Psychology

Human behaviour & emotional characteristics fascinated me ever since I can remember.  I recall, – for example -, wondering already as a pre-schooler, why did my mother, my father & my grandmother react on three different ways to the same story I’d told them. I also have always been a good listener, because everyone’s life-story is unique & interesting. Even as a child, I wanted to understand people and if trying events in their lives awakened my compassion, I grew to like them in spite of their shortcomings.
This curiosity made majoring in psychology a natural choice for me.

I’ve found that depth psychology could help me to find answers to most of my questions, thus my main focus was studying the works of Sigmund Freud, Carl Gustav Jung, Alfred Adler and Leopold Szondi, – just to mention a few.
I was very fortunate to learn a lot more about depth psychology than it was possible at the time at universities in Hungary, in a psychotherapy institute in Budapest, from a group of psychiatrists and psychologists, led by the renowned professor, dr Bela Buda. This hospital was one of the very few places, where the Szondi test was used for psychodiagnostic purposes, which gave me the opportunity to get familiar with it, – although I learned about dr Szondi & his  theory of “Shicksalanalyse” in German,(“fate analysis” or “analysis of destiny” in English), from dr Istvan Benedek.

In 1948 in Hungary, the “reflex-era” had started in the field of psychology. The problem with this wasn’t that Ivan Petrovich Pavlov‘s excellent teaching became the main focus of educating future psychotherapists, but that depth psychology wasn’t an important part of the curriculum, – if someone wanted to fully understand and evaluate the works of the greatest scientists in the field, had to do it elsewhere.
Pavlov’s classical conditioning is undoubtedly a very important discovery on which
behaviourism is based, but unlike depth psychology, it doesn’t reach the roots of the neurosis.

striphandler.gifIvan Petrovich Pavlov’s excellent teaching became the main focus of educating future psychotherapists, but that depth psychology wasn’t an important part of the curriculum, – if someone wanted to fully understand and evaluate the works of the greatest scientists in the field, had to do it elsewhere.
Pavlov’s classical conditioning is undoubtedly a very important discovery on which behaviourism is based, but unlike depth psychology, it doesn’t reach the roots of the neurosis.

At the time I had attended university, the “reflex-era” was at its tail-end, so I had the opportunity to immerse more, than previous classes, in the theories of Freud and his daughter, Anna Freud. Her teaching didn’t only widen my horizon by learning more about the ego and defense mechanism (take this quiz to learn a bit about it on a fun way), but this quote from her taught me about the essential qualities of a therapist:

“…You asked me what I consider essential personal qualities in a future psychoanalyst. The answer is comparatively simple. If you want to be a real psychoanalyst you have to have a great love of the truth, scientific truth as well as personal truth, and you have to place this appreciation of truth higher than any discomfort at meeting unpleasant facts, whether they belong to the world outside or to your own inner person.
Further, I think that a psychoanalyst should have interests beyond the limits of the medical field, in facts that belong to sociology, religion, literature and history, otherwise his outlook on his patient will remain too narrow. This point contains the necessary preparations beyond the requirements made on candidates of psychoanalysis in the institutes. You ought to be a great reader and become acquainted with the literature of many countries and cultures. In the great literary figures you will find people who know at least as much of human nature as the psychiatrists and psychologists try to do.”

To be continued…

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