Harry Stack Sullivan: Energy and Interpersonal Relationships

Harry Stack Sullivan: Energy and Interpersonal Relationships

This complex process brings us to Sullivan’s “self” concept which involves organisation of experiences within the personality. Self is constructed from the reflected appraisals of oneself that forms a body of beliefs to the person’s personality. It is also considered as a complex organisation of experiences for avoiding anxiety; it develops from associating one’s behaviours with the mother’s affective state. Sullivan discriminated between three forms of self based on experiences and behaviours that induce anxiety in the mother:

“Good-me,” (ii) “bad-me” and (iii) “not-me”

“Good-me” developed with experiences and behaviours that meet with mother’s approval bringing about tenderness and little anxiety; associated with a sense of security and relaxation

“Bad-me” developed with experiences and behaviours that induces more anxiety in mother; associated with increasing anxiety

“Not-me” developed with experiences and behaviours that evokes intense anxiety in the mother which is so dreadful that the child obliterates from his awareness; associated with intense anxiety.

Personality is believed to be acquired through the subjective images of self and others through the developmental stages referred to as personifications. “Good-mother” (involves tenderness and responsiveness to needs) and “bad-mother” (involves anxious experiences) are composite personifications for an infant.



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Piyali Chakrabarti

Piyali ChakrabartiPiyali is a Singapore Registered Psychologist (SRP) and an Approved Supervisor recognized by the Singapore Psychological Society. She completed her M.Phil in Medical & Social Psychology (specialization in Clinical Psychology) after completing her Masters in Applied Psychology. She is a Certified Choice Theory Reality Therapist (CTRT) through the William Glasser Institute of USA. She is also trained in Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy (CBT). Besides being a Psychologist at Scott Psychological Centre, Piyali continues to offer her services part-time at the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore where she had previously served as Head of the Psychology Department. Her career in mental health and clinical psychology has given her experience in counseling and therapy with diverse populations across a wide range of institutional settings like hospitals, private practice, special education centers, and schools. Piyali is experienced with supporting clients from Singapore and abroad. Having resided in different countries, she is keenly aware of the challenges and potential adjustment issues that expatriates and their families may face when settling in Singapore. Her clinical interests lie in managing anxiety and depression as well as issues related to lifestyle and relationship changes for adults and children. Apart from providing direct clinical services to clients, Piyali is passionate about developing the competency of budding psychologists through providing clinical supervision. She is also involved in teaching Psychology courses, such as, Diploma & Master level. Recognizing the effectiveness of different intervention modalities, she also conducts workshops.

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