Saturday, January 15, 2011
Joseph J. Kockelmans on Daseinsanalysis.
Textbooks of general psychiatry often still begin with a careful description of the disturbances of drives, emotions, feelings, perceptions, memories, or thoughts and, then, try to develop descriptions of the typical kinds of diseases on the basis of these 'symptoms'. If certain disturbances in perception, manner of thinking, emotions, or feelings can be established in a patient, one may then conclude that the patient is a schizophrenic, manic, or hysteric. Finally, one tried to relate the symptoms to some kind of malfunctioning of the human body, the brain, the nervous system, certain glands, etc. Yet it will be obvious that such an 'explanation', however important within certain limits, is totally irrelevant to the question of precisely how certain emotions and feelings, ideas, illusions, hallucinations, etc., are to be related to these alleged organic disturbances. Furthermore, it is certain also that there are some mental disturbances which are not to be related to any organic malfunctions.

Daseinsanalysis does not question the relevance and validity of research in biology, physiology, and neurology for psychiatry. It merely claims that the human reality cannot be understood in this manner and that for that reason psychic and mental illness cannot be understood merely from the viewpoint of disturbances in man's functions. By conceiving of man in terms of transcendence, Daseinsanalysis is capable of explaining all symptoms of psychic and mental illness as flowing from the typical manner in which each patient relates to his world.

P. 26
Kockelmans, despite his numerous publications, does not rank high on my list of MH interpreters. I find him satisfied with simply repeating MH as if jargon.

But if Daseinanalysis only offers an alternative theoretical interpretation of human behavior, then its usefulness is limited to explaining MH by way of comparison and contrast. Not an unimportant contribution to those of us still struggling to comprehend MH, to be sure. Yet if anyone did 'poetic' therapy, was it not Freud?
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