RE: [xmca] RE: mental health (psychology of art)

From: Achilles Delari Junior <achilles_delari who-is-at>
Date: Sat Jul 12 2008 - 21:42:04 PDT


It's ok. I don't feel offended, in any way. I think you are sure.
I agree with you. I was just apologizing about my desire to make
sense of a subject that I don't deeply know like you. I only had associated
the problem of art as "social technique of feeling" with "psychotechnics"
(applied psychology) problem... This was not a cientific concept,
only an association. I have wrote that this "technique" makes
me remenber Greek word "tekhné" that, in some cases, was
tralated as "art" too... Then, my initial interpretation was that
Vygotsky was talking about art as a kind of semitiocal "know-how"
"savoir-faire" by which the contradiction form-contends is
constructed in an artistic work, in order to make people have
specifics feelings, as personal experience of a more general,
social concept... I begin to read the chapter you had sugested.
Until then I have readed only preface, chapter one and eleven.
Then, It's very important your sugestion that this book can
help us to understand problems related to mental health.
When I ask you about de definition of the "central idea" was
because I make an association (thinking by complex) with the
problem of applied psychology "psychotechnics", to me, related with
the problem of psychology aplied to mental health... If art could
be a social (re)making of feelings, could semiotic mediations used
in psychoterapic settings contribute to promove healthfull ways
to organize our feelings too? This is the specific context of my question
about that "central idea". But I really agree with you, my question
was not very aproprieted because Vygotsky in diferente contexts
has diferent "central ideas"... And, over all, there is no "central"
meaning of a word without a larger meaningful semiot background.
We have to "Move from whole to part", as you correctly said.

Thank you again. I will read. I only need to (re)organize me now.
When I made my first question here in XMCA, I was only seeking
by an English translation of "The problem of development and
dissolution of higher mental functions" (Vygotsky, 1934) (begining by
the end?)... And then more general and important contributions
comes up. I´m happy, and really greatful to people here for this.
Then I must go to work. :)

Umuarama, July 13, 2008.

P.S. I think that I didn't receive your paper yet. I don't know what

> Date: Sat, 12 Jul 2008 21:31:42 -0400
> From:
> Subject: Re: [Spam:***** ] RE: [xmca] RE: mental health (psychology of art)
> To:
> Hi Achilles and everyone,
> Thanks for the e-mail. I hope I did not offend you in any way and hope
> you did not misinterpret me ....I was only saying that it has been
> important for me to read larger segments of Vygotsky's work so I can
> interpret what he is saying as opposed to what I think he is saying. We
> are ALL transactional thinkers. I, for one, am a novice at this stuff
> and have really appreciated the fact that senior scholars on this
> listserve have awarded me the gift of confidence and room to grow. We
> all merit patience and respect.
> I did find with the Psych of Art that Vygotsky's terminology is very
> different from the use of artistic terms in the West and words like
> "technique" means completely different concepts than that which I
> thought at first reading. So, I would recommend that you read the
> text....especially his section on Freud which is absolutely
> hilarious!!!!!!!!!!! It is also important to know that the Psych of Art
> was his first work and therefore his thinking was not mature. He was
> very ill and wrote the piece in the hospital, so his condition also
> impacted the work.
> I am sending you my paper under a separate cover. This is a great
> discussion.....keep it going!
> Best,
> Cathrene
> Achilles Delari Junior wrote:
> > Cathrene,
> >
> > I understand. I agree. I really don't have a three
> > dimensional view yet (I wonder if I can have one
> > someday)... I'm aware that I have quoted Vygotsky's
> > words in a "thinking by complex" (associative) way,
> > because I suposed a relation between "social technics
> > of feeling" (psychology of art) and "psychotechnics"
> > (Historical meaning of the crisis in psychology).
> > I guess I have a associative memory and a nomad
> > thinking, sometimes this is really not good. Excuse me.
> > I´m very grateful to you, and understand that you
> > was really patient with me. :) I wait your additional
> > important contribution,
> >
> > Thank you very much.
> >
> > Achilles.
> > Umuarama, July, 12 2008.
> >
> >> Date: Sat, 12 Jul 2008 13:25:31 -0400> From: cconnery who-is-at> Subject: Re: [Spam:***** ] RE: [xmca] RE: mental health> To: xmca who-is-at> > Dear Achilles,> Thanks for the e-mail. I have found that sometimes it is difficult to get> to the core of what Vygotsky is saying because he is very circular in his> thinking and the development of his concepts tends to spiral across his> writing process. Therefore, I have learned move from whole to part ehen> interpreting his work. The passages you have found below are strong ones,> however, they do not help one to achieve a three dimensional view of what> he was talking about.> > Vygotsky's theory of art was more of a theory of emotion than anything. > I'm not at the office right now, but as soon as I return, I will forward> you a draft of a paper of mine that reviews the work as well as a> powerpoint. I'm surrently in the middle of rewriting the book review, but> if you can be patient with me, I should have somethng more solid to send> you by Wednesday.> > Have a great day!> cathrene> > Cathrene,> >> > Yes, very important. I'm interested in Vygotsky's theory of art.> > I must organize me and study his dissertation carefully...> > In Portuguese I find: "a idéia central da psicologia da arte é (...)> > o reconhecimento da arte como técnica social do sentimento"> > (Vygotsky, 2000, Psicologia da Arte, São Paulo, Martins Fontes)> > maybe something like = "the central idea of the psycholgoy of art> > is (...) the ackonwlegement of art as social technique of feeling"> >> > But in English the translation is something different:> >> > "The central idea of the psychology of art is (...) the> > acknowledgement in art of the social> > techniques of emotions".> >> >> > "social techniques of emotions" IN art...> > or> > Art AS "social technique of feeling"...> >> > I don´t see the Russian...> >> > I'm realy interested in these "social techiniques"...> > But I don't know yet what precisely means "technique",> > because Greek "Tekhné" was "art" too... perhaps like> > a "know-how" or "savoir-faire", not necessarily like> > mechanical or unmediated skills, I supose.> >> > What do you think about this> > "central idea of the psychology of art"?> >> > Achilles,> > Umuarama, July 12, 2008> >> >> >> >> >> Date: Fri, 11 Jul 2008 22:55:02 -0400> >> From:> >> Subject: RE: [xmca] RE: mental health> >> To:> >>> >> Hi Achilles, Mike, and others,> >> You might be interested in playing around with Vygotsky's theory of art> >> as> >> a means of individual and collective catharsis in from his dissertation> >> The Psychology of Art. I agree with Mike that the use of multiple> >> mediational means can enhance and enrich people's consiousness and> >> health.> >> Best,> >> Cathrene> >>> >>> >> Achilles asks:> >> > Can we really creat semiotical means to produce better mental health> >> to> >> > people? Or this kind of a goal is a mistake like possible Vygotsky´s> >> or> >> > perhaps some Vygotsky's followers' mistakes about 'social> >> engeneering'?> >> >> >> > I would say YES to the first question. I'll take a shortcut and paste> >> > something in below from a book I've coauthored about The Discourse of> >> > Character Education (Erlbaum, 2005, with Joel Taxel). It draws on the> >> > dissertation of Leslie Cook, who looked at young women with depressive> >> > disorders and the mediational means they use to make sense of their> >> lives.> >> > My apologies for the length of the following excerpt.> >> >> >> >> >> > Mental Health and Character Education> >> > We have briefly expressed our concern that the issue of mental health> >> is> >> > virtually absent from discussions about character education. Yet many> >> > students who come to school with a mental health problems are treated> >> as> >> > discipline problems of the sort measured as indexes of low character> >> in> >> > the proposals we have studied. We believe that it is important for> >> any> >> > character education initiative to recognize and account for mental> >> health> >> > in its conception of good character, both for those with nonnormative> >> > makeups and those with whom they interact.> >> > Mental health is the elephant in the character education closet. The> >> > World Health Organization (2001) reports that about 7.5 million> >> children> >> > in the U. S.—12% of all children under 18—have mental disorders,> >> > nearly half of which lead to serious disability. Jamison (1997) found> >> > that 20% of high school students had seriously considered committing> >> > suicide during the year prior to his study, with most having drawn up> >> a> >> > suicide plan; suicide is the #3 cause of death of teenagers between 15> >> > and 19 years of age, often following from a depressive disorder. Yet> >> > most parents and teachers feel that mental health issues are poorly> >> > addressed in schools (Dowling & Pound, 1994; Rappaport & Carolla,> >> 1999),> >> > many teachers have little understanding of how to recognize or respond> >> to> >> > students with mental health problems (Madison, 1996), and only> >> recently> >> > has mental health been identified as a reason to develop an Individual> >> > Education Plan (IEP) for students.> >> > These widespread misunderstandings have resulted in many such> >> students> >> > being regarded as troublesome or lacking character in schools. Yet,> >> as> >> > reporter Anne Imse (1999) wrote following the Columbine school> >> shooting> >> > tragedy,> >> > Even teens as dangerously troubled as Eric Harris stand a good chance> >> of> >> > slipping through the cracks in Jefferson County and across Colorado,> >> > failing to get badly needed mental health care. There are serious> >> > roadblocks to getting treatment for sick kids [including]> >> > • State prohibitions against law enforcement agencies telling> >> schools> >> > about a problem kid unless there's a conviction;> >> > • Schools worrying about being saddled with psychiatric bills if> >> they> >> > recommend treatment, or even being sued;> >> > • Not enough money earmarked for counselors and counseling for the> >> > state's youth.> >> > So, even though Jefferson County school officials have become more> >> > sensitive to kids' mental states . . . they remain hamstrung about> >> > arranging treatment. "We have no place to go with them," said Clark> >> > Bencomo, a counselor at Green Mountain High School. "All we can do is> >> > suspend or expel." "We are oftentimes reduced to putting a kid in a> >> place> >> > where they're safe, but it's not the right program," added Kay Cessna,> >> > intervention services director for Jefferson County schools. "There> >> are> >> > not enough places." [One parent of a child with disabilities> >> complained],> >> > "They don't have the time, the manpower, and they don't get it."> >> > (> >> > Cook (2004) finds this problem occurring in other states as well,> >> > reporting that students with mental health problems are often put in> >> > special education programs or disciplined when they act out, either as> >> a> >> > consequence of their makeup (e.g., a child with Tourette’s> >> syndrome’s> >> > involuntary profanity) or in response to the taunting they face from> >> their> >> > peers.> >> > Yet a mental health professional would surely argue that the problem> >> is> >> > not a lack of character and the solution is not to punish students> >> with> >> > mental health problems. Rather, a broader understanding of mental> >> health> >> > among students and faculty—the sort of attention to climate we found> >> in> >> > the states from the Upper Midwest—would contribute to a more> >> > sympathetic and less punitive environment for such students in school.> >> > Indeed, Damasio (1994) argues in his somatic-marker theory against the> >> > classic Cartesian mind/body binary, instead positing that brain and> >> body> >> > are integrally related not just to one another but to the environment.> >> A> >> > change in the environment, he finds, may contribute to changes in how> >> a> >> > person processes new information (cf. Luria, 1979; Pert, 1997); that> >> is,> >> > in response to developments in the surroundings, the brain will encode> >> > perceptions in new kinds of ways.> >> > Conceivably, then, changes in school climate can contribute to the> >> > emotional well-being of students whose mental makeup falls outside the> >> > normal range. The therapy for such students is still widely debated.> >> > While medication and counseling have benefited many with nonnormative> >> > makeups in their relationships with others, the medical model has been> >> > criticized because it assumes that a normative mental state is best> >> for> >> > all. This criticism frequently comes up in debates about whether> >> > medications for Attention Deficit Disorder are prescribed too often> >> for> >> > any students who have difficulty focusing in school. Some argue that> >> > prescribing such medications is designed more to increase the comfort> >> > levels of those around such students than to help those students> >> > themselves.> >> > The jury is still out concerning the question of whether people with> >> such> >> > diagnoses are sick and in need of medicine. Cook (2004) argues that> >> > relying simply on medication and counseling is inadequate; that a> >> broader> >> > environmental change that enables an understanding and tolerance of> >> > difference, and gives young people tools for managing their> >> difference, is> >> > essential to helping young people construct positive lives for> >> themselves> >> > and in turn contribute to a more humane society. Taking a punitive> >> > approach to difference, she argues, is regressive and only makes life> >> more> >> > fragile for those characterized as different and more emotionally and> >> > cognitively unhealthy for those who surround them.> >> >> >> > _______________________________________________> >> > xmca mailing list> >> >> >> >> >> >> >>> >>> >> _______________________________________________> >> xmca mailing list> >>> >>> >> > _________________________________________________________________> > Confira vídeos com notícias do NY Times, gols direto do Lance,> > videocassetadas e muito mais no MSN Video!> >> > xmca mailing list> >> >> >> > > _______________________________________________> xmca mailing list>>
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> --
> Dr. M. Cathrene Connery
> Assistant Professor of Education
> 607.274.7382
> Ithaca College
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Received on Sat Jul 12 21:43 PDT 2008

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