InterJournal Complex Systems, 329
Status: Accepted
Manuscript Number: [329]
Submission Date: 330
Thresholds, Bifurcations and Mental Control: An Application of Nonlinear Dynamics to Psychotherapy
Author(s): Keith Warren ,Julien Clinton Sprott

Subject(s): CX.41

Category: Article


Mental control paradoxes--those times when an attempt to control thoughts, emotions or behaviors leads to a loss of the desired control--are both common and enigmatic. In this paper we propose a nonlinear model of behavior control that leads to mental control paradoxes via bifurcations in the nonlinear system. We fit the model to a clinical time series of self-recorded levels of anxiety, and find that the model appears to fit the time series and that control paradoxes appear plausible within model parameters. Possible further lines of research are suggested, and implications of the model for clinical research and practice are discussed.

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