La experiencia analítica desde el punto de vista del analizando. Profilaxis. Etica y psicoanálisis. Psicología y poder. Terapias adictivas. La sociedad psicologizada. Mala praxis. Una denuncia
anaclisis [anaclisis] f. (Fisiol. hum.) Decúbito, especialmente el supino. (Estar acostado hacia arriba.) aná ἀνά (gr. ‘hacia arriba’, ‘por completo’, ‘de nuevo’, ‘por partes’) + klī‑ κλῑ‑ (gr. ‘inclinarse, tumbarse’; κρεβάτι, κλίνη ‘lecho’) + ‑sis (gr.) [Leng. base: gr. Antiguo.
En gr. anáklisis ἀνάκλισις con el mismo significado desde Hipócrates, s. V a.C., reintroducido] // En psiquiatría, dependencia emocional, inclinación hacia el ser de quien se depende o que domina, en particular la primera relación objetal que establece el niño, caracterizada por la completa dependencia de éste respecto de su madre.
“–Si yo lo inquieto tanto mejor. Desde el punto de vista del público, lo que yo considero como más deseable, es lanzar un grito de alarma y que tenga, en el terreno científico, una significación muy precisa: que sea un llamado, una exigencia primera concerniente a la formación del analista.” J. Lacan

miércoles, 9 de marzo de 2011

Smile or Die: How Positive Thinking Fooled America and the World by Barbara Ehrenreich

Jenni Murray salutes a long-overdue demolition of the suggestion that positive thinking is the answer to all our problems

Jenni Murray
The Observer, Sunday 10 January 2010

Every so often a book appears that so chimes with your own thinking, yet flies so spectacularly in the face of fashionable philosophy, that it comes as a profoundly reassuring relief. After reading Barbara Ehrenreich's Smile or Die: How Positive Thinking Fooled America and the World, I feel as if I can wallow in grief, gloom, disappointment or whatever negative emotion comes naturally without worrying that I've become that frightful stereotype, the curmudgeonly, grumpy old woman. Instead, I can be merely human: someone who doesn't have to convince herself that every rejection or disaster is a golden opportunity to "move on" in an upbeat manner.

Ehrenreich came to her critique of the multi-billion-dollar positive-thinking industry – a swamp of books, DVDs, life coaches, executive coaches and motivational speakers – in similar misery-making circumstances to those I experienced. She was diagnosed with breast cancer and, like me, found herself increasingly disturbed by the martial parlance and "pink" culture that has come to surround the disease. My response when confronted with the "positive attitude will help you battle and survive this experience" brigade was to rail against the use of militaristic vocabulary and ask how miserable the optimism of the "survivor" would make the poor woman who was dying from her breast cancer. It seemed to me that an "invasion" of cancer cells was a pure lottery. No one knows the cause. As Ehrenreich says: "I had no known risk factors, there was no breast cancer in the family, I'd had my babies relatively young and nursed them both. I ate right, drank sparingly, worked out, and, besides, my breasts were so small that I figured a lump or two would improve my figure." (Mercifully, she hasn't lost her sense of humour.)

I had long suspected that improved survival rates for women who had breast cancer had absolutely nothing to do with the "power" of positive thinking. For women diagnosed between 2001 and 2006, 82% were expected to survive for five years, compared with only 52% diagnosed 30 years earlier. The figures can be directly related to improved detection, better surgical techniques, a greater understanding of the different types of breast cancer and the development of targeted treatments. Ehrenreich presents the evidence of numerous studies demonstrating that positive thinking has no effect on survival rates and she provides the sad testimonies of women who have been devastated by what one researcher has called "an additional burden to an already devastated patient".

Pity, for example, the woman who wrote to the mind/body medical guru Deepak Chopra: "Even though I follow the treatments, have come a long way in unburdening myself of toxic feelings, have forgiven everyone, changed my lifestyle to include meditation, prayer, proper diet, exercise and supplements, the cancer keeps coming back. Am I missing a lesson here that it keeps re-occurring? I am positive I am going to beat it, yet it does get harder with each diagnosis to keep a positive attitude."

As Ehrenreich goes on to explain, exhortations to think positively – to see the glass as half-full even when it lies shattered on the floor – are not restricted to the pink-ribbon culture of breast cancer. She roots America's susceptibility to the philosophy of positive thinking in the country's Calvinist past and demonstrates how, in its early days, a puritanical "demand for perpetual effort and self-examination to the point of self-loathing" terrified small children and reduced "formerly healthy adults to a condition of morbid withdrawal, usually marked by physical maladies as well as inner terror".

It was only in the early 19th century that the clouds of Calvinist gloom began to break and a new movement began to grow that would take as fervent a hold as the old one had. It was the joining of two thinkers, Phineas Parkhurst Quimby and Mary Baker Eddy, in the 1860s that brought about the formalisation of a post-Calvinist world-view, known as the New Thought Movement. A new type of God was envisaged who was no longer hostile and indifferent, but an all-powerful spirit whom humans had merely to access to take control of the physical world.

Middle-class women found this new style of thinking, which came to be known as the "laws of attraction", particularly beneficial. They had spent their days shut out from any role other than reclining on a chaise longue, denied any opportunity to strive in the world, but the New Thought approach and its "talking therapy" developed by Quimby opened up exciting new possibilities. Mary Baker Eddy, a beneficiary of the cure, went on to found Christian Science. Ehrenreich notes that although this new style of positive thinking did apparently help invalidism or neurasthenia, it had no effect whatsoever on diseases such as diphtheria, scarlet fever, typhus, tuberculosis and cholera – just as, today, it will not cure cancer.

Thus it was that positive thinking, the assumption that one only has to think a thing or desire it to make it happen, began its rapid rise to influence. Today, as Ehrenreich shows, it has a massive impact on business, religion and the world's economy. She describes visits to motivational speaker conferences where workers who have recently been made redundant and forced to join the short-term contract culture are taught that a "good team player" is by definition "a positive person" who "smiles frequently, does not complain, is not overly critical and gratefully submits to whatever the boss demands". These are people who have less and less power to chart their own futures, but who are given, thanks to positive thinking, "a world-view – a belief system, almost a religion – that claimed they were, in fact, infinitely powerful, if only they could master their own minds."

And none was more susceptible to the lure of this philosophy than those self-styled "masters of the universe", the Wall Street bankers. Those of us raised to believe that saving up, having a deposit and living within one's means were the way to proceed and who wondered how on earth the credit crunch and the subprime disasters could have happened need look no further than the culture that argued that positive thinking would enable anyone to realise their desires. (Or as one of Ehrenreich's chapter headings has it, "God wants you to be rich".)

Ehrenreich's work explains where the cult of individualism began and what a devastating impact it has had on the need for collective responsibility. We must, she says, shake off our capacity for self-absorption and take action against the threats that face us, whether climate change, conflict, feeding the hungry, funding scientific inquiry or education that fosters critical thinking. She is anxious to emphasise that she does "not write in a spirit of sourness or personal disappointment, nor do I have any romantic attachment to suffering as a source of insight or virtue. On the contrary, I would like to see more smiles, more laughter, more hugs, more happiness… and the first step is to recover from the mass delusion that is positive thinking". Her book, it seems to me, is a call for the return of common sense and, I'm afraid, in what purports to be a work of criticism, I can find only positive things to say about it. Damn!

Fuente: Guardian
Versión en castellano: Blog del Centro Enrique Eskenazi

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Marcel Proust

... Entre los intervalos de los instrumentos musicales, cuando la mar estaba muy llena, se oía, continuo y ligado, el resbalar del agua de una ola que envolvía los trazos del violín en sus volutas de cristal y parecía lanzar su espuma por encima de los ecos intermitentes de una música submarina. Yo me impacientaba porque no me habían traído aun las cosas para empezar a vestirme. Daban las doce, y Francisca aparecía. Y durante varios meses seguidos, en ese Balbec que tanto codicié, porque me lo imaginaba batido por las tempestades y perdido entre brumas, hizo un tiempo tan seguro y tan brillante que cuando venía a descorrer las cortinas nunca me vi defraudado en mi esperanza de encontrar ese mismo lienzo de sol pegado al rincón de la pared de afuera y de un inmutable color, que impresionaba, más aun que por ser signo del estío, por su colorido melancólico, cual el de un esmalte inerte y ficticio. Y mientras que Francisca iba quitando los alfileres de las impostas, arrancaba telas y descorría cortinas, el día de verano que descubría ella parecía tan muerto, tan inmemorial como una momia suntuosa y milenaria que nuestra vieja criada despojaba cuidadosamente de toda su lencería antes de mostrarla embalsamada en su túnica de oro. ... Marcel Proust

R.D. Laing

--- Knots (Nudos) R.D. Laing (extracto) People can act very strange. At least ... I think they act very strange. And maybe other people think that I am the one who’s acting very strange. Do you know the feeling? Effective comunication is difficult to construct. There are some many knots in human understanding ... Can you unite these ones? There must be something the matter with him because he would not be acting as he does unless there was therefore he is acting as he is because there is something the matter with him. He does not think there is anything the matter with him because one of the things that is the matter with him is that he does not think that there is anything the matter with him therefore we have to help him to realize that the fact that he does not think that there is anythingthe matter with him is one of the things that is the matter with him. There is something I don’t know that I am suposed to know. I don’t know what it is I don’t know,and yet I am suposed to know,and I feel I look stupidif I seem both not to know it and not to know what it is I don´t know. Therefore I pretend I know it. This is nerve-ranking since I don’t know what I must pretend to know. Therefore I pretend to know everything. I feel you know what I am supposed to know. But you can’t tell me what it is. Because you don’t know that I don’t know what it is. You may know what I don’t know, but not that I don’t know it, and I can’t tell you. So you will have to tell me everything. Absurd, isn’t it? But very real as well. I’m sure you have had similar experiences. What can we do to better our communications? How can we avoid to feel bad? How can we avoid that other persons feel bad? if ( "true" == "false" )... R D Laing

Ronald Laing, the radical psychiatrist, psychoanalyst and psychotherapist who profoundly altered our understanding of mental illness, was the founder of just one organisation - the Philadelphia Association.

Born in Glasgow in 1927 R D Laing studied medicine at the University of Glasgow and went on to become a psychiatrist. His first experiment in changing the way people designated the mentally ill took place at Glasgow’s Gartnavel Hospital where he and colleagues radically altered the treatment regime in a long-term women's ward.

Laing moved to London to work at the Tavistock Clinic and trained as a psychoanalyst at the Institute of Psychoanalysis. Laing had for many years been engaged with continental philosophy and in a series of books published in the course of the 1960s he sought to develop what he called ‘an existential-phenomenological foundation for a science of persons’ and sought to set out a description of the experience of those labelled schizophrenic. Such people, Laing argued, suffered from ontological insecurity, a lack of faith in their own and others' reality which led them to create false self systems to fend off psychological and emotional catastrophe. Laing wanted to make madness and the process of going mad comprehensible, and to a great many people, including many of those afflicted, he did so convincingly. The discourse of the 'mad', he showed, if listened to in the right spirit could make a sense of its own. This was to be the line of thought that Laing would pursue for many years in The Divided Self (1960), Self and Others (1961), Sanity, Madness and the Family (1964) and The Politics of Experience (1967). (After this his writings became more diffuse, sometimes arguably self indulgent, but still capable of great insight). (Leer+)

Explicando a Laing

... Como libro pionero en su consideración de la esquizofrenia, y también por su carácter revolucionario y sus afirmaciones heterodoxas (pese a basarse completamente en análisis clínicos y emplear Esterson y Laing un lenguaje cuidadosamente clínico y objetivo, una tendencia no siempre presente en otros libros de Laing, como The Politics of Experience, de 1967 o Knots, de 1970). Sanity, Madness and the Family fue un libro polémico que recibió numerosas críticas. La primera y más obvia - y algo de lo que Esterson y Laing eran conscientes tras su publicación - es que, como apuntamos previamente, no se publicaron los datos del grupo de control formado por familias no esquizofrenogénicas, donde las interacciones y comunicación no estuvieran basadas enel uso de dobles vínculos y comunicaciones de doble sentido. Pese a que un grupo de control es absolutamente imprescindible para un estudio científico serio, el tiempo ha jugado a favor de las afirmaciones de Laing y Esterson en su obra, puesto que en investigaciones empíricas recientes sobre la influencia del factor familiar en la esquizofrenia, como las de Nevid, Rathus y Greene, se ha demostrado el papel fundamental de la familia en el desarrollo de una personalidad independiente.Objetividad y estilo que se repetirían en el estudio sobre comunicación y patología conjunto con Phillipson y Lee en 1966, Interpersonal Perception, un análisis de los modos de comunicación en parejas.(ontológicamente segura, diría Laing) o el recurso, por presión familiar, a defensas esquizofrenogénicas.La publicación de este libro tuvo, sin embargo, consecuencias más a largo plazo, y no sólo dentro del contexto médico, para la carrera y reputación de Laing. Algunas críticas no bien documentadas llegaron a afirmar que Laing se oponía al concepto mismo de familia, y que lo consideraba una célula de organización social enferma que aliena y destruye al individuo. A esta percepción errónea de las afirmaciones de Laing no ayudó, precisamente, su estrecha relación con David Cooper, pensador radical en lo tocante a la familia (suyos son libros con títulos tan reveladores como The Death of the Family (1971) o The Language of Madness (1978) , en los que la familia se compara a una granja donde los adolescentes son cebados como cochinillos para luego ser“sacrificados” al dios de la cruel y homogeneizadora sociedad). Así, a raíz de la publicación casi simultánea de estas obras de Cooper (que Laing consideraba radicales ya en ese momento), se identificó a Laing con las ideas extremadamente violentas y revolucionarias de su colega. La misión que Cooper se impuso en sus publicaciones eraincitar a la revolución y a la destrucción de la organización social tradicional, cargando las tintas en la familia, como origen de los males sociales, incluso en individuos aparentemente sanos y adaptados. En la obra conjunta de Laing y Cooper, Reason and Violence (1964), las partes escritas por Laing nunca son tan radicales en sus planteamientos como las de su colega, que se aproxima en ocasiones al marxismo puromás que a la práctica psiquiátrica. Así, se ha criticado a Laing por culpar a los padres de los pacientes esquizofrénicos de la aparición de síntomas en sus hijos, sin embargo, su intención en este libro con Esterson, y en otras obras posteriores, no era rechazar y demonizar la familia en sí, sino mostrar cómo la locura no es algo que surjaespontáneamente del paciente mismo, sino, más bien, como el resultado de un mecanismo de presión social. Las familias de este estudio son familias disfuncionales (lo que no significa que todas lo sean), que producen en el individuo que es tratado por locura una serie de condiciones patológicas (llamados síntomas esquizofrénicos), queno son sino una expresión patológica de la disfunción de toda la familia. Tampoco negó Laing que los esquizofrénicos tuvieran problemas para operar en su vida diaria; Laing reconoce la dura y traumática experiencia de la locura, si bien disiente en la interpretación más “clásica” de los orígenes de ésta, y prefiere buscarlos en el ámbito de la interexperiencia, es decir, en el campo de los intercambios sociales. La locura tienesu origen no en trastornos dentro de uno mismo, sino que surge de la relación entre personas (véanse Laing y Esterson 1964; y Laing, H. Phillipson y A.R. Lee 1966). ... Méndez García, Carmen (2004)


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