chapter  Chapter Six
Frames and the evolution of the two-system mind
WithRobert Langs
Pages 18

The evolved architecture of the emotion-processing mind spares the conscious system from dysfunctional overloads of emotional meaning. Throughout physical and biological nature, rules, frames, and boundaries have played a critical role in how entities, systems, and organisms function, interact, and survive. For organisms, frames and boundaries provide contexts and limits for behaviour and experienced meaning, while rules and laws guide adaptations and interactions. The need for denial mechanisms to adapt to predatory and existential death anxieties has led to a severe reduction in the understanding of emotional issues and experiences—and to a conscious preference for deviant rather than secured frames. Accepting a secured framework for psychotherapy asks that both patients and therapists manage and renounce many powerful but disruptive needs. The system will at times favour frame-securing interventions, but this occurs mainly when frame deviations have caused extreme and unmistakable harm.