In a previous article I discussed a new kind of psychotherapy based on the hypothesis on humanization and the functioning of the human brain outlined in “Civilization of famine”. I remind the reader that the applications of this hypothesis, recently extended, have philosophical implications and could contribute to the development
of some new public policies.
In short, I am talking about the applications at the psychological level of a hypothesis connected to the appearance of consciousness and mental disorders in humans. According to the hypothesis, any mental illness, from autism to dementia (Alzheimer’s), is given by an energy deficit that affects the synthesis of certain specific proteins, which are different at different ages. Humanization is mainly the expression, in a greater or lesser quantity, of some genes, especially certain tissues.
An important metabolic pathway involved in humanization is insulin/IGF1 (insulin-like growth factor 1), which modifies the cell proliferation/differentiation ratio.
There are numerous data showing the involvement of this pathway in various mental illnesses. We will not go into details here, suffice it to say that these illnesses should be treated in a different way, not by mitigating the symptoms, but by way of the biochemical changes they produce. Their taxonomy is dated and biologically inconsistent, coming from a time when nothing was known about biochemistry. The disorders surface when this pathway is perturbed, due to genetic or environmental factors, or perhaps due to both. The relationship between stress and the onset of mental disorders is well known. Occupational therapy has some positive effects.
Psychotherapy should aim to restore the functioning of this pathway (and not only) through behavior and attitude. It should not influence the desires of the patient, their way of thinking, values, and ideals, but rather evaluate these from the point of view of their energetic costs. This kind of psychotherapy is based on a sort of
behavioral and mental energy management. The purpose is an adaptation that reaches a point as close as possible to happiness, not resignation and capitulation.
Happiness would be defined as a compact source of reward, which can release a feeling of satisfaction for a long time. The directions of this treatment would be as follows.
- Identifying the most important wishes, desires, and ideals of the patient
- Evaluating their problems, sources of stress (either external or behavioral),
noxious ideas that are not conducive to reward
- Helping the patient to channel their efforts towards obtaining the maximum
amount of happiness
The final step is accomplished through:
- Disposing as much as possible of the external sources of stress, the behaviors, mentalities, and ideas that generate high mental (and biochemical) energy consumption
- Coordinating efforts towards reaching the goals that have high chances of producing happiness
- Developing the consciousness, which assures a better mental stability and a better ability to focus the patient’s efforts
- Ensuring continuous rewards
This type of psychotherapy attempts to sustain mental functions, taking into account their biochemical basis