A Short History of the Inner selves.htm

A Short History of the Inner Selves      


People have known about inner selves since the earliest days of psychology and therapy but  talked about them under different names such as sub-personalities, coping mechanisms, inner families and other similar terms. Before that, for thousands of years the selves had been recognised as archetypes. Their powers and activities in those days were usually attributed to different saints, gods, goddesses or associated spirits.
Research over the last ten years, using brain scans, suggests that selves quite clearly exist as sub-personalities within the brain and that some can even be located in specific parts of the left and right hemispheres. Here are some recent comments (edited) from writers, researchers and other professionals:

I would very much like to add some more quotes to this page. Please E-mail me if you can give me any quotes or extracts from psychologists or other authorities that support the reality of the inner selves. My particular thanks to Dorsey Cartwright, Dallas Texas  for her help in compiling these:

James Fadiman Ph.D. Psychologist .....
People are better seen as a multiple collection of sub-personalities rather than as a single unified self. The old concept of just one constant self simply does not fit the complexity and changeability we experience daily in our personality. Fadiman describes us all as being made up of ‘multiple personalities’ and says that we become healthier and enjoy new freedom and stability as we learn to communicate between these various selves. This in turn lets us understand and work with them, as we were meant to.

Richard Schwartz .......
In a family unit there are flesh-and-blood human beings whose behaviour can be tracked, whose reactions can be described. But what are the ‘parts’ of our internal mental family? What are the ‘components’ within that box and how do they interact? Some answers to our questions are beginning to appear from a new wave of brain research and work on artificial intelligence that has tremendous implications for the understanding of human psychology.
Schwartz considers that one of the best discussions of this work is found in ‘The Social Brain’ by Michael Gazzaniga, the scientist whose early research on the different functions of left and right brain in the 50’s and 60’s altered forever our ideas about how thinking occurs. Gazzaniga's more recent research has led him to conclude that the original distinction between left and right hemisphere function was simplistic. The brain actually consists of an undetermined number of independently functioning units or ‘modules’ with specialised functions.

As we go through our daily lives, different modules are accessed within us, typically without these shifts being part of our conscious awareness or control. For instance have you ever felt extremely sad or needy and started behaving towards your partner in a way that you were sure was going to make things worse and yet you were unable to stop yourself? Or felt as if something or someone had taken control of you? Or found yourself embroiled in an intense Inner debate that you couldn’t turn off no matter what? These experiences are dramatic reminders of how our ‘modular selves’ direct our everyday experiences (more particularly when we are feeling vulnerable.)

Victoria Resch - Sydney psychologist and Classic VOICE DIALOGUE trainer and facilitator ......
The motives of your sub-personalities are always positive, but they are sometimes misguided. Each one is there to serve you - wanting to help - but sometimes they operate on the best solution that was available to you at an earlier time in your life.  With added maturity and experience, you are able to improve on the habitual methods of a sub-personality formed when you were an infant, a child or a teenager.

Robert Ornstein - Psychoneurologist .....
Instead of a single, intellectual entity, the mind is diverse and complex. It contains a changeable conglomeration of small minds and these different entities are temporarily employed - wheeled into consciousness - and then returned to their place after use.

Sandra Karen Watanabe O.T.R. - Family Therapist - Boston ....
Personality can be seen as a distinct group of ‘characters’ that interact in a highly differentiated internal system. Our experience of ‘our self’ is really the experience of all these different parts of our personality and the way they interplay. Over time we develop a highly distinct and consistent 'cast' of internal characters, each one of which is capable of interacting by itself with the outside world.

Other Terms and Models
In different models of personality the inner selves are known by similar names including:
* inner voices
* inner families
* adapted selves
* sub-personalities
* cast of characters
* protector or coping mechanisms
* coping behaviour or coping patterns
* adapted adult-child patterns
* ego states

NOTE: My thanks and appreciation to Dorsey Cartrwright, Houston Texas for her help in collecting this material.

Learning United States History can be fun. Try incorporating fun activities for kids with social studies. Try using fun coloring pages to grab their attention. Make learning  interesting again!

See also
Bibliography -
Models of Multiplicity, Ego States and Multi personality models

 A Dynamic or Energetic Approach to Understanding the Inner Selves

Copyright John Nutting 1996 - - 2004  and      GROWING AWARENESS   All rights reserved World Wide   LAST UPDATE  Thursday, 07 February 2008 22:13

Don't worry about these copyright notices at the foot of each page. It just means I want to hang on to legal ownership of what I write for use in future books.  Until that day, please feel free to copy and even adapt them for your own use and for friends as long as you acknowledge me as the author and owner of the copyright and you don't charge anyone for them. If you want to use them professionally or commercially (charge a fee for them) or for clients, each sheet you hand out must include full acknowledgment of copyright ownership as above and if  you are benefiting as a result, I would appreciate an appropriate sharing.

Return to HOME PAGE

Hit Counter