PSYCHOTHERAPY SCIENTIFIC AND RELIGIOUS

A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

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230          PSYCHOTHERAPY : SCIENTIFIC AND RELIGIOUS chap.
this meaning is intended to be taken. Personality is something far more complex than that which the lawyers know as a person, including as it does ego and character, all that is implied in the word ' heredity ', and all bodily and mental potentialities.
The older psychological descriptions of personality were in terms of the self, which was defined introspectively by William James as that which every individual calls ' me ' or ' mine \ In speaking thus James included the idea of the social self, the knowledge of oneself as reflected from the attitudes and reactions of other human beings, and it was not something which could be regarded as an isolated part of consciousness, but as an essential unity of personality which differentiated the individual
1 from his fellows. The concept of self, then, was an
I introspective term for the integration of personality. The experimental evidence is that most individuals show consistency of behaviour indicative of integrated activity, though not the perfect consistency indicative of complete integration. Instead of conceiving of an individual's self as representative of all his habits and attitudes it is necessary to postulate a number of selves. In most individuals one self will be dominant, but in a minority two or more selves may assert themselves with relatively equal frequency. In the latter case, we speak of the selves as dissociated personalities. It must be remembered, however, that dissociation is a relative term and that most individuals are not at harmony with
(themselves in all respects. The difference between the dissociated personality and the normal individual is a
'difference in the degree of integration. Dissociation of personality may be simultaneous or successive. An example of simultaneous dissociation is automatic writing which occurs in hysterical patients and under certain circumstances in normal individuals. The subject will write