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Development of Frustration Tolerance

Without frustration competence needs would become an internal terror regime and one would be a slave to one’s desires. A mature needs regulation consists substantially of being well able to do without the satisfying (not the experiencing!) of needs. To put it another way: the perception and the experiencing of needs must not be linked to one’s current ability to satisfy them. Otherwise one would always have to control carefully to ensure that only those needs arise which can also be satisfied. However, many people experience it exactly in that way: “It is very frustrating to feel like this, because, with my husband, this won’t work, anyway!”. It does not occur to the client that it could be satisfying to experience herself as a woman who likes to show herself, and, therefore, loves dancing, and does not stop doing this because her husband does not come with her. Therefore, frustration competence means allowing the experiencing of a need even when one cannot currently fulfil it or when it is unclear whether one can change it and it is just as unclear whether one can obtain it somewhere else. In counselling sessions, the mistake is often made of only focusing on the satisfaction competence, which, from a meta theory viewpoint, is a mistake.

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