Cognitive Pearl #065 Iyar 7, 5775 April 26, 15

File this one under Pygmalion effect or a really questionable use of projective identification.

Our clients, and for that matter everybody else, are social creatures. That means that we are as influenced by the social context as we are by our inner drives and longings. In fact, since the vast majority of our knowledge is second hand (we would not even know our name or gender without someone telling us) it can be argued that social influence is an even greater factor in our inner lives than our intrapsychic activities. What all of this means is that our joy, our aspirations, and even our physical and cognitive being are shaped by the people around us.

Here’s why I bring this up: my clients, like yours, are members of social environments. All have parents (duh), all live in the company of others (I assume that none of us are working with people located on the moon), and all are trying to make personal changes in the midst of social pressures.

Each of us is are part of that social pressure cooker.

So when we see the unruly Godliness in our clients they see it too. And if Heaven forbid we see them as trapped by circumstances (including our diagnoses!) they trapped in our projections. 

I don’t know about you, but I love to see people fly.