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Sinason, M. Richards, J. (2014). The Internal Cohabitation Model. Brit. J. Psychother., 30(3):314-327.

(2014). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 30(3):314-327

The Internal Cohabitation Model

Michael Sinason, FRCPsych and Joscelyn Richards, C Psychol, AFBPsS, FMBPA

This paper presents the reasons for viewing the conflicts of inner mental life as arising from the problematic interaction of two different selves. A self that is involved in interpersonal relationships can be seen to be contending with a coexisting self who has a hatred of dependency on others. When the self that idealises independence is dominating the inner world, any means will be used to achieve the desired ends, regardless of the consequences for anyone. The paper makes links with the work of neuropsychiatrists such as McGilchrist and to the contributions of Bion, Britton, Winnicott and other analysts who have recognized the existence of different selves in the inner world. An analytic session is presented to illustrate the process of mapping out of ‘who is doing what to whom’ in the clinical interaction. We argue that transference misattributions can be better understood by recognizing the differences between the two selves internally. This detailed differentiation can then assist the patient to reduce the likelihood of internal takeovers both in the analytic setting and in other relationships.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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