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Unread January 25th, 2005, 08:07 PM
Doug William Doug William is offline
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 21
Default Re: What uncertainties do we face in CT/CBT?

Hello again James---

Thank you for your initial reply to my post and the richness of presentation you offer. I had hoped that much more discussion would be prompted in the month I've waited to reply, but obviously that's not going to happen. I've also waited this long in trying to sort out the dizzying number of issues that you've raised!!! This is my third draft of a reply, because I really can't decide how to best focus my comments!! So I've decided to go much more slowly.

When you mention the interface of biology and cognition, I consider that cognition is biology, the two cannot be separated, but that's exactly the whole problem. We can keep 'saying' cognition this, affect that-- but it 'is' biology, not separate from it. We try the best we can to believe this is 'separate' from that but it isn't. It is our efforts to keep teasing things apart, or make chapter headings out of our psyche that leads us astray so much. It's a great teaching tool, but a real conceptual problem too. And in our 'verbal' arguments and verbal reasoning to make sense of it all, we, I think end up in a self-delusional mess. Affects, emotion, language development, memory, perception, learning, motivation, conscious thought, consciousness etc., each of these 'academic' areas in their own right yield tons of new questions and each specialist in each area go their own way We 'think' when we give any one these areas primacy and develop theories around them that we are progressing. I'm not so sure. And I'm not sure that the manner of research we use, clarifies as much as we think. Any historian of psychoanalysis or the behavior therapies (beginning with classical or operant treatments) and lots of other therapies where earnest efforts at research were made have revealed similar and somewhat amusing trends. First there is glowing optimism, and signs of high rates of success appear in the journals, disciples proliferate, as do training institutions. Then efforts are directed to make the theory and methods more and more inclusive, and more and more ideas are drawn in so the theorizing becomes more inclusive as well.

Then over time there is a dimming of enthusiasm and new ideas take over. Not progress mind you, but new ideas, new proliferations.

All that aside for a moment (not to mention all the other questions you've raised!!!), is it not important to consider that developmentally 'affect' came first. That has to hold some weight, doesn't it?? Our biological equipment introduces "affect" way before conscious language emerges. Unless one believes that conscious cognition develops apart from affect, we have to slow down here, don't we? And again, and I'm not espousing any particular theory here, how you can tease apart affect and cognition . I don't think you can. Of course, 'defining affect' is maybe the first important task. I'll stop here.

Thanks for the opportunity!


Last edited by Doug William; January 25th, 2005 at 09:34 PM.
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