The Problem Of The Self
The Lake Of Narcissism Self Psychotherapy: Man’s big problem is nothing but himself. Many times I have written around this subject and in various ways I have tried to show that the context in which we exist and relate is made by this narcissism which is aptly presented in the myth of Narcissus as a lake in which looking at his idol finally falls and drowns.
But how is the self made? How does he start his entity? Where does it come from? Does it pre-exist and just manifest its characteristics over time, or does it not exist at all and is made up along the way in some ways? What about genes? Are our genes our selves so we should focus solely on them and not concern ourselves with non-organic or physical things? These are some of the questions that have occupied man for a long time and continue to occupy him.
The Lake Of Narcissism Self Psychotherapy – The Emergence Of Psychoanalysis
So with time and after the human species appeared on this earth, an intense reflection about the self and existence began. In other words, various ideas appeared which tried to explain man in the world. Wherever you look, from the pictorial effort of cavemen to the history of philosophy in ancient Greece, and from German literature to American theatrical expression, you will find the seed of reflection on what man is. But an important moment in historical becoming is the emergence of psychoanalysis.
The basic idea of psychoanalysis, an idea which was established clinically through the work of the descendants, is that man repels. What does repel mean? It means that things, ideas, thoughts, behaviors, reactions, fantasies, desires, needs and drives of man, when they are unpleasant or threatening, are pushed to a space outside of consciousness. The founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, called this space the “unconscious”. Without consciousness. So when you’re angry with your mother but you’ve pushed that feeling away because you’re afraid that if you get angry with her she’ll leave you, then you don’t know it. You don’t get it. Tomorrow you are angry with your friends, you are constantly complaining, you cannot find peace, you are looking for a way to vent hatred and all this comes from your repressed desire to be angry with your mother. This desire enters the unconscious but remains active. The popular expression in Greece is “I sweep them under the carpet”. But the feelings, contrary to the common belief which usually says: “oh well, you still haven’t forgotten these?” Still not over them?”, they don’t go away when a breeze blows.
They are not forgotten, they are not forgotten, they are not degraded. This is the reaction of most when you talk about something past and unpleasant for you. Because in this way, the other person also overcomes his own fear that wherever he is, he will have to deal with some of his own “forgotten” things, which, however, cry out every now and then, claiming their place in the emotional world. No matter how much you try to hide them, suppress them, silence them, kill them, imprison them, that is, in simpler words, make them disappear, they not only do not go away, not only do they not disappear, but they grow stronger and strike faster, more louder and more strongly the door of consciousness. This is the basic idea of psychoanalysis.
The Current Form of Treatment
But she is not the only one. Psychoanalysis was developed to a complicated degree by its founder himself but also by the post-Freudians. New concepts appeared within it, schools of thought were created within psychoanalysis itself, it was enriched with pioneering thoughts, it was transformed and today it can offer us the ground on which, by working and cultivating it, we can understand man and help him succeed to enjoy his life. It is an industry that never stops growing and developing. This continuous development is what helps us because it constantly brings a better understanding to all the problems that man experiences.
In the beginning, the theory focused mainly on neuroses, i.e. phobias, compulsive symptoms and hysterical reactions. Later with the improvement of theory and technique it could be applied modified to patients with disorders that had to do with the distortion of reality and today it is applied to almost all cases of mental disorders. Today, however, the problems presented are set at a narcissistic level. We are not talking so much about the symptom, that is, but about the whole self. What blows has he suffered, when, under what conditions, what particularities exist in each case, etc. We are talking about the self.
So now we can go back to the first question which is also the main one. What is the self? So we know today, having collected years of knowledge, and conclusions of clinical work with children and adults, that self at the beginning, as we know it when we are adults, in the sense of the consciousness of a totality which has the ability to demarcate the inside from the outside, and which can be separate from persons and things, incredible as it may be, no, it does not exist. The self in the beginning is only one possibility. A potential development possibility which can begin to take this or that course without being able to be determined. And the only identification that can exist and really be able to provide some security and comfort within these “moments” is the figure who takes care of the baby. Here, perhaps, is the answer to the question you asked yourself when you came to the first page of my site: but what does the poet mean when he writes that “everything begins with holding”? I wish I was a poet. Freud who was a master writer once wrote that “wherever my theories have led me, a poet has always been there before me.” I have no such talent. All I want to say by the “hold” I refer to is that it is not only the highest form of maternal expression but is the basic feature of the bond that develops between the baby and the figure who takes care of it. And to be fair to the history of psychoanalysis that I revere, the man who gave proper meaning to the concept of holding was the English pediatrician Donald Winnicott.
Holding is not just hugging. It is the feeling of being surrounded, of being contained, of a living space in which I can survive relatively comfortably, feel the emotions, be able to be and not be, be able to feel merged (me and you together as one) , to be able to hide when I’m afraid, to attack when I’m frustrated, to cry with you about the attack I made on you so that I can come back to life, to exist as my body allows me and to be able to leave when I begin to understand that I am separated from you and I can begin to develop in a different way which will gradually not be based on the omnipotence of the two of us but will have passed into another stage, the stage where the sense of dual unity is sweetly left and its place is now taken by a new dimension where when I look in the mirror it’s not us anymore but it’s me. But we’re always looking to be that lost, archaic “us” and that’s why people try to be in relationships.
Freud called it Repetition Compulsion. What is this; All the feelings of infancy and childhood are active for life and are repeated in our relations with other people. When some things for various reasons did not go well in the first twelve months, then more difficult symptoms appear such as depression, paranoid behavior, low self-esteem, psychoses, distorted body image, manic depressions, borderline and narcissistic disorders, hypochondria, etc.
If the first twelve months have gone relatively well, then all the remaining stages will go more smoothly. Problems can appear and then where again we have to look for what is happening since repulsion intervenes everywhere and always but they are symptoms of a different order, as basically they are neurotic, i.e. compulsive behavior, obsessions, anxious elements, sexual dysfunctions, psychosomatic symptoms, etc. neurosis basically means “I don’t know where the problems come from”. That is, while you have everything, you are still not happy.
The prison of personal interpretation
Within this context, man is necessarily subject to the personal limitations of narcissism. That is, you cannot see, understand, interpret, approach the “other”, with criteria that do not belong to your personal universe. This is our prison. Our narcissism. That is why real therapy is therapy where we analyze the group within us. Our self consists of the basic relationship with the figure who cared for us during the first twelve months of life and then of the relationships with all the significant others who appeared in our life. Only then can we begin a journey through which we will be able to approach the “other”. The “other”. That is, the narcissism of the other. Thus, the more one can know one’s own narcissism, the better one can understand the other a little more. This means that maybe he can care for him, develop real feelings for him and not just feelings that come from his own world.
The defense of love
People today seem to be beginning to understand this much more than they did before the information explosion. They read, learn, compare, enrich their knowledge, think more. In psychotherapy we find our life. The self is unconscious and cannot escape from its prison. One can approach him only with the help of another, where he will develop a special relationship with him and there he will be able to feel and understand him. Most people look for this in love, but this is always the wrong way because there you simply repeat the problems you had in your childhood. Love is an intense psychosomatic phenomenon caused by the idealization we make of the other. We think he’s perfect. This takes a while. It’s narcissistic. We see ourselves in love and not the other. Intense love is always problematic and ends quickly. It also creates a tension in the dopaminergic system and increases the euphoria that one seeks to feel. The gradual acquaintance which leads to learning over time who is next to you, is a much more mature phenomenon and can lead to a better direction. But because love serves life and offers itself as a defense against feelings of fear towards death, it is automatically used. She is the mother who generously offered us warmth and protection. So love is a defense against death.
The Bending Of Resistances
The psyche uses many defenses to keep from being shaken. In order not to let too intense stimuli pass through. But all feelings, whether sexual or aggressive, are part of the self. So defenses are necessary for survival. But when they are so intense that they prevent pleasure from becoming a part of life, then symptomatology is created. Shame and guilt for example have a position of defense but if for various reasons they become too pressing, then the person becomes neurotic. So part of the treatment is bending those defenses, lowering those resistances. The reduction of dissatisfaction and the increase of pleasure depends on the process of reducing resistances. Frictions are generally due to overuse of resistors. But the problem is that defenses are unconscious. We don’t know we’re using them.
The purpose of therapy
Therapy is not the techniques. Neither are the tips. This is what happens when we are children. We ask parents to drive us. It is then that we feel dependent and cannot live alone. Nor should we decide alone. Parents are lifesavers. They know and will tell us. But that doesn’t really heal. The therapy that has real results is the relationship that is created between the therapist and the treated person with the aim of the person being treated in the treatment to relive his childhood life, to feel again the feelings he experienced then and not to repeat the same story. This is done without the patient realizing it. But the trained therapist does. So the therapist must have done long-term therapy within the framework of an education. There he will have seen his own unconscious elements and thus will not confuse them with the unconscious elements of his patient. That’s a therapist’s job. It is a job that in him never stops. Psychoanalysis is inexhaustible, the human psyche is complex, and the unconscious life is ever-present.
The ultimate goal of therapy through this whole journey is to be able to live life happily, to enjoy it through good relationships and above all to find a personal true meaning.
*republication of the article is prohibited without the written permission of the author
The process of psychotherapy requires commitment, dedication and is addressed only to those who seriously see that they need to change their lives. If you are thinking of starting this journey, call me at 211 71 51 801 to make an appointment and see together how I can help you.
“θεραπεία σημαίνει η προσπάθεια να καταλάβει κανείς τον εαυτό του. Να τον κατανοήσει. Να μάθει γιατί μισεί, γιατί έχει χαμηλή αυτοεκτίμηση, γιατί δεν μπορεί να αγαπήσει, με λίγα λόγια να δει από που προέρχονται όλα αυτά…”
Για οτιδήποτε ψυχολογικό σας απασχολεί, μην διστάσετε να επικοινωνήσετε. Υπάρχει λύση σε κάθε πρόβλημα απλώς χρειάζεται να δούμε λίγο εσάς.
“healing means trying to understand oneself. To understand him. To find out why he hates, why he has low self-esteem, why he can’t love, in short to see where all this comes from…”
For anything psychological that concerns you, do not hesitate to contact. There is a solution to every problem we just need to see a little of you.