Generic Psychotherapy




Argument is not being used in the usual sense of a controversy or a quarrel. Rather it is being used in the mathematical sense of "one of the independent values upon whose value the function depends". The function addition requires two values, i.e. 2 and 4. The values 2 and 4 are the arguments that the function addition needs to get the sum 2 + 4 = 6.


The idea of holon comes from Arthur Koestler. A holon is a whole which is part of a larger wholes, and which contains smaller wholes. i.e. An atom is a whole which is part of a larger whole--a molecule. An atom contains a smaller whole, the nucleus, which in turn contains sub atomic particles. Wilber, 1995 goes on to say that everything is a holon. Thus, there are ... sub atomic particles, atoms, molecules, cells, tissues, organs, organ systems, people, families, communities, nations, the planet, the solar system ... And the holons go all the way down and all the way up.


Narcissism has been thought of in four major ways.

  1. "Narcissism as a sexual perversion refers to the taking of one's own body, or more specifically the mirror image one one's own body, as a sexual object."
  2. "Narcissism as a mode of relating to objects ... has been used to refer to (a) a mode of relating to the environment characterized by a relative lack of object relationships--i.e. withdrawal from overt observable relationships with objects in the environment, and (b) a type of object choice in which the self plays a more important part than the real aspects of the object."
  3. "Narcissism as a developmental stage ... according to [Freud's] theory (Freud, 1914), primary narcissism refers to the earliest stage in the infant's libidinal economy, in which all of the libido [is] invested in the self and object cathexes have not yet developed.
  4. "Narcissism as self-esteem"
  5. "Healthy verses unhealthy narcissism ... the drive concept of narcissism makes it difficult to differentiate metapsychologically between pathological inflations of the self and a realistic good feeling about oneself, since with the drive concept both are conceived as being due to the libidinal cathexis of the self. ... In contrast a functional definition of narcissism ... contains a built-in criterion for differentiating between healthy verses unhealthy narcissism; namely, the criterion of how successful or unsuccessful a given narcissistic activity is in exercising its function. The question of whether a piece of narcissism is healthy or unhealthy reduces to the question of whether or not it succeeds in maintaining a cohesive, stable and positively coloured self-representation. " (Stolorow, 1975, in Morrison,1986)

Freud in his seminal paper "On Narcissism" (Freud, 1914 in Morrison,1986), explained narcissism, (meaning excessive egocentrism) as the cathecting of libido on ones own ego. His developmental theory started with primary narcissism where the infant was utterly self involved. The infant then began to reach out and attach his or her libido to the mother. This was called object libido.. Later some of the libido was withdrawn and recathected onto its own ego, ego libido, (secondary narcissism). One of Freud's metapsychological points of view was the economic point of view which postulated that there is a finite amount of libido. If some libido was invested on objects, i.e. the mother, then there would be less available to be invested on ones own ego. Conversely, if the libido were withdrawn and attached on ones own ego, then one would be less libido available to attach to others. The result is that one would become less involved with, and less connected to, and related to others. The self psychologists postulated a functional definition of narcissism (Stolorow, 1975). The functional definition moved away from metapsychologizing and attempted to stay with "experience near" explanations. "...mental activity is narcissistic to the degree that its function is to maintain the cohesiveness, stability and positive affective colouring of the self-representation." (Stolorow, 1975, in Morrison,1986)



Nosology deals with the classification or listing of diseases. The most relevant nosological scheme relevant to psychotherapy is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association, the DSM.

Psychotherapy Space

The space metaphor is taken from everyday notion of three dimensional space. The location of an airplane flying from one city to another is given by the three coordinates: latitude, longitude, and altitude. However, there is an important distinction differentiating therapy space from physical space. Extension, i.e. length, mass, and time define the material physical domain. However, the mental or psychological realm is fundamentally different because the essential "stuff" of the mind are qualities of experience and intentions. They are not quantities. When one tries to reduce qualities of experience to numbers something vital is lost, because numbers are fungible. The number 9 in one context is the same a the number nine in any other context. All 9's are interchangeable, but all pains or wishes are not. Nevertheless, keeping these distinctions in mind, it is useful to think in terms of psychological variables and to find useful sets of dimensions which can be used to make useful distinctions and classifications. The set of dimensions can be thought of as a Vector in therapy space. However, since mental qualities often can not be meaningfully represented as numbers, the notion of a vector can be thought of as a metaphor rather than in its strict mathematical sense.

Psychological Structure


"a conception developed initially by Freud and the psychoanalysts, which has largely displaced the dissociation (q.v.) of the French psychopathologists, the essential difference from 'dissociation' being its is dynamic and explanatory and not merely descriptive; applied primarily, with Freud, to a mental process arising from conflict between the 'pleasure principle' and the 'reality principle', as when impulses and desires are in conflict with enforced standards of conduct; as a result such impulses and desires with the associated memories and ideal systems, and the painful emotions arising out of the conflict, are actively or automatically thrust out of consciousness into the unconscious, in which, however, they still remain active, determining behavior and experience, for the most part indirectly and producing neurotic symptoms of various kinds, as well as determining dreams, both night and day, and underlying many types of deviations from normal behavior." (Drever, 1952)


"When the varying self images become organized into a more cohesive affective picture of the self, we speak of self-esteem, with 'high self-esteem' implying a predominance of pleasurable affect and 'low self-esteem' of unpleasurable ones. All of these ego states of affect-self-representation linkages may be either conscious, preconscious, or unconscious, have complex origins, and many defensive and adaptive functions". (Pulver, 1970 in Morrison, 1986).


Kohut who invented the term defines a selfobject as follows:

"...selfobject relationships are present from birth to death..."Throughout his life a person will experience himself as a cohesive harmonious firm unit in time and space, connected with his past and pointing meaningfully into a creative-productive future, [but] only as long as at each stage in his life, he experiences certain representatives of his human surroundings as joyfully responding to him, as available to him as sources of idealized strength and calmness, as being silently present but in essence like him, and, at any rate, able to grasp his inner life more or less accurately so that their responses are attuned to his needs and allow him to grasp their inner life when his is in need of such sustenance." (Kohut 1984 p. 51-2)


The patient comes to respond to the therapist as if the analyst were some significant person from the patients past, usually the father or mother. Then needs and the wishes from the patient's past are then reactivated "in the transference" and they are relived in relation to the analyst. In classical analysis the patient forms a libidinal attachment to the analyst. This revivification of old longings and conflicts provides an arena in the present where earlier problems can be brought to awareness and resolved. From a classical point of view the transference tends to be positive (loving), negative (hateful or aggressive), , or ambivalent(both loving and hating). From a self psychological point of view the there are two major kinds of reactivation which are seen in the transference, (1) the hope of finding a good selfobject who will provide longed for previously missing self object functions (mirroring, idealization, twinship, and alter ego), and (2) the dread that the hurtful frustrating experiences from the past will be repeated.


Something that is true by virtue of its logical form alone.


Mathematically speaking, a vector is a quantity that has a magnitude and a direction. Graphically it is drawn as a line whose length represents the magnitude and whose orientation in space represents a direction. A vector can also be a form of notation for describing a pattern of numbers, i.e. height, weight, and IQ.


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