Saturday, November 24, 2012

True and False Self?

When I first read the Winnicott's concept of true and false self, I was fascinated by it [see this post: False Self]. But gradually, I found it too romantic. Here is a better discussion of the idea, in a less romantic and more believable fashion:

A second theme in Winnicott's work is of a dialectical relationship between two internal organizations of experience, one that is adaptive to external reality and in pathology molds the individual around the impact or demands [of] impingements from the external world, and one that reflects a personal, authentic, true, or subjective self. In his earlier conceptualizations he thought of this dialectic as that between a true and false self, which suggested a hierarchical relationship and one that seemed to privilege the development of the true self. As this concept evolved, it became clear that the false self was not simply a pathological structure but was necessary to mediate the external world, which led to the development of the concept of the person as both subject and object. Winnicott's work suggests that we spend much of our life being objects and that the development of subjectivity is an achievement. ... Winnicott's theory suggests that relationships can be organized within one of four categories, reflecting whether each person is experiencing himself and other as an object or as a subject. .... Winnicott's conception of analysis [psychotherapy] was as a developmental process in which the patient progressively become more able to organize experience in each of the four intersubjective modes, ... ---pp. 147-148, Between Emotion and Cognition

No comments:

Post a Comment

Body Intelligence

As Lucy reflected on her outrageous behavior of the night before, the memory only served to draw her upward, like a flower toward the sun...