On Information Therapy

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Please Note:
I am not a trained or officially-mandated medical professional, and what I have to say is not to be taken as official medical advice or suggestion, but is intended solely as speculation regarding a hypothetical therapy.

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This will be a quick introduction to a therapy I have developed, which I call “information therapy.” The therapy developed out of my studies of social psychology (in contrast to psychoanalysis). This therapy treats neurosis from a social determinist model of emotions, and a free will model of rationality, and supports the agency to change the conditions which affect those emotions, and stopping them from occurring in the future. According to this model, past conditions affect emotions, and rationality affects future conditions, in a feedback loop.

Much of the philosophy behind the therapy was inspired by John Dollard, who developed the frustration-aggression theory, and by Nicholas Pastore, who modified his theory, suggesting that it was arbitrariness of reason for unwanted stimuli from another person, and not unwanted stimuli which was well-warranted, that caused frustration. Frustration, it has been found, if not released in positive ways (possibly through meditation, prayer, exercise, etc.), may culminate in anger, and then aggression to others (mania), or self-destruction (depression). The important thing here, which I want to focus on, is that distinction of Pastore’s: arbitrariness.

The philosophy behind my proposed therapy is not exclusively Pastorian, but is also quite Spinozan, and, thus, necessitarian, eternalist, eudaemonist, and absolutist (not in the sense of absolutism of ideas held by one individual, but the belief that the absolute—which is not the subjective or objective—is found in The All, and not in the all) in outlook. Pastore’s distinction of arbitrariness is itself quite arbitrary, if taken to the grounds of metaphysics. That which is understood to be arbitrary is, in fact of substance (not matter or extension), simply misunderstood, the reasons, or causes, being unknown. Knowing this little bit alone is a step away from seeing arbitrariness in anything other than a very subjective (or objective, perhaps I should say “non-absolutist”) light, knowing, deep down, in the absolute of things, that there is a reason, even if it is unknown to us. This does not work in itself, however, there is also the process of uniting our subjectivity (and objectivity) with that absolute substance (or void, if you must).

Even upon grounding one’s understanding in monism, neurosis has not been lost entirely, only reduced. The complete alleviation of neurosis is a matter of making that which is understood in our subjective (or objective) sense meet with that which exists at the heart of all things, that which cannot be known except by way of creating space for mutual respect, reciprocity, compassion, and communication, which, once acquired, must be dispelled with in favor of principles such as selflessness, limitless altruism, shared (or no) perspective, oneness (or nothingness).

The therapy itself first starts with basics of time-management, and focuses on informing the client about, and suggesting they try to start, making good decisions for themself (little to no use of drugs, alcohol, television, etc.). In other words, the beginning focus is on personal development and responsibility, the attainment of which is not at all necessary to address the next stage of therapy. Understanding that the coming therapy is not an excuse not to do one’s best is enough to suffice. This first stage is merely to suggest that one cannot blame the world for all of their troubles, but they must also think about the decisions they make, opportunities that arise, and their willingness to pursue them, etc. That is, the first stage places responsibility into the hands of the individual, and takes away excuses. More than therapy, at this point, it is life-coaching (and probably won’t go very far on its own).

The second stage is when neurosis really begins to be treated, and the process becomes a therapy. The second stage of the therapy will use Socratic method to break down causes of neurosis which are socially determined, so that they may be addressed (asking questions like, “What keeps you from succeeding?” and “Why?”). Addressing these issues alleviates frustration in a positive sense, and thwarts anger and aggression. Understanding the cause of hardships imposed on the individual through cultural and economic means also alleviates the subjective arbitrariness of unwanted stimuli. Through the Socratic process the therapist will take the client to the very essence of things (substance, the absolute, monism). This will result in a Spinozan-style “blessedness” or enlightenment of the absolute. The Socratic method must be continued by the client as self-reflection after this point, however, as the client cannot have complete, but only partial, blessedness, until they know all things. They can merely have a “grounding” for their blessedness in knowing all things lead to monism. Engaging in the process of eudemonia, toward total blessedness, will cease, to increasing degrees, the sense of arbitrariness which is imposed upon our portion of the collective consciousness, and which is experienced through our bodies. This process should continue until the point of death, which is the result of being unable to attain absolute blessedness, which is reserved, at this time, for The All, eternal and infinite, but not the all, passing and finite.

Getting further into the therapy, and its associated benefits, it is necessary to mention H.A. Dengerink and J.D. Myers, who have demonstrated that confidence is bolstered when one reaches points of success in their lives. In tests in which a subject is placed, unknowingly, into a no-win situation repeatedly, and then are put into a situation in which they are attacked by an individual, they are less likely to fight back. Subjects who have the game’s odds rigged in their favor are much more likely, due to a bolstered confidence, to fight back. We can see here that failure affects one’s confidence, and creates an external locus of control, while winning reinforces an external locus of control. This leaves one to wonder: Do the same test results apply to subjects who know that they have the odds against them, or in their favor? If so, I am willing to wager that it is to much less of an extent, and to any extent that it does apply, that this extent is equal to the extent to which there is absence of knowledge in regards to the potency of the favoritism. If they are told that the odds are 1/3, and they win 2/6 chances, for instance, they can pretty well guess they are of average ability, and their loci of control may remain stable. If they are told the same odds, and they get 3/6, I suggest they will have an increased loci of control.

In the end, the therapy is meant to a) promote personal responsibility, b) bring the client to a state of grounded and partial, but ever increasing, blessedness, d) demonstrate, through Socratic method and internal unraveling, underlying causes of failure which reside outside of the individual, thereby e) suggesting targets of social remedies, and f) enabling the individual to increase their internal locus of control. It is hoped that this will create a “snowball effect,” or positive feedback loop. This is also a therapy that a partially self-realized individual may perform on themselves, through the process of studies and contemplation.

It is possible that this is a western-, materialist-, structuralist-, and power-oriented philosophy, which works best with those who are endowed, but whose locus of control suffers due to social determinants. A more eastern-, idealist-, post-structuralist-, authority-oriented philosophy, may do best for those who, even when conditions are fair and there is equality in opportunity, don’t find themselves on the higher end of the social ladder or existential satisfaction, and suffer, regardless, of an external locus of control and lack of confidence. I am curious to the proposed therapy’s ability to compliment the tradition of the latter, and their relative applications to various sorts of people.

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