F & P Reflection #3

F & P Reflection #3 - Mooney, Laura Mooney Freud &...

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Mooney, Laura Mooney Professor Rumble 13november2007 D. W. Winnicott’s essay “Ego Distortion in Terms of True and False Self”, published in 1960, deals with an idea that was newly emergent in the field of psychoanalysis: the notion of existence of a true and false self within each person. Winnicott attempts to identify the concept of a “false self”; he maintains that this false entity occurs more or less in all persons to some degree, though it becomes pathological when it extends beyond the function of allowing an individual to adhere to norms of social politeness (etc.) in arenas which it is in the best interests of the individual in question. The false self seems to be analogous to the superego of ego psychology, in that it is a collection of affects which an individual gradually collects and internalizes in order to function properly within society, and in that it serves the function of a defense mechanism to protect the emergence of id desires which the individual believes to be inappropriate for translation in the consideration of his adaptive functioning within society. The false self becomes pathological when it manifests itself often (and usually unnecessarily) as a kind of replacement for the “”true self”; in this case, the individual who frequently projects this false self in place of his true self often reports a feeling of lack of internal experience. He feels as if he does not really exist as a person(ality), a his true desires (id instincts) are subjected to a virtually absolute repression. Winnicott blames the emergence of this phenomenon as the function of “not a good-enough mother”. [145] He discusses what the concept of a “true self” encompasses; essentially, he maintains that the alleged true self is manifested in the “spontaneous gesture” and the “personal idea”. [146] A psychoanalytic patient’s “false self” must be gradually eliminated by uncovering the repressions which ignited its existence as a separate entity. Winnicott’s essay “Transitional Objects & Transitional Phenomena” (1971) deals with objects utilized by an infant to facilitate the transition at an early age in which the shift is made from “oral eroticism and the true object-relationship, between primary creative activity and projection of what has already been introjected, between primary 1
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This note was uploaded on 05/08/2008 for the course PHILOSOPHY 429 taught by Professor Rumble during the Spring '08 term at BC.

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F & P Reflection #3 - Mooney, Laura Mooney Freud &...

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