Therapy of self destructiveness

What are some examples of how people can understand and deal with their sleepy pull to non life and their thanatos or destructive aspect of their personality. This diagram shows the structural analysis of what is being proposed. All of us are born with a natural FC destructiveness as shown by the drive of thanatos and also what Fanita English called the pull to non life (or sleepy).

Full ego state self destruction diagram

In addition to this, a self destructive message can be delivered by the parents through the life script. Parents give messages to the child that are then decided upon by the child that results in self destructive behaviour throughout life. This is a function of the AC as it is an adaptation to authority (the parents).

How a person displays self destructive behaviour can be many and varied. Some examples being:

Cigarettes, alcohol, illicit drug use, coffee, abuse of prescription drugs, other addictions (gambling & sex)

Medication non compliance, not getting medical treatment when indicated, some kinds of Munchausen Syndrome

Poor quality diet, poor physical condition, over eating, under eating, binge eating, some types of cosmetic surgery, excessive dieting or use of laxatives

Full body contact sports, repetitive injuries on sporting field, life threatening sports, excessive exercise

Behave in a way that can damage relationships, affair, toxic relationships, relationships repeatedly ending badly, unsafe sex.

Caravan 2

Consider this example. We all do self destructive things in relationships. Eric Berne calls such things marital games like corner, If it weren’t for you, rapo and so forth. If a client presents with such difficulties as often happens in counselling then one can do the following.

Do a structural analysis to determine the Free Child and Adapted Child involvement

1. Adapted Child – do a life script analysis to determine what script messages there are about this aspect of self destructiveness. What script messages from the parents result in the person playing such games and being destructive in their marriage. This is then dealt with by redecision.

2. Free Child – Facilitate the client becoming aware of their FC thanatos or self destructive energy. To become aware of that part of self. Then the goal is to build relational contact with it. This is done in two ways. First for the client to understand that part of self and to build lines of communication between the thanatos in the Free Child and the other ego states, principally Nurturing Parent and Adult. Second for the therapist to build relational contact with the thanatos in the Free Child of the client. Principally communicating with the thanatos in the client and the Nurturing Parent, Adult and Free Child of the therapist. This is a very good thing to do as the thanatos in the Free Child of the client will not be expecting it and it is a most therapeutic thing to do. If this relationship building between the thanatos of the client and the FC, NP and A of the therapist can occur over weeks or months or even years that in my view can have quite a profound therapeutic effect.

One does not seek to do therapy on this aspect of the personality but one embraces it and seeks to develop some kind of coexistence with it. One embraces their depression or learns to love their panic attacks one could say. It is accepted as a normal part of their thanatos. it can’t be changed even if one wanted to.

Eric Berne talked about this natural self destructiveness when he wrote about the demon as is shown here

Demon 2

Finally one must distinguish between normal person self destructiveness and other self destructiveness. There is a group of people who find themselves in the position where they have developed a demon subpersonality or lillith aspect of self. This is beyond the average and the self destructiveness in these cases is significantly more so than one finds in the above.

This is probably a combination of both FC thanatos and AC self destructiveness. In essence lillith says, “I will keep you safe by destroying you”. As one can see a double bind situation the person finds self in.

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