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For a better life
Natural Psychology Foundation
Cure Instead of Treatment
The Manual for Self-Curing Neurosis
by Dr. Kenneth Isaacs
The simple process that creates neurosis.
Over thousands of years people have made trouble for themselves by failing to realize that emotions are healthy functions that are not only useful information but are absolutely vital guidance for our adaptation to survival. Opposing emotions (or any other feelings) places a limitation on knowledge of what is going on in and around us.
Failure to distinguish between normal and pathological processes in thought or feeling create problems. Thought process informs us of perception of what exists or is happening.. Emotion process informs us of perception of the meaning and meaningfulness of what is sensed in and around us. The feeling process tells us meaning of what occurs in and around us.
Failure to distinguish healthy emotion function from pathological opposition emotion process leads to self-protective actions against all emotion responses. Those actions yield neurosis!
Although none of the currently dominant treatment systems are able to cure neuroses, more modern valid scientific information is available to you free. Any persons with open-minded self-observation of their mental processes can disassemble the neurosis and permanently cure themselves. Thousands have done so. Cure is available to you!
Why not have cure instead of treatment?
There is a long history of attempts to deal with the great variety of psychoneurotic problems. That history goes back hundreds of centuries. Treatments were inadequate for curing neuroses because theories and methods were irrelevant to the reality of the actual cause and process of such disorders. Universities and training centers sincerely continue the well intentioned tradition of teaching students ineffectual theory and meandrous method irrelevant to the actuality of the illness processes. Breakthrough knowledge brings a valid straightforward explanation of a large category of such illnesses. That knowledge has been available for decades but, shunted aside by practitioner peer reviewers. Like many fundamental truths, it is simple enough to absorb and apply to themselves for a rapid self-cure. Only a few thousand of the millions needing freedom from such illness have encountered and used this wisdom, so far.
Those disorders have been serious interferences to the lives of multitudes throughout millennia. The illnesses continue to interfere and incapacitate lives of millions of people currently suffering such troubles. Although these are severe disturbances, such illnesses are not due to fundamental defects in the person, not weaknesses, not chemical imbalances, not faulty judgment, nor the result of unfortunate conditioning. The healthy minds of those with such illness has usually made cure swift.
There is no longer any good reason for anyone in the world to have a neurosis! These disorders can continue to blight humanity only until people understand and use some simple facts. Usually, self-cure is a rapid result of using the information available in this brief writing. Cure is hastened by open minds but delayed by closed minds that result from the foolishly protective cynicism of technician practitioners that reject new ideas without considering them.
The basis of the illness is in age old erroneous common wisdom that appears to have distorted the beliefs of humans over thousands of years. That almost universally held false ancient belief that emotions and their processes are an unfortunate blight on humans, survives despite the welcoming pleasure in experiencing some emotions. The misunderstanding has led to a common (near universal) uneasiness with feelings. That unease in turn has yielded the tendency to fight against having emotion experience. I have termed that unfortunate tendency to unease as "affect phobia."
Possibly this common mistaken belief originated in the natural, undifferentiated childhood view that emotions and actions exist together as a unified event. In order to avoid actions that could create risk of retaliation, anyone with the supposition that feelings and thoughts are a unity, naturally considers it wise to subdue emotions. That misunderstanding has made millions of people wary of having some emotion experiences. They go on guard against emotions, attempting not to feel certain feelings. That brings tension and hampers much.
We are fortunate to have our autonomous perceptual system continuously reporting and defining whatever we sense occurring in or around us. Seeing, hearing, and feeling participate in that wonderfully helpful mental function keeping us aware. By recognizing that , we can understand that any attempt not to feel some unwanted emotion or trying to modulate its intensity is comparable to futile attempts not to see a color or trying to modulate its intensity. Similarly it is comparable to trying to change what we hear. But such attempts applied to quelling independent feeling processes seems to have happened frequently in every person on earth over dozens of centuries. It seems to have occurred in everyone. That fighting against one’s own feelings (reports of something perceived) is what has created the blight of neurosis and beyond that, in many smaller ways, has caused an amazing amount of other generally accepted hampering of lives of everyone.
What I discovered in each person who developed a neurosis (such as panic, phobia, conversions, reactive depression, fugue state, multiple personality, PTSD, dissociation, and many other troubles) was that it came about following discomfort with some particular emotion unwanted by the person. It was not simply that those persons did not want to experience that emotion but that they had an emotion reaction opposing that particular emotion. With the consequence of an emotion response against an emotion response became a sequence of using one emotion to fight against another emotion with increasing intensity (potentiation) that process would evolve into a self-sustaining emotion storm. — Emotions fighting emotions. Such storms could last a few minutes (as was usual with panic episodes that often are a prelude to a neurosis) but could become a steady-state with storms continuing and disabling people for very long periods of time.
Thus the storm process started with the attitude from false ancient common wisdom leading to affect phobia yielding potentiated emotion that by escalating became an emotion storm. By knowing this, hundreds of people, perhaps thousands by now have been able to observe within, to focus on their own emotions, and to free themselves of that destructive common wisdom. Thus, by recognizing the uses of emotion and being free of the affect phobia, the consistent result (in nearly 100% of those who seriously attempted to apply this knowledge to themselves) has been a disassembling of potentiation. They gained permanent freedom from that terrible but simple problem of neurosis.
Any who have been in any form of treatment for any emotion storm disorder for more than a month without achieving cure could find it worthwhile to think through this description, observe within themselves and apply that knowledge. There are many details one can learn, but the essence of the issues resides in these few paragraphs. Those who wish for or need more detailed descriptions can find "Two Little Books: Cure at last" available as an e-book for one dollar. There it has the advantage of translations to other languages and no longer will bog down my website as an over lengthy essay. Those many who asked for more writings about the theory will find that it is already written in greater detail and elaboration in my book "Uses of Emotion: Natures vital gift" second edition (300 pages) available in paperback at $15.00 plus shipping and handling. I do not plan to write details for the web site if those details are already available in publications because I want to spend my time writing about new ideas making psychology effective in other ways.
The following is quoted from "Two Little Books: Cure at last"
"We know enough about neuroses to really cure those"
Following is a list of rather simple important facts to know and absorb as a frame of reference—use this knowledge base in order to understand the dynamics of emotions you find within you. The only difficulty that is likely to arise is dissonance with long existing false common wisdom learned in childhood by all of us. The natural function of thoughts and feelings (as with other perceptual functions) is to provide a continuous flow of information about what is going on in and around us. Those feelings are important bits of neutral information (always good to have rather than harmful) guiding us through our days. When this natural use of emotion becomes an accepted part of our knowledge base our lives become better.
What is illness?
Start to know what the illnesses are not:
We start to know what emotions are and do:
Bits and pieces to know:
An example of the mental activity involved in steps of emotion potentiating into an emotion storm may be helpful for understanding and using the value of these discoveries. Achieving cure results from applying the knowledge of cause, and mental process of illness. The problems are created by acceptance of the false common wisdom declaring that some or all emotions are of little use. In effect that erroneous wisdom is a blight on the human race. It interferes with thought and judgment and causes problems within and between people.
That common belief has given rise to the unneeded task of controlling, managing, confronting, or suppressing emotion. However, it is such effort (effort to control emotions) that is the cause of the large variety of self inflicted troubles termed neurosis. Any attempt to manage emotions fails because all feelings are endowed as an autonomous rapid sequence in order to serve their function of reporting whatever is sensed going on in or around us.
In attempts to manage feelings people try to accomplish either of the following two measures: (One) Suppress awareness of feelings. (Two) Substitute a more desirable emotion for the unwanted feeling. We can make ourselves unaware of a feeling by repressing the emotion. In that way we sometimes put ourselves in danger by loss of vital information about what a situation means to us. By persisting in attempts to substitute a more pleasing emotion we may produce a sequence of feelings with each opposing a proceeding feeling. The results of that is very disruptive.
The process of the sequence of a rapid series of emotion response to emotion response can produce potentiation (a situation in which the sum of the intensities of the individual emotions is surpassed by the intensity of those emotions working together). In that situation the healthy collaboration of thought and feeling to produce judgment is overthrown and the powerful storm of emotion reduces the participation of thought. It is in that circumstance, the chaos developed by a self-sustaining emotion storm distorts understanding and any of the poor solutions that we call neurosis is selected. Thus a storm of emotion can create serious trouble. It is the false wisdom and misuse of emotion that might be considered a blight (a thing that spoils or damages something "her remorse could be a blight on that happiness"). The healthy function of any emotion is always of value, never a blight. Reaction against it is a blight.
For example, a woman talking with me at a garden party reacted to a bird landing on a tree branch a couple feet from where we were standing. I was startled by her reaction of twirling about, moaning, moving her hands about her head, and finally saying, “Help me!” I guided her away from the area and asked her what was this about. She had no memory of when her panic episodes had started. Now in her later middle age it had been an entire lifetime of unnecessary caution about birds. That caution had not limited her life to a great extent but as with all cautions it consumed a distracting constant bit of her attention-a continuous tension damaging her. It is important to notice that the presence of the bird was a trigger to an episode, not the cause of the episode. The frightened dancing about was not the process of the disorder but merely a chosen symptom manifestation. Over the years she had been in a few kinds of treatment without success. After reading some of my writings she made herself free of the problem without any therapy. The process of potentiation is crucial in such disorders. The sequences are related to the individual and may seem strange to others. The sequences of feeling opposing feeling follows no standard—they are simply feeling reactions to feeling reactions.
A young woman entered her kitchen each morning with apprehension about recurring infestations of cockroaches (for her that was the trigger event). With some guidance she was able to observe within herself and recognize the sequence of feelings potentiating — to a phobic state of helplessness If she found one bug, her squeamish apprehension turned to fear and then turned fear to emotion storm-(the mental process of the disorder). In phobic terror she would flee the room to have her husband spray and remove the bugs. When she could notice the sequence she was able to disassemble that sequencing and accept that she did not like to touch the bugs. After that she became able to spray, or pick up dead bugs, say to herself, “Well, it’s dead.” and discard it in the rubbish.
Note to readers: I hope readers will find these interesting and helpful. The web site will continue to offer sufficient free information for everyone to cure their own neuroses and better their lives. I want to spend my time writing about new ideas. Those who wish to study why this new phase of psychology works, and why none of previous theories and methods have worked, will find that information in my published writings. Those wanting more details may readily find such in Two Little Books: cure at last(an e-book for $1.00) and more in Uses of Emotion: Nature’s vital gift (priced at $15.00). Those publications have been priced to sell at approximately the cost of making them available..
It is heartening that a few thousand readers have spread the word to help others. They each have learned that they can free themselves from some psychological trouble. They each have learned that they can raise their children to be invulnerable to neuroses. I am especially grateful for those comments detailing specific ways people have been helped and those puzzled by my writings who offer questions. Regrettably, I am not able to respond individually to comments, although I will continue to read all.
potentiation. [pōten′shē·ā′shən] Etymology: L, potent an action in which the effect of two emotions experienced simultaneously is greater than the sum of the effects of each emotion separately.