Psychiatric Arts

Being Open to a New Story (2): How Do You Know What You Believe You Know?

by Richmond Mayo-Smith

As Gallegos observes we tend to try to understand feelings rather than to feel them in their full force. Our culture trains us to do this… “Our challenge is to allow thinking to come back into a true relationship with feeling rather than attempting to dominate and control it.”

Messengers from the Unseen

By John E. Mack, M.D., Class of ’51

Oberlin graduate John Mack (’51) spoke at Oberlin College in 2001 on the event of his 50th class reunion. This article expands upon his presentation. Dr. Mack was surprised by the storm of criticism that came with the 1994 publication of Abduction. He has since come to understand his own naivite at the time as well as the “misty territory” his research and writing explores. He credits Oberlin for emphasizing open-mindedness and encouraging exploration in his education.

DSM-IV Religious and Spiritual Problems

by David Lukoff, Ph.D.

The inclusion of a new diagnostic category called “Religious or Spiritual Problem” in the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association) marks a significant breakthrough. For the first time, there is acknowledgment of distressing religious and spiritual experiences as nonpathological problems. Co-author of the category, Dr. David Lukoff, has prepared a coursebook (presented here) designed to educate mental health professionals about various types of religious and spiritual problems. Alien encounters are included in this coursebook because such extraordinary events function for some individuals as transcendent experiences.

Emerging Renaissance: UFO Encounters, Power and Implications

by John E. Mack, M.D.

John E. Mack, M.D., discusses the ethical responsibilities of psychiatry in the context of the investigation into his work that was launched by Harvard Medical School in 1994 and ended without censure in 1995.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Space Station: A Breakfast with John Mack, M.D.

by Susan Downs, M.D., MPH

Susan Downs, M.D., MPH, reports on John Mack’s presentation to the Northern California Psychiatric Association in 1996.

Defining Academic Freedom

by Alan M. Dershowitz

If Dr. Mack had taught at the Divinity School, it is unlikely that any investigation [into his work] would be tolerated…The paradigm of the scientific method is not the only criteria for evaluating academic undertakings. This is certainly true in the formative, exploratory phases in the development of an idea. If Sigmund Freud, Karl Marx or Martin Buber had been required to satisfy a committee before they could continue their research, the world might have been deprived of significant insights.

What Would William James Have Thought About Alien Encounters?

by Eugene Taylor, Ph.D.

William James was a 19th century philosopher and psychologist best known for The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature. Eugene Taylor, Ph.D. (1946-2013) was a historian of psychology and an internationally renowned scholar on the life and work of William James.

NonOrdinary States of Consciousness and the Accessing of Feelings

by John E. Mack, M.D.

A review of Freud’s use of hypnosis and Stanislav Grof’s use of Holotropic Breathwork.

Paths Beyond Ego: The Transpersonal Vision

by Frances Vaughn, Roger Walsh et al. (Foreword by John E. Mack, M.D.)

Transpersonal disciplines tend to be exceptionally wide-ranging, interdisciplinary, and integrative. Their investigations include higher developmental possibilities and what Maslow called “the farther reaches of human nature.” This investigation builds on and integrates knowledge from fields such as neuroscience, cognitive science, anthropology, philosophy, and comparative religion and incorporates Eastern as well as Western perspectives.

Psychoanalysis and the Self: Toward a Spiritual Point of View

by John E. Mack, M.D.

Spiritual or religious experience calls forth the language of the sacred, words like soul, spirit, transcendence, reverence, and faith. Psychoanalysts and other dynamically oriented psychologists have tended to be uncomfortable with this language. In this essay, Dr. John Mack describes how the explicit inclusion of a spiritual point of view has significant implications for the practice of psychoanalysis and psychodynamic psychotherapy.