Saturday, September 29, 2012

New Books

I have been reading quite a few books recently. Here is a list of the most important ones:
  • ``Affect Regulation, Mentalization, and the Development of the Self,'' by Peter Fonagy, Gyorgy Gergely, Elliot L Jurist, Mary Target, 2002 [ARMDS:FGJT2002]
  • This is a serious psychology  book that combines themes from psychoanalytic and child development literature. Fascinating but difficult to read.
  •  ``The Neuroscience of Psychotherapy: Healing the Social Brain,'' by Louis Cozolino, second edition, 2010
  • I started reading about psychoanalysis, mainly from the next reference, but I realized that there should be an intimate relationship between neuroscience and psychotherapy, and then I found this book that exactly elaborates on this point!
  • ``Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry/IV,'' edited by Harold I. Kaplan and Benjamin J. Sadock, fourth edition,  1985
  • What initially got me interested in the book was ``Chapter 10: Theories of Personality and Psychopathology: Schools Derived from Psychology and Philosophy,'' by William N. Thetford and Roger Walsh
  • Then, I started reading ``Chapter 8: Theories of Personality and Psychopathology: Classical Psychoanalysis,'' by William W. Meissner. In my view, this is a very thorough and deep treatment of the subject, a little technical and difficult, but an amazing read. Revived my interest in the subject.
  • ``Sanford Meisner on Acting,'' by Sanford Meisner and Dennis Longwell, 1987
  • Sanford Meisner schoold of acting is simply amazing. He has deep insights into this profession that in fact goes beyond the boundaries of acting into a knowledge of human psychology.
Here is an important insight from  [ARMDS:FGJT2002]:
``... In this sense attachment is a skill, one that is acquired in relation to a specific caregiver and encoded into a teleological model of behavior. In the London Parent-Child Study we investigated the question of how well the Adult Attachment Interview, administered before the birth of the first child to 100 predominantly middle-class primiparous parents, could predict the classification of infant's attachment at the age of 12 months to mother and at 18 months to father (Fonagy, Steele, and Steele 1991). There was only a marginally significant association between the attachment classification with mother and that with father. However, both test results were powerfully predicted by the attachment classification of the respective parent on the AAI (Steele et al. 1996). ... The results suggest that the infant develops independent models (self-other schemata) for its major attachment relations based on its past history of interactions with each of those individuals. There interaction experiences are, in turn, indexed by the caregiver's representation of their attachment history.

... If secure attachment is conceived of as the acquisition of procedures of goal-oriented rational action for the regulation of aversive states of arousal within an attachment context (Carlson and Sroufe 1995; Cassidy 1994; Sroufe 1996), we argue that these would be most consistently acquired and coherently represented when the child's acute affective state is accurately, but not overwhelmingly, reflected back to the child.

The child who looks for a way of managing his distress finds in the response of the caregiver a representation of his mental state that he may internalize and use as a part of a higher-order strategy of affect regulation. The secure caregiver soothes by combining mirroring with a display that is incompatible with child's affect (thus perhaps implying coping). ...

If secure attachment is the outcome of successful containment, insecure attachment may be seen as the infant's identification with the caregiver's defenesive behavior.'' pp 41-41, [ARMDS:FGJT2002]

Freedom, Religion

A couple of days ago I read a discussion between some friends regarding religion, worship, freedom, and slavery. In Farsi and Arabic, the t...