Can the psyche be treated without considering the spirit?

Philadelphia Inquirer | 08/10/2003 | :

“Evoking the Greek word psyche, which means ‘life, spirit, soul, self,’ he writes, ‘etymologically, culturally, and ethically, psychiatry means ‘healing the soul.’… That can never be answered simply by prescribing an alteration in brain chemistry.’

Frattaroli defines the soul not so much in Judeo-Christian terms but by combining Freud’s ideas with insights from Plato and Rene Descartes.

For him, the soul is ‘the experiencing self’ or the ‘seeing I’ – it’s the self-awareness always present in the background when we have specific thoughts and feelings. He describes it as a dynamic force that ‘integrates processes happening at four levels of experience: body, brain, mind, and spirit.'”

An interesting newspaper article – partly because Tirdad Derakhshani, the author refers to a book I am now interested in by Frattaroli.

Did some more surfing:

An interview with Elio Frattaroli Re-Introducing the Soul I like what he says here, it is a well put case, much in the way I think of the question of medication and psychotherapy, a quote follows:

The Psychotherapeutic Model is based on the idea that it is through inner conflict that we grow. Even though inner conflict leads to painful emotions and to disruptions in social functioning, which can look and feel like illnesses, it also offers an opportunity for growth. Of course the ideal is to have both models in mind. You can’t have just a growth philosophy that ignores the need for stability but you can have a stability philosophy that ignores the need for growth; however it is very limited. As I understand and practice it, the Psychotherapeutic Model takes both models into account.

I am very much in favor of using medications in certain situations. Medication can be necessary and helpful as long as it is used within the larger context that respects not only the chemical and stability aspects of illness but also the emotional-existential aspects and the need for growth.

He has a book on the subject:

Here is what one reviewer says of it:

A Wonderful Companion to the Psychoanalytic Process, May 27, 2003
**** Reviewer: John from Miami , FL United States
I had been immersed in the psychoanalytic process for over three years when I came across this book. Having experienced, first hand, the soulful aspects of analysis, both pleasant and painful, I connected instantly to Dr. Frattaroli’s accounts of his work with patients. I am convinced that the only sane and solid path to emotional well being is the long, introspective one described so eloquently in this book. If you have ever considered beginning psychoanalysis (or you are simply interested in learning more about what it means to be fully human) then I strongly recommend that you read this book.


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