Theory development

The following is a concept currently in development, a theoretical approach to interpersonal psychotherapy which posits the phenomena of an aspect of self, largely subdued by oneself, yet unobservable and fundamentally unknowable to others. We carry this as the fundamental drive of our conscious personality. The concept will evolve over time. If you have comments, please feel free to contact me.

Manifesting experientially through anxiety, fears, doubts, hopes, wishes, and bargaining – the notion is that a secret self communicates with our conscious self via the transaction of thoughts, conceptions, schema, and reflections. These occur within us through a largely negative paradigm, operating internally, but having external manifestations such as anxiety, concern, shame, repression, denial, unfulfilled wish, and self-doubt. We are able to become acutely aware of this pervasive concept of self during the moments prior to, and immediately following: sleep, rest, meditation, and contemplation. This self permeates through our lives and defines our shared existential dilemma of:

I exist – what I am to do with this fact, how can I reconcile my actions with my relations to others, to myself, or to my spiritual notions?

Conscious self cannot entirely tolerate the manifestation of one’s hidden, primary self – the issue being that we are fundamentally unsure of who we should be. We fear rejection or harming others through the disclosure of our unspoken higher and lower drives (altruistic and animalistic), but more-so we attempt to reduce the exposure of our prime thinking when we attempt to socialize, and therefore we stifle ourselves. By examining these thoughts and feelings, and in attempting to give them voice and substance (within a safe environment), the concept is that the root of intrapsychic dilemmas can be addressed in a tangible fashion via focused and pragmatic therapeutic intervention that addresses (and gives name to) those thoughts and feelings which we largely hide ourselves from – thereby moving experience into a universal and shared paradigm, instead of a closed system.

I open my mouth to speak, and the words come out of yours – I discover that my experience, that an aspect of my being in this life, a leg of my journey, can been experienced by another – and I am healed by this.

– Unlike other definitions of the term secret self, we use it to describe an aspect of self, of consciousness, which is omni-present (with us in sophisticated form through our lives)- rather than one which is overshadowed by the presenting self (or something that emerges via neurotic dissatisfaction). The concept of a self being secret is that it cannot be known by another, it is not secretive in the sense through which we would come to understand something that is hidden, it is secret in the sense that it is unknowable to others, but that it is ours- it is uniquely arcane, a form of meta-arcanum; as it belongs only to us, more-so it is us. It is the voice of reasoning, of doubt, of shame, of regret, of dreaming, of aspiration, of recognition, of hope, of wishing, of acceptance, or of rejection. During quiet moments, the moments before sleep or at waking, moments of self-reflection, and the moments of invasive or reflective thought – the secret self is present. An aspect of our consciousness attempts to relate the actuality of our being to our shared existential crisis: that we exist, that we continue to exist, that we must exist, and that we must relate to the existence of others if we are to sate the desire of the secret self – ultimately to be known, and to live an authentic life.

I think therefore I am not – I am not the culmination of my thoughts or actions, I exist before and beyond my experience, I have always existed, and I yearn to be known – I am the secret self.

We have thoughts and feelings which we feel unable to tell others, perhaps even unable to fully tolerate ourselves – we lack the intellectual or emotional language to give form to them, we lack the perspective to see them fully, and we struggle with the belief that we will be accepted or that we will not irreparably harm others by giving voice to it. These are greater than the things that keep us awake, these are the passing thoughts that remain throughout our lives, which push our personality away from self-actualization and further into layers of persona.

The drive to be known comes from the desire of the secret self to reconcile existence, to find meaning and reason in the matter of existence, lest we lapse into arbitrary or chaotic attachments to events, and become depressed within our lives.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *