The mind-body relationship in psychotherapy: grounded cognition as an explanatory framework
The body is about the physical aspects of the brain-neurons and how the brain Most of the previous accounts of the relationship between mind and body had. separation between the realm of the physical and the realm of the spiritual. He suggested that the pineal gland in the brain stem was a single. Keywords: Brain, Brainstem, Mind, Soul, Neurology, Neurosurgery, Philosophy . have also provided interesting clues on the mind in relationship to the brain. Ornstein and others to conclude that each of the separated hemispheres has its.
Dewey argues that new organization is the reason that organisms with minds can do things which psycho-physical entities cannot do, and why psycho-physical entities can do things which physical entities cannot do. As Aikinp. Thus, phenomenology and naturalism are contrasting, but complementary approaches Aikin, ; Zahavi, Thus, a philosophical integration of these perspectives may be possible Zahavi,but our aim here is to provide a framework for psychotherapeutic research and practice.
Therefore, it is necessary to provide a psychological account which integrates subjective and objective perspectives of a holistic mind—body relationship.
We propose that grounded cognition provides such a framework. Grounded cognition has been comprehensively articulated and critiqued in the literature Barsalou, has a strong empirical foundation e. Thus, each according to their bodily experiences with morels forms different conceptualizations of it.
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However, these concepts are not determinate: Furthermore, it is important to note that there is nothing stopping Sally, Charles, and Lucy from having the same concept for a morel, it is simply their differing bodily interactions with the morel which has determined their conceptualizations. Finally, it can be assumed that they have the same visual conceptualization of a morel; they all know one when they see it. However, if Lucy were to have been born blind, she would never be able to obtain the same concept of a morel as Sally and Charles.
In sum, grounded cognition implies that cognition is emergent from and inextricably tied to the subjective, lived, experience of the body-in-the-world.
Conceiving of the relationship between body and mind from this holistic, psychological perspective can be expected to have a number of important implications for psychotherapy theory and practice. When the mind—body relationship is conceptualized from a dualist or exclusivist perspective, a tension is created between the phenomenological needs of the patient who is present mind and body and the emphasis on either mind or body according to the theoretical assumptions of the psychotherapy practiced by the therapist.
One example of this is the de-emphasis of the body during the practice of psychotherapies whose underlying theory disembodies the mind. During such therapies e. Second, a psychologically articulated, holistic framework for the mind—body relationship encourages theoretical reflection about this relationship by challenging dualist and exclusivist assumptions inherent in some psychotherapies.
In turn, this helps to clarify some of the points of difference between the psychotherapies described above. An example of this is traditional behavioral therapy and body psychotherapy.
Both emphasize the body and conceptualize it as the agent of change and as a consequence, both prioritize the body in therapy. One of the primary differences between the two can be ascertained by reflecting on the mind—body relationship. Traditional behavior therapy is very much exclusivist, dismissing the mind and cognition and emphasizing the body and behavior, both methodologically and theoretically.
Contrastingly, body psychotherapy recognizes cognitions whilst treating them via the body, thus implying a holistic conceptualization of mind and body.
Third, a holistic conceptualization of the mind—body relationship has the potential to further de-stigmatize mental illness Thomas, ; Ungar and Knaak, ab. Ungar and Knaak a suggest that dismissive and blaming attitudes toward mental health issues can be attributed to the absence of an organic explanation for most mental health issues.
Thomas suggests that promoting mental illness to non-psychiatric health professionals as an interaction between cognitive, behavioral, emotional, biological, and environmental factors would reduce dualistic thinking around mental health issues and help with de-stigmatization in these settings.
Thus, we propose that the holistic conceptualization of the mind—body relationship presented here will further help with de-stigmatization of mental illness in non-psychiatric settings. Fourth, the clearly articulated, explicit position of a holistic mind—body portrayed by grounded cognition encourages a more reflective approach to the issue in practice. Theories underlying most current psychotherapies do not explicitly state their position regarding the relationship between mind and body.
Consequently, practitioners unreflectively adopt the assumptions inherent in the psychotherapies they utilize. The clear articulation of a holistic mind—body from both phenomenological and objective perspectives may assist practitioners to reflect on this relationship. The issue for psychotherapy practice is that in using these labels with patients, they automatically divide psychopathologies into arbitrary categories and thus portray dualist or exclusivist agendas.
This is but one example of changes which may come of reflecting on the mind—body relationship in practice. Finally, a new perspective on the mind—body relationship will guide the identification of gaps in existing therapies and consequently promote an expansion of the range of therapies offered to the patient.
For example, grounded cognition implies that one way to change cognitions is through the subjective, lived, bodily experience of the individual. Encouraging practitioners to reflect on a holistic mind—body approach may result in a wider range of therapies they can offer their patients stemming from this idea.
Further development of these ideas may also result in the creation of new and innovative therapeutic methods to augment those already in existence. By reviewing how mind and body are traditionally understood in major psychotherapies, we have attempted to underscore some of the tensions in this area.
By introducing and outlining grounded cognition as a holistic psychological approach consistent with both radically subjectivist Merleau-Ponty and objectivist Dewey philosophical approaches, we hope to have proposed a new way forward for theorists and practitioners of psychotherapy.
This new way forward throws light on the relationship between existing psychotherapies, the relationship between theory and practice, and highlights opportunities for new approaches to psychotherapy.
Conflict of Interest Statement The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest. Pragmatism, naturalism, and phenomenology.
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Mind Body Debate
English translation by A. The organ that puzzled earlier observers most was the human brain. Despite our many explorations, we remained in awe of this organ. We are now aware of nerve cells, their connections and their modes of communication amongst themselves and with a variety of other structures. Injury to, and disease in, the brain often provides crucial insights on the role of its different parts. A dramatic example is the injury suffered by American railway foreman, Phineas Gage in Before his accident, Gage was liked by friends and acquaintances who considered him to be honest, trustworthy, hard working and dependable.
A freak accident caused a metal tamping rod to enter under his left zygomatic arch and exit through the top of his skull Barker, The accident left him with little if any intellectual impairment but after the accident, Gage became vulgar, irresponsible, capricious and prone to profanity. The company that had previously regarded him as the most efficient and capable of their employees dismissed him from his job.
His change in character after the accident made this the index case for personality change due to frontal lobe damage. Subsequent studies See, for example, Blumer and Benson, have shown a wide spectrum of abnormal behaviour compulsive and explosive actions, lack of inhibition, unwarranted maniacal suspicion and alcohol and drug abuse after injuries to and disease in the frontal or temporal lobes and their pathways to the deeper regions of the brain.
Similar abnormalities also follow chemical derangements in the brain. Modern marvels such as computerised tomography and magnetic resonance imaging of the nervous system have provided significant additional data.
Functional magnetic resonance imaging now allows us to further localise function within the structure of the brain and correlate abnormalities of its structure and function. Even so, two entities remain enigmatic: Where are they located?
Do they lie within the brain? Since neurophysicians treat patients with a wide variety of abnormalities of the brain and neurosurgeons lay bare the brain and often work in its interior, can they provide insights?
Neurologists and neurosurgeons rank high among scientists participating in philosophical debates about what might extend beyond the physical world. They are constantly dealing with patients who have fallen into the deep hole of unconsciousness. In their attempts at restoring normalcy to bodies and minds, they also grapple with life and death. Inevitably, they ponder spirituality and the dominion of the soul.
The Mind We are embodied spirits and inspirited bodies, or, if you will, embodied minds and minded bodies. The term is often used to refer, by implication, to the thought processes of reason. This changed with the works of Hippocrates ca. On the sacred disease. In his book De anima On the soulAristotle BC— BC felt that man is born with a blank slate tabula rasa on which experiences and perceptions are written to form the mind.
Although tabula rasa is a concept traditionally attributed to Locke, Aristotle first referred to it. What it thinks must be in it just as characters may be said to be on a writing tablet on which as yet nothing actually stands written: Jean Fernel — treated mind and brain together in his Physiology. He felt that the brain refined the animal spirits. Purged of all corporeal dross, they became concepts, finally even universal concepts and the ideas of the moral values Sherrington, He acknowledged the problems encountered in attempting to restrict the mind to the brain.
Pinker has recently discussed the role of nature vs nurture in the development of the mind. Dismissing the concept of the blank slate, Pinker wrote: Locke recognized this problem and alluded to something called the understanding, which looked at the inscriptions on the white paper and carried out the recognizing, reflecting, and associating.
Neurosurgeons attempt restoration of the internal structure of the brain to normalcy or correct disordered function in select areas by such modes as deep brain stimulation or ablation. Some operations are performed on patients who are awake. Observations on patients provided clues to the functions of the mind in relation to the structure of the brain.
When a patch of brain tissue dies, a part of the mind can disappear: Neuroscientists can knock a gene out of a mouse a gene also found in humans and prevent the mouse from learning, or insert extra copies and make the mouse learn faster. Studies on patients who have suffered brain injury such as Phineas Gage have also provided interesting clues on the mind in relationship to the brain. We now know that damaged frontal lobes can no longer exert inhibitory influences on the limbic system with consequent aggressive acts.