Psychological Self-Help

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This "exorcising" of the forbidden memories and emotions was
called catharsis. Many of the neo-Freudians take this approach.
Therapy is probably better than self-help at uncovering
unconscious material, but there are several self-analysis
methods available in chapter 15. 
A variety of other therapies focus on changing the inner person
by concentrating more on becoming more aware and
expressive of feelings, rather than on understanding the origin
of one's hang-ups. These therapies concentrate on the release
of pent up emotions for mental health. They include Client-
centered (Carl Rogers), Gestalt (Fritz Perls), body-centered
therapies by Wilhelm Reich and Alexander Lowen, Primal
Scream (Arthur Janov), Re-evaluation (Harvey Jackins),
Feeling-Expressive (Pierce & DuBrin) and others. These
therapies view feelings as being the core of our lives or, at
least, the repression of feelings is the crux of many problems.
Thus, feelings are valuable and need to be expressed. Emotions
represent tendencies to act and learning to express feelings
makes us more alive--more sensitive and responsive, more free
to know our true selves, and more free to act on our needs
(Pierce, Nichols, & DuBrin, 1983). In contrast to
Psychoanalysis, this kind of "expressive" therapy uses
"catharsis" to enable the patient to handle strong emotions or
to learn to freely express more and more emotions, not get rid
of feelings. The next self-help method can serve both of these
Some people become overwhelmed by their emotions; others hold
in their feelings and don't even know they are there. Some need to
reduce the strength of their emotions; they need to "discharge" or
release or vent the emotions so they can get the feelings under
control. The classic examples are the crushed, jilted lover, and the
person in a rage. Other people are over-controlled and need help in
accepting and expressing their feelings. Examples here are "thinkers"--
intellectualizers or obsessive-compulsives who are so busy thinking,
acting, and analyzing they don't feel--or macho men who are too
tough to be afraid and cry. They need self-help methods for internally
experiencing more feelings, for understanding and appreciating their
emotions, and for appropriately disclosing or sharing their feelings with
others. It is probably easy for you to tell if you tend to be an
"expresser" or a "repressor." Then, it will probably be clear how you
can use the following techniques for your purposes. 
If humans ever came to accept all their (and everyone's) thoughts
and feelings as natural, normal, and harmless (only actions hurt), then
perhaps we wouldn't have to repress any emotions. You could accept
all your emotions and be aware of all your motives (but not act on all
of them). There would be no sneaky tricks, no self-cons, no freaky
urges by your unconscious. But that seems a long way off. 
Catharsis…venting…discharging…expressing emotions
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