Neurotechnology in the Development of Cyber-Psychotherapy Systems for Inducing and Measuring Altered States of Consciousness in Transpersonal Psychotherapy

Neurotechnology in the Development of Cyber-Psychotherapy Systems for Inducing and Measuring Altered States of Consciousness in Transpersonal Psychotherapy

Raul Valverde (Concordia University, USA)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 27
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3241-5.ch007
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Abstract

Transpersonal psychotherapy is based on transpersonal psychology and considers that the psyche is multidimensional and that there are several “levels of consciousness” and each has different characteristics and is governed by different laws. Transpersonal psychology is the study of human nature and proceeds on the assumption that human beings possess potentials that exceed the limits of their ego and integrate the spiritual experience within a broader understanding of the human psyche and consciousness. Altered states of consciousness have been used as psychotherapy in transpersonal psychology for decades. Although there are very well known techniques to induce altered state of consciousness as holotropic breathwork, Neurotechnology offers an alternative way not only to induce these states for transpersonal therapy but also to measure the level of a state of consciousness. The objective of this chapter is to provide a review of the main concepts of Neurotechnology and the main technologies that can be used to induce and measure altered state of consciousness for transpersonal psychotherapy and propose an architecture for a Cyber psychotherapy system that uses these technologies.
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Biofeedback

Biofeedback literally means, “responding to life”. The work of Miller opened the doors to research processes in biofeedback. Miller (1978) constructed an apparatus equipped with sensitive electrodes connected to a monitor on which the patient could see how the skin temperature behaved, teaching patients to relax and concentrate to get it to relax the smooth vasculature of vessels peripheral blood in order to descend skin temperature.

Biofeedback is the process by which a person learns to influence involuntary body processes to receive physiological data from an electronic device that continuously monitors certain physiological parameters. It is a way of measuring the response to the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual stresses of life. Bodies under high stress are more prone to physical discomfort and even illness. The biofeedback response occurs when the body receives new information about their status (e.g. get ‘feedback’) and make healthy adjustments to reduce stress and tension. The result is a reduction of the nervous activity and increased vitality. Users of the feedback report a greater sense of well-being and joy.

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