The mind-body relationship in psychotherapy: grounded cognition as an explanatory framework
Mind–body dualism, in philosophy, any theory that mind and body are distinct kinds of The modern problem of the relationship of mind to body stems from the thought of Learn More in these related Britannica articles. The mind-body problem is the problem: what is the relationship the relationship between these two sets of properties. mind-brain identity theory and the computational theory of mind are. When the mind–body relationship is conceptualized from a dualist or exclusivist perspective, a tension is and help with de-stigmatization in these settings.
But this leads to a substantial problem for Cartesian dualism: How can an immaterial mind cause anything in a material body, and vice versa? This has often been called the "problem of interactionism.
In his letter to Elisabeth of Bohemia, Princess Palatinehe suggested that spirits interacted with the body through the pineal glanda small gland in the centre of the brainbetween the two hemispheres. However, this explanation was not satisfactory: Because Descartes' was such a difficult theory to defend, some of his disciples, such as Arnold Geulincx and Nicholas Malebrancheproposed a different explanation: That all mind—body interactions required the direct intervention of God.
According to these philosophers, the appropriate states of mind and body were only the occasions for such intervention, not real causes. These occasionalists maintained the strong thesis that all causation was directly dependent on God, instead of holding that all causation was natural except for that between mind and body. Naturalistic dualism comes from Australian philosopher, David Chalmers born who argues there is an explanatory gap between objective and subjective experience that cannot be bridged by reductionism because consciousness is, at least, logically autonomous of the physical properties upon which it supervenes.
According to Chalmers, a naturalistic account of property dualism requires a new fundamental category of properties described by new laws of supervenience ; the challenge being analogous to that of understanding electricity based on the mechanistic and Newtonian models of materialism prior to Maxwell's equations.
A similar defense comes from Australian philosopher Frank Jackson born who revived the theory of epiphenomenalism which argues that mental states do not play a role in physical states. Jackson argues that there are two kinds of dualism. The first is substance dualism that assumes there is second, non-corporeal form of reality. In this form, body and soul are two different substances. The second form is property dualism that says that body and soul are different properties of the same body.
We can know everything, for example, about a bat's facility for echolocation, but we will never know how the bat experiences that phenomenon.
Arguments for dualism[ edit ] Another one of Descartes' illustrations. The fire displaces the skin, which pulls a tiny thread, which opens a pore in the ventricle F allowing the "animal spirit" to flow through a hollow tube, which inflates the muscle of the leg, causing the foot to withdraw.
The subjective argument[ edit ] An important fact is that minds perceive intramental states differently from sensory phenomena,  and this cognitive difference results in mental and physical phenomena having seemingly disparate properties. The subjective argument holds that these properties are irreconcilable under a physical mind. Mental events have a certain subjective quality to them, whereas physical seem not to.
So, for example, one may ask what a burned finger feels like, or what the blueness of the sky looks like, or what nice music sounds like. There is something that it's like to feel pain, to see a familiar shade of blue, and so on. There are qualia involved in these mental events.
And the claim is that qualia cannot be reduced to anything physical. Nagel argued that even if we knew everything there was to know from a third-person, scientific perspective about a bat's sonar system, we still wouldn't know what it is like to be a bat.
However, others argue that qualia are consequent of the same neurological processes that engender the bat's mind, and will be fully understood as the science develops. In this thought experimentknown as Mary's roomhe asks us to consider a neuroscientist, Mary, who was born, and has lived all of her life, in a black and white room with a black and white television and computer monitor where she collects all the scientific data she possibly can on the nature of colours.
Jackson asserts that as soon as Mary leaves the room, she will come to have new knowledge which she did not possess before: Although Mary knows everything there is to know about colours from an objective, third-person perspective, she has never known, according to Jackson, what it was like to see red, orange, or green.
If Mary really learns something new, it must be knowledge of something non-physical, since she already knew everything about the physical aspects of colour. David Lewis ' response to this argument, now known as the ability argument, is that what Mary really came to know was simply the ability to recognize and identify color sensations to which she had previously not been exposed.
The zombie argument[ edit ] Main article: Philosophical zombie The zombie argument is based on a thought experiment proposed by David Chalmers. Chalmers' argument is that it seems plausible that such a being could exist because all that is needed is that all and only the things that the physical sciences describe and observe about a human being must be true of the zombie. None of the concepts involved in these sciences make reference to consciousness or other mental phenomena, and any physical entity can be described scientifically via physics whether it is conscious or not.
The mere logical possibility of a p-zombie demonstrates that consciousness is a natural phenomenon beyond the current unsatisfactory explanations. Chalmers states that one probably could not build a living p-zombie because living things seem to require a level of consciousness. Hence Chalmers half-joking calls for the need to build a "consciousness meter" to ascertain if any given entity, human or robot, is conscious or not. In particular, nothing proves that an entity e.
It is argued that under physicalismone must either believe that anyone including oneself might be a zombie, or that no one can be a zombie—following from the assertion that one's own conviction about being or not being a zombie is a product of the physical world and is therefore no different from anyone else's.
Special sciences argument[ edit ] Robinson argues that, if predicate dualism is correct, then there are "special sciences" that are irreducible to physics. These allegedly irreducible subjects, which contain irreducible predicates, differ from hard sciences in that they are interest-relative. Here, interest-relative fields depend on the existence of minds that can have interested perspectives. Physics is the general analysis of natureconducted in order to understand how the universe behaves.
On the other hand, the study of meteorological weather patterns or human behavior is only of interest to humans themselves. The point is that having a perspective on the world is a psychological state. Therefore, the special sciences presuppose the existence of minds which can have these states. If one is to avoid ontological dualism, then the mind that has a perspective must be part of the physical reality to which it applies its perspective.
If this is the case, then in order to perceive the physical world as psychological, the mind must have a perspective on the physical. This, in turn, presupposes the existence of mind. In fact, it is common in science to presuppose a complex system;  while fields such as chemistry biology or geology  could be verbosely expressed in terms of quantum field theoryit is convenient to use levels of abstraction like moleculescellsor the mantle.
It is often difficult to decompose these levels without heavy analysis  and computation. This printer could have been made of straw. This printer could have been made of some other kind of plastics and vacuum-tube transistors. Imagine the case of a person, Frederick, who has a counterpart born from the same egg and a slightly genetically modified sperm. Imagine a series of counterfactual cases corresponding to the examples applied to the printer.
Somewhere along the way, one is no longer sure about the identity of Frederick.
In this latter case, it has been claimed, overlap of constitution cannot be applied to the identity of mind. As Madell puts it: Any present state of consciousness that I can imagine either is or is not mine. There is no question of degree here. Argument from reason[ edit ] Main article: Argument from reason Philosophers and scientists such as Victor ReppertWilliam Haskerand Alvin Plantinga have developed an argument for dualism dubbed the "argument from reason".
Lewis with first bringing the argument to light in his book Miracles ; Lewis called the argument "The Cardinal Difficulty of Naturalism", which was the title of chapter three of Miracles. However, knowledge is apprehended by reasoning from ground to consequent. Therefore, if naturalism were true, there would be no way of knowing it or anything elseexcept by a fluke. To summarize the argument in the book, Lewis quotes J. Haldanewho appeals to a similar line of reasoning: If minds are wholly dependent on brains, and brains on biochemistry, and biochemistry in the long run on the meaningless flux of the atoms, I cannot understand how the thought of those minds should have any more significance than the sound of the wind in the trees.
One argument against Dualism is with regard to causal interaction.
Mind Body Debate | Simply Psychology
If consciousness the mind can exist independently of physical reality the brainone must explain how physical memories are created concerning consciousness. Dualism must therefore explain how consciousness affects physical reality. It is difficult to articulate the relationship between mind and body implied by mindfulness-based psychotherapies due to two reasons. These questions illustrate some of the issues which arise when dualistic thinking is reflected upon carefully.
In practice, BP primarily works on releasing and re-shaping somatic memories in order to release associated psychological constraints Totton, The practice of BP implies a very close relationship between body and mind, to the point that they are seemingly undifferentiated during therapy. 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.
Mind Body Debate
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.
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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.
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. Thinking can therefore be said to make things happen, "mind moves matter". Behaviorists believe that psychology should only be concerned with "observable actions", namely stimulus and response.
They believe that thought processes such as the mind cannot be studied scientifically and objectively and should therefore be ignored. Radical behaviorists believe that the mind does not even exist. The biologists who argue that the mind does not exist because there is no physical structure called the mind also follow this approach. Biologists argue that the brain will ultimately be found to be the mind. The brain with its structures, cells and neural connections will with scientific research eventually identify the mind.
Since both behaviorists and biologists believe that only one type of reality exists, those that we can see, feel and touch; there approach is known as monism.
Monism is the belief that ultimately the mind and the brain are the same thing. The behaviorist and biological approaches believe in materialism monism. However biologists and behaviorists cannot account for the phenomenon hypnosis. Hilgard and Orne have studied this.
They placed participants in a hypnotic trance and through unconscious hypnotic suggestion told the participants they would be touched with a "red hot" piece of metal when they were actually touched with a pencil.
The participants in a deep trance had a skin reaction water blisters just as if they had been touched with burning metal. Similar results have been found on patients given hypnosis to control pain.
This contradicts the monism approach, as the body should not react to unconscious suggestions in this way. This study supports the idea of dualism, the view that the mind and body function separately. In the same way humanists like Carl Rogers would also dispute materialism monism.