What do you think about the concept of the „true self“?
It is an important focus of psychotherapeutic work to discover and promote the true self of our clients. You will find and live your own ideas and needs independent of foreign rules and standards. It is based on the idea that there exists such a core of self from the very beginning of your life or even prenatal.
But there are studies which raises doubts about such a hypothesis:
Our self, Identity or personality doesn´t it develops with our experiences we make with our body, with our environment and with those peoples we live with? Doesn´t change our self, our identity with new lifelong experiences? (Tonella, Guy in: Vita Heinrich – Clauer, Ed.(2011) Handbook - Bioenergetic Analysis (Reader).
Other scientists try to show that we have stored different identities in our mind which can be activated every time. E.g. when you shut your eyes perhaps you will find yourself in a different world or life with different activities, ideas and feelings. What makes the difference to our “real” identity, to our “true self”? (Metzinger, T. (2009) The EGO Tunnel. The Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self. Basic Books, New York)
What do you think about? What are your experiences?
Maybe the conclusion of these experiences is that there is no unique and objective self and identity. The human beeing is able per se to choose which identity she will live with.
Usually you will choose the identity which is near to the world in which you are living and grown up. It is a process of synchronisation which happens by looking around, listening to the outer world, smelling, touching, kissing, working - by grounding into the surrounding reality.
Therefore bodywork is needed to consolidated an identity and personality in psychotherapeutic work.
It seems we always live with different identities: In my job as a therapist I live an identity different from the one I live as a fan in the sport arena or as a caretaker of my children. And in all these situations I will feel that is right, that is me that is my true self. Perhaps we should understand our identity or our self much more as a dynamic one.
Very often couples have a lot of troubles if one or both are afraid to loose too much of their identity. E.g. going to a party they are seen as the partner of the ohter one. And you are not sure that you will like the way you are seen.
And of course as part of a couple you will change your identity you cannot live in the same way you could have done as a single.
For in our times we have learned to take much care of our individuality it is not easy to accept the needed changes living as a couple.