We are said to HAVE a mind, a soul, a spirit, and a psyche. We are also said to BE mindful, soulful, spiritual, and psychic. On the other hand, we are NOT said to BE a mind, or spirit, or psyche, though we are sometimes said to BE a soul. Further, we are said to mind and to psych, but not to soul or spirit; mind and psych used as verbs, soul and spirit as nouns.
These four words—mind, soul, spirit, psych—are of major importance to all of us, however well-or-ill informed we may be. However important they may be to others, they are of EXTREME importance to psychological and psychiatric PRACTITIONERS. Why practitioners and not academicians? Because practitioners are trying to HEAL clients, academicians to INFORM students. There’s an enormous gulf between academicians and practitioners, with no bridge between the two sides with which to communicate.
So, there are six words to study—mind, soul, spirit, psych, psychologist, and psychiatrist.
Mind [IndoEuropean men]
Verb—attend to, be careful, be cautious, be concerned, heed, notice, obey, remember. Noun—attention, aim, awareness, desire, consciousness, emotion, feeling, inclination, intention, memory, motive, objective, opinion, purpose, reason, recollection, sentiment, thought.
Soul [Old English sāwol, IndoEuropean sāwel]
Noun— The sun. From sāwel, The element -el- was originally a suffix, and alternated with -en-, yielding the variant s(u)wen- and reduced to sun. Variant form s(ə)wōl as in sol, solar, solarium, solstice, from Latin sōl, the sun, and aphelion, isohel, perihelion, from Greek hēlios, sun. Said to be—1. The animating principle in humans. 2. The spiritual nature of humans. 3. The spirit of a dead human. 4. A human being. 5. The vital core. 6. A person considered as the perfect embodiment of an intangible quality. 7. A person's moral nature. 8. A strong, deeply felt emotion conveyed by a speaker, a performer, or an artist.
Spirit [Latin spīritus, breath, from spīrāre, to breathe]
1. The vital principle or animating force within living beings. 2. The soul. 3. An angel, demon, fairy, or sprite. A being inhabiting a particular place or object. 4. The essential nature of a person or group of persons. 5. A mood or an emotional state. 6. The unstated significance of something.
Psych [Greek psūkhē, Indo-European bhes]
From Greek psūkhein, translated into Latin spīrāre, and English, to breathe. English speakers no longer use the word as breath, rather as synonymous with soul, spirit, anima, or mind.
Verb—To affect, excite, undermine, or intimidate others. To analyze or comprehend a situation. To anticipate the intentions of others.
Noun—The spirit, soul, anima, or mind.
Psychiatrist (psych = mental + iatrist = healer)
An academic psychiatrist informs students about what are said to be “neuroses” and “psychoses” and how to treat these “mental disorders” with brain affecting drugs. A practicing psychiatrist treats patients that are said to be “afflicted” with a “mental disorder” by prescribing brain affecting drugs. Psychiatrists are instructed by their mentors to convince patients to admit that they have a mental illness, and that they cannot be treated without such an admission. During the last four decades of the 20th century, psychiatric interns received no training in methods of counseling patients on how to act more effectively (referred to as “psychotherapy” during the first six decades of the 20th century).
Psychologist (psych = mental + logist = speaker)
An academic psychologist informs students about the science of psychology. A practicing psychologist counsels clients on how to act more effectively. Each practicing psychologist learned about the effective counseling methods by consulting with, listening to, and watching those who had found and practiced effective methods, then proceeding to demonstrate those methods to those interested in learning to use them. There were twelve of them—It was clear to those who studied Milton Erickson’s method of encouraging clients to practice their symptoms under his supervision, that Rogers’s reflection, Kelley’s role assignment, Stampfl’s implosion, Wolpe’s reciprocal inhibition, Ellis’s insane sentencing, Moreno’s role directing, Jung’s drawings, Dreikurs’s logical consequences, Berne’s permission, Glasser’s bite-sized assignments, Skinner’s rewards, and Eglash’s restitution. Each of these methods contained an unwitting and inadvertent ingredient of symptom prescription, and because of this ingredient was effective with some, but not all, clients. This, the Haley-Erickson Revolution in understanding and dealing with absurd habits, occurred during the last three decades of the 20th century, and continues into the 21s century.