The Self Through Lenses Essay

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The Self Through Lenses CIIS Natasha Parakh Human Development and the Family 4th December, 2013 The Self Through Lenses Williams James first established the difference between the self as I, the subjective knower, and Me, the object that is known (James, 1891). Self can be understood as an inner realm of thoughts, emotions and desires, but also as the link between these inner realms and the external environment (Elliott, 2007). This concept of self has been evolving over time to include playing an important part in human motivation, perception, affect and social identity. Different theorists provide different lenses through which to view the concepts of self. Each unique lens lends to an integral view of the mechanisms behind the formation of the self. It is essential to consider the best of each. While Freudians used the terms Ego and Id to refer to the different functions of the self, Winnicott used the word ‘self’ to refer to both, as the true self and false self. Winnicott’s theory was somewhat based on his life that humans are not born with a clear sense of self, and thus have to search for and establish a sense of self as they go along (Winnicott, 1971). He believed that both the true self and the false self are required to exist side by side, as being in touch with others, as well as feeling in touch with ones own body and processes was essential to live a life of quality (Grolnic, 1991). The true self is that part that reacts spontaneously and without force. According to Winnicott, the development of the true self begins in infancy, in the relationship between the baby and the primary caregiver. The caregiver’s adequate responses to the baby are essential in the forming of the true self in the baby. The ‘good enough parent’ is well attuned to protecting the baby, and encourages

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