Personality Theory Reflections

ABRAHAM MASLOW REFLECTION PAPER

by Katy Rose (2017)

Abstract

Abraham Maslow co-founded the fields of humanistic and transpersonal psychology to explore the many concepts that behaviorism and psychoanalysis platforms did not recognize, such as, the cultural and social aspects that influence behaviors, as well as, love, creativity and mysticism.  Maslow was brilliant and posed deep, thoughtful questions in these areas that still hold relevancy with social scientists today. Even though educated as a behaviorist, Maslow later embraced social and personality psychology during WW II, as tools to assist in healing the world’s complex grief associated with the war. Although psychoanalytic theory greatly influenced Maslow, it did not define the full range of human behavior, so he was inspired to develop a psychology to explain the varying differences between intellectual and intuitive relativity resulting in his development of the hierarchy of needs, an integrated model respecting all approaches in psychology. Maslow’s exploration of self-actualization, the top need within the hierarchy, led him into the transcendent reality motivating human behavior, through peak experiences or deep mystic moments that may fundamentally change an individual in perspective, thus, he named this new psychology, transpersonal. Maslow discovered two orientations in life for those who achieved self-actualization.  They live fully engaged with life either as a pragmatist, mastering all of life’s richness for the highest good of all, or as one who transcends self-actualization living fulfilled in the sacredness of life in daily activities.

Introduction

Abraham Maslow investigated the psychology of positive experiences, rather than the broken, negative aspects of the personality. His greatest contributions to the field of psychology hold three specific themes: “1. Human beings have an innate tendency to move toward higher levels of health, creativity, insight, and self-fulfillment; 2. Neurosis is basically a blockage of the innate tendency toward self-actualization; 3. Business efficiency and personal growth are not incompatible. In fact, the process of self-actualization brings each individual to greater efficiency, creativity, and productivity” (Frager, 2013).

Spirituality in the Workplace was a class I enjoyed at St. Edward’s University in Austin, TX in 2004. My paper explored the business efficiency and personal growth in the workplace as I was greatly influenced by Maslow’s self-actualization theory, Joann Hungelmann’s “Spiritual Well-Being in Older Adults: Harmonious Interconnectedness”, Krista Kurth’s “Expressive Aspects of Selfless Service at Work” and Raymond D. Smith’s article, “Management, Spirituality, Religion and Political Correctness” published in the Academy of Management MSR Newsletter. Albert Schweitzer, a theologian and medical missionary greatly impacted my perspective in the three specific themes mentioned above that Maslow contributed to psychology. Don Miguel Ruiz, who I once had the great fortune to meet, authored the Toltec Wisdom Series: The Four Agreements, The Mastery of Love, The Voice of Knowledge, The Circle of Fire and The Fifth Agreement. Ruiz’s work emanates the humanistic and transpersonal aspects of Maslow’s contributions to understanding the human being in life.

Body

Social anthropologist, William Sumner fascinated Maslow with his belief that human behavior could be defined by a particular society’s cultural patterns. Maslow also gleamed from Gestalt therapy the importance to effectively perceive and think in problem solving, it would be necessary to see from the whole perspective and its presenting patterns, rather than from its isolated parts.

Kurt Goldstein, a neurophysiologist, profoundly effected Maslow in his belief that the whole organism has reverberating effects when any part of itself has an occurrence. Goldstein first used the term “self-actualization” to describe the primary drive in every organism: “[The] organism is governed by the tendency to actualize, as much as possible, its individual capacities, its ‘nature,’ in the world” (Frager, 2013). Maslow dedicated his “Toward a Psychology of Being (1968) to Goldstein with respect for his influence on what Maslow later developed as his most influential contribution to the field of psychology: the hierarchy of needs pyramid which delineates the motivations behind human behavior.

Maslow believed the psychological drives of people in therapy did not accurately reflect the greater whole of the population. Neurosis and maladjustment were seen as deficiency diseases by him as they presented from a person lacking certain basic needs.

In his hierarchy of needs pyramid, Maslow integrated all known schools of psychology in relationship to their importance to an individual’s development. Self-actualization held top reign as the ultimate goal of the individual. The two base needs were physiological comfort and safety.  Once they were met the individual would graduate into exploring the needs of belonging, love and esteem.

Maslow described self-actualization “as an ongoing process in which one’s capacities are fully, creatively, and joyfully utilized” (Frager, 2013). Self-actualized people were clear thinkers, objective and emotionally sound without distortion or need to utilize ego defenses as they also were generally dedicated to serving others in the greater whole of society. Maslow defined the four characteristics of a self-actualized person to be awareness, honesty, freedom and trust developed from cultivating eight specific behaviors: concentration, growth choices, self-awareness, honesty, judgment, self-development, peak experiences and lack of ego defenses.

Concentration would involve full immersion into life with awareness, growth choices are life choices in which each decision holds value for personal growth, self-awareness is about responding with integrity from our own inner nature and honesty speaks from Soul integrity. These first four steps define the quality and integrity of how one will discriminate wisely in life as the individual will then trust their own judgment, feel confident in self-development of potentialities, embrace peak experiences as individual moments of self-actualization, since we can love and be more accepting of others without fear or anxiety, and personally strong enough to recognize when an ego defense is no longer serving our highest and best good.

Maslow viewed peak experiences as “the best moments of the human being, for the happiest moments of life, for experiences of ecstasy, rapture, bliss, of the greatest joy” (Frager, 2013). They can be deep mystical experiences or simply the feeling in watching a beautiful sunset. Peak experiences are in the moment and may illicit a fundamental change in attitude and behavior creating a freshly, deepened appreciation and aliveness in the awareness of the world. Maslow called this fundamental change a plateau experience. He found that self-actualizing people experience many peak experiences with two distinct differences in orientation: pragmatic vs. sacred integration into their lives. The pragmatist lives in the world with fulfillment and mastery of utilizing its richness for good purpose, whereas, the individual oriented towards the sacred transcends self-actualization “tend to think more holistically than “merely healthy” self-actualizers; they are better able to transcend the categories of past, present, and future, and good, and evil, and to perceive a unity behind the apparent complexity and contradictions of life” (Frager, 2013). Transcending self-actualizers live in the sacredness of life, the spiritual realm while fully present in the current reality of daily activity.

Maslow also believed in the concept of enlightened management which perceives the employee as a creative and productive individual who should be encouraged and supported rather than dictated too from an authoritarian perspective that denies promising individuality in commitment to the company’s life goals. Traditionally, the work culture only addresses the first 3 levels of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, but now the consciousness is evolving to incorporate a more holistic view of the employee. The synergy, or cooperative interpersonal harmony creates unity between thought and action, thus, a work environment, or any society or culture will integrate as a healthy whole presence.

“The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others.” – Albert Schweitzer. “Every human is an artist. The dream of your life is to make beautiful art.” – Miguel Ruiz

 

References

Cousins, N. (1984). The words of Albert Schweitzer. New York, NY: New Market.

Frager, R. & Fadiman, J. (2013). Personality and personal growth. (7th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson

Hungelmann, J. (1985). “Spiritual well-being in older adults: Harmonious interconnectedness.”

     Journal of Religion and Health. 24 (p. 147-153).

Kurth, K. (1994). Expressive aspects of selfless service at work.

Ruiz, D. M. (1999). The mastery of love. San Rafael, CA: Amber Allen Publishing.

Smith, R. D. (2004). “Management, spirituality, religion and political correctness.” Academy of

     Management MSR Newsletter. Winter.

 

EXPLORING ATTACHMENT THEORY IN ADULT RELATIONSHIPS

by Katy Rose (2018)

Abstract

This paper explores Attachment Theory from principal founder, John Bowlby, a psychoanalytic psychiatrist who began research in the 1940’s on the bond between mother and infant. His goal was to transform analytical thought in human development by applying ethology perspectives, the evolutionary study of behaviors in natural environments. Mary Ainsworth, a former assistant in research for Bowlby, later discovered distinct variances in qualitative attachment styles which were categorized and incorporated into more current research on Dr. Levine’s and Rachel Heller, M.A.’s adult attachment styles in relationships this paper identifies and examines. Other theory and findings are shared in this paper to offer perspective and understanding in the development theory of relationships including God as an attachment figure, concluding with the existentialist view of “Standing in Love” rather than “Falling in Love.”

Keywords: secure, insecure, avoidant

John Bowlby, the principle founder of Attachment Theory, was a psychoanalytic child psychiatrist. He began research in the 1940’s on the bond between mother and infant inspiring further inquiry in ethology, the evolutionary study of behavior in natural environments. His goal was to transform psychoanalytical thought in human development as he believed the mother-infant bond was a “primary motivational system that evolved to ensure the survival of offspring…genetically biased to develop a set of behavioral patterns…” (Flannelly, 2010). Mary Ainsworth discovered in further research dramatic differences in the quality of attachment styles separating them into three categories: secure, avoidant and ambivalent-resistant or as we now call insecure. My paper will share basic history and development in attachment theory with emphasis on how our attachment style effects the quality of our adult relationships and how to recognize and harmonize opposing styles as posited by the work of Dr. Levine and Rachel Heller, M.A. Lastly, I suggest the existential relationship viewpoint of “standing in love”, rather than “falling in love” so each can become the guardian of solitude for the other through the insight, endurance and action of moral courage represented in Jung’s individuation theory to heal relationships of opposing attachment theory.

Literature Review

“Attachment theory seemed to have much to offer. It promised continuity between the affective cognitive development of the child and the socioemotional development of the young adult. Further, it suggested one type of explanation for adult romantic love. Because the concept of attachment is developmental and is in some measure congruent with both evolutionary and neo-analytic approaches, Hazan and Shaver’s (1987) work received considerable attention in the social-psychological literature” (Hendrick, 2002). There are those who criticize Bowlby’s perspective that the mother controls the dominant effect on attachment style as it leaves out the constitutional and genetic variances the infant may present. Feminist scholars may perceive this approach as another mother blaming bashing. The meta-analytic review of Goldsmith and Alansky (1987) found results for maternal variables were not consistent in various studies. Yet an understanding of attachment theory explains grief intensity. Clergy meet in pastoral counseling with those working with loss and unresolved grief more than psychiatry, psychology and social work combined (Dean, 2018). Attachment theory for them informs and directs treatment from a conceptual base. Other qualitative studies in psychology report growing up with a schizophrenic or psychotic mother effects attachment styles in adult relationships due to the isolation, guilt and abuse the child suffers with that primary caregiver.

Subsequent researchers since Ainsworth found attachment orientations in adulthood were connected with affect regulation patterns unique to the dimension of anxiety or avoidance and that adult attachment styles influence emotional intelligence which consists of three categories of adaptive proficiency: “appraisal and expression of emotion, regulation of emotion, and utilization of emotion in solving problems” (Li, 2014). Kirkpatrick’s (1985) work on attachment to God in contextual realm with Ainsworth’s attachment theory explains “God can be an attachment figure because the two key functions served by such a figure can apply to God: God serves as a haven of safety to whom believers turn in times of distress and as a secure base from who believers explore the world around them” (Sim, 2011).

Discussion

John Bowlby (1969, 1973) used the evolutionary concepts and observational methods of ethology to develop a theory of the mother-infant relationship known as Attachment Theory. According to that theory, the infant comes into the world equipped with a biological system – the attachment system – to keep it in close proximity with its primary care-giver and protect it from harm. Since the child’s attachment system interacts with the child’s own fear system, and its mother’s maternal care system, the attachment between children and their primary caregivers vary in quality…” (Flannelly, 2018). Bowlby believed we are genetically programmed by evolution to seek out precious connections with a select few who would keep us safe. This attachment system “consists of emotions and behaviors that ensure … we remain safe and protected by staying close to our loved ones” (Levine, 2010) and these developed attachment systems, along with environmental influences define our adult romantic relationships.

Development of adaptive and maladaptive working models of the self and other begin in infancy as the newborn learns the use of “other” as a secure base to explore the environment, and the use of “other” in times of stress and/or danger as a protective shield against the perceived harm. Dr. Levine and Rachel Heller, in their book: Attached, the New Science of Adult Attachment And How It Can Help You Find – And Keep Love identify three adult attachment styles determining the substantive quality in romantic relationships: anxious, secure and avoidant. They describe anxious people as fixating on the questionable fidelity of the relationship, although they crave intimacy, whereas, the secure person usually welcomes intimacy with a warm comfort and ease, rarely questioning their partner’s ability to love them, but in contrast, the avoidant person perceives intimacy as a threat to their autonomy, thus will  habitually minimalize closeness. They are not seen as pathological responses to relationship, simply maladaptive for the anxious and avoidant individuals, as they are unable to communicate and respond effectively when grasping for emotional and psychological safety in relationship.

In infancy, the anxious person usually experienced inconsistency with response to distress and/or nurturing, resulting developmentally and neurologically as feeling insecure and uncertain in relationship dynamics. The avoidant attachment style develops when the primary caregiver remained distant and non-responsive, therefore, the infant, by default, had to develop his/her own sense of autonomy without touch of “other.” So, in adult romantic relationships, intimacy threatens sense of self. Sensitive and available primary caregivers created a secure attachment style for the infant, the most stable and effective establishing balance and genuine connection with their partner. So as a result of the developed primary attachment style, the secure, avoidant and anxious contextually vary on views of intimacy, conflict, sexual affect, and personal needs or expectations from the relationship.

Adults who understand the contextual variance in attachment styles and choose a healthy union rather than isolation awaken the existential desire for true connection. Although the avoidant sends mixed signals, while the insecure anxious desires closeness, as the secure remains reliable and consistent, the insight of the individuation process Jung proposes will support further choice in moral courage through endurance and conscious action. Martin Buber describes the nature of love as the “I-Thou” relationship: subject to subject. Individuals co-exist in genuine living spontaneity rather than objectifying one another in confluence of boundary disturbance specific to opposing attachment styles. Individuals can learn to love the expanse between each other in defining styles becoming each other’s guardian of solitude. This type of interpersonal  love and respect is about “standing in love” not “falling in love” (T. Leao, Humanistic Existential Psychology, April 24, 2018).

Early attachment relationship also defines how the infant comes to know him or herself in social awareness. So, if the infant feels loved and cherished, they will grow into confident adults believing they are loveable not only in romantic relationships, but also in social context. If this initial learning of the infant suggests they are unwanted and subsequently neglected by primary caregiver, an anxious or avoidant attachment style develops disrupting the intimacies of adult romantic relationship (Shaw, 2005).

Reciprocity in adult relationships brings to mind that the individual learns to become both a caregiver and support seeker of that equanimity desired in safe balance of interdependence. This development begins around 3-4 years of age as the child begins to form cognitive and emotional constructs to anticipate actions of the “other.” In the evolution of the young child’s sense of self, the primary caregiver profoundly impacts the affect-regulation of either positive or negative self-worth in all future relationships with “other.” Further research by Crittenden (1995), suggests “the self-concept can be organized…into affective and cognitive components because they are governed by separate brain systems; affect is associated with the limbic system, which is functional by birth, and cognition is associated with the cortex, which matures after birth (Shaw, 2005). Crittenden believed individuals learn value in the predictive powers to navigate through relationship as a direct result from interacting with primary caregiver.

Bowlby, although trained in psychoanalysis, preferred to begin observation when a traumatic event occurred moving forward in the evolution of the adult personality, rather than  working backwards through the symptomology. Allen and Land (1999) suggest “a central parental caregiving role is to facilitate adolescents in coping with, and managing, seemingly intolerable affect…[as] the relationship provides a secure base in which to understand, rehearse, and manage the strong affect that might be associated with managing new relationships, living as an autonomous adult, and perhaps becoming attachment figures themselves” (Shaw, 2005). Later, Allen and his colleagues, demonstrated that secure teenagers used mutual empathy and validation skills when discussing opposing views with their mothers. Kirkpatrick and Shaver (1992) revealed “individuals who had a secure attachment to God were more satisfied with life…” and Belavich and Pargament (2002) found that “secure attachment to God was associated with better emotional adjustment…” (Flannelly, 2018).

In conclusion “Attachment theory suggests that early parenting behaviors shape children’s internal working models of relationships (Ainsworth and Bowlby, 1991). Children construct understanding of their worthiness of being loved and ability to trust others through early parental contact. These early constructs remain stable and informative throughout the lifespan of all relationships. Individuals can change and heal unhealthy attachment styles through existential trust in Jung’s individuation model of insight, endurance and action,” as with a secure attachment to God as the other. “In a true partnership, both partners view it as their responsibility to ensure the other’s emotional well-being…A relationship, from the attachment perspective should make you feel more self-confident and give you peace of mind…remain true to your authentic self” (Levine, 2010).

 

References

Aber, J.L. and Allen, J.P. (1987). Effects of maltreatment on young children’s socioemotional

Development: An attachment theory perspective. Developmental Psychology, 23(3),

406-414. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, Inc.

Chu, J.A. and Dill, D.L. (1990). Dissociative symptoms in relation to childhood physical and

sexual abuse. The American Journal of psychiatry, 147(7), 887-892. Washington, DC:

American Psychiatric Association.

Crowell, J.A and Waters, E. (2002). Bowlby’s theory grown up: The role of attachment in adult

love relationships. Stony Brook, NY: State University, EBSCO Publishing.

Dean, J.C. (Summer,1988). Grief and attachment. Journal of Religion and Health, 27(2),

157-165.  Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/27505968

Flannelly, K.J. and Galek, K. (Sept. 2010). Religion, evolution, and mental health: Attachment

theory and ETAS theory. Journal of Religion and Health, 49(3), 337-350. Retrieved

from http://www.jstor.org/stable/40961630

Hendrick, C. and Hendrick, Susan S. (2002). Attachment theory and close adult relationships.

Lubbock, TX: Texas Tech University, EBSCO Publishing.

Karre, J.K. (2015). Fathering behavior and emerging adult romantic relationship quality:

Individual and constellations of behavior. Journal of Adult Development, 22, 148-158.

doi:10.1007/s10804-015-9208-3

Levine, A. and Heller, R.S. (2010). Attached. The new science of adult attachment and how it

          can help you find and keep-love. New York, NY: Penguin Group.

Li, X. and Zheng, X. (2014). Adult attachment orientations and subjective well-being: Emotional

intelligence and self-esteem as moderators. Social Behavior and Personality, 42(8),

1257-1266. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2014.42.8.1257

Nieto-Rucian, V. and Furness, P.J. (2018, March 29). The experience of growing up with a

parent with schizophrenia – A qualitative study. Qualitative Psychology. Advance online

publication. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/qup0000112

Santrock, J.W. (2018). Essentials of life-span development Ed. 5 McGraw-Hill

Education.

Shaw, S.K. and Dallos, R. (December, 2005). Attachment and adolescent depression: The impact

of early attachment experiences. Attachment and Human Development, 7(4), 409-424.

doi:10.1080/14616730500365902

Sim, T.N. and Yow, A.S. (2011). God attachment, mother attachment, and father attachment in

early and middle adolescence. Journal of Religion and Health, 50(2), 264-278. Retrieved

from http://www.jstor.org/stable/41349786

 

CARL ROGERS REFLECTION PAPER

by Katy Rose (2017)

Abstract

This paper explores Carl Rogers’ development of client-centered therapy inspired by his loss of interpersonal connection as a young child growing up in a fundamentalist Protestant family. Rogers life work made significant contributions into psychotherapy, education, pastoral counseling, paraprofessional counseling, expressive arts, conflict resolution, organizational development, community programs, cross-cultural work, politics and peace making.

Introduction

Carl Rogers believed the essence of his life work in client-centered therapy, and later person-centered therapy was captured in an excerpt from Lao-Tzu, a Chinese philosopher of the sixth century BC:

                    If I keep from meddling with people, they take care of themselves,

                   If I keep from commanding people, they behave themselves,

                  If I keep from preaching at people, they improve themselves

                 If I keep from imposing on people, they become themselves.

These words clearly demonstrate the personal power of a person-centered approach as Rogers believed individuals possess vast resources within oneself to heal and if left alone and not controlled by others the locus of decision making power would enable self-adjustment in attitudes and behaviors.

Body

Carl Rogers grew up in a strict fundamentalist Protestant home restricted from participating in many social events. Although he excelled in academics developing a strong interest in science, he remained as a child, lonely, without the freedom to explore the interconnectedness of relationship with another human being. He found the intimacy he desired while attending the University of Wisconsin as he also began to study for the ministry. While attending a World Student Christian Federation in China and a subsequent speaking tour in Asia, Rogers perceived his fundamentalist attitudes softening while abroad, thus offering him the first opportunity of psychological independence without mom and dad’s oversight.

When Rogers began his graduate studies at Union Theological Seminary, he began to experience rising doubts in his religious commitment, so he transferred to Columbia University to study psychology. He soon learned that he could earn a living outside the church in counseling. His first job in a child guidance center caused him to shift from a formal psychotherapy perspective to a client-centered therapy. Rogers believed the formal psychotherapy standard promoted the therapist’s cleverness and learning, rather than listening to and observing the client for the direction of the healing process (Frager, 2013). His emphasis on trusting the client unleashed strong criticism in the field, most especially after he first published his theory in 1951: Client-Centered Therapy.

Rogers found himself conflicted with the psychology department of his university when serving in a joint appointment of psychiatry and psychology. Rogers outlined his dissatisfaction with how the students were being unreasonably restricted and devalued in their learning in his paper: Current Assumptions in Graduate Education: A Passionate Statement (1969). Rogers later left his tenure at the university and helped to establish the Center for Studies as a Person where he moved away from his client-centered theme into a person-centered theme in which he remained until his death in 1987. On the day of his death, Rogers received a letter stating he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, as he had successfully applied his theories in torrid political climates in South Africa, Austria and the former Soviet Union.

Rogers believed the self-actualizing tendency in all people allowed for genuine self-evaluation in their particular field of personal experience as an unequivocal wholeness would result with competency in personal power. It is important to note here that in this process conflicts may arise in the myriad of our interpretations as our own individual awareness may be either congruent or incongruent with the experience itself.  Healing begins with recognizing these conflicts which simply are maladjustments. Rogers believed in a natural tendency to shift from conflict into resolution as one adjusts a maladjusted concept into alignment with actual reality. Often this healing is facilitated through interpersonal relationships with people who are not fractured in congruence and are endowed with empathic understanding which is the ability to feel with you. Rogers described a fully-functioning person will have “an openness to experience…living in the present….and trusting in one’s inner urgings and intuitive judgments” (Frager, 2013). He also suggests an effective therapist lives with unconditional positive regard and is congruent in awareness, perception and experience, and will demonstrate empathic sensitivity with the client. Rogers fundamentalist Protestant upbringing propelled him into the exploration of humanistic wholeness and living presence.

Reference

Frager, R. & Fadiman, J. (2013). Personality and personal growth.  (7th ed.). Boston, MA:

Pearson.

 

YOGA AND THE HINDU TRADITION 

by Katy Rose (2017)

Yoga, the practice of uniting oneself with divine source originated before the Hindu culture of India. Yoga contains both the mystical and ascetic disciplines: meditation, devotional chanting and austere physical discipline. The goal of Yoga is self-realization, achieved by “calming the mind and focusing consciousness on the Self, the immortal, unchanging essence” (Frager, 2013). Yoga, as a philosophy, appears in the ancient Veda texts of India known to be our world’s first written literature.

The Bhagavad-Gita, a literary epic of Indian customs, religion, ethics and mythology, arose in the second century BC as the most celebrated work on Yoga (Frager, 2013). The poetic conversation in the stanzas occurs between Arjuna who represents the ego and Krishna, who represents the true self as an incarnation of God. Krishna, as the spiritual teacher teaches Arjuna, the human self, the duty of practice to refine oneself through the art of meditation, sacred chanting and personal discipline.

Yoga philosophy invites nature to be experienced in the three principle gunas: inertia, activity and clarity. They are known as the tamas, rajas and sattva, respectfully. All life contains cycles of these three principles with sattva being the most spiritual, therefore, by increasing sattvic awareness one can live in the sacredness of life among daily activity.

Consciousness represents all the thought processes of the mind in yoga, so to quiet the waves of consciousness through practice opens the Self in all its brilliance. One must become aware of their subconscious patterns in order to this, otherwise, the subconscious tendencies formed by previous experiences will attempt to actualize themselves. This is not clarity.

Seven major schools of yoga evolved to complement various personality types. They are: Karma-yoga, Jnana-yoga, Bhakti-yoga, Hatha-yoga, Mantra-yoga, Kundalini-yoga and Raja-yoga. Karma-yoga is about learning how to act in life with selflessness and basic goodness. Jnana-yoga works best for those of refined intellect as it involves rigorous self-analysis. Bkati-yoga, one I practice, is simply the practice of loving kindness to oneself and the world and may be experienced as one voice in Kirtan, the devotional chanting of sacred Sanskrit words. Hatha-yoga helps prepare the physical body to receive more advanced control over the vital energies transmitted through our physical body, thus, one gains strength and control in physical, mental and spiritual activity. Mantra-yoga, another practice I enjoy, transforms consciousness through chanting of one particular sacred sound. Om is the most widely known mantra in Vedic truth. Kundalini-yoga awakened through practice transforms the individual physically, psychologically and spiritually. Raja-yoga is known as psychological yoga developed by Patanjali.

References

Frager, R., & Fadiman, J. (2013). Personality and personal growth. Boston, MA: Pearson.

 

Feminist Approaches to Personality Theory

by Katy Rose (2017)

“Feminist theory moves beyond the traditional examination of personality in the field of psychology, as which is generally focused on a study of individuals. Instead, feminist theorists believe that individuals should be understood in relation to the sociopolitical context in which one lives: the structures around the individual are viewed as having a much greater influence on his/her understanding of the “self” than traditionally proposed…” (Frager, 2013).

Feminist psychology seeks to examine why people are the way they are in relationship to their actual lived lives which includes familial relationships, community and religious affiliation and other interpersonal affiliations. Initially referred to as relational therapy (RCT) suggests all growth occurs in connection, that all people yearn for connection, and that growth-fostering relationships are created through mutual empathy and mutual empowerment” (Frager, 2013)). Relationships are the central organizing feature in female development.

References

Frager, R., & Fadiman, J. (2013). Personality and personal growth. Boston, MA: Pearson.

 

JUNG AND ANALYTIC PSYCHOLOGY REFLECTION 

by Katy Rose (2017)

Individuation is a central concept in Jungian psychology theorizing the development of relationship between the conscious and unconscious self. Jung believed “The ego is the center of consciousness; the self is the center of the total psyche, including both the conscious and the unconscious…thus individuation is the process of developing wholeness by integrating all the various parts of the psyche” (Frager, 2013).

Jung’s religious experience at the age of 11 definitely delivered severance from traditional understanding, causing movement in spiritual thought through the gateway of the unconscious. Although Freud and Jung became quite close, their fundamental differences in repression not always being about sexual trauma or that Jung pursued interest in the spiritual eventually cost them the friendship. Jung’s later heart attack presented a profound spiritual event in an out of body experience expanding his understanding of growing the positive self, thus presenting a new concept – the collective unconscious or transpersonal unconscious. Jung believed the unconscious “is the whole other half of the living psyche” (Frager, 2013).

Jung characterized personality types as either inward oriented or outwardly oriented. The introvert feels more comfortable with the inner world of thoughts and feelings. The extrovert enjoys material objects and people. They are more social, whereas, the psychologically healthy introvert, enjoys spiritual engagement with its Soul consciousness. No one is purely one or the other – as we need both to survive in this world.

References

Frager, R., & Fadiman, J. (2013). Personality and personal growth. Boston, MA: Pearson.

 

ALFRED ADLER AND INDIVIDUAL PSYCHOLOGY 

by Katy Rose (2017)

Individual Psychology emphasizes the uniqueness of the individual incorporating four major principles; “…holism, the unity of the individual’s style of life, social interest or community feeling, and the importance of goal-directed behavior” (Frager, 2013). Adler understood behavior in context of the physical and social environment. Adler emphasized power rather than sexuality as the basic human drive adding the social environment impacted behaviors more than the unconscious, both theories in direct opposition to Freud. Adler believed understanding a person’s “wholeness” rather than analyzing the parts as Freud theorized, would offer psychological understanding of the personality.

Adler’s theory that life goals were formed in early childhood due to a feeling of inferiority, insecurity and helplessness in an adult world. Adler believed by the end of the fifth year, the child’s personality has crystalized “…meaning he gives to life, the goal he pursues, his style of approach, and his emotional disposition are all fixed.” (Frager, 2013).

In relation to Adler’s theory on organ inferiority, I see correlations with the Psychology of the Five Elements and the Officials in Chinese medicine. It appears to me we all are accessing the collective unconscious wisdom within the constructs of our specific cultural communities.

References

Frager, R., & Fadiman, J. (2013). Personality and personal growth. Boston, MA: Pearson.

 

Erik Erikson and the Life Cycles

by Katy Rose (2017)

Erikson’s theory of life-span ego development has enormous influence in today’s understanding of psychoanalytic theory. The intellectual antecedents that developed his awareness were psychoanalysis and his personal study of life and child rearing in other cultures. At the core of his work is his most notably eight-stage development that covers from birth to death. According to Erikson, the human develops psychologically much like an embryo in womb. Epigenesis suggests development upon the previous standard of development. “The strengths and capacities developed through successful resolution at each stage affect the entire personality” (Frager, 2013). Erikson describes the eight stages of human development as follows:

  1. Basic Trust vs. Basic Mistrust
  2. Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt
  3. Initiative vs. Guilt
  4. Industry vs. Inferiority
  5. Identity vs. Identity Confusion
  6. Intimacy vs. Isolation
  7. Generativity vs. Stagnation
  8. Integrity vs. Despair

Some theorists have added a ninth stage to understand the aging population beyond 80 years of age.

  1. 80 and 90 years of age: a time of gerotranscendence as the elder battles daily with health and strength without the luxury of despair – as each day is a moment of survival.

Reference Page

Frager, R., & Fadiman, J. (2013). Personality and personal growth. Boston, MA: Pearson.