The mind-body relationship in psychotherapy: grounded cognition as an explanatory framework
The Attempt of "Intensional" Logic: from the Mind-Body Relationship to the Person-Body Relationship. 3. Epistemological Characteristics of a Dual, Non- Dualistic. The authors have adopted a body-mind-spirit integrated model of intervention to promote . family relation, work and emotions, traditional Chinese medical practi- In James D. Wright (editor-in-chief), International Encyclopedia of the Social. The mind–body problem is a philosophical problem concerning the relationship between Mind–body interaction and mental causation .. His posited relation between mind and body is called Cartesian dualism or substance dualism.
The consequences of this problem are very serious for Descartes, because it undermines his claim to have a clear and distinct understanding of the mind without the body. For humans do have sensations and voluntarily move some of their bodily limbs and, if Gassendi and Elizabeth are correct, this requires a surface and contact. Since the mind must have a surface and a capacity for motion, the mind must also be extended and, therefore, mind and body are not completely different.
Hence, Descartes has not adequately established that mind and body are two really distinct substances. His response to Gassendi is a telling example: These questions presuppose amongst other things an explanation of the union between the soul and the body, which I have not yet dealt with at all. But I will say, for your benefit at least, that the whole problem contained in such questions arises simply from a supposition that is false and cannot in any way be proved, namely that, if the soul and the body are two substances whose nature is different, this prevents them from being able to act on each other AT VII First, Descartes contends that a response to this question presupposes an explanation of the union between the mind or soul and the body.
Second, Descartes claims that the question itself stems from the false presupposition that two substances with completely different natures cannot act on each other. Further examination of these two points will occur in reverse order. The relevant portion of this discussion is when Descartes argues that the less real cannot cause something that is more real, because the less real does not have enough reality to bring about something more real than itself.
This principle applies on the general level of substances and modes. So, on this principle, a mode cannot cause the existence of a substance since modes are less real than finite substances. Similarly, a created, finite substance cannot cause the existence of an infinite substance. But a finite substance can cause the existence of another finite substance or a mode since modes are less real than substances. More will be said about this below. The first presupposition concerns an explanation of how the mind is united with the body.
These texts indicate that Descartes did not maintain that voluntary bodily movements and sensation arise because of the causal interaction of mind and body by contact and motion.
Rather, he maintains a version of the form-matter theory of soul-body union endorsed by some of his scholastic-Aristotelian predecessors and contemporaries.
Although a close analysis of the texts in question cannot be conducted here, a brief summary of how this theory works for Descartes can be provided. Before providing this summary, however, it is important to disclaim that this scholastic-Aristotelian interpretation is a minority position amongst Descartes scholars.
Other philosophers considered the mind-body problem to be insurmountable, thereby denying their real distinction: Indeed, this traditional, mechanistic interpretation of Descartes is so deeply ingrained in the minds of philosophers today, that most do not even bother to argue for it.
However, recall that Descartes rejects substantial forms because of their final causal component. Since the mind is an entirely mental thing, these arguments just do not apply to it. Indeed, as Paul Hoffman noted: Descartes really rejects the attempt to use the human soul as a model for explanations in the entirely physical world.
This makes it possible that Descartes considered the human mind to be the only substantial form. Yet, if the soul is recognized as merely a substantial form, while other such forms consist in the configuration and motion of parts, this very privileged status it has compared with other forms shows that its nature is quite different from theirs AT III Although other passages do not make this claim explicitly, they do imply in some sense that the mind is a substantial form.
This was a point of some controversy amongst the scholastics themselves. While others, maintaining a basically Scotistic position, argued that some other form besides the human soul is the form of the body. Rather it makes a body with the potential for union with the human soul.
The soul then actualizes this potential resulting in a complete human being.
If Descartes did hold a fundamentally scholastic theory of mind-body union, then is it more Thomistic or Scotistic? Since intellect and will are the only faculties of the mind, it does not have the faculty for organizing matter for being a human body.
Although Descartes argues that bodies, in the general sense, are constituted by extension, he also maintains that species of bodies are determined by the configuration and motion of their parts. Recall that substantial forms organize matter for the purpose of being a species of thing. The purpose of a human body endowed with only the form of corporeity is union with the soul.
Hence, the organization of matter into a human body is an effect that is explained by the final cause or purpose of being disposed for union.
Hence, on this account, Descartes gets what he needs, namely, Descartes gets a body properly configured for potential union with the mind, but without recourse to the scholastic notion of substantial forms with their final causal component. Another feature of this basically Scotistic position is that the soul and the body were considered incomplete substances themselves, while their union results in one, complete substance.
Surely Descartes maintains that mind and body are two substances but in what sense, if any, can they be considered incomplete? He argues that a substance may be complete insofar as it is a substance but incomplete insofar as it is referred to some other substance together with which it forms yet some third substance.
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This can be applied to mind and body as follows: This account is repeated in the following excerpt from a letter to Regius dated December This affinity between the two texts indicates that the union of mind and body results in one complete substance or being through itself.
This just means that mind and body are the metaphysical parts mind and body are incomplete substances in this respect that constitute one, whole human being, which is a complete substance in its own right. Hence, a human being is not the result of two substances causally interacting by means of contact and motion, as Gassendi and Elizabeth supposed, but rather they bear a relation of act and potency that results in one, whole and complete substantial human being.
This aversion is accomplished by the fact that modes of voluntary motion and sensations, by extrapolation should be ascribed to a whole human being and not to the mind or the body taken individually. He then goes on to distinguish the notions of mind and body: Then, as regards body in particular, we have only the notion of extension, which entails the notions of shape and motion; and as regards the soul on its own, we have only the notion of thought, which includes the perceptions of the intellect and the inclinations of the will AT III Descartes then discusses the primitive notion of mind-body union: But we also experience within ourselves certain other things, which must not be referred either to the mind alone or to the body alone.
These arises, as will be made clear in the appropriate place, from the close and intimate union of our mind with the body. This list includes, first, appetites like hunger and thirds; secondly, the emotions or passions. These texts indicate that the mind or soul is united with the body so as to give rise to another whole complete substance composed of these two metaphysical parts. And, moreover, this composite substance now has the capacity for having modes of its own, namely, modes of voluntary bodily movement and sensation, which neither the mind nor the body can have individually.
So, voluntary bodily movements are not modes of the body alone caused by the mind, nor are sensations modes of the mind alone caused by the body.
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Rather, both are modes of a whole and complete human being. On this account, it makes no sense to ask how the non-extended mind can come into contact with the body to cause these modes. To ask this would be to get off on the wrong foot entirely, since contact between these two completely diverse substances is not required for these modes to exist.
Rather all that is necessary is for the mind to actualize the potential in a properly disposed human body to form one, whole, human being to whom is attributed modes of voluntary movement and sensation. Although the scholastic-Aristotelian interpretation avoids the traditional causal interaction problem based on the requirements of contact and motion, it does run up against another version of that problem, namely, a problem of formal causation. This is a problem facing any scholastic-Aristotelian theory of mind or soul-body union where the soul is understood to be an immaterial substantial form.
Recall that the immaterial mind or soul as substantial form is suppose to act on a properly disposed human body in order to result in a full-fledged human being. BP has been described as being fundamentally underpinned by an explicit theory of mind—body functioning which assumes a functional unity between body and mind in which there is no separation or hierarchical relationship between the two www. SUMMARY This brief review exposes a lack of consensus, both implicit and explicit, regarding the mind—body relationship across psychotherapeutic approaches.
It is our position that psychotherapeutic research and practice would benefit from an organizing framework for the mind—body relationship, which could be applied across all psychotherapies. Recent research in philosophy Clark, ; Lakoff and Johnson,cognitive science Brooks, ; Chemero, and psychology itself Barsalou, ; Glenberg and Robertson, suggests that this framework should be underpinned by a holistic conceptualization of the mind—body relationship.
Embodied cognition offers a psychological framework underpinned by a holistic conceptualisation of the mind—body relationship. Some of the abovementioned psychotherapies which have implied a holistic mind—body perspective have already started to draw on embodied cognition and related ideas.
For example, Totton has recently highlighted the utility of drawing on embodiment from a social perspective to enhance the practice of body psychotherapy, while Michalak et al.
Before describing the psychological framework of embodied cognition, it is important to briefly examine its philosophical underpinnings which form the foundation for its conceptualisation of a holistic mind—body relationship, from both phenomenological and objective perspectives.
The subject-body can be considered the body experienced from a first-person perspective which acts on the world, whereas the object-body can be considered the body as an object of the world experienced from a third-person perspective. American pragmatism offers an objective, philosophical account of a holistic mind and body in the form of naturalism Johnson, As Horst explicates, there have been various definitions and strands of naturalism. The account we refer to in this section aligns with the Darwinian paradigm and, more specifically with physicalism, emergence, and supervenience Harbecke, ; Montero, ; McLaughlin and Bennett, This form of naturalism is committed to an account in which all things in the world, including body and mind are natural or naturally emergent Horst, ; Aikin, In turn, it posits that all explanation should be causal and reducible to natural explanations and is consequently committed to the study of the person as an object and the natural evolution of all human functions Aikin, ; Johnson, The principle of continuity posits that there is no break in experience between the processes of perceiving, feeling, moving, and thinking; instead they are levels of organic functioning from which higher function emerges.
It describes three levels of organization: The principle explains the progression from the physical level to the level of the mind without introducing new ontological entities, structures, or forces. Dewey argues that new organization is the reason that organisms with minds can do things which psycho-physical entities cannot do, and why psycho-physical entities can do things which physical entities cannot do.
As Aikinp. Thus, phenomenology and naturalism are contrasting, but complementary approaches Aikin, ; Zahavi, Thus, a philosophical integration of these perspectives may be possible Zahavi,but our aim here is to provide a framework for psychotherapeutic research and practice.
Therefore, it is necessary to provide a psychological account which integrates subjective and objective perspectives of a holistic mind—body relationship. We propose that grounded cognition provides such a framework.
Grounded cognition has been comprehensively articulated and critiqued in the literature Barsalou, has a strong empirical foundation e. Thus, each according to their bodily experiences with morels forms different conceptualizations of it. However, these concepts are not determinate: Furthermore, it is important to note that there is nothing stopping Sally, Charles, and Lucy from having the same concept for a morel, it is simply their differing bodily interactions with the morel which has determined their conceptualizations.
Finally, it can be assumed that they have the same visual conceptualization of a morel; they all know one when they see it. However, if Lucy were to have been born blind, she would never be able to obtain the same concept of a morel as Sally and Charles. In sum, grounded cognition implies that cognition is emergent from and inextricably tied to the subjective, lived, experience of the body-in-the-world. Conceiving of the relationship between body and mind from this holistic, psychological perspective can be expected to have a number of important implications for psychotherapy theory and practice.
When the mind—body relationship is conceptualized from a dualist or exclusivist perspective, a tension is created between the phenomenological needs of the patient who is present mind and body and the emphasis on either mind or body according to the theoretical assumptions of the psychotherapy practiced by the therapist.
One example of this is the de-emphasis of the body during the practice of psychotherapies whose underlying theory disembodies the mind. During such therapies e. Second, a psychologically articulated, holistic framework for the mind—body relationship encourages theoretical reflection about this relationship by challenging dualist and exclusivist assumptions inherent in some psychotherapies.
In turn, this helps to clarify some of the points of difference between the psychotherapies described above. An example of this is traditional behavioral therapy and body psychotherapy. Both emphasize the body and conceptualize it as the agent of change and as a consequence, both prioritize the body in therapy. One of the primary differences between the two can be ascertained by reflecting on the mind—body relationship. Traditional behavior therapy is very much exclusivist, dismissing the mind and cognition and emphasizing the body and behavior, both methodologically and theoretically.
Contrastingly, body psychotherapy recognizes cognitions whilst treating them via the body, thus implying a holistic conceptualization of mind and body. Third, a holistic conceptualization of the mind—body relationship has the potential to further de-stigmatize mental illness Thomas, ; Ungar and Knaak, ab.
Ungar and Knaak a suggest that dismissive and blaming attitudes toward mental health issues can be attributed to the absence of an organic explanation for most mental health issues. Thomas suggests that promoting mental illness to non-psychiatric health professionals as an interaction between cognitive, behavioral, emotional, biological, and environmental factors would reduce dualistic thinking around mental health issues and help with de-stigmatization in these settings.
Thus, we propose that the holistic conceptualization of the mind—body relationship presented here will further help with de-stigmatization of mental illness in non-psychiatric settings. Fourth, the clearly articulated, explicit position of a holistic mind—body portrayed by grounded cognition encourages a more reflective approach to the issue in practice.
Theories underlying most current psychotherapies do not explicitly state their position regarding the relationship between mind and body. Consequently, practitioners unreflectively adopt the assumptions inherent in the psychotherapies they utilize.
The clear articulation of a holistic mind—body from both phenomenological and objective perspectives may assist practitioners to reflect on this relationship. The issue for psychotherapy practice is that in using these labels with patients, they automatically divide psychopathologies into arbitrary categories and thus portray dualist or exclusivist agendas. This is but one example of changes which may come of reflecting on the mind—body relationship in practice.
Finally, a new perspective on the mind—body relationship will guide the identification of gaps in existing therapies and consequently promote an expansion of the range of therapies offered to the patient. For example, grounded cognition implies that one way to change cognitions is through the subjective, lived, bodily experience of the individual.37. Mind Body Relationship (hindi) J P Malik
Encouraging practitioners to reflect on a holistic mind—body approach may result in a wider range of therapies they can offer their patients stemming from this idea. Further development of these ideas may also result in the creation of new and innovative therapeutic methods to augment those already in existence. By reviewing how mind and body are traditionally understood in major psychotherapies, we have attempted to underscore some of the tensions in this area. By introducing and outlining grounded cognition as a holistic psychological approach consistent with both radically subjectivist Merleau-Ponty and objectivist Dewey philosophical approaches, we hope to have proposed a new way forward for theorists and practitioners of psychotherapy.
This new way forward throws light on the relationship between existing psychotherapies, the relationship between theory and practice, and highlights opportunities for new approaches to psychotherapy.
Conflict of Interest Statement The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.
Indeed, mental causation often figures explicitly in formulations of the mind—body problem. Some philosophers insist that the very notion of psychological explanation turns on the intelligibility of mental causation. If your mind and its states, such as your beliefs and desires, were causally isolated from your bodily behavior, then what goes on in your mind could not explain what you do. If psychological explanation goes, so do the closely related notions of agency and moral responsibility.
Clearly, a good deal rides on a satisfactory solution to the problem of mental causation [and] there is more than one way in which puzzles about the mind's "causal relevance" to behavior and to the physical world more generally can arise. According to Descartes, minds and bodies are distinct kinds of "substance". Bodies, he held, are spatially extended substances, incapable of feeling or thought; minds, in contrast, are unextended, thinking, feeling substances.
If minds and bodies are radically different kinds of substance, however, it is not easy to see how they "could" causally interact. Princess Elizabeth of Bohemia puts it forcefully to him in a letter: For the determination of movement seems always to come about from the moving body's being propelled—to depend on the kind of impulse it gets from what sets it in motion, or again, on the nature and shape of this latter thing's surface. Now the first two conditions involve contact, and the third involves that the impelling thing has extension; but you utterly exclude extension from your notion of soul, and contact seems to me incompatible with a thing's being immaterial Elizabeth is expressing the prevailing mechanistic view as to how causation of bodies works.
Causal relations countenanced by contemporary physics can take several forms, not all of which are of the push—pull variety. Freemansuggests that explaining mind—body interaction in terms of "circular causation" is more relevant than linear causation.
Many suggest that neuroscience will ultimately explain consciousness: