AHMEDABAD: Devices such as mobile phones and tablets were primarily a means of communication — connecting individuals — but they has alienated users and it isn't uncommon to see a couple on a date at a restaurant, engrossed in conversations, but on their own screens. This phenomenon has created new challenges for psychologists the world over.
City-based Antarnad Foundation, a not-for-profit organization, organized a three-day seminar called 'The Lover, The Exorcist and The Critic' by US-based psychoanalyst Alan Karbelnig, which began on Friday. Over 60 psychologists and psychoanalysts from across the country have participated in the seminar.
Bindi Doshi, administrator for the foundation, said it was their endeavour to get an international expert to speak on issues such as developmental psychology, relationships and psychology's connection to other disciplines in the Indian context. "Even today, there is a taboo attached to the concept of psychotherapy. Fortunately, the attitude is changing but we still need awareness on the issue especially in context of current lifestyle," she said.
"We live in what experts call a post-humanist era. It has become increasingly difficult for the younger generation to have intimate relationships. We have seen news such as a Japanese youth marrying a humanoid. The void manifests in acts such as campus shootings that we have observed in the US. Our ambitions and stress also lead us to psychological issues — a trend now also rampant in developing nations," said Karbelnig.
He said the seminar is primarily to provide a unified clinical psychology model. "At the moment, a number of analytic theories are prevalent but when we see it in practice, there are a number of similarities and this is what I wanted to discuss with my Indian counterparts by sharing case studies," he said.
Talking about the title, Karbelnig said that every psychologist performs these three roles. "The person has to be come lover - understanding and accepting the patient. Exorcist is a metaphor for the projections the person might have on the therapist. Lastly, as a critic, therapist has to provide his/her input and analysis to the person. I believe that all the therapists - irrespective of the psychoanalytical theory or model they follow, perform the same tasks," he said.
When questioned whether the scientific breakthrough in the field of medicine and neuroscience has any impact on the understanding of psyche, Karbelnig said that it surely has helped the discipline. "But I believe that there is fundamental difference between the subjects. While neuro-physiology can talk about the process of memory in human beings, it cannot talk about 'a memory,' a specific experience and its impact. It is where the role of psychologists come," he said.