Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Remembering Dr. Edith Packer

Clinical psychologist Dr. Edith Packer has passed away. The world has lost a magnificent person. She was my longtime friend and mentor. She was the one who encouraged me to write fiction, which changed my life and greatly enhanced my happiness.

For those of you who knew Dr. Packer, there is a beautiful eulogy for her that her husband, Dr. George Reisman, wrote, posted on his blog. Included in it is the heroic story of how she escaped the Holocaust. The link to the eulogy is:

Dr. Packer wrote a ground-breaking book on psychology, available as a Kindle ebook. It’s called “Lectures on Psychology.”

Below is an excerpt from my Amazon review of her book. I hope you’ll want to read “Lectures on Psychology,” an important work for anyone interested in understanding the psychological requirements for achieving happiness and for living in a free society.

From Amazon review, posted by Winged Victory Press (Gen LaGreca):

The lectures describe Dr. Packer's theories and methods, many of which are original and ground-breaking. Throughout the narrative the author clarifies and illustrates her points with numerous examples from her clinical practice. The result is a book that offers new and important concepts for professionals in the field, as well as a remarkably easy-to-read text for laymen to understand and digest.

In a world awash with irrationality, as our world seems to be, we are prone to suffer at least some degree of psychological damage. Starting in our formative years and continuing into adulthood, we can be pulled down into the quicksand of inexplicable emotional reactions, fear of failure, self-doubt, anxiety, debilitating anger, and other psychological downslides. Dr. Packer's work provides a lifeline to the solid ground of reason, self-esteem, values, and the pursuit of happiness, where human life thrives.

One of Dr. Packer's many insights that I found to be extremely helpful is her identification of "happiness skills," i.e., her therapeutic techniques for helping a patient to overcome his fears, to think for himself, to identify his values, and then to take action toward achieving them.

Another breakthrough concept is the way in which Dr. Packer demystifies emotions. She explains how emotions are not causeless, and how they can be traced back to past evaluations we've made. This puts our emotions within our cognitive control to understand, to evaluate, and, if necessary, to change.

All of her methods put us in control of our lives in a fundamental way and help us to achieve self-confidence and happiness.

In giving us the psychological tools to create a healthy mental state, Dr. Packer also gives us the necessary foundation of a healthy political state and society. She shows how to become the kind of person that is suited to living in a free society---a person who is self-sufficient, able to take responsibility for his own life, and supremely eager, confident, and happy to be the master of his own fate.

This is a book that applies and integrates the philosophy of reason to the field of psychology. In doing so, it is a pivotal work in our journey toward a new Age of Enlightenment, i.e., toward a rebirth of the ideas of reason, individualism, and freedom. For a free society to exist, we not only have to have rational philosophical, political, and economic ideas. We also have to have healthy individuals who possess the mental resources to live by reason, to be self-reliant, to take care of themselves, and to prosper and thrive in a free society. Such individuals embrace their freedom and wouldn't have it any other way. "Lectures on Psychology" paves the way toward this brighter future for the individual and for society.

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