As the client of a depth psychologist back in the mid-1980’s, I acquired a copy of The Basic Neurosis by Edmund Bergler. My therapist told me the book was important, and I was determined to read it. I did so for five or six pages and then, inexplicably, put it aside.
Over the following weeks, I occasionally remembered the book and my intention to read it. But by then I couldn’t recall where I’d put it. I finally came across it six months later, tucked into an excellent hiding place, out of sight in a back shelf in my office.
In a classic case of psychological resistance, I had hidden the book from myself! I had not wanted to learn what it insisted was true, that unconsciously we’re ready and willing to participate in our own misery.
Psychological resistance is like an invisible wall that stands between aspiring individuals and the actualized self they desperately want to become. Bringing this resistance into view is vitally important to our personal development.
People continually bump up against this wall, get knocked back on their duff, get back up, and incomprehensibly repeat the procedure ad infinitum. We don’t even know we’re bumping into a wall. We’re just left feeling confused, dazed, and disoriented, unable to make any sense of recurring self-defeat or self-sabotage. [Read more…]