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Destructive Representations

A lack of self-acceptance develops as a result of insufficient acceptance from important care-givers or events (“Why did this happen to me?”). This expresses itself in two forms of gameplay, which we call destructive representations. One form, the external representation, consists of the assumption that other people reject (“How unpleasant”), condemn (“How inappropriate!”), pursue (“Not like this!”), shame (“How embarrassing!”), ignore (“Let us talk about something else!”), or exclude (“Don’t bother me with that!”) one or more aspects of one’s own person (sometimes even the whole person). Such assumptions about the reactions of others are destructive, because in this way they fundamentally determine what is affirmed and denied, and because one hides from oneself the fact that these are projections. It is not the others who act, but assumptions about others, and, therefore, something of one’s own (and thus alterable)! The other form, self-representation, consists of the fact that one rejects, shames or blames one or more aspects of one’s own person (or, occasionally, also one’s entire person). This internal division into a destructive self-representation and a secondary self-representation which is the internal victim of this form of rejection, is a common psychodynamic pattern. This is described and processed in most counselling theories (though with very different concepts and, in particular, with very different consequences for practical work). Working on the self-created and maintained inner polarisation between the perpetrator (destructive self-representation) and the suffering victim therefore gains much weight in the counselling process.

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