Session 7: How to talk about Practitioners
Behavior. This practitioner is an expert in the dark mysteries of human behavior – what makes
people act as they do, why do they have certain feelings, how their personalities were formed.
This person may also do private or group therapy.
Worries, fear, conflicts. This practitioner is a physician, psychiatrist, or psychologist who has been
specially trained in the techniques devised by Sigmund Freud, encouraging you to delve into that
part of your mind called ‘unconscious’. By reviewing the experiences, traumas, feelings and
thoughts of your earlier years, you come to a better understanding of your present worries, fears
and insecurities. Treatment, consisting largely of listening to, and helping you to interpret the
meaning of, your free-flowing ideas, is usually given in frequent sessions that may well go on for a
year or more.
Teeth. This practitioner is a dentist who has specialized in straightening of teeth.
4. Optometrist or (Ophthalmic) Optician
Eyes. This practitioner measures your vision and prescribes the type of glasses that will give you a
more accurate view of the world.
5. (Dispensing) Optician
Glasses. This practitioner makes or supplies lenses according to the specifications prescribed by
your optometrist or ophthalmologist.
Bones and blood vessels. This practitioner uses a drug less technique of curing diseases by
massage and other manipulative procedures, a technique based on theory that illness may be
caused by the undue pressure on displaced bones on nerves and blood vessels.
Joints and articulations. The basic principle of this practitioner’s work is the maintenance of the
structural and functional integrity of the nervous system. Treatment, consists of manipulating most
of the articulations of the body, especially those connected to the spinal columns.
Feet. This practitioner treats foot ailments – corns, calluses, bunions, fallen arches, etc.
Writing. This practitioner analyses handwriting to determine character personality, or aptitudes,
and is often called upon to verify the authenticity of signatures, written documents, etc.
Getting old. This person deals with the economic, sexual, social, retirement and other problems of
Session 8: Origins and their related words
1. The mental life
- The psychologist is built upon the same Greek root as psychiatrist – psyche, spirit, soul or mind. In psychiatrist, the combining form is iatreia, medical healing. In psychologist, the combining form is logos, science or study; a psychologist, by etymology, is one who studies mind.
- Psyche is an English word in its own right – it designates the mental life, the spiritual or non-physical aspect of one’s existence.
- The adjective, psychic, refers to a phenomena that cannot be explained in purely physical terms. People may be called psychic if they seem to posses a sixth sense, a special gift of mind reading, or any mysterious aptitudes that cannot be accounted for logically. The person’s disturbance is psychic if it is emotional, rather than physical.
- Psyche, combines with the Greek pathos, suffering or disease, to form psychopathic, an adjective that describes someone suffering from a severe mental or emotional disorder.
- The root, psyche combines with the Greek soma, body, to form psychosomatic, an adjective that delineates the powerful influence that the mind, especially the unconscious, has on bodily diseases. Thus, a person who fears of being present at a certain meeting will suddenly develop a bad cold or backache, or even be injured at a traffic accident, so that his appearance at this meeting is made impossible. According to psychosomatic theory of medicine, his unconscious made him susceptible to the cold germs, caused the backache or forced him into the path of the car.
- Psychoanalysis relies on the technique of deeply, exhaustively probing into the unconscious, a technique developed by Sigmund Freud. In oversimplified terms, the general principle of psychoanalysis is to guide the patient to an awareness of the deep seated, unconscious causes of anxieties, fears, conflicts and tension. Once found, exposed to light of the day, and thoroughly understood, claim the psychoanalysts, these causes may vanish like a light snow exposed to strong sunlight.
- Consider an example : You have an asthma and your doctor can find no physical basis for your ailment. So, you are referred to as psychoanalyst.
- In your sessions with your therapist, you discover that your asthma is emotionally, rather than organically based – your ailment is psychogenic. And your treatment? No drugs, no surgery – these may help the body, not the emotions. And if your asthma is indeed psychogenic, therapy will very likely help you: your attacks may cease , either gradually or suddenly.
- In any case, psychotherapy is the indicated treatment for psychogenic (or psychosomatic) disorders, or for any personality disorders.
Session 9: Origins and related words
1. The whole tooth
- Orthodontist, is built on orthos, straight, correct, plus odontos, tooth.
- A periodontist is a gum specialist – the term combines odontos with the prefix peri-, around, surrounding. And what surrounds the teeth is gum.
- An endodontist specializes in work on the pulp of tooth and in the root canal therapy – the prefix in this term is endo-, from Greek endon, inner, within.
- Similarly, exodontist is for outer of tooth.
- The optometrist, by etymology, measures vision – the term is built on opsis, optikos, view, vision plus metron, measurement.
- Metron is used in many words.
- thermometer – an instrument to measure heat.
- barometer – an instrument to measure atmospheric pressure.
- sphygmomanometer – a device for measuring blood pressure.
- metric system – a decimal system of weights and measures.
3. Bones, feet and hands
- Osteopath combines Greek osteon, bone, with pathos, suffering, disease. Osteopathy, you will recall, was originally based on the theory that disease is caused by pressure of the bones on the blood vessels and nerves. An osteopathic practitioner is not a bone specialist, despite the misleading etymology – and should not be confused with the orthopaedist who is.
- The chiropodist (Greek cheir, hand plus podos, pons, foot) practices chiropody. The term was coined in the days before labour-saving machinery and push-button devices, when people worked with their hands and developed calluses on their upper extremities as well as on their feet.
- Chiropractors heal with their hands – the specialty is chiropractic.
- Cheir(Chiro-) hand, is also the root in chirography. An expert in writing by hand, or penmanship would be a chirographer.
- If the suffix -mancy comes from a Greek word meaning foretell or prediction, then chiromancy will mean predicting future by seeing palm.
- The person who practices chiromancy is called chiromancer.
- The root pous, podos is found in many words
- octopus, the eight-armed (or, as the etymology has it, eight-footed) sea creature
- platypus, the strange water mammals with a duck’s bill, webbed feet, and a beaver-like tail that reproduces by laying eggs. (Greek, platys, broad, flat – hence, by etymology, a flatfoot !).
- podium, a speaker’s platform, etymologically, a place for the feet. (The suffix -ium often signifies ‘place where’, as in gymnasium, stadium, auditorium, etc.)
- tripod, a three-legged stand for a camera or other device.
- podiatrist, another name for a chiropodist. The specialty is podiatry.
Session 10: Origins and related words
1. Writing and writers
- The greek verb graphein, to write, is the source of a great many English words.
- We know that the graphologist analyses handwriting, the term combining grapheinwith logos, science or study.
- Chirographer is built on graphein plus cheir(chiro-), hand. Though chirography may be a lost art, calligraphy is enjoying a revival.
- A calligrapher is called upon to design and write announcements, place cards, etc., as a touch of elegance.
- Calligraphy combines graphein with greek kallos, beauty, and so by etymology, means beautiful writing.
- If a word exists for artistic handwriting, there must be one for the opposite – bad, scrawly, or illegible handwriting. And indeed there is – cacography, combining graphein with greek kakos, bad, harsh.
- Cardiograph (discussed earlier) – etymologically a ‘heart writer’. (kardia, heart)
- Photograph – etymologically, ‘written by light’ (Greek, photos, light)
- Phonograph – etymologically, a ‘sound writer'(Greek, phone, sound)
- Telegraph – etymologically, a ‘distance writer'(Greek, tele, distance)
- Biography – etymologically, ‘life writing’ (Greek, bios, life)
2. Aging and Old
- We know that a geriatrician specializes in the medical care of the elderly. The greek word geras, old age, has a derived form, geron, old man, the root in gerontologist.
- The latin word for old is senex, the base on which senile, senescent, senior, and senate are built.
- senile – showing signs of the physical and/or the mental deterioration that generally marks very old age.
- senescent – aging, growing old. (note the same suffix in this word as in adolescent, growing into adult, convalescent, growing healthy again, and obsolescent, growing or becoming obsolete). The noun is senescence.
- senior – older
- senate – originally a council of older, and presumably, wiser citizens.