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 Sarno and the Unconscious
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plum

United Kingdom
641 Posts

Posted - 02/21/2013 :  02:33:48  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Shawn, full disclosure here honey. My degree is in applied human psychology. I really wanted to study neuroscience but the year I applied to university was the same year that the first neuro course was established. The entry criteria meant I'd have to study for another batch of A levels, all science, and given I already four A levels, I didn't much fancy it. So I went down the psych route instead and maintained my interest in neuro on the side. I say this to give you a solid sense of where I'm coming from.


My question to you is this; Does your repudiation of the unconscious rest entirely on Freud's theories?

Psychology did indeed go through a lengthy period of rejecting Freud et al but the discipline has a history of rolling it's paradigms every now and then. Surely enough the unconscious is back in the fore.

The most exciting evolutions are in the neuropsychological realm. When Sarno was writing his books this field of psychology was virtually non-existant so he refered to a black box in the brain. Fast forward to Schubiner and you'll see how advances in neuroanatomy enabled him to explain the mechanisms.

But you know, you can kick the repressed emotions paradigm into touch. It obviously doesn't work for you. Maybe it would help you to gen up on the deep brain structures (the amygdala, hippocampus, insula, anterior cingulate cortex... the limbic system and the smart vagus) rather than banging Freud's nebulous drum. There's a wealth of academic and lay person-friendly literature which clearly shows that the unconscious is not a metaphor. It is a very real part of your nervous system.

I've mentioned Candace Pert before now. Check out her work on the neuropeptide system. It's all about the happy dance of emotions and the nervous system. Sarno references her in The Divided Mind.

Shawn, Sarno is not wrong. He simply had to work with the tools he had.

Edited by - plum on 02/21/2013 07:57:19

Dr James Alexander

Australia
127 Posts

Posted - 02/21/2013 :  04:32:40  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
very well put Plum. I have seen Sarno criticised for not using the neuromatrix model of chronic pain, but as i explained to the critic, when he began his approach, there was no neuromatrix model. The level of neuroscience knowledge was really quite primitive. As such, people theorising about psychological factors could not call on neuroscience, but only had the tried and tested psychological approaches that were in existence at the time. For Sarno, this was a Freudian model. Freud's guesses about the psyche were as good as the primitive neuroscience of the time- in fact, Freud was actually a neurologist by training, not a psychiatrist or psychologist. It is worth noting, however, that Freud's notions of the unconscious are only one model, amongst many. As you have said Plum, modern neuroscience is demonstrating very clearly that most of what goes on in the mind/brain occurs at a level with no conscious awareness. We can talk of the unconscious mind, or unconscious processes of the brain in sub-cortical regions- same thing. This neurological reality sits uncomfortably for people who favour cognitive ways of making sense of their experience, but it is a reality anyway in the same way that gravity existed prior to an independently of Newton's model. There are many ways for people to find an acceptable working with the unconscious brain processes, but no one has to- it does just happen to be a corner-stone of the TMS approach, in one way or another.

James
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shawnsmith

Czech Republic
2048 Posts

Posted - 02/21/2013 :  05:04:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
As I have stated more than a dozen times -- and this is my last word on it--I am not interested in discussing this topic. It does not have any utility for me whatsoever or for anyone else. I have done my own reading and have come to my own conclusions and I am not interested in wading back into a pile of academic books with a view to proving or disproving a point. If you believe in something and it helps you, then use it and cheers to you for your recovery. I have said this so many times that it sounds like a broken record, yet people read into my words what they want and toss away the rest of my statements. But such is life.

Our main goal her is to achieve health, wholeness and well-being and nothing else.
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tennis tom

USA
4612 Posts

Posted - 02/21/2013 :  08:13:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by shawnsmith

As I have stated more than a dozen times -- and this is my last word on it--I am not interested in discussing this topic.



Then why did you start it?

==================================================

DR. SARNO'S 12 DAILY REMINDERS:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0dKBFwGR0g

TAKE THE HOLMES-RAHE STRESS TEST
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holmes_and_Rahe_stress_scale

Some of my favorite excerpts from _THE DIVIDED MIND_ :
http://www.tmshelp.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=2605

==================================================

"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." Jiddu Krishnamurti

"Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional." Author Unknown

"Happy People Are Happy Putters." Frank Nobilo, Golf Analyst

"Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint." Mark Twain and Balto

"The hot-dog is the noblest of dogs; it feeds the hand that bites it." Dr. Laurence Johnston Peter

"...the human emotional system was not designed to endure the mental rigors of a tennis match." Dr. Allen Fox
======================================================

"If it ends with "itis" or "algia" or "syndrome" and doctors can't figure out what causes it, then it might be TMS." Dave the Mod =================================================

TMS PRACTITIONERS:
John Sarno, MD
400 E 34th St, New York, NY 10016
(212) 263-6035


Here's the TMS practitioners list from the TMS Help Forum:
http://www.tmshelp.com/links.htm

Here's a list of TMS practitioners from the TMS Wiki:
http://tmswiki.org/ppd/Find_a_TMS_Doctor_or_Therapist


Here's a map of TMS practitioners from the old Tarpit Yoga site, (click on the map by state for listings).:
http://www.tarpityoga.com/2007_08_01_archive.html
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shawnsmith

Czech Republic
2048 Posts

Posted - 02/21/2013 :  08:21:32  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Tom,

I didn't really start any conversation other than expressing a personal opinion in passing and then numerous comments came flooding in. I know there are taboo topics on this message board which people feel uncomfortable discussing, especially when they have attached themselves to a participial treatment modality, so I am just going to drop it. My desire to see people whole and healthy takes precedence over anything else. My desire to be right and defeat my "opponent" in an argument will only increase suffering for both of us. Letting go of something for the sake of peace is the better path. I am not claiming that I have always followed that path, but I am trying.
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tennis tom

USA
4612 Posts

Posted - 02/21/2013 :  09:09:52  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by shawnsmith



...I know there are taboo topics on this message board which people feel uncomfortable discussing, especially when they have attached themselves to a participial treatment modality, so I am just going to drop it.



Shawn, I've been here for many a moon and trust me there are NO taboo topics here, if there were I would have been out of here a long time ago, (remember that porn thread and the link to the great free porn site that slipped under the radar?--very rage/soothe relieving). The great thing about the times we live in is anything goes, you can turn on cable TV and see teats everywhere now a days and personally I think that's great! Dave doesn't care much about the ramblings here and allows the forum to replicate real life in that regard and kudos to him. The only time there's been any censorship is the recent example where Bryan requested Dave to delete a thread that got a little too hot for him.

So Shawn, you can trust in me that if you ever have a topic you feel is too sensitive or "taboo", I'll always be here for you as I've always been to act as your sounding board. Now JUST DO IT!--JUMP! Your parachute is ready--GO TMS!--Fly Sarno!--He's no Virgin!

Cheers,
tt/lsmft


==================================================

DR. SARNO'S 12 DAILY REMINDERS:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0dKBFwGR0g

TAKE THE HOLMES-RAHE STRESS TEST
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holmes_and_Rahe_stress_scale

Some of my favorite excerpts from _THE DIVIDED MIND_ :
http://www.tmshelp.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=2605

==================================================

"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." Jiddu Krishnamurti

"Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional." Author Unknown

"Happy People Are Happy Putters." Frank Nobilo, Golf Analyst

"Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint." Mark Twain and Balto

"The hot-dog is the noblest of dogs; it feeds the hand that bites it." Dr. Laurence Johnston Peter

"...the human emotional system was not designed to endure the mental rigors of a tennis match." Dr. Allen Fox
======================================================

"If it ends with "itis" or "algia" or "syndrome" and doctors can't figure out what causes it, then it might be TMS." Dave the Mod =================================================

TMS PRACTITIONERS:
John Sarno, MD
400 E 34th St, New York, NY 10016
(212) 263-6035


Here's the TMS practitioners list from the TMS Help Forum:
http://www.tmshelp.com/links.htm

Here's a list of TMS practitioners from the TMS Wiki:
http://tmswiki.org/ppd/Find_a_TMS_Doctor_or_Therapist


Here's a map of TMS practitioners from the old Tarpit Yoga site, (click on the map by state for listings).:
http://www.tarpityoga.com/2007_08_01_archive.html

Edited by - tennis tom on 02/21/2013 09:12:13
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alix

USA
428 Posts

Posted - 02/21/2013 :  09:28:11  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Shawn, you cannot have it both ways. Post after post, you allude to the unconscious being a fantasy. You also told Forrest and chickenbone very bluntly to forget about the unconscious.
It is obvious that it is going to generate reactions and confusion.
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shawnsmith

Czech Republic
2048 Posts

Posted - 02/21/2013 :  09:56:52  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Alix, I cannot determine how people react to any of my comments. I am not trying to have anything both ways. I just merely expressed an opinion in a few posts out of hundreds I have made over the years, yet I get almost no feedback from these hundreds of posts and dozens of comments when I make a few remarks regarding my views on the unconscious. Why is that Alix? I mean really Alix, the point of all of us being on here is to get better and not haggle over such matters. It was NEVER my intention to have cause such an uproar or launch a debate, but merely express an opinion and leave it at that. But people just keep making it a bigger issue than it actually is.

For the 1 millionth time, I hold the position that if you embrace a particular treatment modality and it works for you, then stick with that program. I am always happy when I read of a success story. My goal is not to shake other people's faith in whatever they hold to be true. I honestly don't know how much clearer I can express this position, Alix. If I am being ambiguous please point it out to me.
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All1Spirit

USA
149 Posts

Posted - 02/21/2013 :  10:03:56  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have studied neurophysiology extensively, and I believe the dissension from interpretations of Freud's work is a misunderstanding. Many people believe the unconscious is a repository of dark shadowy entities and drives that would do well to never see the light of day.

In reality the unconscious is a subcortical filing system designed for rapid, non-cortical organism protection, process memory (habits) storage is the source of primitive drives, emotions and basic physiological maintenance.

It started storing data long before we understood language or were able to process rational thought. Even if we block a thought or emotion it still stores the chemical imprint of that process. Because of the large quantity of data it is believed that is stored as biochemical and bioelectrical code.

The real question is, are we able to truly access and work with this data. Dr. Joseph LeDoux is probably the world foremost researcher in some of these areas. I've spoken with Joseph on several occasions and he will be the first to tell you our knowledge is primitive and sketchy.

We do know that meditation, dreams and certain triggers can open the door to some of this internal storage. Whether it is journaling, meditation or quiet reverie it appears that stopping the cortical chatter is important to allow a possibility of this brain area to speak. There is also a psychological technique called “Parts Inquiry” where you learn to communicate with parts of the personality that are beneath cortical awareness.

I do understand the controversy of trying to go back and reactivate old emotional states. The famous psychiatrist Dr. David Viscott always taught that we should be emotionally current. This means that we are aware and explore each emotion as it comes up, learn from it connect to it and use it as a compass to guide our behavior and life path.

I know for myself that perhaps one of the reasons I have TMS is my wounded child considered the always malleable thoughts to be the sole guideline, were emotions were sorted as to acceptability and pain...... or shunted away so rapidly they were never felt at all!


"Around and Around the Circle We Go....
The Answer Sits In The Middle and Knows..."
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shawnsmith

Czech Republic
2048 Posts

Posted - 02/21/2013 :  10:40:33  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Great post, All1Spirit, and very interesting observations. I am most intrigued by Dr. David Viscott's suggestion of being emotionally current and paying close attention to each emotion as it comes up. I am trying to achieve this in my own person life, but I know it takes time and practice. Mindfullness meditations and readings are what I am referencing these days.
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shawnsmith

Czech Republic
2048 Posts

Posted - 02/21/2013 :  13:51:38  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dr. David Viscott - Changing an Ingrained Behavior Pattern

http://www.buildingpersonalstrength.com/2010/08/dr-david-viscott-changing-ingrained.html
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