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Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Introjection?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Introjection

Childhood Identification with the Superego

In time, the external coercive agencies become internalized. This is done through the process of introjection and identification, in which the coercive agencies become part of the internal structure of the child. In other words, the child psychically takes in parental demands, and they became his or her own. We must remember here that these processes are defensive mechanisms, and now employed, in this instance, to avoid the loss or expected loss of the parent or his love. So becoming like the parent acts as a way of having him, and hence as a defense against losing him; and at the same time, these defenses are also used to get the parents' love and approval. The resulting inner coercive agency is what Freud called the superego.

Final Integration of the Ego Structure

The overall organization of identifications and introjections (in the form of units of object relations) is accomplished through the synthetic function of the ego, and constitutes the final integration of the ego structure into a sense of self that is continuous in space and time and includes the representational world, which is composed of all the object images.

Identification is Like Introjection

Thus identification is like introjection, except that the object relations internalized are on a more developed level. The object is seen as a person with a specific role, for example, the role of protecting or mothering, rather than just as a vague object that is needed. These internalized roles are expressed later in development as traits of character and personality. In other words, this internalized repertoire of roles becomes organized into a cohesive self-image through which the child at the end of development is interacting with his environment.

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