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Personality Ch10. Existentialism.pdf

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PSYC 370
Robert Ley

Ch10. Existentialism March-07-13 7:43 PM Existentialism • The worldexist b/c there are beings to experienceit • "Why am I born into this world/time?How do I choose what to do?" • Emerged after WWII (Nazi, Holocaust) ○ Helppeople livethrough difficulties • Don't believein causation's rolein human affairs ○ Not theories, they're paradigms Existentialism and R.D. Laing Key Points • Dread/struggleto find meaning is inevitable& there isn't one single/permanentsolution • Helpedsurvivors of Holocaust come to terms with brutality of it all • Path is full of death, anxiety & despair. One needs courage to act/choose wisely/responsibly • (Laing) schizophrenia personifiesexistential confrontation (loss of self, profound insecurities,loss of meaning) ○ Patient should be respected for their (valiantbut failing)efforts to try • Helppatients by helping them livethrough horrific disorder and find useful way to exist Introduction • Encounters with crisis/eventsmakeP feel vulnerable • Doesn't believecausality(science) applies to human existence ○ Shouldn't base psychology on science ○ Anti-deterministic,anti-scientific view ○ Therapist shouldn't be biased by theories → focus on phenomenon • Human can choose what they want to be ○ Respects P's choice & responsibilities • Dark view: "nothingness haunts being", people are burden with destinybut are helpless/alone, death isinevitable ○ Modern society is dehumanizing R.D. Laing: Personal History • Born inthe slums. Electrical engineeringfather and beautiful mom • Mother was bitter about their living conditions → tension at home • Strict but comfortable upbringing (norms of his neighbourhood) ○ Later found them to be too strict, fight and neverreconcile ○ Hismom, later inlife, voodoo-ed him • Was very musicallytalented & unusually curious & read a lot • Got a scholarship to GlaslowUniversity ○ Studied medicinebut failed all his classes → worked as intern at PsychiatricUnit ○ Passed 2nd time → entered neurosurgical unit • Conscripted into BritishArmy, chose to specializein psychiatry ○ Treatment was usuallyagainst the P's will.Was uncomfortable with lobotomy • Publisheda book that argued traditional psychiatry was inhuman → ppl saw him as a rebel ○ More kids are going to mental institution than university • He, colleaguesand schizophrenic patients livedin therapeutic community ○ No distinction between doctor/patients ○ No drugs or interventions CalledKingsleyHall experiment ○ CalledKingsleyHall experiment ○ Ended b/c Laing left (couldn't write in such environment) Emphasis & Major Concepts • Can't understand schizophrenic P ifyou take outside POV • It-terms: think of them inabstract clinical and physiologicalterms ○ Seems likeyou're talking about a machine • Kraepelin'spatenting seems to be tormenting ○ In the thingsP says, Laing infersthat P is objecting to being measured/tested. P wants to be heard. ○ Hard to understand b/c of differencein ontologicalsecurity (confidence in one's sense of being/inrealityof one's experience  Ontologicalinsecurity: absence of; fighting to maintain sense of self/continuity Ontological insecurity & Schizophrenia • Laing focused not on the cause, but the experience of schizophrenia → trace such
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