you must learn and know how to access those states to start the trigger process with a clean and pure state of mind.

Access State Principal plays a huge role in this process. This is because the clarity of the state of mind a person is in when the trigger is set will determine how well the trigger is going to work, if at all. When people access emotions they are really going back through their files of memories to re-experience memories that correlate with the emotion you are asking them to bring to mind.

If you are asking them to relax they will think of times and places where they felt this way. Accessing the state of mind you want is important. However it is equally important to make sure it is a pure state. You will have conflict in placing your suggestions and triggers if the state of the listener is not just in the mode of relaxation.

If your listener is experiencing relaxation along with anxiety it will cause the same combination of feelings when you set off the trigger again in the future. This can cause problems in accomplishing the changes you want to achieve throughout the course of hypnosis.

The main thing from previous articles you will want to remember as you learn to use revivification is that you need to know how to change the whole mood of a person before setting your emotional trigger. If you can keep this in mind and access a clear state of mind before setting those triggers it will aid in the process of accessing states with revivification as well.

The concept behind revivification itself is to bring an experience to life for the person having it. The listener needs to be able to experience the memory fully in order to access a completely pure state of mind. This means you will be using and developing different skills in this process that will make the experience as real as possible for your subjects.

The first state inducing method (and the only one we will focus on in this article) is the revivification process. This is a process of accessing a state is by asking revivification questions. These questions are used to give direction to your subject while they are attempting to emerge themselves fully in a particular emotional state.

In your practice as a hypnotist you will be asking questions of the people in your care, these questions will be the start of a journey through their experiences in order to answer each one. You see when you ask a question of someone they are required to re-experience the situations where they felt the way in which you are asking about. We all must experience the actual answer before our minds compute how to answer a question.

Revivification will run more smoothly if you apply the principal of 'going first'. 'Going first' in this situation means that you will first tell as story of your own that would get you into the same emotional state you are trying to get your subject into. If you want the person to feel happy you would tell a story of a thing that happened or a time when you were completely happy.

By 'going first' your physiology will change, your body will sub-communicate that emotion on an unconscious level through tone, body language, movements and gestures. In turn the person you are talking to will unconsciously pick up on those signals and start to be open to accessing that emotion as well.

After you have told a story and you are now in the same state of mind you wish your listener to be in you prompt or ask them of a time when they felt that way. When you ask questions of the people around you, especially when using revivification you want to make each question sound meaningful.

If you sound bored or uninterested the person you are working with will be more likely to reserve their answers, meaning they will not be interested in reliving an emotion for you. When you ask a question make it sound like the answer is extremely important to you. You can use different tonalities and language suggestions to make this happen. This will cause the person to really get deeper into the experience and in turn give you a much more quality answer.

The next step in revivification questions is to listen closely to the answer the person is giving, and repeat it back to them. You want to do this in the exact same way they said it to you. Use the same tone, lean and emphasis on the words they used.

The reason for doing this is people will use words that are what we call trigger words, these words are important to them. When you repeat the same words back using the same tones and such it will help your listener to access the memory and experience it more fully.

As you are doing this you will notice that you are going to be able to create a kind of feedback loop. In this loop you will give a story to go first, then ask them to give an example of the same emotion, listen for the sensory information they are giving, repeat the answer back to them exactly as they have said it and then start again.

Each time you complete the loop you will be allowing the subjects to dive deeper and deeper into the state of mind you are accessing.

As you use the process of revivification remember that part of the goal is to make the experience as real as possible through the language and stories each of you are telling. This is a powerful scenario and will be a great help in accessing pure clean states of mind.

Critique and defense of psychoanalysis

“I am actually not a man of science at all. . . . I am nothing but a conquistador by temperament, an adventurer.”

(Sigmund Freud, letter to Fleiss, 1900)

"If you bring forth that which is in you, that which you bring forth will be your salvation".

(The Gospel of Thomas)

"No, our science is no illusion. But an illusion it would be to suppose that what science cannot give us we cannot get elsewhere."

(Sigmund Freud, "The Future of an Illusion")

Harold Bloom called Freud "The central imagination of our age". That psychoanalysis is not a scientific theory in the strict, rigorous sense of the word has long been established. Yet, most criticisms of Freud's work (by the likes of Karl Popper, Adolf Grunbaum, Havelock Ellis, Malcolm Macmillan, and Frederick Crews) pertain to his - long-debunked - scientific pretensions.

Today it is widely accepted that psychoanalysis - though some of its tenets are testable and, indeed, have been experimentally tested and invariably found to be false or uncorroborated - is a system of ideas. It is a cultural construct, and a (suggested) deconstruction of the human mind. Despite aspirations to the contrary, psychoanalysis is not - and never has been - a value-neutral physics or dynamics of the psyche.

Freud also stands accused of generalizing his own perversions and of reinterpreting his patients' accounts of their memories to fit his preconceived notions of the unconscious . The practice of psychoanalysis as a therapy has been castigated as a crude form of brainwashing within cult-like settings.

Feminists criticize Freud for casting women in the role of "defective" (naturally castrated and inferior) men. Scholars of culture expose the Victorian and middle-class roots of his theories about suppressed sexuality. Historians deride and decry his stifling authoritarianism and frequent and expedient conceptual reversals.

Freud himself would have attributed many of these diatribes to the defense mechanisms of his critics. Projection, resistance, and displacement do seem to be playing a prominent role. Psychologists are taunted by the lack of rigor of their profession, by its literary and artistic qualities, by the dearth of empirical support for its assertions and fundaments, by the ambiguity of its terminology and ontology, by the derision of "proper" scientists in the "hard" disciplines, and by the limitations imposed by their experimental subjects (humans). These are precisely the shortcomings that they attribute to psychoanalysis.

Indeed, psychological narratives - psychoanalysis first and foremost - are not "scientific theories" by any stretch of this much-bandied label. They are also unlikely to ever become ones. Instead - like myths, religions, and ideologies - they are organizing principles.

Psychological "theories" do not explain the world. At best, they describe reality and give it "true", emotionally-resonant, heuristic and hermeneutic meaning. They are less concerned with predictive feats than with "healing" - the restoration of harmony among people and inside them.

Therapies - the practical applications of psychological "theories" - are more concerned with function, order, form, and ritual than with essence and replicable performance. The interaction between patient and therapist is a microcosm of society, an encapsulation and reification of all other forms of social intercourse. Granted, it is more structured and relies on a body of knowledge gleaned from millions of similar encounters. Still, the therapeutic process is nothing more than an insightful and informed dialog whose usefulness is well-attested to.

Both psychological and scientific theories are creatures of their times, children of the civilizations and societies in which they were conceived, context-dependent and culture-bound. As such, their validity and longevity are always suspect. Both hard-edged scientists and thinkers in the "softer" disciplines are influenced by contemporary values, mores, events, and interpellations.

The difference between "proper" theories of dynamics and psychodynamic theories is that the former asymptotically aspire to an objective "truth" "out there" - while the latter emerge and emanate from a kernel of inner, introspective, truth that is immediately familiar and is the bedrock of their speculations. Scientific theories - as opposed to psychological "theories" - need, therefore, to be tested, falsified, and modified because their truth is not self-contained.

Still, psychoanalysis was, when elaborated, a Kuhnian paradigm shift. It broke with the past completely and dramatically. It generated an inordinate amount of new, unsolved, problems. It suggested new methodological procedures for gathering empirical evidence (research strategies). It was based on observations (however scant and biased). In other words, it was experimental in nature, not merely theoretical. It provided a framework of reference, a conceptual sphere within which new ideas developed.

That it failed to generate a wealth of testable hypotheses and to account for discoveries in neurology does not detract from its importance. Both relativity theories were and, today, string theories are, in exactly the same position in relation to their subject matter, physics.

In 1963, Karl Jaspers made an important distinction between the scientific activities of Erklaren and Verstehen. Erklaren is about finding pairs of causes and effects. Verstehen is about grasping connections between events, sometimes intuitively and non-causally. Psychoanalysis is about Verstehen, not about Erklaren. It is a hypothetico-deductive method for gleaning events in a person's life and generating insights regarding their connection to his current state of mind and functioning.

So, is psychoanalysis a science, pseudo-science, or sui generis?

Psychoanalysis is a field of study, not a theory. It is replete with neologisms and formalism but, like Quantum Mechanics, it has many incompatible interpretations. It is, therefore, equivocal and self-contained (recursive). Psychoanalysis dictates which of its hypotheses are testable and what constitutes its own falsification. In other words, it is a meta-theory: a theory about generating theories in psychology.

Moreover, psychoanalysis the theory is often confused with psychoanalysis the therapy. Conclusively proving that the therapy works does not establish the veridicality, the historicity, or even the usefulness of the conceptual edifice of the theory. Furthermore, therapeutic techniques evolve far more quickly and substantially than the theories that ostensibly yield them. They are self-modifying "moving targets" - not rigid and replicable procedures and rituals.

Another obstacle in trying to establish the scientific value of psychoanalysis is its ambiguity. It is unclear, for instance, what in psychoanalysis qualify as causes - and what as their effects.

Consider the critical construct of the unconscious. Is it the reason for - does it cause - our behavior, conscious thoughts, and emotions? Does it provide them with a "ratio" (explanation)? Or are they mere symptoms of inexorable underlying processes? Even these basic questions receive no "dynamic" or "physical" treatment in classic (Freudian) psychoanalytic theory. So much for its pretensions to be a scientific endeavor.

Psychoanalysis is circumstantial and supported by epistemic accounts, starting with the master himself. It appeals to one's common sense and previous experience. Its statements are of these forms: "given X, Y, and Z reported by the patient - doesn't it stand to (everyday) reason that A caused X?" or "We know that B causes M, that M is very similar to X, and that B is very similar to A. Isn't it reasonable to assume that A causes X?".

In therapy, the patient later confirms these insights by feeling that they are "right" and "correct", that they are epiphanous and revelatory, that they possess retrodictive and predictive powers, and by reporting his reactions to the therapist-interpreter. This acclamation seals the narrative's probative value as a basic (not to say primitive) form of explanation which provides a time frame, a coincident pattern, and sets of teleological aims, ideas and values.

Juan Rivera is right that Freud's claims about infantile life cannot be proven, not even with a Gedankenexperimental movie camera, as Robert Vaelder suggested. It is equally true that the theory's etiological claims are epidemiologically untestable, as Grunbaum repeatedly says. But these failures miss the point and aim of psychoanalysis: to provide an organizing and comprehensive, non-tendentious, and persuasive narrative of human psychological development.

Should such a narrative be testable and falsifiable or else discarded (as the Logical Positivists insist)?

Depends if we wish to treat it as science or as an art form. This is the circularity of the arguments against psychoanalysis. If Freud's work is considered to be the modern equivalent of myth, religion, or literature - it need not be tested to be considered "true" in the deepest sense of the word. After all, how much of the science of the 19th century has survived to this day anyhow?

Four cognitive skills for successful learning

The word "cognition" is defined as "the act of knowing" or "knowledge." Cognitive skills therefore refer to those skills that make it possible for us to know.

It should be noted that there is nothing that any human being knows, or can do, that he has not learned. This of course excludes natural body functions, such as breathing, as well as the reflexes, for example the involuntary closing of the eye when an object approaches it. But apart from that a human being knows nothing, or cannot do anything, that he has not learned. Therefore, all cognitive skills must be TAUGHT, of which the following cognitive skills are the most important:

CONCENTRATION

Paying attention must be distinguished from concentration. Paying attention is a body function, and therefore does not need to be taught. However, paying attention as such is a function that is quite useless for the act of learning, because it is only a fleeting occurrence. Attention usually shifts very quickly from one object or one thing to the next. The child must first be taught to focus his attention on something and to keep his attention focused on this something for some length of time. When a person focuses his attention for any length of time, we refer to it as concentration.

Concentration rests on two legs. First, it is an act of will and cannot take place automatically. Second, it is also a cognitive skill, and therefore has to be taught.

Although learning disability specialists acknowledge that "the ability to concentrate and attend to a task for a prolonged period of time is essential for the student to receive necessary information and complete certain academic activities," it seems that the ability to concentrate is regarded as a "fafrotsky" -- a word coined by Ivan T. Sanderson, and standing for "things that FAll FROm The SKY." Concentration must be taught, after which one's proficiency can be constantly improved by regular and sustained practice.

PERCEPTION

The terms "processing" and "perception" are often used interchangeably.

Before one can learn anything, perception must take place, i. e. one has to become aware of it through one of the senses. Usually one has to hear or see it. Subsequently one has to interpret whatever one has seen or heard. In essence then, perception means interpretation. Of course, lack of experience may cause a person to misinterpret what he has seen or heard. In other words, perception represents our apprehension of a present situation in terms of our past experiences, or, as stated by the philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804): "We see things not as they are but as we are."

The following situation will illustrate how perception correlates with previous experience:

Suppose a person parked his car and walks away from it while continuing to look back at it. As he goes further and further away from his car, it will appear to him as if his car is gradually getting smaller and smaller. In such a situation none of us, however, would gasp in horror and cry out, "My car is shrinking!" Although the sensory perception is that the car is shrinking rapidly, we do not interpret that the car is changing size. Through past experiences we have learned that objects do not grow or shrink as we walk toward or away from them. You have learned that their actual size remains constant, despite the illusion. Even when one is five blocks away from one's car and it seems no larger than one's fingernail, one would interpret it as that it is still one's car and that it hasn't actually changed size. This learned perception is known as size constancy.

Pygmies, however, who live deep in the rain forests of tropical Africa, are not often exposed to wide vistas and distant horizons, and therefore do not have sufficient opportunities to learn size constancy. One Pygmy, removed from his usual environment, was convinced he was seeing a swarm of insects when he was actually looking at a herd of buffalo at a great distance. When driven toward the animals he was frightened to see the insects "grow" into buffalo and was sure that some form of witchcraft had been at work.

A person needs to INTERPRET sensory phenomena, and this can only be done on the basis of past experience of the same, similar or related phenomena. Perceptual ability, therefore, heavily depends upon the amount of perceptual practice and experience that the subject has already enjoyed. This implies that perception is a cognitive skill that can be improved tremendously through judicious practice and experience.

MEMORY

A variety of memory problems are evidenced in the learning disabled. Some major categories of memory functions wherein these problems lie are:

Receptive memory: This refers to the ability to note the physical features of a given stimulus to be able to recognize it at a later time. The child who has receptive processing difficulties invariably fails to recognize visual or auditory stimuli such as the shapes or sounds associated with the letters of the alphabet, the number system, etc.

Sequential memory: This refers to the ability to recall stimuli in their order of observation or presentation. Many dyslexics have poor visual sequential memory. Naturally this will affect their ability to read and spell correctly. After all, every word consists of letters in a specific sequence. In order to read one has to perceive the letters in sequence, and also remember what word is represented by that sequence of letters. By simply changing the sequence of the letters in "name" it can become "mean" or "amen". Some also have poor auditory sequential memory, and therefore may be unable to repeat longer words orally without getting the syllables in the wrong order, for example words like "preliminary" and "statistical".

Rote memory: This refers to the ability to learn certain information as a habit pattern. The child who has problems in this area is unable to recall with ease those responses which should have been automatic, such as the alphabet, the number system, multiplication tables, spelling rules, grammatical rules, etc.

Short-term memory: Short-term memory lasts from a few seconds to a minute; the exact amount of time may vary somewhat. When you are trying to recall a telephone number that was heard a few seconds earlier, the name of a person who has just been introduced, or the substance of the remarks just made by a teacher in class, you are calling on short-term memory. You need this kind of memory to retain ideas and thoughts when writing a letter, since you must be able to keep the last sentence in mind as you compose the next. You also need this kind of memory when you work on problems. Suppose a problem required that we first add two numbers together (step 1: add 15 + 27) and next divide the sum (step 2: divide sum by 2). If we did this problem in our heads, we would need to retain the result of step 1 (42) momentarily, while we apply the next step (divide by 2). Some space in our short-term memory is necessary to retain the results of step 1.

Long-term memory: This refers to the ability to retrieve information of things learned in the past.

Until the learning disabled develop adequate skills in recalling information, they will continue to face each learning situation as though it is a new one. No real progress can be attained by either the child or the teacher when the same ground has to be covered over and over because the child has forgotten. It would appear that the most critical need that the learning disabled have is to be helped to develop an effective processing system for remembering, because without it their performance will always remain at a level much below what their capabilities indicate.

Strangely, though, while memory is universally considered a prerequisite skill to successful learning, attempts to delineate its process in the learning disabled are few, and fewer still are methods to systematically improve it.

LOGICAL THINKING

In his book "Brain Building" Dr. Karl Albrecht states that logical thinking is not a magical process or a matter of genetic endowment, but a learned mental process. It is the process in which one uses reasoning consistently to come to a conclusion. Problems or situations that involve logical thinking call for structure, for relationships between facts, and for chains of reasoning that "make sense."

The basis of all logical thinking is sequential thought, says Dr. Albrecht. This process involves taking the important ideas, facts, and conclusions involved in a problem and arranging them in a chain-like progression that takes on a meaning in and of itself. To think logically is to think in steps.

Logical thinking is also an important foundational skill of math. "Learning mathematics is a highly sequential process," says Dr. Albrecht. "If you don’t grasp a certain concept, fact, or procedure, you can never hope to grasp others that come later, which depend upon it. For example, to understand fractions you must first understand division. To understand simple equations in algebra requires that you understand fractions. Solving ‘word problems’ depends on knowing how to set up and manipulate equations, and so on."

It has been proven that specific training in logical thinking processes can make people "smarter." Logical thinking allows a child to reject quick and easy answers, such as "I don’t know," or "this is too difficult," by empowering him to delve deeper into his thinking processes and understand better the methods used to arrive at a solution.

The ghost cat in the attic

This is a very strange but true story. Not everyone believes in ghosts but I do and I have had several experiences with the super natural, this is only one of my encounters.

This happened when I was only (8) eight years old.

My bus driver's wife had a kitten and she wanted to get rid of it so she offered it to me first and of course I took the female kitten from her. Now this was the first cat that I can remember owning, she was a black and white cat and for some reason I gave her the name Dozier. She was a very sweet cat and she truly was mine because she was every where that I was.

Now we had several other cats and we had a problem with them getting into our attic, seemed like we could not keep them out so we decided to put up boards in the places that they were getting in through but Dozier would always find a way in. Now in my bed room there was a large rectangular hole in the corner of the ceiling: now Dozier had found this hole and we started playing with each other through this hole and I would feed her if I had any food in my room, she would stay there for hours and play with me.

We had this cat for maybe a year, we had her long enough for her to have a litter of kittens. About two weeks after her having her kittens my grandfather had found her dead in the road when we all had gone to the store. Instead of burying her he had just thrown her over the hill. When mom had finally decided to tell me that evening I was sad and depressed because that cat and I were so close and I couldn't believe that my grandfather didn't bury her.

Well we were left to care for her kittens. Days later after Dozier's death I was sitting in my bed room doing home work when suddenly I saw a black and white paw coming through the hole in my ceiling and not really thinking I was glad to see Dozier because my home work was getting on my nerves and I went to play with her. Now her death had completely slipped my mind and I was really playing with her and petting her then I turned to see if I had some food for her when suddenly it hit me that she was dead and I fell flat on the floor trying to get away from her and I busted my head on the floor but the pain didn't faze me. I looked back up at the hole and she was still there waiting for me to bring her something like she always did.

I went to my mother and asked her to go outside and call all of her cats on the porch then I had her to come in the bed room and she saw it to. This dead cat was still there. I was one terrified little girl then suddenly I had realized why she had came back to me, two reason for her return; one was to tell me good bye and the other one was that she was not at rest. The next day when I came home from school I went over the hill where my grandfather had thrown her and found what was left of her and I buried her in the hills and I never seen her again. So I put her soul to rest and she was satisfied and had no reason to come back.

Seeing a ghost is one thing but seeing one and touching one is something that you never forget. The reason that so many ghosts try to reach the living is because they want us to help them to reach the other side.

What causes poly-behavioral addiction

The reasons for initially trying different socially acceptable legal drugs (e. g. alcohol, cigarettes, etc.), and/ or illegal drugs, or for that matter any addictive behavior involvement (e. g. gambling, binge-eating, etc.) are multi-factored (e. g. peer-pressure, boredom, etc.). In the twentieth century approximately 65% (Helzer et al., 1990) of healthy American individuals (born in a family--free from a history of substance abuse for example, and raised in a positive environment with positive values and conditioning) experiment with underage drinking and possibly smoking cigarettes at least once as adolescents or during a “college dorm - binge drinking” - phase of life.

Because human behavior is so complex, an attempt to understand the reasons individuals continue to use, and/ or abuse themselves with substances and/ or maladaptive behaviors to the point of developing self-defeating behavior patterns and/ or other life-style dysfunctions or self-harm is enormously difficult to achieve. Many researchers therefore prefer to speak of risk factors that may contribute, but not be sufficient to cause addictions. They point to an eclectic bio-psychosocial approach that involves the multi-dimensional interactions of genetics, biochemistry, psychology, socio-cultural, and spiritual influences.

Risk Factors / Contributory Causes / Influences:

1. Genetics (family history) – is known to play a role in causing susceptibility through such biological avenues as metabolic rates and sensitivity to alcohol and/ or other drugs or addictive behaviors.

2. Biochemistry – the discovery of morphine-like substances called endorphins (runners high, etc.) and the so-called “pleasure pathway” – the mesocorticolimbic dopamine pathway (MCLP). This is the brain center or possible anatomic site underlying addictions at which alcohol and other drugs stimulate to produce euphoria – which then becomes the desired goal to attain (tolerance – loss of control – withdrawal).

3. Psychological Factors – developmental personality traits, vulnerability to stress, and the desire for tension and symptom reduction from various mental health problems and traumatic life experiences.

4. Socio-cultural/ Spiritual Factors – cultural attitudes, marital, relational, legal, financial, and religious psycho-social stressors (etc.), along with the existence of a so-called drug culture that promotes the availability of alcohol and other drugs and/ or addictive behaviors as tension reducers and/ or pain relievers.

Family genetics, and bio-psychosocial, historical, and developmental conditioning factors are difficult and sometimes impossible to be changed within individuals. The standardized performance-based Addictions Recovery Measurement System philosophy incorporates a bio-psychosocial disease model that focuses on a cognitive behavioral perspective in attempting to alter maladaptive thinking and improve a person’s abilities and behaviors to solve problems and plan for sustained recovery. Many healthcare consumers of addiction recovery services have a genetic pre-dispositional history for addiction. They have suffered and continue to suffer from past traumatic life experiences (e. g. physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, etc.) and often present with psychosocial stressors (e. g. occupational stress, family/ marital problems, etc.) leaving them with intense and confusing feelings (e. g. anger, anxiety, bitterness, fear, guilt, grief, loneliness, depression, and inferiority, etc.) that reinforce their already low self-esteem. The complex interaction of these factors can leave the individual with much deeper mental health problems involving self-hatred, self-punishment, self-denial, low self-control, low self-respect, and a severe low self-esteem condition, with an overall (sometimes hidden) negative self-identity.

There are many definitions for addiction as it is a complex phenomenon. The American Psychiatric Association avoids the term entirely. The World Health Organization defined addiction as “a state of periodic and/ or chronic intoxication produced by the repeated consumption of a natural or synthetic drug. This state of intoxication is manifested by an overpowering desire, need or compulsion with the presence of a tendency to increase the dose and evidence of phenomena of tolerance, abstinence and withdrawal, in which there is always psychic and physical dependence on the effects of the drug” (Gossop and Grant, 1990, p. 20).

Addictive diseases generally have been associated with substance abuse. More recently, the concept of addiction has been broadened to include behavior patterns that do not necessarily include alcohol or drugs. Bradshaw (1990) defines addiction as a "pathological relationship to any mood-altering person, thing, substance, or activity that has life-damaging consequences" (p. VIII). Arterburn and Felton (1992) define addiction as "the presence of a psychological and physiological dependency on a substance, relationship, or behavior" (p. 104). Shaef (1987) defines addiction as "any process over which we are powerless. Addiction takes control of us, causing us to do and think things that are inconsistent with our personal values, and which lead us to become progressively more compulsive and obsessive" (p. 18). She divides addictions into two broad categories: Substance addictions (e. g., alcohol, drugs, nicotine, and food, etc.) and process or behavioral addictions (e. g., gambling, food, religion, and sexual addictions, etc.).

Similar to alcohol and substance abuse disorders, process or behavioral addictions have personality factors that tend to characterize their etiologies, behavioral manifestations, and their resistance to change even though they do not involve a chemical addictive substance. For example, although most people can gamble occasionally, (e. g., Saturday night poker games, betting on major sporting events with friends, and/ or playing a slot machine while on vacation, etc.), an estimated six to ten million Americans lose control.

Pathological Gambling, according to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fourth Edition Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR, 2000) is characterized by recurrent and persistent gambling behavior that disrupts family, personal, or vocational pursuits. It also involves continuous or periodic loss of control; a preoccupation with obtaining money for gambling; irrational behavior; and continuation of this behavior in spite of adverse consequences (Rosenthal, 1992).

People also develop dependencies on certain life-functioning activities that can be just as life threatening as drug addiction and just as socially and psychologically damaging as alcoholism. As noted previously 30.5% of American adults suffer from morbid obesity or being 100 lbs. or more above ideal body weight. Some do suffer from hormonal or metabolic disorders, but most obese individuals simply consume more calories than they burn due to an out of control overeating Food Addiction lifestyle pattern.

Hyper-obesity resulting from gross, habitual overeating is considered to be more like the problems found in those ingrained personality disorders that involve loss of control over appetite of some kind (Orford, 1985). Binge-eating Disorder episodes are characterized in part by a feeling that one cannot stop or control how much or what one is eating (DSM-IV-TR, 2000).

Williams (1993) suggests that religious addicts experience three of the same symptoms as other addicts: craving or the need for a fix; the loss of control; and continual use. Johnson and VanVonderen (1991) define Religious Addiction as “the state of being dependent on a spiritually mood-altering system.” In a change intended to encourage mental health professionals to view patients’ religious experience more seriously, the DSM-IV included an entry entitled, “Religious or Spiritual Problem” (Steinfels 1994). One type of psycho-religious problem involves patients who intensify their adherence to religious practices to an obsessive-compulsive and sometimes delusional mental state of mind. I personally had the unique opportunity of writing my doctoral dissertation on religious addiction entitled, “Hawaii and Christian Religious Addiction.” During that process, I discovered a significant relationship between self-appointed, authoritarian church leaders and religious addictive beliefs, behaviors and symptoms (Slobodzien, 2004).

Likewise, Sexual Addiction affects an estimated three to six percent of the U. S. population. Sexual addiction takes many forms to include obsessions with pornography and masturbation to engaging in cyber-sex, voyeurism, affairs, rape, incest, and sex with strangers. Though solitary forms of this addiction may not be overtly risky, they can be part of a pattern of distorted thinking and identity conflict that can escalate to involve harming the self and others. An example of a Sexual Disorder (NOS) or Not Otherwise Specified in the DSM-IV-TR, (2000) includes: distress about a pattern of repeated sexual relationships involving a succession of lovers who are experienced by an individual only as things to be used. The defining elements of this kind of addiction are its secrecy and escalating nature, often resulting in diminished judgment and self-control (Carnes, 1994).

The fundamental nature of all addiction is the addicts' experience of helplessness and powerlessness over an obsessive-compulsive behavior, resulting in their lives becoming unmanageable. The addict may be out of control. They may experience extreme emotional pain and shame. They may repeatedly fail to control their behavior. They may suffer one or more of the following consequences of an unmanageable lifestyle: a deterioration of some or all supportive relationships; difficulties with work, financial troubles; and physical, mental, and/ or emotional exhaustion which sometimes leads to psychiatric problems and hospitalization. Addictions tend to arise from the same backgrounds: families with co-dependency including multiple addictions; lack of effective parenting; and other forms of physical, emotional and sexual trauma in childhood. Since it is impossible to expect treatment for one addiction to be beneficial when other addictions co-exist, the initial therapeutic intervention for any addiction needs to include an assessment for other addictions.

Poly-behavioral dependence is the synergistically integrated chronic dependence on multiple physiologically addictive substances and behaviors (e. g., using/ abusing substances – nicotine, alcohol, & drugs, and/ or acting impulsively or obsessively compulsive in regards to gambling, food binging, sex, and/ or religion, etc.) simultaneously.

For more info see: “Poly-Behavioral Addictions and the Addictions Recovery Measurement System”

http://www. geocities. com/drslbdzn/Behavioral_Addictions. html

James Slobodzien, Psy. D., CSAC, is a Hawaii licensed psychologist and certified substance abuse counselor who earned his doctorate in Clinical Psychology. Dr. Slobodzien is credentialed by the National Registry of Health Service Providers in Psychology. He has over 20-years of mental health experience primarily working in the fields of alcohol/ substance abuse and behavioral addictions in hospital, prison, and court settings. He is an adjunct professor of Psychology and also maintains a private practice as a mental health consultant.

Military psychology the latest developments

Aside from the billions of dollars spent on military hardware like planes, submarines, aircraft carriers and state of the art missiles, militaries and armed forces of the United States of America has also relied on military psychology to further boost its war time efforts to finish of battles and gather intelligence.

This form of war strategy is very effective and applied to captured prisoners of war but the sad thing is that military psychological techniques and strategies usually is accompanied by torture. It is a part of the three elements needed to break down a POW’s conviction, Psychology, Torture and Interrogation.

This has been very much in use in the Vietnam war. Where in captured communist rebels would be subjected to psychological strategies to find out the location of their bunkers and camps. Unfortunately, the rebels had the same idea. Captured American soldiers would tell horrid tales of torture and humiliation in the hands of their interrogators psychologically breaking them down bit by bit.

As weapons have been technologically developed, using laser targeting, satellite guidance and unmanned surveillance systems, military psychology has also developed their methods and strategies. As each country has made their armed forces stronger, so much more so for the United States Army.

United States is on one of its biggest wars right now, the “War on Terrorism.” One of the defenses used by the American armed forces and security is military psychology. Advances in different forms have been developed and utilized to catch and prevent terrorism to happen again.

The September 11 attack alone can be considered as a psychological strategy done by terrorists instilling fear and panic in the hearts of American people. These are propagandas used to weaken and divide the Americans and on a psychological plane, it has somewhat made its point. Not only did it kill thousands of Americans it has also made them think about their vulnerability.

US securities have done their own homework. This includes profiling the enemy. Many psychological studies have been done on face recognition. Once perfected, this is a big help in surveillance and prevention of infiltration. This researches has drawn heavily from psychological knowledge of the military psychology track.

Military psychology has also developed various techniques and strategies in how to muddle a persons mind during interrogation making them confused and disoriented. This includes placing bags over the heads of the interrogated. They are made to raise their hands and spread their legs for a long period of time. Other techniques used lately would be, noise bombardment, sleep deprivation, food deprivation and being brainwashed and mentally tortured.

Another latest development in military psychology is their statistical prediction of behavior. Given many names already, this development probe through huge amounts of data on a suspected person in order to ‘predict possible terrorists by following a lifetime of seemingly innocent movements through electronic paper trails, for example; academic transcripts, prescription drugs, telephone calls, driving licenses, airline tickets, mortgage payments, parking permits, banking accounts and records, emails, website visits and credit card purchases. Through this, the military would like to prove if a person is a threat to national security. Many feel though that this is an invasion of their privacy.

Military psychology is an important aspect of the military. It can help end wars faster and with less loss of life on both sides. As more and more technological and psychological advances has been develop, this may result to more peace and tranquility.

Military psycholo9gy though has been very controversial ever since it was used. But it is not the United States alone that uses military psychology. Armed forces from all over the world has seen its potential and has made studies and researches on how to make it more effective.

While we may never really know everything that is being done in camps. The latest developments in military psychology are surely being used to gain a foothold over the enemies. These are strategies not shown to everybody to have the advantage. The race for military supremacy through technology is not just about having the biggest guns and the best planes and tanks, its also about using mans greatest weapon, the mind. And sometimes, the mind can be used against itself.

The history of personality disorders

Well into the eighteenth century, the only types of mental illness - then collectively known as "delirium" or "mania" - were depression (melancholy), psychoses, and delusions. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, the French psychiatrist Pinel coined the phrase "manie sans delire" (insanity without delusions). He described patients who lacked impulse control, often raged when frustrated, and were prone to outbursts of violence. He noted that such patients were not subject to delusions. He was referring, of course, to psychopaths (subjects with the Antisocial Personality Disorder). Across the ocean, in the United States, Benjamin Rush made similar observations.

In 1835, the British J. C. Pritchard, working as senior Physician at the Bristol Infirmary (hospital), published a seminal work titled "Treatise on Insanity and Other Disorders of the Mind". He, in turn, suggested the neologism "moral insanity".

To quote him, moral insanity consisted of "a morbid perversion of the natural feelings, affections, inclinations, temper, habits, moral dispositions, and natural impulses without any remarkable disorder or defect of the intellect or knowing or reasoning faculties and in particular without any insane delusion or hallucination" (p. 6).

He then proceeded to elucidate the psychopathic (antisocial) personality in great detail:

"(A) propensity to theft is sometimes a feature of moral insanity and sometimes it is its leading if not sole characteristic." (p. 27). "(E)ccentricity of conduct, singular and absurd habits, a propensity to perform the common actions of life in a different way from that usually practised, is a feature of many cases of moral insanity but can hardly be said to contribute sufficient evidence of its existence." (p. 23).

"When however such phenomena are observed in connection with a wayward and intractable temper with a decay of social affections, an aversion to the nearest relatives and friends formerly beloved - in short, with a change in the moral character of the individual, the case becomes tolerably well marked." (p. 23)

But the distinctions between personality, affective, and mood disorders were still murky.

Pritchard muddied it further:

"(A) considerable proportion among the most striking instances of moral insanity are those in which a tendency to gloom or sorrow is the predominant feature ... (A) state of gloom or melancholy depression occasionally gives way ... to the opposite condition of preternatural excitement." (pp. 18-19)

Another half century were to pass before a system of classification emerged that offered differential diagnoses of mental illness without delusions (later known as personality disorders), affective disorders, schizophrenia, and depressive illnesses. Still, the term "moral insanity" was being widely used.

Henry Maudsley applied it in 1885 to a patient whom he described as:

"(Having) no capacity for true moral feeling - all his impulses and desires, to which he yields without check, are egoistic, his conduct appears to be governed by immoral motives, which are cherished and obeyed without any evident desire to resist them." ("Responsibility in Mental Illness", p. 171).

But Maudsley already belonged to a generation of physicians who felt increasingly uncomfortable with the vague and judgmental coinage "moral insanity" and sought to replace it with something a bit more scientific.

Maudsley bitterly criticized the ambiguous term "moral insanity":

"(It is) a form of mental alienation which has so much the look of vice or crime that many people regard it as an unfounded medical invention (p. 170).

In his book "Die Psychopatischen Minderwertigkeiter", published in 1891, the German doctor J. L. A. Koch tried to improve on the situation by suggesting the phrase "psychopathic inferiority". He limited his diagnosis to people who are not retarded or mentally ill but still display a rigid pattern of misconduct and dysfunction throughout their increasingly disordered lives. In later editions, he replaced "inferiority" with "personality" to avoid sounding judgmental. Hence the "psychopathic personality".

Twenty years of controversy later, the diagnosis found its way into the 8th edition of E. Kraepelin's seminal "Lehrbuch der Psychiatrie" ("Clinical Psychiatry: a textbook for students and physicians"). By that time, it merited a whole lengthy chapter in which Kraepelin suggested six additional types of disturbed personalities: excitable, unstable, eccentric, liar, swindler, and quarrelsome.

Still, the focus was on antisocial behavior. If one's conduct caused inconvenience or suffering or even merely annoyed someone or flaunted the norms of society, one was liable to be diagnosed as "psychopathic".

In his influential books, "The Psychopathic Personality" (9th edition, 1950) and "Clinical Psychopathology" (1959), another German psychiatrist, K. Schneider sought to expand the diagnosis to include people who harm and inconvenience themselves as well as others. Patients who are depressed, socially anxious, excessively shy and insecure were all deemed by him to be "psychopaths" (in another word, abnormal).

This broadening of the definition of psychopathy directly challenged the earlier work of Scottish psychiatrist, Sir David Henderson. In 1939, Henderson published "Psychopathic States", a book that was to become an instant classic. In it, he postulated that, though not mentally subnormal, psychopaths are people who:

"(T)hroughout their lives or from a comparatively early age, have exhibited disorders of conduct of an antisocial or asocial nature, usually of a recurrent episodic type which in many instances have proved difficult to influence by methods of social, penal and medical care or for whom we have no adequate provision of a preventative or curative nature."

But Henderson went a lot further than that and transcended the narrow view of psychopathy (the German school) then prevailing throughout Europe.

In his work (1939), Henderson described three types of psychopaths. Aggressive psychopaths were violent, suicidal, and prone to substance abuse. Passive and inadequate psychopaths were over-sensitive, unstable and hypochondriacal. They were also introverts (schizoid) and pathological liars. Creative psychopaths were all dysfunctional people who managed to become famous or infamous.

Twenty years later, in the 1959 Mental Health Act for England and Wales, "psychopathic disorder" was defined thus, in section 4(4):

"(A) persistent disorder or disability of mind (whether or not including subnormality of intelligence) which results in abnormally aggressive or seriously irresponsible conduct on the part of the patient, and requires or is susceptible to medical treatment."

This definition reverted to the minimalist and cyclical (tautological) approach: abnormal behavior is that which causes harm, suffering, or discomfort to others. Such behavior is, ipso facto, aggressive or irresponsible. Additionally it failed to tackle and even excluded manifestly abnormal behavior that does not require or is not susceptible to medical treatment.

Thus, "psychopathic personality" came to mean both "abnormal" and "antisocial". This confusion persists to this very day. Scholarly debate still rages between those, such as the Canadian Robert, Hare, who distinguish the psychopath from the patient with mere antisocial personality disorder and those (the orthodoxy) who wish to avoid ambiguity by using only the latter term.

Moreover, these nebulous constructs resulted in co-morbidity. Patients were frequently diagnosed with multiple and largely overlapping personality disorders, traits, and styles. As early as 1950, Schneider wrote:

"Any clinician would be greatly embarrassed if asked to classify into appropriate types the psychopaths (that is abnormal personalities) encountered in any one year."

Today, most practitioners rely on either the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), now in its fourth, revised text, edition or on the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), now in its tenth edition.

The two tomes disagree on some issues but, by and large, conform to each other.

The nature of soul

It is the nature of soul to grow, to heal, and to love. As we enter into the world, we emerge as a tiny child. We are open. We do not have conditions placed on us by our parents or ourselves. We have not closed ourselves off from any possibility. It is though the world lay at our feet. We are a bundle of unconditioned purity.

As we age, conditions are placed on us to direct us along our paths intended to keep us from harm. Even if we manage to stay out of harms way, we move into a state of stimulus-response reactions toward life. This draws us further and further away from the natural state of pure being we came into the world with as an infant.

How can we return to our natural state of being? How can we call our soul back and gain a sense of spiritual well-being? The following are ways we can return to the wholeness and healing we seek as spiritual beings incarnated into the human race:

1. Do Something Creative.

Creativity engages our heart, our mind, and our imagination. These activities allow us to utilize our whole being. Our attention moves from outer expressions of the world and enters the inner dynamics of living giving rise to our heart and our imagination. When our heart and our imagination are given attention, we enter into the realm of insight. Insight is our ability to see from within just how sacred and magical our lives really are.

In the realm of soul, our humanity becomes sacred. Through creativity we are aware how life flows through us and not from us. The more we identify with these qualities of attention flowing through us, the more we are identifying with qualities residing in us that are whole and healing. It is our natural state.

2. Spend Time With A Child.

Children have a way of drawing our attention away from activities and responsibilities defining us as adults. All a child wants to do in this world is have fun. They seem to never tire of such activities. Children are constantly motivated by play.

As adults, we tend to think of play as wasted time. Adults who lose a sense of play and joy in their lives are in danger of losing self-motivation. The kind of self-motivation I am referring to involves the desire to have fun in life. This can lead to a depressive state lacking creativity, spontaneity, and the heart of a child.

Each of us has the heart of a child within us that never tires. It is the part of us fully participating in and with life. As our imagination and heart begin to guide us over the mind, we are in soul. In soul, our mind is in its proper perspective. This part of us is our inner awareness not bound by the pressures of the world. When we return to soul, the possibility of living whole and healed becomes a reality.

3. Become A Child.

The next time you look into a child's eyes try to feel their heart. Notice the difference and similarities of your heart and their heart. Is there a difference? Is this awareness a long or short distance from where you were as a child?

What happened to that little boy or little girl inside you? Since we cannot retrieve childhood physically, maybe we can from within. Remember your past as a child - the good times and the bad times. As you look at your life through the eyes of a child, recall how active your heart and imagination were. Embrace it. Let this inner vision penetrate your entire awareness. Let go of your adult interpretations of your childhood and view it with innocence and love.

Our true nature is to live in the world without being fully of it. Inside us are endless avenues that can move us toward the experience of joy. When we let go of our tendency to view the world as right or wrong, good or bad, we leave behind dualism and enter into Unity.

This Unity behind all appearances of diversity is a healing state of unconditional love. It is the part of us bringing all life into being, leading us through life, and what will lead us home. It is the force of nature giving us life. It is our soul.

Samuel Oliver, author of, "What the Dying Teach Us: Lessons on Living"

The choice between yes and yes - a psychological revelation

You laugh at the story, don't you?

The method used to get Kara into bed seems a bit like trickery. And who am I to say that it's not? Yet I want you to pay attention to one thing. Kara was glad to be given a choice between yes and yes.

Your clients are not much different

Clients come to you every single day asking you to give them a choice. A choice between yes and yes. Instead all you're giving them is a choice between yes and no.

Mah friend, your bank account will see far better days if only you'd step back, and use the immense power of the choice between yes and yes.

Of course, you don't have to believe that this choice factor works. You don't have to believe your sales will go up. All you have to see is proof. So in the article below I'll demonstrate the psychological factor of choice. How it can work for you and how it can turn against you and bite you in the you-know-where.

It all started on one stupid loss-making November's day...

We were doing fine with the sales on our website when we made one change. I'm going to demonstrate the change in the article below so it would help for you to have the page open so you can see what I'm talking about.

If you look at this page at http://www. psychotactics. com/hiddenlink. php you'll find that you get the choice to buy two packages. One is the copy of the Brain Audit and the other choice is a copy of the Brain Audit + the Brain Audit Rip.

Till the middle of November, we had both the offers up. Then one ego-driven morning we decided to pull the plug on one choice.

We gave customers the choice between a yes and um..NO!

Almost within 24 hours, our sales started going south for no reason at all. We ignored this sickening slack for about a week. Then we looked back at what was working. And we put back the choice between yes and yes.

The customer was back in choice-ville and the sales soared.

But here's the curious part

Among the two packages, one has a much higher price. Yet over 97.5% of customers, when given the choice between the two packages, chose the higher priced package.

The customer is no dumbo

No siree. The customer knows exactly what she wants. And when given the choice between yes and yes, she takes a decision to buy that which creates most value for her. Of course, if there's an enticement to buy, as was in this case, then there's a far greater likelihood of her buying the more expensive product.

The customer is no dumbo...but I sure am

Think about it. If your revenue shot up. If customers were buying higher-priced products what would you logically do? Wouldn't you take the same concept and use it everywhere you could?

You'd think a smart person would do that, wouldn't you? (Which is why I qualified myself at the start of this paragraph). But no! As we speak, the only product that has a choice of YES and YES is the page I've already mentioned above.

Don't stop at one point. Take the concept through it's paces

If you're in consulting, look at the choice between yes and yes. Are you giving the customer a choice between package A and package B. Or do you offer just one package? If you're selling products, the concept of yes and yes choice stays put.

And once you've found that the concept works, puh-lease don't do the dumbo bit. Audit every possible thing you sell. And put in a yes and yes factor. Not only will this bring you higher quantity of sales, but also an a much better price on every product/consulting assignment you do.

I said yes and yes...NOT yes and yes and yes and yes

You, me, we all crave for choice. But give us too much and we go a little waka-waka in our brains. Because choice is based on rejection. To choose the strawberry flavour ice-cream, you must mentally refuse all the other flavours.

If you give a client too much to choose from, they will end up rolling their eyes, doing a RAM check and shut down their brains before you have time to do anything at all.

Keep your options simple. Keep the choice between yes and yes.

So that even a three-year old has no trouble choosing!

Narcissistic personality disorder - prevalence and comorbidity

What is the Difference between Healthy Narcissism and the Pathological Kind?

In my book "Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited", I define pathological narcissism as:

"(A) life-long pattern of traits and behaviors which signify infatuation and obsession with one's self to the exclusion of all others and the egotistic and ruthless pursuit of one's gratification, dominance and ambition."

Luckily for us, we are all narcissists to some degree. But healthy narcissism is adaptive, flexible, empathic, causes elation and joy (happiness), and help us to function. Pathological narcissism is maladaptive, rigid, persisting, and causes significant distress, and functional impairment.

Prevalence and Age and Gender Features

According to the DSM IV-TR, Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is diagnosed in between 2% and 16% of the population in clinical settings (between 0.5-1% of the general population). The DSM-IV-TR proceeds to tell us that most narcissists (50-75% of all patients) are men.

We must carefully distinguish between the narcissistic traits of adolescents - narcissism is an integral part of their healthy personal development - and the full-fledge disorder. Adolescence is about self-definition, differentiation, separation from one's parents, and individuation. These inevitably involve narcissistic assertiveness which is not to be conflated or confused with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).

"The lifetime prevalence rate of NPD is approximately 0.5-1 percent; however, the estimated prevalence in clinical settings is approximately 2-16 percent. Almost 75 percent of individuals diagnosed with NPD are male (APA, DSM IV-TR 2000)."

From the Abstract of Psychotherapeutic Assessment and Treatment of Narcissistic Personality Disorder By Robert C. Schwartz, Ph. D., DAPA and Shannon D. Smith, Ph. D., DAPA (American Psychotherapy Association, Article #3004 Annals July/August 2002)

However, as the narcissist grows old and suffers the inevitable attendant physical, mental, and occupational restrictions, Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is exacerbated.

Studies have not demonstrated any ethnic, social, cultural, economic, genetic, or professional predilection or susceptibility to the Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).

Still, Robert Milman suggested a condition that he labeled "Acquired Situational Narcissism". He observed a transient and reactive form of the Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) in certain situations, such as under constant public scrutiny and exposure.

Comorbidity and Differential Diagnoses

Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is often diagnosed with other mental health disorders ("co-morbidity"), such as mood disorders, eating disorders, and substance-related disorders. Patients with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) are frequently abusive and prone to impulsive and reckless behaviours ("dual diagnosis").

The comorbidity of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) with other personality disorders, such as the Histrionic, Borderline, Paranoid, and Antisocial Personality Disorders, is high.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is often misdiagnosed as Bipolar Disorder (the manic phase), Asperger's Disorder, or Generalized Anxiety Disorder - and vice versa.

Though the personal styles of patients with Cluster B personality disorders resemble each other, they also substantially differ. The narcissist is grandiose, the histrionic coquettish, the antisocial (psychopath) callous, and the borderline needy.

From my book, "Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited":

"As opposed to patients with the Borderline Personality Disorder, the self-image of the narcissist is stable, he or she are less impulsive and less self-defeating or self-destructive and less concerned with abandonment issues (not as clinging).

Contrary to the histrionic patient, the narcissist is achievements-orientated and proud of his or her possessions and accomplishments. Narcissists also rarely display their emotions as histrionics do and they hold the sensitivities and needs of others in contempt.

According to the DSM-IV-TR, both narcissists and psychopaths are "tough-minded, glib, superficial, exploitative, and unempathic". But narcissists are less impulsive, less aggressive, and less deceitful. Psychopaths rarely seek narcissistic supply. As opposed to psychopaths, few narcissists are criminals.

Patients suffering from the range of obsessive-compulsive disorders are committed to perfection and believe that only they are capable of attaining it. But, as opposed to narcissists, they are self-critical and far more aware of their own deficiencies, flaws, and shortcomings."

Bibliography

Goldman, Howard H., Review of General Psychiatry, fourth edition, 1995. Prentice-Hall International, London.

Gelder, Michael, Gath, Dennis, Mayou, Richard, Cowen, Philip (eds.), Oxford Textbook of Psychiatry, third edition, 1996, reprinted 2000. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Vaknin, Sam, Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited, seventh revised impression, 1999-2006. Narcissus Publications, Prague and Skopje.

What is personality

In their opus magnum "Personality Disorders in Modern Life", Theodore Millon and Roger Davis define personality as:

"(A) complex pattern of deeply embedded psychological characteristics that are expressed automatically in almost every area of psychological functioning." (p. 2)

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM)) IV-TR (2000), published by the American Psychiatric Association, defines personality traits as:

"(E)nduring patterns of perceiving, relating to, and thinking about the environment and oneself that are exhibited in a wide range of social and personal contexts." (p. 686)

Laymen often confuse and confute "personality" with "character" and "temperament".

Our temperament is the biological-genetic template that interacts with our environment.

Our temperament is a set of in-built dispositions we are born with. It is mostly unalterable (though recent studies demonstrate that the brain is far more plastic and elastic than we thought).

In other words, our temperament is our nature.

Our character is largely the outcome of the process of socialization, the acts and imprints of our environment and nurture on our psyche during the formative years (0-6 years and in adolescence).

Our character is the set of all acquired characteristics we posses, often judged in a cultural-social context.

Sometimes the interplay of all these factors results in an abnormal personality.

The four elements

Empedocles, a Greek philosopher, scientist and healer who lived in Sicily in the fifth century B. C.,believed that all matter is comprised of the four elements of earth, air, fire and water. Fire and air are outwardly reaching elements, reaching up and out, whereas earth and water turn inward and downward.

In her book, Four Elements in Ancient Greek Philosophy, Tracy Marks describes wide-ranging look at earth, fire, water, and air, and the dynamic twin forces

of Love and Strife. Her book takes one to a journey from ancient Greece to alchemy to Carl Jung’s association of sense, feeling, thoughts and intuition .

The Four Elements of Air, Fire, Water and Earth describe the four unique personality types associated with the zodiac signs. The elements exhibit profound influence on basic character traits, behaviour, emotions ,

thinking and intuition. Detractors consider these traits too general, but these are reflected in our relationships, and ambitions or lack thereof, and the unexpected

turns and twists that add spice to our lives.

Astrology aims to help us focus these energies to the positive aspects, gain a better understanding of our positive traits and deal with the negative ones; thus realize our full potential and give our best to this life.

To deny these is to deny life and destiny. We all need air to breathe, water to sustain our growth and to cleanse us, fire to shelter us from the cold and nourish us, earth to live on together with all the living things on it and to grow our food.

Earth

Astrology: Taurus, Capricorn, Virgo

Jung: sensation

Feel the Earth under our feet, the soil that sustains all forms of life. Look at the power and beauty of the mountains, a symbol of stability and solidity of the earth. Everyday we experience the physical world, we walk on this earth, enjoy

the beauty and bounty of Mother Earth and feel the comfort of being on solid ground.

Associated with the signs Taurus, Capricorn and Virgo, Earth represents the practical, realistic material side of our nature, it seeks to assert a stable, secure and structured environment into which we can function. Feel the earth under your feet, solid and steady as you walk slowly. Earth is patient and reliable. It is solid and strong. To be on solid ground encourages one to seek the practical and most logical answer to a problem.

Earth can be a stabilizing force in a relationship contributing structure and organization to achieve balance and harmony. Earth sustains growth - watch

plant life grow, from an acorn does an oak tree grow; so does man grow from youth to maturity, and realize the immense growth in every facet of life.

The over expression of this element can be seen in a stubborn and rigid personality, one that strives to remain in the comfort zone in life, afraid to take

risks. It can also be seen by a love of the material side of life, the comforts of material well - being, material worth can be over emphasized and this can

lead to a stressful worrisome situation.

Weakness: attachment, stinginess, materialism, resists change, too much attention to detail and miss the big picture.

Air

Astrology: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius

Jung: Thinking

The element Air is associated with the signs Gemini, Libra. and Aquarius. It seeks to establish itself in the realm of the intellect. It is through the process of

thinking that we develop ideas. It is through the influence of this element that we learn to communicate. Through air we gain and share knowledge.

Air contributes inventiveness, originality and versatility to the personality. It gives that feeling of freedom, unattachment, it reaches out to the mental self. Enjoy that refreshing gentle breeze, allow thoughts to flow freely and nourish the creative moment. Air expresses love of people, the ability to intellectualize, to appreciate the differences in people, accept different perspectives without which, there would be a lack of vision and human interaction.

Thoughts are a continual force in our lives. It is associated with meditation where deep breathing is essential to reach that level of stillness, energy, and relaxation. Air is used for transport, flying and sailing. Let your thoughts soar to

reach your intellectual pursuits.

An over expression of air's influence can be seen as living in a dream world with unrealistic goals and flights of fancy. Air should seek to maintain practicality and develop consistency in dealing with the real world.

Weakness of this element: lack of emotion, depression, lack of connection with the higher self, overactive mind that blocks inner peace and harmony.

Fire

Astrology: Leo, Sagittarius, Aries

Jung: Intuition

The signs Leo, Sagittarius and Aries are associated with the element Fire. It represents the life force glowing within us. This element projects self-expression,

creativity, courage and enthusiasm. Feel the comforting warmth of a fire, or heat when you come in from the cold.

We need fire to meet the basic need of cooking our food. Fire provides a sense of security, warmth and t inspiration that is shared with those around. Fire strengthens self-confidence to tackle problems without hesitation. Without fire, there is no radiance, no conviction, no expression.

A spark can light up new ideas, serve as a beacon to light the way to achieve goals with conviction and enthusiasm.

An over expression of fire can turn assertiveness into aggression, daring into reckless behavior and so forth. When fire’s influence is out of control, it

seeks to consume all in it's path.

Weakness: lack of interest, egotistic, excessive self-centeredness, self - importance.

Water

Astrology: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces

Jung: Feelings/Emotion

The element Water associated with the signs of Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces influences the conscience and the subconscious forces that act on our lives,

The element water pours forth to others. It allows one to feel their pain and suffering and offer sincere compassion.

Psychic awareness is also present in the water signs and shows itself from time to time with uncanny accuracy. Water seeks to heal and nurture those around it.

Uncontrolled, this element can send emotions on a turbulent path resulting in moodiness and unpredictable highs and lows, like the crest and trough of the waves.

Water signs need serenity and calmness, like a gentle flowing river nurturing all in its wake and at the same time leading to the discovery of new paths.

When over expressed, one may tend to be overly emotional, deeply sensitive and subjective. With too much emotion, depression may result.

Weakness can result from being too protective and possessive of their loved ones; and cold attitude and lack of drive may arise.

A Balance of the Elements

The best combination of each element type of personality strives to create a balance of these elemental aspects of each, thereby resulting in relationship that thrives on mutual growth and harmony.

Air-fire

Earth-Water

The element air in a relationship provides ideas and dreams that Fire can act on and forge into reality. The element water provides sensitivity and nurturing to the sometimes cold reserved earthly approach to matters, thereby laying the

groundwork for future growth in the relationship

At the same time remember in a fire/ water relationship balance can be achieved by realizing that water can inject needed sensitivity and patience into the fire sign. and at the same time Fire can add drive and the courage to act that

can be sometimes lacking in the water signs.

When two elements of the same type combine, harmony can be achieved when the needs and traits are the same for both However, it hinders growth when both individuals may become too comfortable to a point that the needed spark

for growth may be lacking.

In a Fire/Earth combination we find that fire's initiative and drive can stimulate the sometimes laid back and reserved nature of Earth. At the same time, Earth's practicality and discipline can be balancing to fire's sometimes quick to, act ways.

Ideally we should strive for a balance of the elements Earth/Water and Air /fire.

The other combinations can also work as long as both partners respect the others needs and unique traits that both bring into the relationship and they utilize each others strengths to balance.

Reference: Tracy Marks book

The Elements in Ancient Greek Philosophy

Commit to be happy

Today, why not made a personal commitment to be happy, in spite of what life hands over to you. You have to admit that there are too many things over which you have no control. The only thing you can do is to stop allowing them to make dents in your spirit.

Happiness is not something that others can take from you. It's something that you would have to throw away on your own.

There will be times when things don't turn out the way you want them to. Your best friend at work may turn out to be a power-hungry corporate animal that backstabs you at every opportunity. The promotion you worked so hard for may go to someone else. Your partner might decide to leave me, a day before we are due to go for a vacation together. You may lose most of your savings in a market crash.

These are things that can happen to the most loving, compassionate, careful and reasonable person. But after the initial pain and shock, the decision whether or not to let yourself languish in despair is entirely up to you. You can allow misfortune to form the bulk of your life, or you can choose to leave what's past in the past, and move on.

One's friendly and caring behavior towards others should not be motivated by the thought of equally kind and affectionate responses. You understand yourself best, and regardless of how reasonably and responsibly you live your life, there will be people who won't see your point of view or share your motivations.

People have the right to act in any way they see fit. I don't have the right to judge whether their behavior is acceptable or not. They have to bear the responsibility for their own actions, and so do you. By feeling sorry for yourself, you are simply continuing the work for them, long after they have dealt their blow. You have to decide that, as far as possible, you will not allow these people to disturb your mind.

There are many things for which you can be grateful. There are yet unexplored experiences in which you can find enrichment and meaning. There are yet others who will like you for who you are, and in spite of who you are. If you spend my time being resentful and miserable, you are denying yourself the satisfaction of enjoying what this life has to offer.

There are enough unhappy people in this world who punish themselves and others constantly in a bid to find redress and compensation. But there is no satisfaction in retaliation and revenge. It's a waste of time and spirit.

"To be happy we must not be too concerned with others."

Albert Camus

The heart of soul

Hide and Seek is a wonderful game to play with your children. The next time you play this game observe what happens. If you are the person hiding your eyes and counting to 10, feel what happens to your heart as you look for your children.

If you pay attention, my hunch is that your heart and imagination will heighten. Since you cannot see your children in front of you, a movement from the perceptual world to the intuitive world becomes your path into soul. You are, now, being guided from within. In soul, you will feel your heart come alive. You will feel your heart open. And, you will experience your heart become ONE with your children.

1. Feel Your Heart.

Close your eyes and place your attention on your heart. Look at your heart from within using the inner vision of your mind, and not, the ones you use in the material world. This simple act of noticing and placing your attention on your heart enables you to feel your heart.

2. Feel Your Heart Open.

The next time you hug someone you care deeply about, feel how warm and open your heart becomes. It is a similar feeling you get when you receive good news or visit someone you haven't seen in a long time. An open heart is able to receive the love and attention of another person who wants the same. This mutual receiving and giving love connect hearts as one cohesive unit.

3. A Unified Heart.

A heart in unity with the world, itself, and others around it knows wholeness. Wholeness is the feeling of being ONE with all that is alive and well. It is the feeling of being loved, blessed, known, and cared for. This feeling of being connected to the unified whole called the universe is our ability to identify beyond our own individualized selves. This transcendent state of being creates an awareness of what infuses our heart with eternal love.

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Notice what happens when you play Hide and Seek with a small child. The closer you get to finding them, the more you will feel your heart. Your heart will open to a channel of expression and experience where physical eyesight is no longer necessary. This guiding force enabling you to feel your heart, allow your heart to open, and create a path merging two hearts as ONE is the heart of soul.

Sam Oliver, author of, "A Fish Named Ed"

Common features of personality disorders

Psychology is more an art form than a science. There is no "Theory of Everything" from which one can derive all mental health phenomena and make falsifiable predictions. Still, as far as personality disorders are concerned, it is easy to discern common features. Most personality disorders share a set of symptoms (as reported by the patient) and signs (as observed by the mental health practitioner).

Patients suffering from personality disorders have these things in common:

They are persistent, relentless, stubborn, and insistent (except those suffering from the Schizoid or the Avoidant Personality Disorders).

They feel entitled to - and vociferously demand - preferential treatment and privileged access to resources and personnel. They often complain about multiple symptoms. They get involved in "power plays" with authority figures (such as physicians, therapists, nurses, social workers, bosses, and bureaucrats) and rarely obey instructions or observe rules of conduct and procedure.

They hold themselves to be superior to others or, at the very least, unique. Many personality disorders involve an inflated self-perception and grandiosity. Such subjects are incapable of empathy (the ability to appreciate and respect the needs and wishes of other people). In therapy or medical treatment, they alienate the physician or therapist by treating her as inferior to them.

Patients with personality disorders are self-centered, self-preoccupied, repetitive, and, thus, boring.

Subjects with personality disorders seek to manipulate and exploit others. They trust no one and have a diminished capacity to love or intimately share because they do not trust or love themselves. They are socially maladaptive and emotionally unstable.

No one knows whether personality disorders are the tragic outcomes of nature or the sad follow-up to a lack of nurture by the patient's environment.

Generally speaking, though, most personality disorders start out in childhood and early adolescence as mere problems in personal development. Exacerbated by repeated abuse and rejection, they then become full-fledged dysfunctions. Personality disorders are rigid and enduring patterns of traits, emotions, and cognitions. In other words, they rarely "evolve" and are stable and all-pervasive, not episodic. By 'all-pervasive", I mean to say that they affect every area in the patient's life: his career, his interpersonal relationships, his social functioning.

Personality disorders cause unhappiness and are usually comorbid with mood and anxiety disorders. Most patients are ego-dystonic (except narcissists and psychopaths). They dislike and resent who they are, how they behave, and the pernicious and destructive effects they have on their nearest and dearest. Still, personality disorders are defense mechanisms writ large. Thus, few patients with personality disorders are truly self-aware or capable of life transforming introspective insights.

Patients with personality disorder typically suffer from a host of other psychiatric problems (example: depressive illnesses, or obsessions-compulsions). They are worn-out by the need to reign in their self-destructive and self-defeating impulses.

Patients with personality disorders have alloplastic defenses and an external locus of control. In other words: rather than accept responsibility for the consequences of their actions, they tend to blame other people or the outside world for their misfortune, failures, and circumstances. Consequently, they fall prey to paranoid persecutory delusions and anxieties. When stressed, they try to preempt (real or imaginary) threats by changing the rules of the game, introducing new variables, or by trying to manipulate their environment to conform to their needs. They regard everyone and everything as mere instruments of gratification.

Patients with Cluster B personality disorders (Narcissistic, Antisocial, Borderline, and Histrionic) are mostly ego-syntonic, even though they are faced with formidable character and behavioral deficits, emotional deficiencies and lability, and overwhelmingly wasted lives and squandered potentials. Such patients do not, on the whole, find their personality traits or behavior objectionable, unacceptable, disagreeable, or alien to their selves.

There is a clear distinction between patients with personality-disorders and patients with psychoses (schizophrenia-paranoia and the like). As opposed to the latter, the former have no hallucinations, delusions or thought disorders. At the extreme, subjects who suffer from the Borderline Personality Disorder experience brief psychotic "microepisodes", mostly during treatment. Patients with personality disorders are also fully oriented, with clear senses (sensorium), good memory and a satisfactory general fund of knowledge.

Secret information

: Secret information? Okay, probably not much remains truly hidden or forbidden anymore, but there are little secrets about how things work. Salesmen, politicians, and others learn and use subtle techniques to influence you. "Lucky people" use little-known tricks to get that way. Here are some examples. Controling Through Words There is a classic joke, "Have you stopped beating your wife?" It is difficult to answer without incriminating yourself. This technique of the implicit premise is used by politicians for more than jokes. Get everyone to argue about how to do something, for example, like win the the "war" on drugs, and nobody questions if it should even be done. Implicit premises are a powerful method of control. Get in the habit of recognizing the premises hidden in political debate. Another way to influence people is to control language. Since social security payments don't come from actual investments, unless you call the government lending itself money "investing", social security isn't a "retirement fund." Calling it that, however, makes it seem safer and more acceptable than what it is: welfare. You can see how the words used control the debate. Our words matter greatly. Could it be difficult politically to spend millions on "human shredder" bombs? Maybe that's why they are called "daisy cutters." Start paying attention, and you'll see how words are being used to influence you. Hypnotic Sales Techniques Read the following sales pitch: "Does speaking before a crowd make you nervous? What if it was easy? Imagine standing there in front of a crowd, knowing exactly what to say to make them love you. Wouldn't that feel wonderful? Just apply our simple methods, and you will have that power. Use the form below to ORDER RIGHT NOW." It starts by getting you to say yes, which is habit forming. It hints at the possibility of a solution. The word "Imagine," in line three, gets you doing just that. Line four suggests positive emotion and gets another yes. "And" in line five infers cause and effect, that you'll have the power BECAUSE you used their product. The last line directs you with "Use the form below." The "order right now" is called an "embedded command," because putting it in capitals influences you without you noticing consciously. When I learned dozens of these techniques, I used them to re-write the sign-up page for one of my newsletters, and I started to get four times as many subscribers from the same traffic. Secret information or not, it is powerful stuff. More Secret Information "Lucky people" create the right conditions for "luck," by being in the right place, and around people who can help. Good salesmen use techniques like "mirroring," and "leading," to persuade you. Research from the new science of behavioral economics is applied by smart marketers to create methods of getting you to buy. Secret information isn't all about influencing others. Most industries and human activities have little-known "tricks of the trade." Wise real estate agents sell expensive homes, for example, because they know it takes the same work as selling a mobile home, but the commission can be five times as much. Those who don't use this "secret" struggle to make a living. Certainly, subliminal techniques and other "forbidden knowledge" can be used for good or bad, so are they dangerous? Yes, especially if you're not in on the secret. Why not start to gather some of your own secret information?

The intermittent explosive narcissist

Narcissists invariably react with narcissistic rage to narcissistic injury.

These two terms bear clarification:

Narcissistic Injury

Any threat (real or imagined) to the narcissist's grandiose and fantastic self-perception (False Self) as perfect, omnipotent, omniscient, and entitled to special treatment and recognition, regardless of his actual accomplishments (or lack thereof).

The narcissist actively solicits Narcissistic Supply – adulation, compliments, admiration, subservience, attention, being feared – from others in order to sustain his fragile and dysfunctional Ego. Thus, he constantly courts possible rejection, criticism, disagreement, and even mockery.

The narcissist is, therefore, dependent on other people. He is aware of the risks associated with such all-pervasive and essential dependence. He resents his weakness and dreads possible disruptions in the flow of his drug – Narcissistic Supply. He is caught between the rock of his habit and the hard place of his frustration. No wonder he is prone to raging, lashing and acting out, and to pathological, all-consuming envy (all expressions of pent-up aggression).

The narcissist is constantly on the lookout for slights. He is hypervigilant. He perceives every disagreement as criticism and every critical remark as complete and humiliating rejection – nothing short of a threat. Gradually, his mind turns into a chaotic battlefield of paranoia and ideas of reference.

Most narcissists react defensively. They become conspicuously indignant, aggressive, and cold. They detach emotionally for fear of yet another (narcissistic) injury. They devalue the person who made the disparaging remark, the critical comment, the unflattering observation, the innocuous joke at the narcissist's expense.

By holding the critic in contempt, by diminishing the stature of the discordant conversant – the narcissist minimises the impact of the disagreement or criticism on himself. This is a defence mechanism known as cognitive dissonance.

Narcissistic Rage

Narcissists can be imperturbable, resilient to stress, and sangfroid. Narcissistic rage is not a reaction to stress – it is a reaction to a perceived slight, insult, criticism, or disagreement (in other words, to narcissistic injury). It is intense and disproportional to the "offence".

Raging narcissists usually perceive their reaction to have been triggered by an intentional provocation with a hostile purpose. Their targets, on the other hand, invariably regard raging narcissists as incoherent, unjust, and arbitrary.

Narcissistic rage should not be confused with anger, though they have many things in common.

It is not clear whether action diminishes anger or anger is used up in action – but anger in healthy persons is diminished through action and expression. It is an aversive, unpleasant emotion. It is intended to generate action in order to reduce frustration. Anger is coupled with physiological arousal.

Another enigma is:

Do we become angry because we say that we are angry, thus identifying the anger and capturing it – or do we say that we are angry because we are angry to begin with?

Anger is provoked by adverse treatment, deliberately or unintentionally inflicted. Such treatment must violate either prevailing conventions regarding social interactions or some otherwise a deeply ingrained sense of what is fair and what is just. The judgement of fairness or justice is a cognitive function impaired in the narcissist.

Anger is induced by numerous factors. It is almost a universal reaction. Any threat to one's welfare (physical, emotional, social, financial, or mental) is met with anger. So are threats to one's affiliates, nearest, dearest, nation, favourite football club, pet and so on. The territory of anger includes not only the angry person himself, but also his real and perceived environment and social milieu.

Threats are not the only situations to incite anger. Anger is also the reaction to injustice (perceived or real), to disagreements, and to inconvenience (discomfort) caused by dysfunction.

Still, all manner of angry people – narcissists or not – suffer from a cognitive deficit and are worried and anxious. They are unable to conceptualise, to design effective strategies, and to execute them. They dedicate all their attention to the here and now and ignore the future consequences of their actions. Recent events are judged more relevant and weighted more heavily than any earlier ones. Anger impairs cognition, including the proper perception of time and space.

In all people, narcissists and normal, anger is associated with a suspension of empathy. Irritated people cannot empathise. Actually, "counter-empathy" develops in a state of aggravated anger. The faculties of judgement and risk evaluation are also altered by anger. Later provocative acts are judged to be more serious than earlier ones – just by "virtue" of their chronological position.

Yet, normal anger results in taking some action regarding the source of frustration (or, at the very least, the planning or contemplation of such action). In contrast, pathological rage is mostly directed at oneself, displaced, or even lacks a target altogether.

Narcissists often vent their anger at "insignificant" people. They yell at a waitress, berate a taxi driver, or publicly chide an underling. Alternatively, they sulk, feel anhedonic or pathologically bored, drink, or do drugs – all forms of self-directed aggression.

From time to time, no longer able to pretend and to suppress their rage, they have it out with the real source of their anger. Then they lose all vestiges of self-control and rave like lunatics. They shout incoherently, make absurd accusations, distort facts, and air long-suppressed grievances, allegations and suspicions.

These episodes are followed by periods of saccharine sentimentality and excessive flattering and submissiveness towards the victim of the latest rage attack. Driven by the mortal fear of being abandoned or ignored, the narcissist repulsively debases and demeans himself.

Most narcissists are prone to be angry. Their anger is always sudden, raging, frightening and without an apparent provocation by an outside agent. It would seem that narcissists are in a CONSTANT state of rage, which is effectively controlled most of the time. It manifests itself only when the narcissist's defences are down, incapacitated, or adversely affected by circumstances, inner or external.

Pathological anger is neither coherent, not externally induced. It emanates from the inside and it is diffuse, directed at the "world" and at "injustice" in general. The narcissist is capable of identifying the IMMEDIATE cause of his fury. Still, upon closer scrutiny, the cause is likely to be found lacking and the anger excessive, disproportionate, and incoherent.

It might be more accurate to say that the narcissist is expressing (and experiencing) TWO layers of anger, simultaneously and always. The first layer, of superficial ire, is indeed directed at an identified target, the alleged cause of the eruption. The second layer, however, incorporates the narcissist's self-aimed wrath.

Narcissistic rage has two forms:

I. Explosive – The narcissist flares up, attacks everyone in his immediate vicinity, causes damage to objects or people, and is verbally and psychologically abusive.

II. Pernicious or Passive-Aggressive (P/A) – The narcissist sulks, gives the silent treatment, and is plotting how to punish the transgressor and put her in her proper place. These narcissists are vindictive and often become stalkers. They harass and haunt the objects of their frustration. They sabotage and damage the work and possessions of people whom they regard to be the sources of their mounting wrath.

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