The origins and meaning of our sense of self have fascinated us for our entire human history. The perception of self has often been implicated in mental health conditions, as well as interpersonal and societal conflicts, from the smallest issue to the most devastating wars. Issues of poor “self-esteem” / low sense of self-worth, low self-confidence, self-loathing, self-doubt and the essence of the most common personality disorders are related to our relationship with a sense of self.
However, the main psychological theories of self and identity, including psychodynamic, behavioural, cognitive (episodic memory), and social have been of little utility in clinical practice because they generally remain philosophical and offer little in terms of practical tools to address daily problems. In contrast, Buddhist psychology proposes a conceptualisation of the self based on phenomenology, the data we derive from direct experience, which is then integrated into daily living to guide our steps toward “egolessness”, away from conflicts and dissatisfaction; away from suffering. Since MiCBT is based on such an integration, it is helpful for therapists using MiCBT to understand the nature and mechanisms of the self and apply this understanding in clinical practice. This can be of great assistance when addressing chronic conditions because chronicity generally leads to identification with one’s continual or repeated experience of suffering, which in turn affects one’s schemas and sense of identity.
This masterclass will provide a useful conceptualisation of how the sense of self is maintained and updated over time through co-emergence dynamics between mind and body to maintain a sense of self-continuity. It will present supporting evidence from neuroscience. It will also discuss a more pragmatic way of understanding and addressing self-related issues that your clients experience.
You will learn:
- the Buddhist psychological conceptualisation of self and its advantages
- the co-emergence theory of self and its neural correlates
- a rationale for cultivating egolessness with MiCBT in both clinical and non-clinical settings