Bucci completed her graduate training in clinical and cognitive psychology and psycholinguistics at the University of Michigan and New York University. Introduction - bridging the great divide. Part I "Reconstruction" of the metapsychology - the roots: Freud's abstract models of the physical apparatus; the metapsychology, the clinical theory, and the psychoanalytic method; the role of empirical research; networks of the mind - toward a psychological model for psychoanalysis. Part II Components of the multiple code theory - current research: the architecture of cognition - symbolic and subsymbolic processing; multiplicity of systems - evidence from the functional distinctions in Specific Sensory Systems; Emotion And Cognition - A New Integration; The infant's cognitive and emotional world; multiple coding on the neuropsychological level - laterlization and modularity of function.
Part III The multiple code theory and the referential cycle: basic concepts of The Multiple Code Theory; The Emotion Schemas And Their Vicissitudes; linking feelings and words - the referential cycle; the referential cycle in free association; the referential cycle on fantasies and dreams; the multiple code theory and metapsychology; empirical studies of the analytic process; notes concerning the psychoanalytic research agenda. Last words - 1 - the Tower of Babel - 2 - the dead man's tale.
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Lifespan David Sinclair Inbunden. Inbunden Engelska, Spara som favorit. Skickas inom vardagar. This work reviews the historical role of theory in psychoanalysis and explores the factors dividing cognitive science and psychoanalysis. Chartin g a path through Freud's ideas about the psyche, the volume points out the inconsistencies in his theories that have drawn psychoanalysis away from the scientific approach. Also reviewed is discourse on the metapsychology that has arisen since Freud's time. Introducing current work in cognitive psychology, the book examines research with relevance to a psychoanalytic model, including work in Emotions, Child Development And Neuroscience.
Passar bra ihop. And it's far from psychoanalysis, but in those years, psychoanalysis was the therapy that people went to. There weren't all the other choices, and I became involved in formal therapy when I was in college and was interested in it and didn't plan at all to be a clinical psychologist, but just had intellectual interest in psychoanalysis. But actually it was after I - when I was in graduate school at Michigan, University of Michigan, as you know. I spent a year in experimental, and the experimental psychology in those years was pretty much learning theory and rat running.
Wilma Bucci : Yes, so I couldn't find my way there, and as I tried a year of the clinical psychology program at Michigan, which is excellent, but I didn't want to do that.
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And I came back to New York and I took 10 or 12 years off to have a family, and then decided to go back to school; still wanted to be an experimental psychologist, although always intellectually interested in psychoanalysis. But for various reasons, my position after getting my Ph. And there was also coming out of my own personal experience in therapy of an interest in it on a basic psychological level. That's enough? David : Yes, well, you had written that your major commitment to psychoanalysis resulted from your own experience of being analyzed.
David : How would you describe your experience of analysis? And I know that's a huge question, but just in a sentence or two, what -? Wilma Bucci : Well, the relevant aspect is that as a person who was a - I was a graduate student in cognitive psychology and working in experimental areas and reading the theory and studying the basic psychological mechanisms that were involved in memory and language. I wondered how these were being applied in my own treatment, and I realized then and I realize now that there's this huge gulf between the basic mechanisms as they're understood in cognitive psychology, psycholinguistic neuroscience, and as they're applied in psychoanalysis.
The psychoanalytic theory is a hundred-year-old theory that has not been revised, and yet the process and the practice works. So that's where the great intriguing aspect of this for me was, to try to understand how this process works, because it does work. But you need to understand the mechanisms, and there's lots of research out there that will help to understand the mechanisms, but the psychoanalysts aren't studying that.
And the psychoanalysts know a lot about emotion, and the cognitive psychologists aren't studying that. And actually there's this huge gap that needs to be bridged. David: Yes, and you've been doing a lot of work to bridge those gaps. Later, as you went on, you discovered that many analysts rejected Freud's underlying theory of analysis, and so did that set you off on a search to develop a different theoretical understanding?
Wilma Bucc i: Not really. I mean they explicitly reject it; they implicitly accept this. They can't give up the concepts of it they've learned to work with, so they're working without theory. And what set me off was really a attempt to understand something very important is going on in therapeutic change, in real therapeutic change, where people are exploring themselves and something does shift and their life shifts, and it's not understood how it works.
And so it just happened gradually, trying to understand this and putting one piece after another. And that's what we're still doing now from various directions.
David : Yes, well, before we get into the more current work, what do you see as the major enduring contributions of Freud's thought? I mean, some of his ideas have fallen away, but I gather that you see substance in some. Wilma Bucci: I guess the - I actually have written papers about the contributions, psychoanalysis to cognitive science, which are not recognized.
I guess, from my perspective, a couple of major seminal, brilliant contributions. One is - I'm not going to call it the discovery of unconscious processes, but I'm going to talk about the discovery of multiple modes of thought, and that really came out of psychoanalysis in various forms when he talks about the processes of the dream work and the - I don't like the concepts of primary and secondary process because they're not well defined, but in a - you know, from a scientific perspective.
But it's essentially that discovery, that there are modes of thought outside of the verbal, waking, rational mode of thought. There are systematic modes of thought that are outside of the verbal, logical mode. That's a huge contribution to psychoanalysis, and people talk about his discovery of the unconscious; I talk about it as the discovery of alternate modes of thought, but it's coming at that same major discovery.
And I think Freud saw that, too, because he would go back and say, well, his contribution in the interpretation of dreams of the - discovering the primary process, which he called - as he called it. That was a major contribution. That's one. The other major contribution is discovery of the free association process, the process of exploration, of self-exploration. So that his basic concept of you're riding on a train and looking out the window and say whatever comes to mind, no matter how trivial or irrelevant, is a fundamental way to get at the structure of the emotion schemas or the structure of what one's personality constructs are.
And I hate to see that being lost in these very directed and manualized treatments, because you have - that's the way you get this surprise, is you have to get the surprises out there in order to have change.
An Interview with Wilma Bucci, Ph.D., on Psychoanalysis and Cognitive Science
David : Fascinating. Yes, I've often felt that free association has been trivialized, and that, in fact, it's a very powerful approach, and you have written that it's an approach that can also be used in research. Have you or others used - somehow subjected free association to research? Wilma Bucc i: Well, see, part of the issue is that there's - again, you want to understand what the mechanisms are that are underlying this, because it can also take you in a direction of very long treatments that don't go - that don't really bring about change.
So you really want to understand to what extent - you don't want to just let this go on without an understanding of how to use it and where one intervenes in it. Yes, so what we've done a little experimental work on this. Again, you have to understand that psychoanalysis takes place in an interpersonal context, and it's determined by its interpersonal context. So anything that one does experimentally has to be interpreted as just addressing a part aspect of the mechanism. But we have done experimental work - research - trying to look at analogs of the associated process in a experimental setting.
For example, we ask subjects to think of a early experience and to rate it on an emotion scale and then to just - not tell us about it - just think about it and say how intense was that and what was the nature of the emotion. And then we ask them to tell the story in as much detail as possible and there - that, you know, whatever comes to mind in telling the story in as much detail, just go back into it and then to - we look at how they see the nature of the emotion and the intensity of the emotion after this process of telling.
And that's - it's really very powerful. It's almost too powerful to contain in an experimental situation. Wilma Bucci : You cannot imagine stories that people think they know, what happens to them when they try to tell it in detail, how much it opens up for them. We have done that kind of experimental work, and that's in the process of being published.
David : Okay. Well, you have a background not only in psychoanalysis but also psycholinguistics and cognitive science, and you've written a book titled Psychoanalysis and Cognitive Science. How do these two come together? Wilma Bucci : Well, I think all the ways that I've been trying to talk about: what are the mechanisms underlying the multiple processes that people - that underlie people's cognitive functions? And how do they - and what are the processes underlying this kind of effect of the associative process that I've been talking about?
So I think they come together in both directions: that cognitive psychology potentially has a lot to offer psychoanalysis, and the psychoanalytic situation would be an excellent naturalistic context to study the interaction of emotion, language, and cognition, and if it were only recognized and used systematically that way. I think there's tremendous potential for studying these processes that isn't being used, but psychoanalysis is - all psychotherapy really is based on theory of this interaction of mind, emotion, language, and it needs to be understood, so I see it as a little - it's just too bad that you have to even ask that question.
I mean it's too bad that there's such a separation. And that's one of Freud's - a disservice that Freud did to the field, was - for various reasons - taking the institutes away from the universities, and the field's been suffering ever since. And we're trying - we wish that we could get more of a connection between the institutes and universities, but it's very hard sledding to do that. David : That's a chapter that I was unaware of. You say that Freud specifically did something to take it away from the universities?
Wilma Bucci : Well, if you take - take a look at George Makari's really excellent - I don't know if you have interviewed him yet, but he's done -. Wilma Bucci: He would be a very interesting person for you to interview. He's done an excellent book on the history of the whole - sociological more history rather than psychological - but of the psychoanalytical movement from the beginning.
And I'm not expert on this at all; he's expert on it. But it's generally known that Freud did not feel himself well treated in the universities and maybe because of anti-Semitism, maybe other reasons, and felt that his ideas weren't received with proper respect and not featured properly, and so took and opened - started the whole institutes instead, where they study psychoanalysis, rather than leaving it as part of an intellectual study, academic study.
David : In a way, that's sort of what's been recapitulated in terms of clinical psychology and American academia, where they had to go out and start free-standing graduate schools to make sure that therapists were continuing to be trained. Wilma Bucci : It's absolutely and it's - I think it's damaging in so many ways.
In Europe, I think they do have psychotherapy programs in the universities, so I don't know exactly how they maintain them, and I think there are problems there also, but I think that this collaboration that's needed could definitely be supported better if there were real departments in psychology departments that were willing to study these processes. And I think part of the problem - there's so many sociological roots of this - but part of the problem is that the psychology or the schools, the universities at Freud's time, there wasn't enough there to make an interface between the fields so that it's understandable sometimes why his ideas couldn't find - to take roots in the universities, scientific home in the universities.
And in America it's still the case. I mean we're so dominated still by a behaviorist approach and now the cognitive approach, which is also leaving emotion out to a large extent, so that in order to study emotion in the universities, you have to go into neuroscience and, again, that's what - to give a scientific base, to try to give a scientific base to the field, you need the neuroscience apparatus, and that makes all sorts of problems, also, for studying psychoanalysis.
So, I mean it's the whole - it's the fragmentary nature of the study of mind that we see in America and in Europe, too, of we have the cognitive psychologists studying the cognitive memory emotion - memory and attention, and language to some extent; and we have the neuroscientists, who are studying emotion, and then we have the therapists work on their own thing, doing outcome studies, and just, you know, looking at trying to find the scientific evidence through showing that something works.
Wilma Bucci : And there's this big hole in the middle of - that one could do - and I think it's going to happen. I think it can have like - because you see little fragments of tendrils coming out and joining - it can happen that they can nourish and enrich each other, but right now there's just this black hole in the middle of these fields. Wilma Bucci: No, it's just - there are people like Damasio and LeDoux, that are opening up tremendous connections of levels, talking about levels of awareness, talking about how change occurs - LeDoux mostly - in terms of fear - you know, how fear is reduced, and it's sort of an extinction model, but it's very related.
So if you start to break down the psychoanalytic processes into its basic mechanisms, and then you can look around and you can see that every form of therapy and lots of people working in all these fields are talking about these same mechanisms. So there are people that are talking about the effect of language in containing and regulating emotion.
There are people who are talking about the effect of language in activating emotion. There's lots of research on this, and all of these are part processes of the psychoanalytic process. That's why I say, when there are tendrils, I could put together 10 or 12 areas that are all relevant to how the psychoanalytic process works but haven't been put together yet, and it can be done. I mean, I can see the way to do it; it's just that it's a lot of - you know, it's going to take time. David : Yes. I got to - you sent me a copy of a paper that you presented in Toronto, and after our interview is over, I'll make sure that listeners have a link to that paper, but you really go into a lot of specificity about these - the bridging of these mechanisms, in a way that I think is very impressive.
Let me take you back -. David : Yes, I'd say you're trying very hard.
Let me take you back to free association. How do you see that free association leads to change or something that might be experienced as a cure? What is it that you think that happens in there, either in terms of, well, psychoanalytic theory or cognitive processing or emotions, this whole mish-mash that we're talking about here? Wilma Bucci : Well, you can talk about it many different ways, but if you're getting inside a story of your - a story of something that happened in your life, which is what happens in free - What happens in free association is a patient comes in: "Oh, I'm really very upset about something that happened with my husband and, you know, he and I are just not getting along.
And he - you know, he never - doesn't show me respect, and I try to get him to be a little more understanding," etc. And if it then goes on on that abstract level, nothing will happen. But if you said, "You know, I don't know why I thought of this, but I just remembered this weird incident that happened with him when we went to the movies two weeks ago," and then she starts to tell the story, and as she gets into detail of the story, something happened. She remembers that she had changed her mind about what - that her contribution - she remembers some detail of her contribution that.
Yes, she had said that we would go to this movie and then she had said that movie, and he - and she remembers something that - and she says, "Oh, my god. She gets back into that moment. It activates the emotion of that moment that she had not previously connected to her feelings about her husband. And then - so if you're talking abstractly, you won't get there. If you do, and this is what Tulving talks about as time travel, this episodic memory.
If you let yourself get into this whole process of getting your psyche back into that moment, activating the experience of that moment, then something will emerge that you had not thought of, and then you will be able to connect it to the - to another.
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So a new connection can be made between certain representations in your mind, and these - if you're in the moment, not talking abstractly, it has the capacity, the capability to activate the actual emotional experience, so you actually feel a sense of some - of what you were doing, and maybe she was protecting herself from some attack that she had expected in some way, and she had not thought of that before. That's the kind of thing. David : Yes, you know I've just become aware, as a result of another interview that I did, of something called memory reconsolidation.
Have you been following that research? David : It's a group in New York, and I don't have their names close at hand, but -. Wilma Bucci : Uh huh. Yes, right. They're the top-down people. They don't talk so much about episodes, I don't think. Do they? David : I don't know, but it seems to me that what you were just saying relates to some of that research, where they suggest that, in the process of recalling, of bringing up the memory, then it sort of gets put back in, and there's a critical period during which new meaning can be added or new associations can be added.
I don't know if I -. Wilma Bucci : Yes, it's connection. New connections are going to be made, but they're connections that activate the emotion system. David : Yes, and so that's what I'm getting is really key, that the cognition and the emotion both have to be there. Wilma Bucci: Right.
Well, in order to bring about change, you're really looking to bring about change in emotion systems. In order to do that, the emotion system itself has to be activated in the treatment situation. Otherwise, you're just making change on abstract levels. David : We're going to have - yes, we're going to make a transcript of this, and you mentioned a name, so for our listeners and our transcriber, I think it was Tovin did you say?
How was that spelled? Wilma Bucci : Oh, Tulving, yes. Endel Tulving. He's the cognitive psychologist whose very seminal ideas in area of memory. David : Okay, thank you. Now, you've written - and I'm quoting here: "The human organism is a multi-code, multi-format, emotional information processor, with partial and limited interaction among systems. What do mean by multi-code, multi-format, emotional information processor? Wilma Bucci : Well, that's the problem, you see.
That's what I will go back to when I say what is Freud's seminal contribution, is that there are different ways - we really have different modalities of thought. When I think evolutionarily, there's lots of rational processing going on before language comes in. Language is this powerful system that's been overlaid on all the other things we know how to do very well, and we forget that we're interacting, working with the world on all kinds of different levels, and then we try to somehow or other integrate them so that - but they're only partially integrated.
So that's why - and everyone knows it perfectly well: "Well, I can't really talk - I can't describe it. This is too - I'm too emotionally - this moment is too emotional for me. I can't put it into words. I can't put into words how much I - how I feel towards you. The rhythm of our interaction is affected because I can't see you or feel any kind of reaction, so I have to speak tuned in. I'm only operating on my auditory and most - and I can't hear you either, and you're not giving me many um-hmms or things like that.
Wilma Bucci : But what I'm saying is, if you're talking to a person, there's so many channels that you're interacting on. Wilma Bucci : And only partially connected. So I'll give you - for example, I don't know if you watch tennis, if you watched the Roland Garros. Wilma Bucci : Yes, but it's such a wonderful example. It's very, very high level processing to the way a tennis player like a Federer - although he didn't win this time - but it's very high level processing, the kind of - the way they set up match points.
It's not driven by the verbal system while he's in operation; it will never work if it is. He's operating entirely on that level. When you have to change a - something within your motoric system - and all tennis players know this - there's a period where you have to change a stroke, you fall apart as a tennis player until you have incorporated it into the motoric system.
David : I have experienced that. Somebody tried to show me how to improve my serve, and it just all fell apart. Wilma Bucci : That's exactly - everyone - you see it all the time, like Justine Henin. Really, it had - you saw that happening with her, that her serve was never as good as the rest of her game, and she tried a lot to improve it and fell apart for a while. But that's exactly the kind of thing.
That happens, you know, with everything. You have to realize what a large proportion of our processing - because if you believe that we are evolutionarily formed, so much of our processing is going on outside of the verbal system, and it's going on certainly outside of the verbal system, and it's going on on this analogic format that we can't capture in discrete images or - and certainly not in images that are nameable. So if we recognize that we're operating on all these different channels, it makes really quite a difference in all kinds of functioning.
Wilma Bucci : That's what I mean - that's what I mean by partial integration. We're not going to be fully integrated. We're never - so there has - if you want to talk about how to get these systems to some extent captured in language, then you have to understand you're not going to - that there has to be a particular sort of process, and that's really, I guess, what I've devoted most of my career work to, is trying to understand this process of how - what do you do to capture something like an emotion system, an emotional process - which is all going on on many different analogic, continuous channels - into something you can get into words, which are very discrete.
David : Yes, because a lot of it is sub cortical. You wrote a bit about the role of the hippocampus and the amygdala. Wilma Bucci: Well, that's really - if you go on to the - you're taking me into the neuroscience level. There's a whole - and that's also only - that's a very over- - my little diagram there is very oversimplified, but they're understanding the circuitry now of how you move from autonomic processing - emotional processing - into cortical, the kind of cortical processing that's going to be represented in language.
But I can talk about it on a psychological level, and again we'll get back to the episode: what do poets do, what do great writers do, in order to express emotion? They don't say, "I love you. I hate you. I feel sad. They tell a story; they describe an image; they use a metaphor. And that's really - that's the core process, to me, of connecting emotional experience and getting it into words.
And all poets know that. That's the essence of the trade. Now, dissociation plays a major role in your theory. You say that it can be not only maladaptive, but also adaptive. Can you tell us a bit about that? Wilma Bucci : Sure. About adaptive dissociation. Well, there's two different kinds that I talk about - one that I just talked about and that you understand very well as a tennis player. If you need to be functioning on your motoric mode in order to respond as best you can, if you hear your coach's or whatever voice saying to you, "Twist your elbow that way," it's going to break into the sequence of the whole series of your movements, so that's dissociation.
You've got to get - your motoric system is operating on its own. That's one aspect. Dancers are - who do a lot of dancing, and if you're in lead and follow in dancing, you have to only be - not be thinking - your leader's not going to say to you, "Move your left foot, or do the step, or -," but you're going to have to be focusing on your body system. You have to take yourself out of the language mode, that sort of thing.
Now, that's one kind of - so that's dissociating systems. That's the - when I'd say the sub-symbolic from the symbolic or the verbal. That's adaptive dissociation within the - between those systems and within schemas.