What is it about?

In this paper the mind is understood as a system with its own internal environment and in relation to an external environment. From this point of view, the mind can be open and healthy, if fluid and changeable, or closed and unhealthy, if rigid and immutable. Furthermore, a closed mind generates paradoxes that the person experiences in the form of symptoms, conflicts, doubts. The resolution of these paradoxes can provide clinical opportunities to facilitate self-knowledge and change in open mental systems.

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Why is it important?

The identification of paradox as a characteristic of a closed mind is an important clinical finding. Through the identification of one's paradoxes it is then possible to intervene in their resolution, thus bringing awareness and well-being to the person. An intervention based on the identification and resolution of the person's subjective paradoxes can thus restore the internal balance and open the system to healthy and functional change.


The importance of this writing lies precisely in the idea of ​​openness brought about by the resolution of one's own mental paradoxes. The intervention on the paradoxes will make the person aware that the chosen behavior is not functional to the objectives set. This openness will then prepare the way for the dysfunctional and painful parts of the person to change. Moving from a perspective in which the person believes that they themselves are the problem of their own ills to a perspective in which they understand that it is the choice of behavior implemented that is wrong inevitably leads to a benevolent change.

Ettore De Monte
Universita Europea di Roma

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: A logical reading key in psychology: Clinical paradoxes in mental systems., Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology, February 2023, American Psychological Association (APA),
DOI: 10.1037/teo0000219.
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