A Psychiatrist at Large

The brain, behavior, and everything in between.

Reality as an Illusion

The value of truthful lies.

The red flag of self-deception: as Marco Tempest so profoundly demonstrates it in this TED talk.

In a way therapy can be seen as a magic show. But it is not the psychiatrist who is the magician. The talented artist playing tricks on the patient and his doctor is the patient's mind.

Now that raises a number of philosophical issues. If it is the patient's mind who is playing tricks on the patient then who is the patient?

Obviously there are different parts of the mind or the self. Which is the foundation of understanding that it makes sense to think of a self as a multi-layered construct which has the essential ability to self-reflect and self-deceive.

So next time when you go to see your therapist please remember that you are dealing with an amazingly talented magician, who can keep the show going for a long time, maybe even a life time.

When it comes to psych issues the show is painfully entertaining. And with a magician of the caliber of the self the pain will feel real.

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What is reality though?

This awareness of a deeper truth hiding behind appearences, a truth than when known will set you free, will hopefully serve as a reminder that whatever are the cards that seem to be dealt to you, from a therapy perspective, it's just magic. 

Or, in other words, therapy is about discovering a truer, so to speak, aspect of the self, that lies under the smoking screens of depression or anxiety or [you name it].

Welcome to Psychotherapy 101!

© Copyright Adrian Preda, M.D.

Adrian Preda, M.D., is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at the UC Irvine School of Medicine.

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