December 22nd 2006, 10:19 PM
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy(ACT) has successfully treated a variety of psychological problems. ACT is based on Relational Frame Theory(RFT) which emphasizes the interconnectedness of language. According to RFT, words in our vocabulary(which can be expressed in images) are inseparably part of a matrix of words. One word leads to another which leads to another which leads to another. Thus, when one tries to control the thoughts that flow through one's own head, the individual becomes entangled in this word generating machine. ACT suggests that psychological flexibility and psychological well being emerges from acceptance and willingness to experience troublesome thoughts.
On the other hand, Paul encourages believers to set their minds on heavenly things and avoid thinking about things of the flesh. In Philipians, Paul urges his readers to thinking about noble and honorable things. In other words, Paul believes that Christians should control their thoughts. Is Paul not contradicting the proven principles of ACT? Because controling one's inner world is an impossible thing to do, is not Paul's advice harmful?
January 2nd 2007, 02:34 PM
Is it proven that one cannot control one's stream of thought? Although I am not of an Eastern persuasion it seems to me that for many centuries practitioners of meditation have affirmed precisely the opposite: one's stream of thought can be silenced. Silence of thought is the most extreme form of control; if this is possible it would seem lesser forms of internal control are also possible. Paul clearly affirmed a measure of self control or self direction of one's own mental life is possible. Presumably this was his personal experience. I would also affirm in my personal experience that I can will to focus on things to be thankful for rather than complaints, etc. In philosophy, personal experience is called incorrigible data. It it not possible according to philosophers to refute an incorrigible datum (e.g. someone says "I am feeling happy"). A person who is entirely unable to control the stream of thoughts in their head may need to consider what kind of demon is at the wheel of their mind. Perhaps they should seek an exorcist rather than a therapist.
It would be desirable to demonstrate rather than merely assert that control of one's own thought is impossible before using this axiom to falsify the testimonies of the ages to the contrary. Such testimonies themselves render the axiom at least questionable, if not absurd.
How would one go about proving their stream of thought could not be controlled? How could an individual, for example, weigh evidence, or "change their mind" on any issue? If every stream of thought is internally necessary, scientific psychology becomes impossible. Rather, the psychologist is merely thinking what he must.
January 2nd 2007, 11:27 PM
Hi, Bobby...I'm Bill > thanks for a little representation of what A.C.T. is
"Acceptance and Commitment Therapy(ACT) has successfully treated a variety of psychological problems." > so have (chemical) medications helped to solve a lot of problems psychological...more or less > I will offer my personal point about this > "For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe." This is 1 Timothy 4:10, of a letter the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy. What I get out of this is that God does saving things for ALL people, in one way or another; so if a certain med or method helps someone, this can be because God blessed things to go so...NOT really necessarily because of the chemical or method, itself. Often the main thing helping is simply how the patient comes to one's senses, SOMEHOW; and I would credit God for whenever ANY of us humans manage SOMEHOW to come to our senses, in any way, at all.
"Thus, when one tries to control the thoughts that flow through one's own head, the individual becomes entangled in this word generating machine. ACT suggests that psychological flexibility and psychological well being emerges from acceptance and willingness to experience troublesome thoughts." > not fighting it, but just going along? if the thoughts are trouble, I'd say do NOT go along with them, nor allow them to start; BUT the reason ones can get into trouble by trying to manage their own minds...well, your mind is a pretty complex and intricate entity...NOT what you would be able to understand and manage, yourself, I would think; and we have > "And we have such trust through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God," (2 Corinthians 3:4-5) God made our minds; only He, really, can take care of them.
By the way > "For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace." (Romans 8:6)
"On the other hand, Paul encourages believers to set their minds on heavenly things and avoid thinking about things of the flesh. In Philipians, Paul urges his readers to thinking about noble and honorable things." Good...you are aware of these things Paul has given us.
one point here > I offer > by thinking on things, Paul does NOT just mean words we have in mind about things, BUT thinking has moreso to do with what we are seeking and committed to doing and getting...so it's deeper than just words and our thoughts...thinking even has to do with how we ARE...how loving we are, versus how nasty reacting we are READY to be, for examples > so it has to do with our basic character which is a sort of filter to determine what can get into us or not > if messy paranoid depressing insensitive stuff can even effect me, at all, this proves to me how I need a character upgrade
"In other words, Paul believes that Christians should control their thoughts. Is Paul not contradicting the proven principles of ACT? Because controling one's inner world is an impossible thing to do, is not Paul's advice harmful?"
OK...I'm going to offer you some things, here >
> yes, we should control our thoughts; BUT, we do this by means of the Holy Spirit in our minds sharing God's control with us...since, as quoted, we are not sufficient "of ourselves, to think of anything as being from ourselves," including whatever self-control we have (THIS is a gift from God!!!)
and we have how "The things which are impossible with men are possible with God," Jesus says in Luke 18:27. So, is the ACT theorist an undercover preacher of what Jesus has already said...i.eeeeee., how we humans can not possibly control our own inner worlds? except for one thing...you seem to be saying that ACT just says to let things go and NOT control, rather than recommend how God is able to change us so we function right...WITHOUT trouble > "'Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.'" (John 14:27) so, then . . . we CAN control our inner world, according to this command...by means of God's own peace given us by Jesus > "And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body, and be thankful." (Colossians 3:15)
Now, then...yes, if you try to do your OWN controlling, this WILL be harmful; and so, in a way, your premise is correct. Look at how we humans can so make a mess of ourselves and our things. We need God.
I found your questions informative and interesting
January 3rd 2007, 12:09 AM
"...controling one's inner world is an impossible thing to do..."
Consider the incredible paradox this position would present to the student attempting to stop his/her daydreaming to concentrate on material for an exam which postulates such concentration is impossible!
January 5th 2007, 10:00 AM
Consider the incredible paradox this position would present to the student attempting to stop his/her daydreaming to concentrate on material for an exam which postulates such concentration is impossible! A few nuances if I may ... the "inner world" of a psychotic patient relies on a delusional perception of existing realities. Thus an impossibility to control paranoia, hallucinatory episodes etc by methods of thought control.Only as chemical drugs suppress the dysfunctional aspect of delusion, can we then promote in such patient methods of thought control to maintain a functional "inner world".
Same applying to dementia where the patient
certainly cannot control whichever pathological factor caused such condition by thought control.
However, I agree with you that a functional individual can use meditation, spiritual themes ,focal points etc... to modify his/her "inner world".
January 6th 2007, 03:00 PM
yes, I think a drug can help calm a delusional person so the person can then develop good thinking...maybe with the help of people who are treating the person
but if the person is selfish...likely he or she will be getting committed to selfish thinking, and so the person won't really be benefitting like he or she could
but I'm finding that God can calm me down and clear me of the delusional stuff of paranoia, and depression, and how I can get into overbearing criticism of others and be scheming how I will get control of ones who are a problem for me >
God can clear me of this, then His love can give me caring insights for helping ones who are trouble, plus His love can give me ideas and inspiration for what I can do to share enjoyments with others > drugs can't give me loving ideas and insights and inspiration
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