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On the Sources for Psychoanalytical Research and Treatment.(2007)

This Essay studies the scientifically-based Sources[1] that are taken in account in Psychoanalysis: herein I refer to the data used to access the Conscious and Unconscious character and conduct of a person. On the investigation of these Sources lays the result and reach of a study of this sort, which may be performed as a basis for Therapy -between the psychologist and its patient- or plain Research -of the specialist pertaining to the Human Mind-.

In this sense we know that in Psychoanalysis, there are procedures by means of which we can study and comprehend a subjectís character. Through this we might also reach the point of relieving a person suffering from a psychic disturbance, as those related to Stress, Phobias, Hysteria, Melancholy, Neurosis, Depression, Psychosis, Paranoia, Schizophrenia, Anguish-Anxiety-Panic, Sadness-Unhappiness, Existential crisis, as well as Addictive, Obsessive, Compulsive, Maniac, Sadist-masoquist and Psychosomatic behaviour, etcetera: that is to say, human mental problems we try to understand, solve or eliminate, because they prevent people from a harmonic Life.

Psychoanalysis is therefore a method for the investigation of certain mental processes -the most profound ones, actually-, which being ignored by other psychological schools (mainly those of the psychiatric-behaviourist trends), remain inaccessible by other therapeutical and research means. As a healing technique, Psychoanalysis is very different from Psychiatry and Psychotherapy in general, as it stipulates the existence of a psychic Unconsciousness, and insists on the analysis and the integration of this element to the Conscious mind as a remedial procedure. This shows the importance of this restorative technique and indeed its contribution to the History of Psychology, as it has -since Freud to Jung to Transpersonal psychology to Weiss- provided an effective, profound and long-lasting cure for most of psychological disorders that affect the contemporary troubled Human being: one that other schools of treatment have only resolved superficially.

In this sense we have that psychoanalytical research, as an intellectual and practical Science, consists on both the observation and theoretical reflection over the phenomena concerning the structure of the Psyche: the dynamic of mental processes (which is analyzed as a result of complex processes such as those of displacement, regression, repression, resistance, transference, sublimation, inversion, fixation, etcetera[2]). Psychoanalysis includes knowledge acquired from the psychic unconscious and conscious Mind inquiry and its analysis. This is to be used to help individuals understand themselves, solve their problems, and better live their Existence, by ways of finding a Sense to it. Hence, Psychoanalysis, as both a medical and intellectual-philosophical discipline, provides a scheme of psychological information -obtained from a specifical range of Sources- and interpretation, which being the basis of Depth psychology[3], finds in certain psychological and psychosocial issues, the cause of our problems in contemporary Mentalities.

In this context, we realize that the task of Psychoanalysis is to bring -by different means, like Hypnosis or the study of Failed acts, for example- the Complexes, Traumas, Fears, Phobias[4] and other problems of a Personality to the surface of the Conscious mind, in order to overcome, analyze and integrate them in a healthy way into the subject's current Existence, and thus, better comprehend its present psychological circumstances to better deal with them and approximate to Happiness: This process shall be guided by the scientist and be apprehended by the patient in order to accomplish success by means of Psychotherapy.

During Psychoanalysis, by means of a treatment conducted within a Philosophy that withholds a process of Catharsis[5], and through a method of investigating the Unconscious mind and its relation to our visible Conduct, the person is able to express its repressed feelings, emotions, and anguishes, in order to resolve them with the help of the therapist. This task requires the appliance of some special investigating tools like Anamnesis[6], in which an interpretation of the biographic-personal events during the subjects Life is fundamental in seeking a psychoanalytical understanding and cure of its complaints: this is done in order to set in context the individual's psychopathology.

One of the most relevant aspects in this regard is that in Psychoanalysis, we study not only the conscious but also the unconscious aspects and dynamics of an individualís Conduct: this is done with the intention of understanding the complexity of Human Behaviour and to find ways of improving the subjectīs performance in Life, concerning his relationship with itself, Society and Reality in general terms. In this way, psychoanalytical methods provide us with a series of tools to compose an interpretation of not only the most simple logics of our Psyche, but also of those that may appear as almost unattainable, in which this School of thought has mainly contributed to the History of Psychology and of Social and Human sciences in general. In this sense, concerning the topic of the Sources of a Psychoanalytic investigation, we must know that this discipline gathers data from a wide range of centres and methods, in which we will be detailing in the following paragraphs.

The variety of Sources which we mention herein, provide psychic research with a scientific approach, which makes it more feasible to accomplish better results understanding and improving a subjectīs psychological condition: that is, from the more current sources as it is the Dialogue with the analyst, up to more specific processes like those of unveiling free associations, resistances and transferences, which not only connect the unconscious with the conscious mind, but make the patient improve overall. In this regard, we also have to take in consideration what comes from other dynamics, like those we acquire from Interpretation of dreams as well as of slips or parapraxes. All this material helps us make constructions about the mental state of the person we investigate, gathering information from both its past and present situation, that is, taking in account that the present psychological circumstances of the subject are a causal result of its former Life, which also define its Future. In this sense we have that both the facts of what the person is aware of, as those which have been forgotten or unrecognized by the individual -that is, what remains in its Unconsciousness- have an impact in his conscious condition of mind. This is the scheme from which Freudian theory acquires an understanding of a subjectís position concerning itself and the World.[7]

This Cathartic therapy -made via Hypnosis or other psychoanalytical method-, in which what was withheld from the conscious mind is liberated, has proven to eliminate the symptoms in question in a considerably short time. In this regard, Freud mostly proceeded with these treatment and research by the use of the method of free association, which for this thinker showed Psychoanalysis as a particular method for effectively dealing with nervous disorders: this would be developed through the Science of unconscious mental processes, which throughout the History of Contemporary Psychology has shaped the School of Depth-Psychology. This method of treatment might be applied in cases ranging from moderated Neurosis -like in Hysteria, Phobias and Obsessive behavior- to sexual inhibitions to character or Identity dysfunctions: in all of these fields, this therapeutic procedure has helped individuals with psychic abnormalities to improve and recover. The latter issue remains a main concern of patients, Society and Science: in this concern Psychoanalysis has been a valuable contributor, from both the scope of Medicine and of Human sciences.

The therapeutic results of Psychoanalysis in the handling of such affections, depends upon the course of transferring those unconscious mental estates to the conscious mind, which shall provide both the analyst and the subject with an understanding of its disorders, which under treatment, will be converted into positive and healing aspects of its personality. The catharsis and replacement of this psychic matters that affect the Self, would be held by a process of overcoming its internal resistances, in order to have and Awareness of its psychological ailments and start to solve them: this will be as successful as this knowledge is incorporated into the patient's Mind. Psychoanalysis, as the Science of the Unconscious, is thus a therapeutic procedure and a dynamic that serves to the person in regard of eliminating its mind limitations, and making the person capable of having a conscious influence upon its conduct, with the finality of finding well-being toward itself and its surrounding reality.

As it has been inferred here, Psychoanalysis is a structure of interpretative strategies, whichīs aim is to reveal the most profound causes and dynamics of Human Psychology: it is based in certain techniques -starting up with Freudian methods and on- that lets us gain access to the subjectís inner traumas and complex past experiences that have an negative influence in its present Life, so that we may be able to release them in a manner that may lead to psychic healing.

Thereafter, we have that in relation to Consciousness and conscious behaviour, it is fairly feasible for the psychoanalyst and the subject to collect information (from various Sources) and to study its circumstances: initially, this would be obtained from the Dialogue between the specialist and the person, or simply by the research done by the scientist concerning the individual in which it is interested. In the other hand, we have that from the point of view of Psychoanalysis -which opposes to other contemporary schools of Psychology such as Behaviourism and mainstream Psychiatry, focusing itself on the basis that the prevailing issue to handle in psychotherapy is the Personality disorder-,in order to access Unconsciousness -a more complex task compared to the former-, we may use a different range of methods, that is, Sources which may allow as to enter this hidden element of our Personality. Within them we have those of Free association and the Interpretation of Dreams, but we also have others as the analysis of Automatic writing or the Slips of the tongue.

With the Free association method -being Freud's most influential contribution to Depth Psychology regarding the Sources to access Unconsciousness-†produced by the patient and the specialist, it is possible to have a direct admission to its psychic system, concerning its most private-intimate conflicts, altogether revealing a basic image of the individualís pathology. This process is done off of unrestricted word association, in which the subject shall express the first word or idea that appears in its mind, as a response to a thought given by the therapist. This enables unconscious forces to be introduced into the conscious area of personality: a material that will be afterwards exposed to investigation and interpretation. This way, as the person is invited to freely talk about any topic it feels comfortable with, the psychoanalyst will guide it over a period of time, until the most relevant traumas are uncovered: Thus, this technique, one of the sources to psychic exploration, will give results in order to treat the patientís complexes regarding its state of mind.

In the case of the interpretation of Slips and mistakes (Parapraxes) -including Automatic writing- we find another†remarkable source to Psychoanalysis, that is, Failed acts, which manifest in a practical and quick way the state of our Unconsciousness: for instance, lapses (for example: those we experience in the slips of the tongue, in which the person unconsciously replaces one idea, term, or word by another one, as it is expressing itself (via talking, writing or thinking) have an important significance concerning a diagnose of our deep psychic life, as they reveal what the person is actually thinking of regardless of what he intentionally (consciously) shows. Since Freud, the detection of the logic of†these unfulfilled acts, which take place when areas of the unconsciousness briefly enter our conscious mind, are used to determine the state of our psychological dynamics: they manifest the genuine and intimate thoughts, motivations and impulses that direct our thinking, which are often repressed by social taboos[8], individual inhibitions and repressions. In this sense, Psychoanalysis shows that a process of catharsis or mental liberation is needed in order to solve our psychic ailments, and that is what is released and achieved thorough this sort of psychotherapy.

The conflict that the Slips shows in our daily Life, or what comes along in Dreams or via free association, constitutes a symptom that shows that something relevant is occurring within the realms/boundaries of our Psyche, showing that a strong phenomena is taking place in our mind, one wanting to be freed: this event is caused by the clash of the Consciousness with the Unconsciousness in relation to our repressed wishes and fears and what our instincts and pulsions demand. Likewise, we infer from psychoanalytical research that by lifting our mental repressions we will be able to cure our psychic disturbances: this is the main purpose of Psychoanalysis as far as the Human conduct is concerned. The latter exposes how deep psychological fluctuations emerge into Consciousness and how significant it is for us to take account of them in order to improve as persons: being or not mentally affected, Psychoanalyses helps us either to find a peace of mind or just to know ourselves more and understand more profoundly the complex Reality we live in as human beings.

In the case of the Interpretation of Dreams, another classic psychoanalytical source, the study of the trends of the oniric phenomena, shall serve as an elucidation of Wishes and Fears within our Unconsciousness: this is about revising these -apparently nonsense or illogical- visionary plots which we experience during the time we are asleep, and that because of their impact, are able to permeate to our Consciousness, as we remember them for a period of time once we awake, especially in the case of the so-called nightmares (which are more or less traumatic). These are psychoanalytically relevant, as they serve as a way of a symbolic language of the unconscious mind, which being disguised shall be deciphered in order to gain access to our hidden psychological structure. The former is what Psychoanalysis mostly seeks, by means of its investigative and interpretative tools. This is attained between the analyst and the patient by a process of recalling the Dreams, which can be done by Dialogue or Free association, or even by means of Hypnosis, as it is well know that we easily forget these experiences as we regain consciousness after we awake, unless we refer to recurring dreams, of which most of the people are unaware of. This way, by identifying specific troubled-mind fields, Psychoanalysis can provide an investigation and interpretation of some aspects regarding the subject psychic state, especially in the case of Traumas and Complexes, which are reveled in the dream experience. Related to this, it shall be mentioned that in Parapsychology the dreaming-like experience could even be associated to other (non-conventional/mainstream) psychic phenomena like those called astral projection: this means that dreams not only suggest our profound mental (past and present) states, but that they can even be traced to phenomena like precognition, telepathy[9], intuitive and extrasensorial perception, and other types of psychic, transpersonal and parapsychological phenomena. In any case, for the sake of Psychoanalysis, the normal-typical dream, lucid dreams, and nightmares show us what lies beneath[10] our conscious mind and tells us plenty about ourselves, mainly concerning our mind state, being it problematic or not.

In symbolic interpretation tests -a method of projective psychoanalysis[11]- we also have a scientific tool used in order to gain access to an interpretate human unconsciousness: in this case, the patient is shown a series of images that are usually abstract, for example ink blots, to which the latter shall express what it `sees` there, or what he infers or interpretates from them. This way we can infer what are the main trends in its present state of mind, that is, the most internal feelings, fears, and wishes the individual is going through at the moment: as it is attempting to decipher abstract images, the unconsciousness expresses itself, by means of being exposed to an illogical-irrational language -the opposite of conscious logical (conventional/mainstream) human language[12]-. Here we have a method and source of psychoanalyses in which, by suggesting the person to construct concepts and stories based on the imagery, and by interpreting them, we are allowed to make the unconscious become conscious, and that way enable its inner thoughts to be unlocked, which shall now be ready to be studied. Moreover, we have that by this process of releasing the personís repressed feelings, which is provided by the psychoanalytical therapy, its psychic conflicts shall start to be cured.[13]

There is also a powerful healing tool which has been used in both Psychoanalytical and Post-Psychoanalytical research and treatment which is that of Hypnosis, by means of a process -called Regression[14]- of Past Life revision, we have an access to those experiences that we either remember, or do not recall or that are not clear in our conscious memory, but which are fully attached in our unconscious or even in the subconscious[15], and entirely affect our present existence. This technique, in which we bring the Unconscious into Consciousness, has proven to be successful[16] in order to cure psychic pathologies. In this dynamic the patient reminds and -especially- revives certain problematic scenes of its Life: by this process of catharsis, the subject is able to understand and assimilate and overcome its traumas. The goal there is to disinhibit[17] the repressed feelings towards these events and thus make them be assessed as something that happened which the individual can understand, overcome, and handle in a positive way, in order to improve its Life.

As to this, we have in Hypnosis one of the most striking and effective ways for accessing the unconscious mind, as well as other type of information like that of the Subconscious -which includes, as Jung[18], Grof[19] and Weiss have exposed, the Collective unconsciousness and the transpersonal and paranormal psychic domains-, which may lead to more profound and even spiritual scopes of human psychology, which has been studied mostly recently: for the regard of Psychoanalysis,the patient is placed into a trance, and altered state of mind, that enables us to explore -for example- the past Life of the subject, like certain events that it might not even recall (from its childhood or teenage-hood). By means of this powerful source of psychic knowledge, we can even more lucidly access to other -more classic- sources of Psychoanalysis, like those of dreams, slips, free association, or other processes. Therefore, we can see that through this tool, the patients traumas can be released, and moreover, it can help them approximate to Happiness. In this we have that, the subject, as it gains and understanding of its mental situation and releases the tensions that are affecting the former, improves its mental health.

With this hypnotic method the analyst is able to investigate the patient's unconscious, as it is almost fully uncovered in this state: This

[1] In Hypnotherapy, a revival of the past in a state of trance state permits the unconscious thoughts -desires and troubles- to be more easily gathered, for being studied and interpretated. This is a technique and source that has proven to be a quite effective tool upon the healing of psychic problems, even in the most severe cases of Depression, for example, as it connects the individual to its most essential and existential issues, because, as Weiss has shown, this can solve basic illnesses, but it also serves even for finding a sense of Life, which is quite important to human psychic.[20]

Regarding a review of the Sources to study human conduct, and taking in account all of the former, it is also necessary to mention that, as it is specified -for example- in Transpersonal psychology, it is also possible to access the realms of Unconsciousness through the exploration of other Altered states of Consciousness. In this I refer to those such as the ones caused by some particular substances (natural and chemical) introduced into the body -proposed both in the west scientific tradition (for example by Grof or Leary[21]) and in some indigenous cultures-, or else -provoking the same effect- by the exercise of Meditation, Retirement or Fasting, which are more current to eastern traditions. These methods, which may not be the typical in Psychoanalytical and Psychotherapy techniques in general, constitute other ways of leading unconscious forces (like thoughts-feelings) into awareness in the person willing to better understand its Life and solve its problems or enquiries regarding Existence.

This way, after this review, we have that by using the tools and interpretative elements of the Science of Psychoanalysis we are able to study the Individual itself, which being or not part of social processes, represents a basic issue in the scope of comprehending the complex Reality of our Life in the World. Indeed Psychoanalysis, as long as other disciplines regarding the study of the human psyche, provides a apparatus for an understanding of both our conscious and unconscious behavior, which altogether assembles the body of our mind dynamics: it is an appealing and supportive discipline, that -having transformed the History of Social and Psychological sciences- helps us to solve our problems as persons. Therefore, there is quite some interesting research that -in the field of the subject, that is, the Self- we as scientists, academics and intellectual shall develop, in order to contribute to comprehend ourselves more.

As we have here stated, as long as by means of any psychoanalytical Method or Source, we are introduced within the Unconsciousness, we will have an accessible basis of information that will lead us to promptly investigate and interpretate the individualís disturbances and process a solution to them. The issue here treated shall -of course- be taking in account in further investigation: As to conclude, we have that indeed Psychoanalysis is very helpful not only to know ourselves more, but also to solve our personal problems, as those of human behaviour in general. In order to accomplish this we dispose of a very interesting range of sources that provides us with a knowledge to access a personís mind with its troubles and virtues: in dealing well with this sources from a scientific point of view, depends the result of our investigation of the human psyche, in order not only to understand its conflicts, but as well to have an approximation to comprehend our complex Reality as human beings in our World, and certainly to become better persons and -mainly- be happier.

[1] That is -as in any type of scientific investigation- the centres from which we obtain information regarding the matter we wish to analyze.

[2] Displacement: transfer of a psychic phenomena into another one; repression: transfer of a conscious psychic phenomena into the unconsciousness; resistance : limitation of the Unconscious to be unrepressed into the consciousness; etcetera.

[3] School of Psychology: from Adler (1870-1937) to Jung (1875-1961).

[4] A psychic systematic fear relating to a particular issue: like claustrophobia or agoraphobia.

[5].Therapy on repressed emotions releasing.

[6] Act of making a review of the Past.

[7] In: Freud, Sigmund. The Scheme of Psychoanalysis: An Outline of Psychoanalysis.1940: "The Structure of the Unconscious".

[8] A collective, group, communitarian or social prohibition: it regulates conduct in a system, like Ethics does.

[9] On the relation between Psychoanalysis and Parapsychology, which could be traced up to Transpersonal Psychology and Weiss, we can star by seeing for example: Freud, Sigmund. Psychoanalysis and Telepathy .1921.

[10] By the way, indeed, films like What lies beneath, The Others, Psycho, Fifth sense, Rosemaryís child, etcetera (all of which shall of course be subjected to scientific study) shows us how in some cases we can find a link between psychological and parapsychological phenomena in human relation to its Reality. Some surfaced documentaries show us this type of relation.

[11] Started by Rorschach in the early XX-th century.

[12] It shall be investigated how this differs in the cases of western and non-western mentalities.

[13] In: Freud, Anna. Introduction to Psychoanalysis. 1935. Introduction.

[14] In Hypnotherapy, a revival of the past in a state of trance. Hence, different to the freudian term, which. occurs in regard to a change in a personís conduct.

[15] A layer of human Psyche which is more profound than the Unconsciousness, and which transcends the individual.

[16] As it has been exposed by Weiss, Brian.

[17] Act of liberating repressed feeling towards oneself or society,

[18] See his works:†(1921) Psychological Types; (1947) On the Nature of the Psyche; (1954) The A

[19] See his works: Realms of the Human Unconscious (1975); The adventure of Self-Discovery: Dimensions of Consciousness and new perspectives in Psychotherapy (1988).rchetypes and the Collective Unconscious.

[20] In: Jung, Carl. Psychology of the Unconscious.1912.

[21] See its work: Many Lives, Many Masters (1988).

By Faridt