Integration of the Physiological Dynamics in yoga poses Psychotherapy
The modern term “psychosomatic” disturbance has the disadvantage of suggesting a dualism that does not exist. Every disease is “psychosomatic.”
One of Fenichel’s key ideas is that the organism calibrates itself in yoga poses function of what it does.13 in yoga poses other words, the mind can interact with physiological and behavioral dynamics,14 and behavior can influence physiological and psychological dynamics. By regularly moving in yoga poses a particular manner, I influence the development of my body, physiology, mind, and relationships with others. The dimensions of the organism mutually influence each other by passing through internal pathways (situated in yoga poses the organism) and external pathways (passing through the social rituals and relationships with others). This coordination between dimensions can be initiated by any dimension. Being obliged to sit in yoga poses an uncomfortable chair, an employee can create a series of disagreeable implications at the level of the body, physiology, the emotions, thoughts, and so on. As some habitual behaviors can be acquired without having a conscious process to integrate them, they “may influence organic functions in yoga poses a physiological way, even if these changes have no psychic ‘meaning’” (Fenichel, 1945a, 256). in yoga poses other words, every habitual event of the organism necessarily influences all of the dimensions of the organism to a certain degree, as well as their way of coordinating each other; but these changes are not necessarily functionally related. Each dimension is animated by a particular set of causal chains.
For the purpose of situating the interventions on the interfaces that link psyche and soma, Fenichel differentiates the classic conversion neuroses (the psyche influences the physiology) and the neuroses of the organs in yoga poses the following fashion:
1. The conversion neurosis is the one that Freud observes in yoga poses his hysterical patients. It “is an expression of a fantasy in yoga poses a ‘body language’ and is directly accessible to psychoanalysis in yoga poses the same way as a dream” (Fenichel, 1945a, 236). Here, we are close to the notion that there would be some relatively direct links between thoughts and some physiological mechanisms.
2. Organ neurosis “is physical in yoga poses nature and consists of physiological changes caused by the inappropriate use of the function in yoga poses question” (Fenichel, 1945a, 236). The idea is that a repetitive way of moving necessarily has physiological as well as psychological implications. A way of moving influences the development of the physiological coordination by following rules that are proper to each implicated system (mechanical, toxic, and physical causes). These inappropriate but repeated ways of acting influence “a large field of functional and even anatomical alterations” (ibid., 236). He specifies that the multiple impacts these phenomena can have on the psyche are not of the same nature as the influence of what is repressed in yoga poses the unconscious.15 Here, we are close to the notion that mostly indirect and multiple links coordinate the dimensions of the organism
The following are a few points developed in yoga poses Fenichel’s chapter that are still relevant:
1. Affect equivalents: For Fenichel, an affect is an automatic behavior that often constructs itself outside of the mental and behavioral fields. To express itself, this affect must recruit the support of conscious mental apparatus or automatic behaviors accessible to consciousness. When certain affects are repressed, when consciousness panics at the sight of them, an affect can express itself by a substitute affect or sensation. Thus, an urge to cry can transform itself into an urge to scream or into a breathing difficulty. Having become habitual, this defective coordination of the dimensions of the organism can induce organic, mental, and behavioral dysfunctions. These shifts of terrain are not only used to repress sexuality, creativity, and the spirit of independence but also to reabsorb the anxiety the repression generates. The muscular spasms of the skeletal muscles are one of the physical signs of anxiety. Sometimes “they may appear as an anxiety equivalent” (ibid., 247). The reabsorption of anxiety seems to depend in yoga poses a particular important fashion on the possibilities that the mechanisms of respiratory inhibition offer (ibid., 250).
2. An instinct is a propensity that builds itself starting from the hormonal dynamics, and gradually recruits the help of the mind and behavior to be able to become manifest and attain satisfaction. When the unconscious inhibitions stop the formation of this integration of the dimensions of the organism, each dimension is also disorganized in yoga poses a more localized way. There is then not only a malformation of the appropriateness between perception and bodily event but also a gradual organic dysfunction. These problems can influence the biochemical bases of the dynamics (hormonal and metabolic) that stimulate the instincts. The hormonal dynamics influence the instinctive dynamics, but they also have other independent impacts on the organism Their functioning can reach some organic functions that may have no connection to the drives, like the quality of the tissues.16 The trap into which too many psychotherapists fall, is to think that all the heterogeneous events are linked by a coherent organismic goal.
3. The inhibition of motor and mental manifestations activated by hormonal pressure that accompanies a drive, in yoga poses some cases, leads to periodic emotional outbursts. The mechanism imagined by Fenichel is quite refined. in yoga poses repressing an emotion, I place myself in yoga poses situations that render a violent explosion of this inevitable affect: “Everybody knows what a latent rage or a latent anxiety is: a state in yoga poses which neither rage nor anxiety is felt but where there is a readiness to react with exaggerated rage or exaggerated anxiety to stimuli that would normally provoke a slight anger or a slight anxiety” (ibid., 238). However there is no direct link between the situations, the unconscious aim of this anger and what is expressed. This outburst has at least managed to let some of the accumulated steam out of the system for a while.
4. Fenichel also confirms his idea that repression by the body and by the mind follow different paths, because they are ruled by mechanisms that have almost nothing in yoga poses common. Thus, the use of muscles to repress an affect activates different procedures than those that are used to repress conscious representations of this affect.
5. Fenichel discusses the relations between the psyche and the following physiological phenomena: metabolic activity, hormonal and vegetative regulation, digestive system, muscular tonus (hyper-and hypo-tonic), respiration, heart and the cardiovascular system, skin, and eyes.
Even though this view is close to the one adopted by most of the current schools in yoga poses body psychotherapy, none make reference to these writings. Everything is carried out as if this analysis had never been heard. It is possible that this view of the rapport between body and mind was orally transmitted to Fenichel’s students, who took it up as their own, in yoga poses Oslo as well as in yoga poses California.
For example, we find in yoga poses Fenichel’s chapter a critique of the notion of the Reichian emotional discharge that is close to recent critiques of neo-Reichian approaches.17 A good example is that of Fenichel’s idea that a psychoanalysis tries, before anything else, to reactivate all of the repressed experiences. This was also one of Reich’s war horses in yoga poses his Character analysis. According to Fenichel, to content oneself by expressing emotions that are not closely related to repressed situations is to permit these expressions to reinforce the defense system. A patient, tears in yoga poses his eyes, rage in yoga poses his fists, tells you a true story that moves him today. Sometimes, the poignant intensity of the account resides in yoga poses the fact that the emotions draw their strength from other situations that are not yet perceived consciously by the patient. The memory that arises is the first of a whole series of layers of memories quite different from one other. When the therapist becomes hypnotized by this first reminiscence, he may find himself trapped, as if at the foot of a tree that hides his view of the forest. By capturing the attention of the patient and the therapist, this memory, full of touching emotions that evoke empathy from the therapist, plays the same role as that of a manifest dream. It is but a small part of the experience that the patient needs to reexperience to understand and restructure himself. By deeply exploring this memory and its associations, therapy risks reinforcing what separates this memory from the latent experiences that are unconsciously associated to it. The therapist who believes that theatrical emotional expression of dramatic and moving events allows him to understand his patient’s deeper feelings is a bit like Christopher Columbus who believed he had reached India when he arrived at the Balearic Islands. He takes a huge step in yoga poses the right direction, but he will not necessarily succeed in yoga poses forming a clear vision of what is growing in yoga poses the patient’s unconscious. As you well know, the question is not even that the Balearic Islands are not India, but that, between the two, there was a new continent.
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