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Ego's and social health

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Psychosynthesis Essay - Ego Development and the Self Write a paper showing your understanding of the basics of developmental psychology from a psycho-spiritual point of view. When considering developmental psychology many questions come to mind when trying to explain human development. Maturity can form many guises - in the form of physical, social, psychological and cognitive changes within the individual. Are these developments independent of one another or is the progression of maturity inter-linked? In attempt to answer these questions one must consider if development is a conscious or unconscious process. A great body of evidence suggests that both levels of consciousness are present throughout human life. Whether these changes are physical, social, psychological and cognitive, these changes may represent conscious or unconscious growth. An element of understanding one's own personal growth is to have an awareness of how the 'Self' is perceived and developed. The self is essential to the representation of one's personality - for example how one subjectively sees themselves in relation to the world around them. The self is built up of unconscious and conscious elements - the Id, the Ego and the Superego (Freud). The Id represents the self's impulsive and unconscious part to personality. The Superego is also unconscious and plays the opposing role of the id, with high morals to control the individual's impulsive behaviour. It is the ego that plays the conscious part of personality and acts as a mediated version between the id and superego's demands. ...read more.


It is argued that these methods of child rearing that are designed to develop the youngster's self-reliance and independence (Briggs, 1982). However, from a western perspective, they may be considered harsh in western society - and in terms of this essay - such techniques are believed to be associated with a dysfunctional ego development. Therefore, an awareness of different cultures and how different families or tribes rear their young is useful to take into account when evaluating psychological development. To continue, also in this stage of separation, the child realises that the caregiver's presence or competence can not be guaranteed. The child thus realises they are not the centre of the universe and thus the ego is bruised - and experiences alienation. However, to combat any long-lasting or destructive affects - a loving environment keeps the ego from being damaged in the process. The ego infact dis-identifies from the self - but stay connected. However, if the child is in an engulfing or alienating environment (e.g. the child is rewarded for clinginess and not exploration) the ego's connection to the self is damaged - and disconnected from its origins and inner resources (i.e. the self). This leads to the individual to not feeling whole or integrated - and can lead to serious personality disorders - such as Borderline Personality Disorder. This shows how the family can have a detrimental effect on the individual's growth and healthy development. ...read more.


For example, to work on problems of the false self - it may be necessary to refer back to the basics of the true self to gain a sense of perspective and grounding. To conclude, the above discussion has divulged into issues surrounding the topic of human development and development of the self. The self has been described as a development of the ego, a personality and intellectual abilities through a process of learning that occurs after birth. The concepts of true self and false self clarify that some psychologists believe that one's true self can only be found when one looks at the biological underpinnings of the individual's characteristics. The concept of false self is believed to represent the self that is formed through socialisation. Either way both concepts of self may overlap - and can not be seen in isolation from one another. Therefore, the counsellor can not ignore either biological or social aspects from their client's life when trying to resolve issues with the client. The descriptions of the development stages by Erickson do provide a platform on which to interpret behaviours or personality problems. This may then lead onto re-learning aspects of separation and individuation. However, from a psychosynthesis point of view returning back to one's natural roots or basics can help rebuilt and re-focus one's stepping. What is needed is a spiritual understanding for how and why things happen and why one feels as such. Therefore, understanding notions of the false self can help to build upon and strengthen the true self. ...read more.

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