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Since ancient times, people endowed with human qualities the forces of nature, imagining that a destructive hurricane punishes them for their sins, and rain after a drought - rewards them for the right decisions. This helped people defend themselves against existential anxiety associated with the unpredictability and the inaccessibility of the forces of the external world. Whether nature punishes, helps - the main thing is that we are not indifferent to it and there is hope to reach an agreement.
In psychoanalysis, the phenomenon of projection is considered as a form of psychological defense.When unassimilated to oneself, feelings, qualities, ways of interacting with the world, someone or something in the external environment is endowed, splitting them from their own inner world and thus getting rid of unwanted or unbearable for some reason, stress.
In the gestalt approach, the projection is one of the ways to interrupt a contact.Why interrupt? Because having projected something onto my neighbor and not checking my projection (without specifying without asking), I endow him with something that is possible at the moment is a phenomenon of my inner world only.Contact breaks, since I no longer see the interlocutor and contact not with him, as with a part of the external environment, but with myself.
On the other hand, the projection not only prevents us from seeing the interlocutor, but, conversely, helps.Since such a mechanism as empathy also includes a projection. "I felt something like this before, so I can imagine how you feel now." But with the proviso: “I can deliver it if I were you”. If there is a place for the other's otherness, interest and ability to learn - and how it is with him, then there is much less chance that the dialogue will turn into “I know that this is exactly what is happening to you now”.
The mechanism of projection in general, like the forces of nature, works against our will.We project to the outside world constantly and a lot. So we recognize situations similar to previous experience and are able to quickly navigate them. We distinguish between "our own and not our own" people. We also fall in love thanks to the projection.And also choose friends, psychotherapistand even employees in their firm. We create something new, fantasize and dream - with its help.
Projection begins to interfere when there is a too obvious discrepancy between what we are projecting on people close to us (see in them) with what it really is.And also, when we project what is in us, but what we do not see in ourselves and do not have access to it. For example, despite the fact that the ability to cope with difficult life situations is different for everyone, if a person is an adult and not disabled, then she is usually sufficiently developed.
It happens that a person is an adult, healthy, and perceives himself too helpless and weak. If the client expects the therapist to know better how to live at any given time, then most likely, in life, he also finds partners for whom he projects and, if he can, he puts the responsibility for his own well-being on them. When a partner refuses or cannot fulfill these expectations, difficulties arise.Often this ability to cope and be independent is very desirable for a person. But there is no access to it.
In the process of psychotherapy, work begins on appropriating this ability to oneself. “Where and in what am I really powerless, and where can I well influence my own life”?The opposite case, when a person sees in loved ones undesirable parts of himself. For example, a classic: pathological jealous people, projecting their needs on partners.Or, if a family condemns some quality and is associated with something bad: to be rich = to be mean, to be beautiful = to be licensed, to be successful = to be a bastard, then the whole range of negative emotions can be projected onto carriers of wealth, beauty and success. and feel noble and beautiful person.
This, by the way, is an effective and working way to cope with the stress that people resort to quite often.And as long as he does not interfere with life - everything is fine. Enemies outside do not come close. And inside there is harmony and happiness. An internal conflict arises if you still want something from the "forbidden": money, attention of the opposite sex, etc.
Due to the lack of access to certain experiences, insensitivity to them, these experiences are endowed with the environment.If the family was not supported by a direct constructive expression of aggression in the form of disagreement, upholding their interests or opinions, or only a destructive affective way to resolve conflicts was present, the child can completely crowd out his anger. By becoming a non-conflict, “good” person, he loses access to his normal aggressiveness.And then you can not feel at all when something is angry and does not suit in a relationship, and, for example, project this anger on others. Waiting for her, fearing and even unconsciously doing something to call her upon himself, confirming the projection.
When a person split off and projected from the psychic reality becomes too much outside, the person internally feels empty.Often this process is accompanied by boredom. Usually, this is a sign of a lack of contact with one's vitality — feelings and desires.
Projections can, as they have a connection with the real state of affairs, and not have at all.
In therapy, the focus of attention usually focuses on those that interfere with the implementation of direct contact with the environment to obtain the desired.
Difficult to assign feelings, parts of yourself is not easy to return.If a mother as a girl did not have a good connection with her femininity and sexuality, she could transmit a condemnation to her daughter as a teenager. When the girl's figure becomes more like a female, is rounded. When you want to dress up, make up and like a boy. And mom can not see this.What is left to do? Sometimes protest is chosen, and sometimes - mother's good location. Most often, in both cases, by splitting off some part of oneself. Or, as a strategy, the calling or seductive behavior is chosen regardless of the context and the adequacy of the situation. Either all beautiful and feminine polls turn into perceptions into whores and pacifiers. Since the need to manifest itself as a woman does not go anywhere, those who can afford it cause a lot of intolerable feelings that need to be managed somehow.
Not all rejected parts of themselves need to be returned to their place. Everything is very individual and as long as a person does not interfere with his protection, she works for him.For example, I do not like to steal. Do I reject this part of myself? I reject. Does it bother me in life? Not really. The task of therapy always comes down not to eradicating a certain phenomenon, but tofind and explore those forms of interaction with the world that affect the customer’s life destructively, and look for new, more adaptive ones.
Projection, on the one hand, is part of our daily life.On the other hand, in some cases it turns into a rather destructive mechanism.Both for the projector and for his relationship with others.
I think one of the most destructive phenomena is not appropriated by parents, especially mother, the so-called “shadow” qualities, projected onto a child, especially if they occupy most of the psyche. That is, the more mental energy is not recognized as a parent, and at the same time, there is a tendency to project it onto children, the more it will be fraught with serious psychological violence. Growing up, such a person lives with the formed image of “I,” consisting of the desired and unassigned, or her qualities rejected by the mother. It can be as grand fantasies and expectations from the child, as well as deprecated, shameful qualities.
Such people become screens for others' positive or negative projections and expectations in many of their ways.In the process of psychotherapy, it is important for them to understand and find out, “what I really am and what I am not”?And learn to take off the extra projections. This topic is large and deserves special attention. Maybe I'll write about it next time.