Internalization: The Origins and Construction of Internal Reality

Internalization: The Origins and Construction of Internal Reality

Internalization: The Origins and Construction of Internal Reality

Internalization: The Origins and Construction of Internal Reality

Synopsis

The process of internalization is fundamental to all forms of psychotherapy. It is difficult to see how any healing process is meaningful unless the one to be healed takes home some element of the cure. How else may a cure take place unless it is internalized? This book surveys the development of concepts pertaining to the processes by which an individual's internal world comes into being. The core concepts of internalization - identification, incorporation and interjection, which heavily influenced the evolution of psychoanalytic schools, illustrate the commonalities and differences between a wide variety of psychotherapeutic paradigms. Through an examination of representative proponents of the four major sub-divisions of psychotherapeutic schools - psychoanalysis, cognitive-behavioural, humanistic/existential and family-systems - the authors show how internalizing concepts and principles shed light on the theory and practice of psychotherapy.

Excerpt

A major aspect of intellectual and cultural life in the twentieth century has been the study of psychology – present of course for many centuries in practical form and expression in the wisdom and insight to be found in spirituality, in literature and in the dramatic arts, as well as in arts of healing and guidance, both in the East and West. in parallel with the deepening interest in the inner processes of character and relationships in the novel and theatre in the nineteenth century, psychiatry reformulated its understanding of the human mind, and encouraged, in those brave enough to challenge the myths of mental illness, new methods of exploration of psychological processes.

The second half of the twentieth century in particular witnessed an explosion of interest both in theories about personality, psychological development, cognition and behaviour, as well as in the practice of therapy, or perhaps more accurately, the therapies. It also saw, as is not uncommon in any intellectual discipline, battles between theories and therapists of different persuasions, particularly between psychoanalysis and behavioural psychology, and each in turn with humanistic and transpersonal therapies, as well as within the major schools themselves. Such arguments are not surprising, and indeed objectively can be seen as healthy – potentially promoting greater precision in research, alternative approaches to apparently intractable problems, and deeper understanding of the wellsprings of human thought, emotion and behaviour. It is nonetheless disturbing that for many decades there was such a degree of sniping and entrenchment of positions from therapists who should have been able to look more closely at their own responses and rivalries. It is as if . . .

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