Notes on Mental Health Journey

Meaning and Motivation outlines, descriptions principles, etc.

Important point was made in the book The Psychopathic Mind was pg. 328 “Denial is most commonly seen in counter phobic responses to danger when treating psychopathic individuals. Vulnerability to predation, after all, is the ultimate narcissist insult, and this may trigger a reaction formation that one is physically invincible (Maltsberger and Buie 1974

Quotes article Theory of Personality Change

“Symbols must interact with the feeling before we have a meaning.”

“Such explanatory concepts of content and structure tell us what prevents an individual from being changed by experience, what factors will force him forever (by dennition) to miss or distort everything that might change him unless (as we commonly say) his personality (somehow) changes first.”

“Now, this explanation (shared in some way, as I have tried to indicate, by the major personality theories of the day [4]) is based on the striking way in which the individual during psychotherapy becomes aware of what (so he now says) he has long felt but has not known that he felt. Moreover, the individual realizes how powerfully these previously

unaware experiences have affected his feelings and behavior. So many individuals have now reported this that there is no longer much doubt that it is a valid observation. The open question is how we are to formulate it theoretically.” So….

“Or if, somehow, repression is forcefully lifted and the individual is made to become aware of these experiences, the ego will “lose control,” the self will “disintegrate,” and intolerable “uncanny emotions” will occur. In psychosis, it is said, the individual is aware of such experiences and the ego or self-organization has indeed broken down.”

Another quote as were the above quotes taken from article Theory of Personality Change

“1. Major personality change involves some sort of intense affective or feeling process occurring in the individual.

Major personality change occurs nearly always in the context of an ongoing personal relationship.”

“In personality change the individual directly feels an inward reworking. His own concepts and constructs become partly unstructured and his felt experiencing at times exceeds his intellectual grasp.”

“The change comes through some kind of emotional digesting;”

Explanation of my felt experience of 2016

I felt that a part of me was at a zero point (no inner container) flooded me and went outside of me. Parts of my present world of external objects, sounds, etc. became containers symbolizing my intolerably negative affect state that was very primitive and implicit not integrated or modulated and previously blocked from my conscious awareness. Observations of what these feelings represented     a self that felt, terrified, helpless, alone, extremely vulnerable and overwhelmed in relationship with a dangerous, scary and random other, object and world. (therapeutic relationship provides necessary disparity of safety and acceptance to neutralize the trauma)


Look at the borderline explanation of split dyads negatives together and positives together and separated from each other. Bad and good, black and white, horrible and wonderful, etc. polarized and extreme oposites.


My extreme grandiosity and feeling of invulnerability protected me from seeing my other vulnerable self and the fears of a dangerous environment and dangerous others.. this realization overwhelmed me, since I had avoided this reality of feeling I hadn’t learned to tolerate, regulate, symbolize, integrate, verbalize, conceptualize these intense primitive feeling state.


I had to create an inner container and overcome my zero state.

I had to pay the cost of using very rigid and primitive defenses against emotional states I felt intolerable. those using borderline, immature defenses suffer more later for it, but thank God there was a chink in my armor and I am thankful for having good enough prognostic factors to work with.


List of prognostic factors: things that predict a positive change and recovery from psychotherapy from book Psychotherapy for Borderline Personality


  1. quote from book Psychotherapy for Borderline Personality pg. 119 “the more the patient tolerates depression without severe decompensation the better the prognosis.”



signs of recovery


Some goals: build up my sense of self as good, accepted and capable. A child of God. Build up a sense of other and world and Creator as safe and soothing. A place of resources and connection. Become a mature, loving, connected person who can live and face life who can tolerate the terrifying emotional flashbacks from past trauma as well as what today and the future have for me. Develop the right kind of self organization.


Important point!!! Is that when facing the emotional flashbacks they can be neutralized by the disparity of the therapist, safety, calm, faith, connection, etc


Gestalt a configuration, pattern, or organized field having specific properties that cannot be derived from the summation of its component parts; a unified whole.