Existential Perspectives in Mind Stimulation Therapy

Mind stimulation Therapy encourages collaborative discussion between the therapist/counselors and clients around existential perspectives of our conscious living existence. This may include highlighting the universally shared experience that we all of us have, as living creatures, facing the Unknown in terms where we came from and where we are going to, existing from a moment to a moment, having thoughts about past, present, and the future, and having to deal with inevitable changes in life and dealing with the reality of the “entropy process” of our body and mind. All of us learn to cope with these thoughts, which may appear in our private moments of our life at some conscious or unconscious level, independent of our different ” psychological conditions or states of our mind” in our daily existence.

As part of our daily existence, we all use some form of active re-direction to various activities of our day routine, work, family, sports, hobbies, social contacts, etc, to divert our mind from pre-occupation with such existential thoughts, that may be discomforting to us. Many of us may have difficulties in accepting the reality of Unknown and Unknowable of our living human experience. And many may use religious and spiritual faiths to cope with these existential thoughts.

Any discussion of existential thoughts must respect different religious faiths, and strives to promote a sense of Unity to human beings around us, as well as to all living creatures, and the non-living matters in the Universe. This kind of discussion should not be on comparative evaluation of different religious practices, pointing out differences, or superiority, rather how one can symbolically identify common themes in all religious practices to avoid conflicting discussion of faith based concepts.

Besides religious perspectives identifying some universal themes that all religious beliefs hold, therapist may also entertain discussion of science based knowledge of astronomy. The Big Bang Theory, the origin of the present known Universe from a Point of Singularity, and formation of galaxies, stars, planets, and how every living and non-living things, can be presented as the manifold expression of the One Creative Force, which Astronomers call the Point of Singularity. This view may be not be that different from the religious held view of One God that created everything, thus highlighting a point of convergence of Scientific Facts with Religious based Faiths , when faiths are interpreted in a symbolic manner to represent that everything was created or came from One Reality, a la God or from the astronomy perspective of Big Bang Theory, everything is a manifestation of One.
When entertaining any discussion of these existential issues, one needs to be very brief, as well as supportive of one’s existing religious or non-religious faiths, drawing some sense of universal underlying unity to all faiths, pointing out the similarity in some ways to known scientific facts.

As one discusses these thoughts, one can all leave behind our pre-occupations with our own individual psychological problems, and experience in the process a collective sense of connection to all human beings, and the Nature around us, and to a larger Universal Force underlying all that we see or experience. In this way, all of us, specifically our clients, have a feeling of empowerment in the sense of being in the same boat with everybody else in the World, and having a sense of Equality with all, without necessarily associating this kind of feeling only with “death.” One may also emphasize the importance of the value of positive redirection to everyday routine activities of daily life as important in coping with the existential thoughts that may often reflect the Unknown and Unknowable to human mind.

Therapists should therefore respect different ways clients and people get some sense of security of comfort from their own individual beliefs and faiths that they have grown up with or have come to accept or believe in, which cannot be subjected to rational discourse, because of the underlying faith based nature of the beliefs, as well as various activities in their daily life that people choose to engage in Through the discussion existential topics, therapist may focus on the issue of choosing activities that promote greater satisfaction to the person, while reducing personal and social distress,

Therapists, thus, should not bypass these existential issues when they are brought up spontaneously in therapeutic encounters between client/s and the therapist, as it could very be the underlying theme in the mind of many psychologically compromised clients, including persons with schizophrenia. It is up to the individual therapists to make oneself comfortable in discussing these existential themes, but they should not consciously or unconsciously neglect these issues in their therapy encounters. The value of active redirection to everyday adaptive behavior routine can be promoted and highlighted through this discussion. stimulating clients mind the value of “practical intelligence” and involvement in the present activity routines of one’s life circumstances, thus making a strong case for need to be involved in the present and to make the best of one’s present life circumstances, not only to reduce personal and social distress, but also to contribute to more adaptive coping with “existential thoughts” that we all experience.

One in this process of discussion can highlight the difference in human search for knowledge, in terms of what is presently unknown but knowable in the future, and what is Unknown and possibly Unknowable due to limitation of the human mind. Many people having persistent psychological problems may have difficulties in differentiating these two domains of investigation of knowledge. Roots of persistent psychological problems may relate to confusion that one may have in relation to
what is Unknown and what may be Unknowable, as they relate to one’s past and future.

Mind Stimulation Therapy, therefore, actively integrates and promotes elements of existential perspective in its model and practice to promote adaptive thinking, feeling, and behavior.

Please note, this is a blog posting by Mohiuddin Ahmed, Mind Stimulation Therapy, 2014. Any unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links can be used provided full and clear credit is given to Mohiuddin Ahmed and Mind Stimulation Therapy with appropriate and specific direction in the original context.

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