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  #1  
Unread 12-28-2013, 03:07 AM
UNOIT UNOIT is offline
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Astrology as a Counseling Tool

Hi

I found an old book that I had forgotten about:
'The Case for Astrology' by John Anthony West, 1991 Edition

I was curious to see what kind of Reviews I would find on the Internet, and I found this:

http://www.astrology-and-science.com/b-stri2.htm

which ultimately led me to this article:

http://www.astrology-and-science.com/a-coun2.htm - which is the focus of my post

There are some interesting observations, particularly:

Part 3. Using astrology in counseling
- How astrology can help counseling
- Orthodox views of using astrology in counseling
- How to be a better astrologer

as well as:

Part 4. Examples
- Chart exploration, non-astrological factors, experiential

If anyone has the time and inclination to peruse this article, I would appreciate any feedback

TIA

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  #2  
Unread 12-29-2013, 01:42 PM
greybeard greybeard is offline
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Re: Astrology as a Counseling Tool

The first contention that "astrology doesn't work" (doesn't yield factual and verifiable results) is not true, which can verified by looking the thread "One Docile Guy," where Vivienne gives a "reading" for the chart, and it can be seen that I had also seen the same "person and circumstances" without specifically portraying him. (That was not what the OP originally asked for.) So the assertion that two astrologers don't reach the same conclusions is shown to be invalid.

Astrology works.

The fundamental premise of the article is in error.

But the question remains, does astrology work as a counseling tool (assuming it doesn't work)? Part of its value as a counseling tool rests in the fact that it works. It wouldn't be as effective if it didn't, but still might be useful because of the "faith" in it on the part of the client.
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  #3  
Unread 12-29-2013, 07:39 PM
UNOIT UNOIT is offline
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Re: Astrology as a Counseling Tool

@greybeard
Thanks for your input. My experience has convinced me that astrology works, and I know that the article in question is not favourable to astrology. When I have the time I will address some of the criticisms that the author presents - I was hoping that some of the more experienced astrologers here would do the same - though I do appreciate that many do not have the time nor inclination to do so.
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  #4  
Unread 12-29-2013, 08:18 PM
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kimbermoon kimbermoon is offline
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Re: Astrology as a Counseling Tool

I always see the chart as a more direct way of getting into the psyche of individuals...rather than starting from scratch, especially for individuals who may be reticent in talking about what ails them, you can immediately see the areas of stress and difficulty for the individual and thereby address those things of most significance to their individual experiences. Rather than starting from a blank sheet, you have the basic blueprint of one's life, and can address ways in which the person can focus on balancing the energies within and that is what the delineations are all about; finding balance of energy. So yes, it is a very useful tool for counselling others.
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Namaste
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  #5  
Unread 12-29-2013, 10:23 PM
UNOIT UNOIT is offline
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Re: Astrology as a Counseling Tool

@kimbermoon
Thank you for your feedback

Quote:
I always see the chart as a more direct way of getting into the psyche of individuals...rather than starting from scratch, especially for individuals who may be reticent in talking about what ails them, you can immediately see the areas of stress and difficulty for the individual and thereby address those things of most significance to their individual experiences.
I agree.

Now, I know that this is a wild goose chase - but for those people who read the article that I alluded to, I offer this initial criticism:

"The case against astrology as documented by articles on this website is that it has no intrinsic validity. Yet other articles on this website argue that astrology can be a useful aid to counseling. The present article explores in detail this apparent contradiction."

"It starts with the welcome trend away from chart reading (astrologer talks, client listens) towards chart exploration (client does most of the talking), a trend that is sabotaged by the continuing but invalid belief among astrologers that astrology (when it works) is actually true."


"It looks at relevant findings in psychology and sociology . . ."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_psychology
... "The history of psychology as a scholarly study of the mind and behavior dates back to the Ancient Greeks." ...

Would this have anything to do with Greek Mythology - which the author of this article shows contempt for as a scientific method?

"Anyone who wants to practice medicine or psychology or plumbing, or to build or sell houses, must be qualified and licensed to protect the public against malpractice. But anyone can become an astrologer just by saying so."

Yet people have become highly regarded musicians, singers, writers, painters, bricklayers, automobile mechanics, jewelers, landscapers, etc., etc. without having qualifications and/or being licensed.

Number of counseling astrologers
"Much the same decline of interest is reflected in the membership of professional associations. For example after 15 years the APAI (with presumably the whole world to draw upon) has only 110 members, mostly in the UK."

Again - how may great composers, writers, musicians, singers, dancers, landscapers, actors, etc have joined professional associations


"Astrology as the language of myths
Myths are not about truth. Myths are about the human struggle to deal with the great events of life. They attempt to explain in stories how people, nature, and the universe behave. They reduce uncertainty about the unknown. In short, myths meet a need in the psychological or spiritual nature of people that has nothing to do with truth, or facts, or science, so it is futile to try interpreting one in terms of another."

OK - will the author of this article scientifically define our 'spiritual nature' or the fact that the word 'psychology' literally means, "study of the soul" - so do we ignore the literal meaning of the word?


"But astrology does not need to be true
Astrologers and their teaching bodies generally accept that astrology may not always work, but when it does, it tells the truth. But research has found that when astrology works it is due to non-astrological factors such as cognitive biases (hidden persuaders), not to astrology itself. When these non-astrological factors are controlled, astrology ceases to tell the truth, a point that is detailed elsewhere on this website under Doing Scientific Research. In other words, contrary to the claims (direct or indirect) that astrology is true, astrology does not need to be true."


excerpts from: http://www.skepdic.com/hiddenpersuaders.html

"Psychologists continue to believe in the Rorschach for the same reasons that Tarot card readers believe in Tarot cards, that palm readers believe in palm reading, and that astrologers believe in astrology: the well-known cognitive illusions that foster false belief. These include reliance on anecdotal evidence, selective memory for seeming successes, and reinforcement from colleagues. (Hines 2003)"

So psychologists - whom this writer supports - even though they continue to believe in Rorschach tests.


"The hidden persuaders originate in quite useful adaptations. Seeing patterns, especially causal patterns, is quite beneficial to our species. Recognizing how data support our beliefs and having others share those beliefs are also beneficial. Drawing inferences quickly may mean the difference between life and death. Having hope, reducing tension caused by conflicting ideas, and even deceiving ourselves can be psychologically advantageous. But all of these positive tendencies can become perverted and lead us into error if we are not careful. Many skeptics have noted that the hidden persuaders sometimes seem to affect people in proportion to their intelligence: the smarter one is the easier it is to develop false beliefs. There are several reasons for this: (1) the hidden persuaders affect everybody to some degree; (2) the smarter one is the easier it is to see patterns, fit data to a hypothesis, and draw inferences; (3) the smarter one is the easier it is to rationalize, i.e., explain away strong evidence contrary to one's belief; and (4) smart people are often arrogant and incorrectly think that they cannot be deceived by others, the data, or themselves.

Since it is presumed by the author that the smarter one is more affected by 'hidden persuaders' - would this mean that people who consult astrologers are smarter than the ordinary person - because astrology only works because of these 'hidden persuaders'?

By the way - what is the scientific definition of 'hidden persuaders'? - so frequently cited as the rational to explain away astrology? And what is the scientific definition of 'smart' people?

Consider plastic surgery
No doubt there is significant medical science behind this - and no doubt there are useful applications - burn victims and congenital deformities [birth defects]. However, 'medical science' has no problem doing breast implants, cosmetic surgery, liposuction, tummy tucks, etc. - would this mean that 'smarter' people, i.e. physicians value money above all else?

The author also criticizes 'anecdotal evidence' - which may be defined as
'based on or consisting of reports or observations of usually unscientific observers'

Thank goodness that most people are not 'scientists' - if we had to rely on their observations of our personal experiences - we would be in deep trouble. An ordinary person does not need a scientist to validate their feelings or their observations.

The article contains references to the 'professional' experience of two psychologists - if the author presumes psychology to be a science - and psychologists to use scientific methodology - then why would the author reject the astrological experiences of two psychiatrists?

"Being a psychiatrist does not necessarily make you aware of hidden persuaders."

A interesting contradiction.

"But psychologists are aware of hidden persuaders and are less impressed."

So the author is saying that psychiatrists are less reliable than psychologists - yet psychiatrists - who are licensed physicians - typically have more scientific training than psychologists.

Although it is possible to work in the field of research psychology with a bachelors in psychology, the work you could do would be extremely limited. For in depth research and evaluations, to work in a university as an instructor of research psychology and to be “recognized” for evaluations, a MA in psychology or a PhD in psychology is required.

Masters Degree
Earning a masters degree in psychology typically takes an additional two years after receiving a bachelors degree, however, with some online universities a psychology masters can be completed in a year and a half if classes are taken full time. With a masters degree in psychology there are several career options available such as a counseling practice, teaching, research or developmental psychology.

A psychiatrist is a physician who specializes in psychiatry
Becoming a psychiatrist requires you to go to medical school. After completing an undergraduate degree in science, you would then attend a graduate program to complete your medical degree. Following medical school, you would complete four years of residency, during which time your training would be in psychiatry. The residency is typically completed at a hospital on the psychiatric unit.

As an aside, I would like to see scientific definitions of love, hate, bravery, cowardice, dreams, near-death experiences, sexual arousal, not to mention scientific definitions of time, space, light, magnetism, electricity, or the origin of the universe. All we seem to have is anecdotal evidence - personal experience.


"Consequently it is obvious that personal experience, which is frequently cited as the basis for belief in astrology, does not in any way provide a validation of astrology."

So personal experience is invalid in determining the benefit of any belief system?

"Now for the key point: When astrologers ignore what is really happening, as they invariably do, they generate an otherwise avoidable hostility from critics, they obscure the genuine role that astrology can play in counseling, and they obscure the factors that can maximise success."

How does the writer of this article know empirically that astrologers invariably [in every case or on every occasion; always] ignore what is happening. Not to mention the phrase 'what is really happening' - what does this mean?

Obviously I disagree with the conclusions that this writer makes - I suppose one of the reasons that I started this thread was to vent, but also to forewarn other astrologers who encounter opposition based on "scientific" evidence. Also, a word of caution about statistics - and how they can be deceiving - using an extreme example: if I have one foot in boiling water - 100 degrees Celsius and the other foot in a bucket of ice - 0 degrees Celsius - the 'average' temperature of my feet is 50 degrees Celsius - pretty darn hot - but it doesn't reveal that one foot has been scalded and the other foot is frozen
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  #6  
Unread 12-30-2013, 09:24 AM
greybeard greybeard is offline
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Re: Astrology as a Counseling Tool

I read enough of the article to know its direction
and skimmed through to see if there were any major changes

And am disinterested
I see no reason to address the criticisms
Because I know astrology works
from over 4 decades of experience

And it is an incredible tool for counseling
For reasons Kimbermoon states
and more.

There is no need to defend astrology against attacks by the Infidels.
Just burn them at the stake and be done with it.
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  #7  
Unread 12-30-2013, 07:54 PM
UNOIT UNOIT is offline
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Re: Astrology as a Counseling Tool

@greybeard

Quote:
There is no need to defend astrology against attacks by the Infidels.
Just burn them at the stake and be done with it.
Well that gave me a good laugh
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