Psychology As Storytelling Essay

1987 Words 8 Pages
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Storytelling has been with us since the days of campfire and besieging wild animals. It served a number of important functions: amelioration of fears, communication of vital information (regarding survival tactics and the characteristics of animals, for instance), the satisfaction of a sense of order (justice), the development of the ability to hypothesize, predict and introduce theories and so on.

We are all endowed with a sense of wonder. The world around us in inexplicable, baffling in its diversity and myriad forms. We experience an urge to organize it, to "explain the wonder away", to
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Though his disciples (Adler, Horney, the object-relations lot) diverged wildly from his initial theories - they all shared his belief in the need to "scientify" and objectify psychology. Freud - a medical doctor by profession (Neurologist) and Bleuler before him - came with a theory regarding the structure of the mind and its mechanics: (suppressed) energies and (reactive) forces. Flow charts were provided together with a method of analysis, a mathematical physics of the mind.

But this was a mirage. An essential part was missing: the ability to test the hypotheses, which derived from these "theories". They were all very convincing, though, and, surprisingly, had great explanatory power. But - non-verifiable and non-falsifiable as they were - they could not be deemed to possess the redeeming features of a scientific theory.

Psychological theories of the mind are metaphors of the mind. They are fables and myths, narratives, stories, hypotheses, conjunctures. They play (exceedingly) important roles in the psychotherapeutic setting - but not in the laboratory. Their form is artistic, not rigorous, not testable, less structured than theories in the natural sciences. The language used is polyvalent, rich, effusive, and fuzzy - in short, metaphorical. They are suffused with value judgements, preferences, fears, post facto and ad hoc constructions. None of this has methodological, systematic,
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