Running into yourself (3-31-21)

Published March 31, 2021 2 Views

Rumble Relational Perspectives on the Body,

"[Sheldon] Bach (1985, 1994) suggests that a good deal of narcissistic and borderline pathology, including such structurally related conditions as perversions, addictions, eating disorders, and psychosomatic disorders, may be best understood in terms of the patient’s inability to maintain appropriate tension between these two perspectives on the self. When immersed in a state of consciousness of subjective awareness, the self is experienced as the agent, in Kohut’s (1977) words, as “a center of initiative and a recipient of impressions” (p. 99). At the extreme, this may lead a patient to experience grandiosity and a sense of entitlement and be unable to experience the self as an object among other objects or a self among other selves. When immersed in the state of consciousness of objective self-awareness, the patient can view himself or herself only as an object among other objects and cannot experience the sense of agency or vitality that comes with being a subject, a distinct center of thoughts, feelings, and actions. Although some patients (with certain forms of pathology) are more apt to maintain one side of this polarity over another (for example, overinflated narcissists tend to maintain states of subjective awareness, whereas depressives tend to maintain states of objective selfawareness), nevertheless, according to Bach, the real problem with all of these patients is that they have persistent difficulties moving back and forth between the two perspectives on the self and integrating them into their representational world."

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