Excerpt About Inner Realization

Contrasting the Process of Psychotherapy with Inner Realization

Here we can contrast the process of psychotherapy with that of inner realization in light of our understanding of identification. Most forms of psychotherapy involve a gradual process of disidentification from pathological self-representations and their corresponding object relations. However since the aim of psychotherapy is not self-realization but a “healthy” ego, not all self-representations are exposed and worked through. The work on inner realization, however, requires that one bring to consciousness all the ego identifications which are used for identity, and that one then gradually (or sometimes abruptly) disidentify from this mental content. At the beginning, the more superficial identifications are seen through. These are the chronologically later identifications which were internalized after the development of a relatively stable sense of identity. They generally involve some content connected with modeling oneself after one or both of the parents. At this level one deals especially with object representations established in the development of the superego. Working through these identifications usually removes the repression against some of the deep feelings about the parent with which one identifies. The letting go of the identification then brings to light the actual personal relationship to the parent, revealing the real emotions of the relationship. An example is the working through of the identifications that function to repress the castration and Oedipus complexes. The girl, for instance, typically manages her oedipal feelings by finally identifying with the mother, so that she becomes like her rather than a rival to her for the father’s affections. When this identification is exposed, the oedipal feelings of rivalry with the mother will emerge and must be dealt with.

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