Thanks for the feedback. I'm on the right track I think with some of these
points. And thanks for this reminder, I needed to consider the following
piece more closely...
Thanks for taking the time to review and address these issues.
From: Robertson Richard [mailto:R-Robertson@NEIU.EDU]
Sent: Sunday, January 16, 2005 4:56 PM
Subject: Re: idealized sense of self and true self
[From Dick Robertson,2005.01.16.1540CST]
----- Original Message -----
From: Jason Gosnell <JGosnell@BRIDGEWAY.ORG>
Date: Saturday, January 15, 2005 8:26 pm
Subject: Re: idealized sense of self and true self
From Jason Gosnell (2005.01.15.1930)
So, is the following understanding below the same
understanding as yours...Irestate it different ways
to make sure I am clear about this. Sorry about
the length--I am still muddling through these
distinctions. I want to see if PCT can help with
this, especially when integrated with client-
centeredtherapy and other approaches.
One way to frame it is that the inner rebellion,
often viewed as the problem, is basically real,
legitimate human needs-wants pressing for
realization and action in some form (or however one
Yes, good formulation. If you think about it you
can imagine how various centers in the intrinsic
system are often in a state of some amount of
chronic error because of the "poor service" they get
as a result of false self requirements. ( I. e.
Priciple level systems controlling for
intellectually influenced perceptions rather than
for perceptions down the line that would produce
greater intrinsic functioning.
But, the person may perceive this as the problem
to be eliminated in favor of sticking to the
previously formed policies or shoulds. What he
self," is not his self at all, but a poorly
symbolized image of it. He has it backwards, mixed
up a little at best. To deal with the conflict- -rather
than stopping, looking deeply into the issue,
noting the error signals etc.
he may externalize-project these issues or use
other defenses. So, as a matter of framing it,
they pick the ideal self over actual
needs/wants/values--deeper layers of being in a
sense. He is trying to meet
basic needs in an unskillful way, through
actualizing his idealized self, a self put
together by safety policies, it doesn't work and he
miserable and not knowing why. Everyone has some
of this I suppose.
Not a bad way to put itl
In verbalizing it, these conflicts begin surfacing
in awareness for the client or maybe just for the
therapist. The therapist may then notice that
the client seems to think that he should be the
idealistic notions or comply with the neurotic
policies and that the error signals are indicators that
there is something "wrong" with him. But the "him"
he is referring to, the self he thinks he is, was
really meant to be a tentative formulation of
Here I think that Wilhelm Reich has something to
contribute. The infant and growing child, being
dependent upon his caregivers, learns certain
compromises in his behavior to keep from eliciting
puritive actions from the caregiver (whether
conscious or unconscious on the caregiver's part)
and thus, by the time we see him in therapy he has
long practiced certain actions to the point where
they have the power of ingrained habits. Thus he
will get error signals when acting contrary to them
despite the competition from intrinsic error. This
might well complicate effects of the reorganizing
etc--he is sticking to it rigidly and attemtping to
actualize this limited-thought-based self. There
is a lack of flexibilitywith these tentative
understandings layed down by thought. The error
are a part of his real self and are providing him
information about what needs doing...at least they
provide some information for him to take notice
of, but he doesn't use these signals skillfully in
this way--they are rejected as a nuissance mostly
or used as an excuse to shut down operations.To
quit doing something. This is one kind of example
only of course.
Right, and see above for other aspects.
He favors what is not real (former tentative
beliefs agreements, self- images),over what is real
(his actual experience here and now). He rejects
of experience to maintain the familiar limited
notion of self. Which is safer perhaps..it feels
that way anyway.
So, he prevents himself from working towards an
integration of feelings,needs, wants, values etc.
and prefers the surface-level views. He prevents
the thought-based self from being
updated-reorganized to reflect his actual
experience--to the degree that thoughts, images can
accomodate actual experience. He doesn't allow
awareness to go to work and he avoids reorganizing,
which is anxiety-provoking. I remember some of this
from your book now--time to review it again. You
discuss acting from a position of
"integration" rather than remaining in and
actualizing the opposing battle from various
neurotic policies (overly rigid, glorified,etc.)
that may be linked, odd as they seem, to different
etc. That is, energizing the battle between
apparently opposing selfs or
I assume this is what you meant by not trying to
control your "self"--not trying to dominate the
world of actual exprience (really your larger self
or self-as-alive-presence) with policies that are
ultimately life-denying in their restrictiveness.
This version of self-control. And not the other
kind of self-control (a legitimate form of
self-control)which relates to
refraining from actions that don't support us
meeting our needs or valuesand performing actions
which do support our life in the truest sense--what
we really want, need, value throughout our being.
Do you agree with the basic expressions here?
Yes, I think you have a good view of it. You might
make an exercise for yourself, if you like, to try
to envision just what is happening in the person's
control hierarchy in these various conditions,
putting it in as concrete terms as you can as to
what the person might be controlling at each level
in any given apsect of maintaining his/her self image.
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