Saturday, December 7, 2013

Capacity to Deal Realistically with Constant, at times Severe, Changes

      Developing a healthy ego or self-concept is only step one. Next we must gradually learn not to take this, or any other concept too seriously. We, concepts, the world - everything is in a constant state of flux. We're always undergoing quantitative changes - assimilating new stuff into our current self-concept & worldview. Periodically we all undergo shipwrecks, where our whole world, including ALL our concepts fall apart. Now we're forced to see reality more clearly, and accommodate by creating a new, qualitatively different, more accurate self-concept & worldview.
     Rigidity, though common, is dysfunctional & tragically inappropriate for shipwrecks; psychological flexibility, though uncommon & depends on intelligent, mature conscious choices, is adaptive & absolutely essential, particularly in times of shipwreck.

     "differences in identity styles are based on a differential balance in the use of the processes of assimilation & accommodation. Assimilation ... the process of incorporating or assimilating new information into one’s existing worldview whereas accommodation involves changing one’s worldview to accept the new information. 
     ... a balanced use of assimilation and accommodation characterizes only the informational style whereas the normative style is characterized by an overreliance on assimilation processes and the diffuse-avoidant style is characterized by an overuse of accommodation processes.
     ... theoretically the informational style, with its balanced social-cognitive processing, should allow for the most mature defense use. In contrast, the unbalanced processing associated with the normative and diffuse-avoidant styles should be associated with less mature forms of defenses; namely, those that are associated with distortion (neurotic) & denial (immature) of reality, respectively."

       Seaton CL, Beaumont SL. Identity processing styles and defense styles during emerging adulthood: Implications for life distress. Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research 2011; 11(1): 1-24.



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