Excerpt About Terror

Reactions To and Associations with Deficient Emptiness

The recognition of the need for support, specifically, the need to support our sense of self, will naturally precipitate the feeling of no support, as we saw in the cases above. If this feeling is not defended against, it will reveal an underlying emptiness characterized by a sense of deficiency of support. The emptiness may provoke many associated feelings and self-images, as we have seen, like feelings of helplessness and weakness, and images of smallness and lack of structure. This usually brings up from the unconscious deeply repressed, painful object relations and their associated emotional states of abandonment, betrayal, depression, terror, even fear of death and disintegration. These are reactions to and associations with the deficient emptiness. We must then clarify these reactions and associations in order to understand the genesis of the emptiness. This process requires awareness of, and disengagement from, judgments and superego attitudes about the deficiency.

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