I wrote this series--Theory in Brief--for students and practitioners of psychology/therapy; however, I believe it contains much interesting information for the layperson, especially those interested in psychology and/or philosophy.
NAME OF THEORY: Self Psychology
BASIC PREMISES AND PHILOSOPHY: Empathically obtained knowledge strengthens the capacity to live both with truth and illusion and the fundamental, radical and unavoidable uniqueness and infinity of the eternal and internal self.
Focus on fundamental needs for healthy development, particularly idealizing, mirroring and twin-ship (or alter ego) needs. Peoples’ self-cohesion, self-esteem and vitality derive from and are maintained by empathic responsiveness of others to their needs.
Subjective experience is at the center of clinical and theoretical concerns. How and why we change and how and why in certain ways we predictably stay the same are considered. The return of the repressed is relative.
FOUNDERS OR IMPORTANT CONTRIBUTORS: Harold Kohut, Bowlby, F. Ornstein, F. Alexander
COUNSELING GOALS: Facilitate clients’ understanding of relationship needs and personal deficits. Help empower clients’ abilities and ways of making positive changes/transformations in their relationships, thereby facilitating positive change in themselves and their lives.
ROLE OF COUNSELOR: Establish trusting relationship with client. Sustain empathic emergence into the subjective perspectives and experiences of clients. Place self-object transferences at center of analytical approach with empathic immersion to guide understanding and explanation.
EXAMPLES OF TECHNIQUES: Acceptance: use reflective responses and active listening; Understanding: therapeutic dialog, empathic or optimal responsiveness; therapeutic regression; vicarious introspection; empathy with therapists’ own experiences to explore and discover subjective “I” of clients
TERMS: self-object experiences and transferences, healthy narcissism, empathic ambiances/failures, disruption/restorative process, fragmentation, self cohesion.
SEE POSTS: THEORIES IN BRIEF