Traces of Two Modern Psychological Concepts in the Works of Said Nursi
Hyper-intension and paradoxical intention are two concepts first described in psychotherapy by the psychologist Victor Frankl at 1939. Hyper-intention is a strong desire for something to happen; however, most of the times it produces the opposite. Paradoxical intention advice patients to increase the frequency of which they would prefer to inhibit, or to inhibit which they would prefer to increase. Paradoxical intention has been used in the treatment of a variety of psychological problems like obsessive behavior and thinking, insomnia, urinary retention, migraine headaches, anorexia nervosa, phobic neurosis and conversion disorder. Interestingly enough, reflections of these concepts can be seen in the writings of Said Nursi. He believes in the negative effects of hyper-intension in a broader sense which includes the whole being. Moreover, in the case of insomnia, Nursi doesn’t only describe the negative effects of hyper-intention; he also recommends its opposite, i.e. paradoxical intention almost in a ‘therapeutic’ sense.
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