In his book The Disowned Self, the 20th century psychologist Nathaniel Branden investigated this all-too common danger. Describing the experience of one who has become alienated from their authentic self, he wrote:. It is present in every neurosis; it is the core of neurosis. I call it: the problem of the disowned self. When an individual fails to recognize their persona for what it is a mere personality mask , and instead thinks the person they portray to society is who they really are, then they have disowned their self. They have become an empty shell:.

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The Disowned Self was written by Nathaniel Branden in It was Dr. The Disowned Self explores, " The problem of obliviousness to self, the causes and consequences of such obliviousness, and its treatment psychotherapeutically - is the theme of this book. Branden describes the process whereby individuals become disconnected from their inner experience.

The book reintroduces, in an abbreviated, summary form Dr. Branden's theory of psychology and the central role played by self-esteem. It goes on to provides a philosophical foundation for the psychological theory of the disowned self. The book gives us detailed descriptions of patients experiencing the problem, the history of their problems, and the treatment. Of particular importance are the extensive examples of Sentence Stems taken from the therapy sessions.

Sentence stems are a theraputetic technique Dr. Branden developed years earlier. In the Appendix, the book contains a reprint of an interview with Dr. Branden published from Reason Magazine where he discusses his work and this book in particular. There is also a reprint of the chapter on emotions taken from The Psychology of Self-Esteem.

The first edition was published by Nash Publications in January with two reissues. Then the second edition was issued in paperback by Bantam Books beginning in June, followed by more or less annual reissues through ISBN So long as an individual cannot accept the fact of what he is, cannot permit himself fully to be aware of it, cannot fully admit the truth into his consciousness, he cannot move beyond that point: if he denies the reality of his condition, he cannot proceed to alter it, cannot achieve healthy changes in his personality.

This thought is expressed in Gestalt Therapy as the 'paradoxical law of change,' which states that a person begins to change only when he accepts what he is.

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ISBN 13: 9780840212122

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The Disowned Self

In The Disowned Self, Nathaniel Branden author of 'The Psychology of Self-Esteem' and 'Breaking Free' addresses himself to one of the most important problems of our age: the problem of self-alienation - a condition in which the individual is out of contact with his own needs, feelings, emotions, frustrations and longings, so that he is largely oblivious to his actual self, and his life is the reflection of an unreal self, of a role he has adopted. Branden explores the origins of this problem, its symptoms and consequences - and the means of its therapeutic correction. Moving back and forth between theoretical analysis and dramatic case histories, he illuminates a problem so frightening that many people's energies are drained in the effort to deny its existence. In providing solutions for this problem, Mr. Branden has developed a number of exciting and powerful therapeutic techniques which help the individual break through the barrier of emotional repression and bring to light denied and disowned thoughts, feelings and desires - the "disowned self" which lies beneath the mask presented to the world. The end result is to release not only buried problems, but also to release buried greatness - the unrealized potential for growth, achievement and fulfillment that most people have never discovered.

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