Thank you Laura for putting this out there. Critical incident stress debriefing is something familiar with, from both sides in accident post situations. This opens my eyes to how i’ve dealt with it and how others deal with these things in the aftermath of an incident – where bottle necks in positive response can manifest. There is much to gain from this thinking.
That is: making people undergo CISD right after a trauma impedes the natural healing process and might even freeze memories of the event in the person's mind.
For the one where i was receiving, this is exactly so, like a film replaying and getting stuck on particular frames. Even after all these years it is still so.
In other words, intellectualizing an emotional state will set it in stone (figuratively speaking. It can still be overcome but will require much more work, knowledge and critical thinking as opposed to having time to let go of the emotions and reflect with a clear head). We won't be thinking clearly, instead, we mentally justify our feelings and later on when we recall the event again, it will be those intellectual conclusions we have drawn from the emotions caused by the event. Triggering the same emotions to surface again, ergo retraumatizing as Obyvatel pointed out.
With regard to the race car experiment, I actually felt bad for the child about the way he was set up, manipulated and 'programmed' with a 'guilt' identification. I get a strong impression of this process being antithetical to Gurdjieff's concept of life being Real for a child who is being Real. Real in a sense like what Keit's G quote points to.
Seems to me the child apparently watched long enough for part of him to intuit that all was well with the race car and tracks and would likely remain that way for some time. In fact, he was already 'in the right' to the extent that an experimenter had to force an accident for an accident to even happen. This is information that experimenters seem to think is unimportant.
How is placing a child in a contrived situation, inducing him to feel "bad", presumptively questioning him about his feelings, giving him a "label" for his feelings and an opportunity to modify previous behavior judged "bad", any process other than predominately child manipulation and possibly ponerization? Maybe I'm just feeling a bit too strongly about this?
It might be that you feel strongly about this but not too strongly imo. That was my first thought as well when I read the race car experiment. It is one thing to have kids go through psychological experiments but to induce feelings of guilt in them is in my opinion just wrong. Their parents might've not known exactly what they subject their kids to but that's no excuse. If some researchers approached me because they wanted to try an experiment with my child, I would definitely find out everything about before I would even consider it, as I think any parent with a conscience would. Here, I must add that I am not a parent, only wanted to be and had a 'father' program from an early age on.
Who is to say that this child's best effort at telling what he felt was actually 'appropriate' 'guilt'? Why was it not simply a feeling of being at a loss (emotional confusion) to explain a discrepancy between what his own (correct) cognition informed him about the race car and what actually happened? Again, we're talking about a child here - 7 years old probably.
Agreed. The only way to really tell would be to spy on a family with a child who's going through one or the other which, again, wouldn't be right. Even with the consent of the parents.
Imo, this whole experiment wasn't necessary to draw these conclusions with the use of common sense, especially for people trained in psychology.
For the experiment to work, this non-trivial information is used as a variable. As a manipulation, it's based on knowing that the child is going to do what children that age do when they have short attention spans - stop performing an activity that is boring, and in no way dangerous to anyone if he does so, and go to something more interesting. And that's going to be a part of his "guilt", OSIT. That's what bothered me most I believe.
I believe there is more projection here from an adult mindset. Watching a race car go around the track is not necessarily boring activity for a kid of that age - I have observed kids playing with similar toys for long periods of time. Nor does a kid that age usually figure out that it is a "harmless thing and so I can afford to be distracted". In the experimental setup, the kid was set up to be distracted by other toys in the room in order to induce the "mistake".
The line of force behind the presentation of the experiment and the conclusion was the concept of helping children label their feelings appropriately as they occur naturally as a part of growing up, without being artificially induced.
I think you both have a point. Experimenting with to a certain extent is necessary for parents. To get to know the basic characteristics in their children which are there already, it could also serve to realize what programs the child might have accumulated but in my opinion, this particular experiment was not the way to do it. If the child is sensitive, it will affect him for a long time until he overcomes these effects.