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"An Introduction to Integral Psychology"

Last post 04-06-2007, 7:21 AM by sacajowea. 10 replies.
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  •  03-08-2007, 11:09 AM 20274

    "An Introduction to Integral Psychology"

    By Elliott Ingersoll
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  •  03-18-2007, 5:24 AM 20813 in reply to 20274

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    Re: "An Introduction to Integral Psychology"

    Hi Folks,

    I'd love any feedback on this introductory paper as psychology is notoriously one of the more disorganzied and parochial of academic disciplines.

    Thanks for considering this request

    Blessings

    Elliott

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  •  03-18-2007, 10:23 AM 20820 in reply to 20813

    Re: "An Introduction to Integral Psychology"

    Hi Elliott! LOL about psychology -- is there hope for us? With integral approach, perhaps! Haven't read this article yet...just read towards an integral feminism because presenting on feminist therapy on Tuesday. But great to see AQAL up and running, and making use of forum technology as well! Cool. Of course, it may just be you and I talking...:) Durwin
    Durwin Foster, M.A.
    Doctoral Student, Counselling Psychology Program
    University of British Columbia
    Vancouver, Canada
    durwinfoster@gmail.com
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  •  03-18-2007, 1:04 PM 20832 in reply to 20813

    Re: "An Introduction to Integral Psychology"


    hi elliott,

    i'm a student of aqal and interested in integral psychology, but not a psychologist. my question for you, in this respect, is what audience are you attempting to reach? the terminology you employ suggests that it might be one of the many factions of psychology you allude to in your article. i personally would be in favor of using aqal language as much as possible, explaining terms and concepts that conventional psychologists might not be familiar with as you introduce them.

    i would be glad to elaborate, if this interests you,

    ralph


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  •  03-21-2007, 1:06 AM 20906 in reply to 20813

    Re: "An Introduction to Integral Psychology"


    hi elliott,

    i believe we both want a more integral psychology, and ken wilber's integral vision provides a basis for how we (not only the two of us, of course) can work together towards that end: by sharing our perspectives and attempting to integrate them into ever larger and more comprehensive perspectives.

    i've been moved to respond to your invitation for this thread because, even though i'm not a psychologist, i believe i can add to the perspective presented in your article for the second issue of aqal journal. succeeding in this depends, of course, on my understanding of the perspective you took there. of necessity, then, i will, in effect, be asking about your perspective at the same time i'm presenting my own.

    i'm struck first of all by the language you use, which is partly integral, but also includes terminology i can only guess comes from the field of psychology in which you practice. while it would certainly make sense to address fellow practitioners from your special field in this way, i would argue that in an aqal journal article it is better to use integral terminology as explained in the aqal glossary towards the beginning of issue 1, even to the extent of suggesting the problems inherent in a terminology that is less than integral.

    that, at least, is my perspective. i would like to go through your article from this perspective so that you and others can see in concrete terms what i have in mind, and then decide for yourselves if there is anything here worth adding to your perspective:

    so, beginning with fig. 1, i would eliminate the phrase 'Emphasizes material about' from the descriptions of each of the quadrants. this only introduces an additional perspective, a 3rd person, objective, distancing one that removes us from the direct experience of the native perspectives of the four quadrants. it might help psychologists who emphasize the RQs and are uncomfortable with the LQs, but only into deluding themselves that they are looking at all quadrants, when in fact they are only looking at 'its' of the four quadrants: material. this is not meant to belittle objectivity, but to rescue subjectivity from being completely objectivized.

    also, it is not individuals who must fit into the systems of the LR, but their interactions, their communications. as ken wilber emphasizes, we are not part of some monstrous leviathan like the cells of our body are.

    the aim of ip (integral psychology), as i understand it, is to provide a framework (aqal) into which the myriad, fragmented factions of psychology can be integrated. i would object to the terms 'unify' and 'parochial' here. 'unify' lacks the connotation of transformation that 'integrate' has, as in whiteheads 'the many bacome one, and are increased by one'. 'unify' connotes only the first part of transformation: partness is achieved, but not a new, higher wholeness. 'parochial' fails, it seems to me, to indicate the nature of what has occurred to psychology as a whole. 'fragmented' and 'dissociated', for example, are more apt, i feel.

    coming as all of this does in the first two pages, i believe it undermines what would otherwise be a good introduction to integral psychology in the rest of the article.

    that's my perspective, anyway,

    ralph




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  •  03-21-2007, 8:07 AM 20913 in reply to 20274

    Re: "An Introduction to Integral Psychology"

    Hi, Elliott and all,

    I'm SO glad to find this forum starting! 

    I appreciate what you wrote at the start, about I-Psych. being pretty piecemeal, but I know that there's already much richness to work with.

    I wonder if you, Elliott, might start us off with some ideas to think about  in terms of a general definition, e.g.,:

    1.  I-Psych Meta-model:

    How do you see Integral Psychology as  meta-model which can make room for and organize/all other components of peer-reviewed theory and practice in psychology?  In addition to placing things in quadrants, how might all these parts look next to each other? (E.g., how would it benefit a neuropsychologist to know about UL Zone 2 info?, and the question on everybody's tongue Whisper [:-*]:
    how do the levels of the lines fit together?)  We don't have definite answers to all this, but maybe I'm asking what the questions even are.

    2.  I-Psych Model

    In the broadest possible sense, what are I-Psych's unique contributions?  Here are some initial topics that come to my mind:  I-Psych separate from transpersonal psych, higher levels of development, the more spiritual definition of ego or self (as bubble in space),  newer definitions of pathology (vertical and horizontal),  what research is being done on  psychograph development and whether interested  professionals could join in developing this topic,  the importance of the PTF,  subtle body /consciousness, etc. etc.

    Best,
    Joanne

     




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  •  03-21-2007, 8:12 AM 20914 in reply to 20913

    Re: "An Introduction to Integral Psychology"

    Oops, I asked you to start us off and then started us off.  Huh? [:^)]

    I meant to invite your comments, Elliott, plus anything else.

    But I have so many questions!

    Best,
    Joanne
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  •  03-24-2007, 2:49 PM 21038 in reply to 20913

    Re: "An Introduction to Integral Psychology"

    sacajowea:
    and the question on everybody's tongue Whisper [:-*]:
    how do the levels of the lines fit together?) 


    Perhaps something like this: Lines are quadrants!

    Bicycle!
    -Turtle
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  •  03-29-2007, 7:08 PM 21210 in reply to 20906

    Re: "An Introduction to Integral Psychology"

    Hi Ralph,

    I want to start by thanking you for this invitation to dialogue about terms. It is important that we understand our terms, even if we don't agree on all of the meanings, before moving forward. I am also aware of the gentle hand of action and thought in the phrase "Action without thought is blind, and thought without action is impotent".

    In a sense, this is the line we all walk when it comes to creating an Integral community even as we begin to apply Integral Theory.

    As for specifics, I must say that the terms "fragmented" and "dissociated" also have their faults in terms of describing the history of psychology and psychotherapy.

    Unlike other disciplines, psychology and its applied form, psychotherapy, emerged to fill the vacuum that was forming from an academic landscape heading directly into flatland.

    "Psyche" = spirit
    "Logos" = reckoning

    A reckoning of the spirit in the wake of the emerging flatland is what this utterly novel field represented. As such, it was never whole. Whereas modernity began whole and quickly began dissociating in the philosophical and political climate of the Western mind, psychology was a reaction to that original fragmentation. Since it did not even have the chance to begin "whole", it is unfair to say that it devolved into fragmentation or dissociation.

    Rather, psychology is like the many medical reactions that one might have as a doctor with a patient expressing a myriad of symptoms that seem totally unrelated. A dietician would locate the under- and over-nourished aspects of the patient's diet. A surgeon would locate areas to be excised or sewn together. A neurologist would test for neurotransmitter concentrations and make suggestions based on amplifying or reducing those concentrations.

    But there was never such a thing as a psychologist or psychotherapist who could "see" all of these things at once. That is what is emerging now.

    I am reminded of the movie "Doc Hollywood," where Michael J. Fox's character wants to perform open heart surgery on an 11 year old boy because he is looking only at the symptoms, and not at the context. The wily old doctor hands the boy a coke and reprimands doc hollywood for suggesting open heart surgery for a case of indigestion.

    That's what the possible benefits of Integral Psychology are, particularly for folks whose symptoms lie totally within the blindspots of the DSM-IV, the manual by which therapists must abide in all matters of legality and compensation.

    So any deconstruction of terms must also, like the field itself, be placed in context. Psychology started out as parochial parts, which are ONLY NOW being sewn together in an AQAL spirit of reckoning.

    Also is the good question of just how much lexicon we should use. I definitely would like to err on the side of too much lexicon, because we want to make sure that each field retains its integrity. We can always put things into AQAL-specific terms in other venues (e.g., these forums!!, also Integral Naked, and other, more popular outlets).

    For my part, I can't wait for Psychology to unify - of course it will go through periods of unification and fragmentation. But if that can happen under an AQAL umbrella, this natural process will be reduced in intensity and less violent, for it will be a tool for revelation rather than a mere defiance of tradition.

    Ralph, thank you again for posing these thoughts on language. Always one of my favorites.

    warmest
    david z.
    Gregarious Curmudgeon
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  •  03-31-2007, 11:52 AM 21318 in reply to 21210

    Re: "An Introduction to Integral Psychology"


    hi david,

    i'm really glad to see your post here and another on an integral science thread. after all, holoarchy doesn't mean simply hierarchy but heterarchy as well. ken, again, is the paradigmatical exemplar, if you'll allow me to butcher correct terminology.

    having given my perspective, it's best i believe to see how your and elliott's perspectives can be added--to see in them what was missing in my own perspective.

    i appreciate your admonition to handle the dialectical duality of thought and action gently, as well as that from a concall a few months ago to hold aqal lightly--two things i definitely want to and need to work on. i've said this before: i look on myself as a student of the Pandit, but that certainly doesn't exclude learning from others as well.

    hoping to hear more from you, as well as other i-i staff,

    ralph

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  •  04-06-2007, 7:21 AM 21468 in reply to 21038

    Re: "An Introduction to Integral Psychology"

    Very cool, Turt.  Thanks for sharing.  I too have juxtaposed for fun and info.  I think sometimes of levels as types.  I think others have done that too.  I realize that loses some of Ken's definitions, but IMO, there's so much research still needed on all this.

    Happy biking.
    Sac
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