June 15, 2008

Going Deeper

From Integral Options Café:
Ego States as Subpersonalities

It seems that nearly every theory of psychology has its own version of subpersonalities, whether they refer to them by that term or not. The Jungians have complexes. Psychosynthesis has actual subpersonalities, and may be the source of the term. The Freudians have ego states. To be fair, John G. and Helen Watkins (creators of ego state theory and therapy) are not traditional Freudians, but they are firmly entrenched in the psychoanalytic tradition and use many of its terms in their theoretical work.

The description I want to post here is one of the best definitions of subs/parts/ego states that I have read anywhere, revealing many of the fine details of how these other "selves" function in us.
Read More: Here


. said...

From comments on the original post at Integral Options Cafe:

…I think it's important to interject a caution here concerning "ego states" and "subpersonalities." These theoretical constructs are associated with psychological theories that are hardly mainstream, and the constructs are poorly defined and thus very much un-validated and not amenable to research. The older schools of psychology that you are relying on: Freudian psychoanalysis, Jungian work, psychosynthesis... they are still alive, but could no longer be considered "mainstream" and most certainly do not have the support of any reputable research.

The underlying ideas behind these constructs, however, have been brought into the modern mainstream world of psychology in the form of a construct known as schemas, which are much better defined, and thus are amenable to research, and they do not carry the unverifiable philosophical, quasi-mystical burden of ideas such as the idea that they were somehow created in childhood, for protection, or that hypnosis needs to be involved...

Best wishes,

Delany Dean, PhD

[see: http://www.delanydean.com/]

. said...

I concur with Dr. Dean about a research-based conceptualization of psychic 'structures', and would add that in my counseling practice I have often found people have an easier time integrating 'shadow' elements and marginal personality 'traits' when they are interpreted as sub-parts (schematic elements) of the overall ego and not (quasi-independent) sub-personalities of a 'less whole' grouping of intra-psychic elements.

That is to say, the people I work with tend to respond better when they are reassured of their own underlying psychic wholeness.

The semantic nuances are important in a client’s self-interpretive process in my opinion.


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