|The Future of Psychotherapy Challenging Cases Ethics Couples Mindfulness Trauma Brain Science Attachment Theory William Doherty Men in Therapy David Schnarch Attachment Mind/Body Narcissistic Clients Clinical Mastery Future of Psychotherapy Clinical Excellence Diets Symposium 2012 Great Attachment Debate Linda Bacon Gender Issues Etienne Wenger CE Comments Community of Excellence Alan Sroufe Anxiety Mary Jo Barrett Couples Therapy Wendy Behary|
|Blinded by Science - Page 3|
An odd and coincidental story, you say. Not for Casement, a psychoanalyst with a keenly sensitive clinical sense, who said he had no conscious intention of flagging down the car--his hand just shot out. In trying to understand what happened, Mayer uses the term "attunement," a pathway of communication well studied by researchers interested in the earliest mother-infant bond. Throughout the book, we read many stories connecting this kind of attunement with anomalous experience.
"We suffer from an underlying cultural disinclination for publicly acknowledging certain highly subjective, highly personal experiences," writes Mayer. Science doesn't like the subjective--it can't be quantified--until recently, it's been downgraded by cognitive psychologists, who argue that emotions are merely produced by thoughts just under the surface of awareness. But during the years she was working on this book, Mayer began to employ her psychoanalytic training to posit (with Robert Jahn and Brenda Dunne) something called "coincidence theory." She suggested that the unconscious was the portal to a field of experience that science was ignoring, an area filled with "associational unconscious networks." Bits of information percolating through the unconscious might even alter the physical world when it emerged into consciousness.
Anomalous experience, says Mayer, is like an island of knowing in a sea of unknowing or denial. Sigmund Freud was both fascinated and spooked by these experiences, especially telepathy. But wary of this kind of "thought transference" and not wanting his own psychoanalytic movement to suffer, he tried to dissuade other analysts from working in the area. Still, at the end of his life, as Mayer reminds us in a story often told, he made this extraordinary statement: if he had to do it over again, he might have devoted his life to the study of thought transference. Perhaps that was just Freud's being wistful, but it certainly suggests a sense of unfinished business.