An Updating Course on State Anxiety based on a New Methodology.
The objective of the course is to study the state anxiety in humans.
Let us give illustration of the general field of methodologies and applications that will be used in the present course.
Start with a brief discussion on the use of non linear methodologies in psychology.
Psychological data were usually collected in the past psychological studies to assess differences between individuals or groups which were considered to be stable over time. Instead, a further approach has gained relevance in the past decade, which is aimed to perform an intensive time sampling of psychological variables of individuals or groups at regular time intervals, to study time oscillations of the collected data. In this way human behavior has been investigated to analyze, for instance, the impact of everyday experience on our well-being, or the after-effects of negative events or to examine the association between emotions and behavioral settings. For brevity we omit here to mention still a large field of applications.
These studies were often aimed to analyze the nature of rhythmical oscillations in mood and performance of human beings . Such approach leads to progressive changes not only in the methods to sample psychological data but also in our way of thinking about many psychological variables, which may be considered as expression of mind entities unfolding over time. A reason to outline the importance of this approach is to acknowledge the role of the human interactions in governing the transitions which continuously take place in mind entities.
It is becoming relevant the notion that our mind, our ideas and convictions are all formed as the results of interactive changes.
Let us explain in detail what we mean by this statement. For certain questions, individuals have predefined opinions, thoughts, feelings or, still, behaviors. This kind of condition may be considered to be stable in time in the sense that an intensive time sampling of data, consisting as example to questions asked to an individual from an outsider observer or by himself at regular time intervals, will simply record a predefined answer that never will be determined and actualized at the same time the question is posed .In this case, we have a stable dynamic pattern for individuals or groups. The intensive time sampling of data will only confirm an information on time dynamics that is stable in reporting a pattern in self-report or in performance measures with regard to behavior in time of the involved individuals. Studies have evidenced that, under the profile of a statistical analysis, the cases as those just mentioned, in which individuals have a predefined opinion or thought or feelings that may not be changed in time at the same moment in which questions are actually posed, correspond to a kind of classical dynamics that, statistically speaking, may be analyzed in terms of classical statistical approaches since they are not context dependent. There are instead situations in which a person, who is being questioned by himself or by an outsider observer, has no predefined opinion or thought or feeling or behavior on the given question. The kind of opinion, as example, is formed (that is to say: it is actualized) only at the moment in which the question itself is posed and it is formed on the basis of the context in which the same question is posed. The core of the difference resides in the fact that in this last case , we are dealing with the actualization of a certain property that is dependent from the instant of time in which the question is posed . Processes of the first kind are said quantum like, and they follow a quantum like statistics , and requires application of quantum mechanics in psychology. There are other very important cases in which it is acknowledged from experimental data that the psychological condition is time dynamic dependent. This is to say that it changes with some time modalities and thus requires to be correctly investigated under the profile of its time dynamics.
In conclusion , in this last case ,we have a new paradigm that is emerging in studies regarding mind behaviour. We have here the concept of dynamic pattern that is linked to the observation of changing in time.
The Phenomenon of Anxiety
Anxiety may represent a proper condition to investigate in detail potentiality of mind entities in analysis of time dynamic pattern. It is well known that fear is profoundly distinguished from anxiety. It is known from many models, that fear is a response to a present and actual danger while, generally speaking, anxiety is a response to a potential danger. According to our previously mentioned results, we may say that the anxious individual, at fixed times, may give his conscious introspection and thus evaluating and actualizing a danger that is only potentially fixed. Therefore, fear is a response to a present - real danger, anxiety is instead the response to a potential danger. In various models , the risk assessment is seen as the central component of anxiety and it is realized in terms of approaching and scanning potentially dangerous situations. Fear and anxiety can each produce a physiological arousal response that involves activation of the adrenergic system in the CNS and in sympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system (SNS) . Since such systems are involved in both such conditions, the phenomenological experience of arousal seems similar, and such similarity of arousal experiences contributes to the common tendency to retain fear and anxiety as either interchangeable manifestations. There are instead substantial differences. The central difference between fear and anxiety should reside in the kind of quantum like behavior that we established in the previous section and in the dynamical time regime that arises. The individual in a state of fear perceives the threat that is immediate and real and, on this basis, he gives an active response that in some manner is just induced from the external stimulus. In other terms, the individual actualizes a response that, in some sense, is defined on the basis of the kind of real perceptive stimulus that is offered to him. In the case of anxiety, the individual does not perceive an immediate threat (there is not an external stimulus that actualizes the response). He is focused on a potential threat for the immediate or future times and in many cases he inherites this condition on the basis of his personal history and psychological background (see, as example, the case of a subject with post traumatic stress disorder). There is here a regime of time dynamics behaviour that requires proper methodologies of investigation. Owing to the intrinsic nature of the anxiety-producing threat, the individual remains suspended into potential states and in a time dynamic regime. The anxiety-producing threat is continuously modifying in time: the individual feels that there is something that may happen or that might not happen; he remains suspended in a superposition of such potential states. He continues to think about the threat . He does not react to an attack or to a perception of being attacked, but he remains in the suspended possibility of being attacked. If such individual perceives himself to be really under an attack (actualization), then he will enter an actual fear state.
One very interesting feature is that anxiety represents an emotional condition that is so general and so radical in human that it cannot be considered only a sign of pathology or a defined syndrome but a general mode of the human existence with extreme values that obviously enter in the domain of psychopathology. In addition there are cases of psychological disorders , of severe psychiatric diseases as well as of neurological pathological conditions in which anxiety is always present. There are also some other pathological conditions , as it is the case as example of cancer or of subjects attending to organ transplants , in which the component of anxiety is strongly present.
The time analysis of its dynamics in all such cases offers an excellent opportunity to analyze basic features of a time dynamics regarding in general mind entities of human existence. In addition, while the anxiety of trait may be considered as a rather stable condition of our personality, the anxiety of state is considered more linked to transient phases of our everyday emotional condition. Both are evaluated presently by using proper tests as those that were introduced by C. D. Spielberger starting with 1964. In the framework previously outlined they results insufficient. The psychologist as well as the psychiatrist, the neurologist and the operator by biofeedback have to understand the direct time phenomenology of the patient.
In particular they have to discriminate with any possible level of accuracy if the subject is in a normal or pathological condition. In addition they have to optimize their therapy in time, as well as the psychotherapy, the biofeedback intervention as well as the pharmacological therapy.
The innovative methodologies that we give in our course respond exactly to such so determinant requirements. In particular the new methodology enables to establish in detail what is the level of pathological condition of the patient, to evaluate the periodicities by which in each patient it reaches its maximum values according to his/her inner rhythmology and the variability in the dynamics by which the pathological condition goes on in time.
The Program of the course .
The whole course will be developed by frontal lessons that will be held in Bari and in Rome in Italy, or also it may be followed at an international level by at distance learning.
The course will have the duration of two weeks for scholars that will follow it in Italian language in Italy by frontal lessons while instead it will have the duration of two months for at distance learning.
In Italy the language will be the native Italian mode while international scholars will follow their at distance learning in English by direct lessons with tutorial constant attendance.
The course requires the use of two appropriate software and results of clinical cases of studies that will be provided directly to each scholar. The admission to the course is obtained by selection on the basis of the CV of the scholar and only a limited numbers of scholars will be accepted.
The director of the course is prof. Elio Conte.
Teaching will be given as it follows :
a) A. R. Carone : Introduction to the problematic of state anxiety.
b) E. Conte : Recent advances in the application of non linear methodologies in Psychology, Psychiatry and Neurology : a new innovative method in analysis of state anxiety.
c) N. Santacroce : Application of the new method and presentation of cases of clinical interest.
The basic aim of the course is to give appropriate specialization to the scholar in the use of the new method. The objective is reached giving direct basic lessons on the conceptual foundations of the method and appropriate training on its use.
For details , visit our site www.saistmp.com and E-mail to