Chapter 9 – Subpersonalities 


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Working with subpersonalities helps us to integrate opposites within us, identify our internal troublemakers and achieve greater inner consistency. Opposites and paradoxes may perhaps make life more interesting and also serve creative purposes – they can be an incentive to express ourselves in different ways. For example, how would Ingmar Bergman’s films have looked if he had not had his ”daemons”? But we will inevitably experience insecurity if we identify ourselves only with the parts of us that shift and change.

Subpersonalities, or subselves, (sometimes called personas or masks) is the name for the elements within us that – because we have not had the opportunity to be ourselves fully – have become distorted and no longer express our true needs. However, subpersonalities are not a collection of unrelated parts existing within us – under the surface is our center, our true Self.

Each subpersonality represents a need in me. But if some parts of me have conflicting needs, there will be imbalance in the whole, resulting in disharmony and reduced energy flow.

In Psychosynthesis, the many parts of our personality – our different needs – are often compared to an orchestra, an ensemble of actors or the crew of a ship. In order to function, we have to integrate the elements so that they play the same tune, play or work for the same purpose. It would not work if all members of the orchestra played their own piece of music. We must make the parts cooperate, not fight each other. It is not about repressing or disposing of any one part. They should remain inside, but some parts should not be allowed to take over and control the others. We need to develop a strong conductor/director/captain who can make our subselves cooperate for the common good and – the bigger picture – and together become more than the parts.

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