Sunday, September 2, 2012

A Pre-Healer

Although Wilhelm Dilthey is seen more as a Philosopher than a Psychologist, he stressed interdisciplinary cooperation.  In Wilhelm Dilthey: Pioneer of the Human Studies, H. P. Rickman lists nine ideas on Psychology that were apparent in Dilthey's (early) work.  Many of these are relevant to how we function as helpers.  He anticipated mind-body medicine and psychotherapy, in his understanding of people as psycho-physical beings.  He stressed the expression of mental life through facial expressions, gestures, and postures.  His stress on the importance of analysis of writing and other similar expressions has led to use of journaling, diaries and other such methods in therapies.  Dilthey thought a lot about the ways in which people fit into their social relationships and cultures.  Rickman mentions that he anticipated Freud's idea that factors that are not within our awareness can help to produce our meaningful expressions.  He knew that we, as researchers and therapists, needed to understand behavior and reactions in terms of the meaning that situations have for the person themselves.  All in all, this was an impressive analysis for someone who was born in 1833.