PREVIOUS: Lack of Individuation (Part 1)
Normal INDIVIDUATION is the process of integrating the conscious with the unconscious, synergizing the many components of the psyche. Jung said “Trust that which gives you meaning & accept it as your guide” (1951, p. 3), although he saw individuation as largely occurring in the second half of life.
A ﬁrst sense of identity is created when the child can form a combined mental-emotional picture of the Self & mother / caregiver. This keeps the mother emotionally available when she’s absent, which minimizes separation anxiety, comforting the child
UNHEALTHY: A study from Belgium looked at the effect of parental dysfunction on their 20-something children, creating 2 extremes – unhealthy independence or dependence. Over all, psychologically controlling parents ignore their child’s needs using manipulative tactics (guilt, shaming, love withdrawal) to pressure the child into meeting the parents’ standards – causing anxiety, depression & perfectionism
Parents use intrusive tactics, who scored high on:
• dependency-oriented control (DPC) to keep children physically & emotionally close, not allowing them take independent actions. These end up feeling threatened & anxious by being on their own
• achievement-oriented control (APC) to make children reach the parents’ goals of individual performance, where love and acceptance are based on meeting strict rules of achievement. These can become self-critical perfectionists, obsessed with showing off personal ability, while ignoring the need for closeness & at expense of satisfying relationships
FIELD-DEPENDENCE (FD) a term Carl Jung took from the field-ground concept of Gestalt Theory.
The degree to which a person is influenced by environmental vs. inner cues. This is mainly inborn, but can be modified or distorted by early experiences, especially long term, continual trauma. Needed to:
• orient oneself in physical space
• the level of one’s perception or understanding of information coming at them
• the extent to which one is able to make fine distinctions about their experiences in the moment. Not everything is B & W or of equal importance / intensity.
NORMAL: Field-dependent (FD) people vary widely in personality type, but can still interact with the environment from a stable inner world, because they’re balanced with Field-INdependece, (in future post)
UNHEALTHY – Being FD contributes to how we deal with the world. But being totally FD is the result of a weak or unrecognized True Self – no clear stable Identity – so that such a person can only react to PPT (people/place/things) they encounter
Because of an alcoholic / narcissistic upbringing, both Extro- & Intro-vert type ACoAs are totally outer-directed (FD) as co-dependent, people-pleasers with weak boundaries & little or no S & I
• F-Ds tend to be other-directed, using others as motivation to function (not the same as outer-directed), relying mainly on external circumstances & communication, instead of their own emotions, needs & values. This leaves us at the mercy of outside forces.
EXP: If you’re mad at me I’m automatically bad, If you like me I’m temporarily OK
• ACoAs have a built-in forgetter about abuse – not remembering experiences & info we already have, including what’s positive, so have trouble accurately identify new events that are similar
• we learn less efficiently in hyper-media-based teaching environments, because we need the personal touch, & tend to favor social sciences or educational fields
• On the one hand – F-Ds have trouble noticing, identifying or making sense of unclear, ambiguous info, including subtle social cues (don’t pick up on facial expression, indirect comments, body language…).
These cues represent what other people are actually experiencing, & not what the F-D is projecting, mind-reading, assuming….
• On the other hand we’re totally oriented toward other people, but the focus is on the terrible things we assume they are / will be thinking & feeling about us. We always interpret their slightest reaction in the most negative way, taking everything personally. This is a projection of family & school abuse on to present people, using F-D antennae to try protecting ourselves, without actually seeing who other people actually are.
NEXT: S & I – Separation