Identity refers to:
• A healthy ‘I’ (in the sense of a psychological ‘ego’ as an executive function of
the human psyche)
• With my own free will
• With all my senses
• In contact with my body
• With my own feelings
• With my own words
• In all my relationships
What Does a Healthy ‘I’ Mean in This Context?
• Being present, but not dominating
• Being flexible in altering situations
• Being realistic about what is possible and what is not
• Being able to accept surviving parts and traumatized parts of my psyche
• Taking responsibility for a healthy identity-development
• Having a free will
Psychotrauma may result in:
• Looking for substitute-identities (e.g. a professional role to hide behind)
• Inappropriately clinging to another person (e.g. to a partner, a child, a
therapist, an ‘authority’)
• Hiding one’s I behind a ‘We’ (relationship, family, company, ‘system’, nation
• Identifying with the behavior of perpetrators and acting out against yourself
or others later on.
• re-defining oneself (e.g. ‘It didn’t affect me!’)
• self-denial (e.g. ‘I was not beaten / sexually abused!’)
• disengaging the ‘I’ from the body (e.g. ‘My body is sick!’ ‘My body needs to be fixed by a specialist.’)
• dissolving the ‘I’ (e.g. through drug usage or withdrawing into a state of confusion)
• individuals who split into personalities, who experience this as normal and their ‘true identity’
• Men and women turning into functioning machines, without any connection to their healthy ‘I’ and their bodies.
A Healthy Identity::
• Is the sum total of all conscious and unconscious life experiences
• Exhibits the capability and capacity of allowing the truth of life to flow through, feeling it, acknowledging it, including all of it as life’s messy glory.