Excerpt About Issues

Issues Related to the Personal Essence

However, since the Personal Essence is an aspect of Being, the issues have a different character and meaning than the purely emotional ones. The stages of ego development function in another dimension in addition to that of developmental psychology, or, more accurately, there are parallel stages in this deeper dimension, exposing issues of a different kind. These are issues and difficulties not of a structural or psychodynamic nature, but of an existential, phenomenological and epistemological nature. We will see that all these dimensions—structural, psychodynamic, existential, phenomenological and epistemological—are all involved in the issues, conflicts and perceptions relating to the Personal Essence. Most psychotherapeutic systems attempt to isolate the emotional dimension from that of Being. We will see, however, that all the dimensions of human experience are interrelated, and cannot be separated without the loss of objectivity. Of course, those who are not aware of the dimension of Being will be satisfied with the approximations they make in understanding the situation, believing they are looking at the whole picture, while they are in fact perceiving only the surface. Even for purposes of therapy, however, looking at the deeper dimension of experience is useful. The issues, conflicts and perceptions which are related to the Personal Essence that are characteristic of the phases of symbiosis and separation-individuation mainly involve separation and separation anxiety, fear of annihilation and abandonment, the question of alone-ness, rapprochement conflicts, issues of cohesion and integration, conflicts around self and self-esteem, questions of ego strength and ego inadequacy, and the like. We will examine them now in some depth.

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