In "Benign and Virulent Projective Identifcation in Groups
and Institutions," Young asserts that projective identification is the basic
underlying dynamic in human and group
I think Young, Klein et. al. speak of projective identification as the root element in their understanding of group behavior because they don't (didn't) have a concept of groups as living systems in and of themselves
One thing about projections and projective identifications is that the recipient of the projections really does feel them. They get inside. This is not something one has choice about.
Don't mind me, I'm just identifying with all y'all's unspoken projections.
Perhaps I could listen better and project less.
Intrusive? Yes, I can be extremely intrusive. I've tried very hard not to be - but i am, aren't I. That's my reenactment, my repetition. I'll own it. Now you own yours, and Barry's his, and stop projecting it onto others.
I'd suggest looking in a mirror very quickley to see who is projecting ;>
Do we not fill in the blanks with projections?
"Projective identification, the central means of communication in group life, is the fantasied forceable thrusting of repudiated parts of one's psyche into another."
I think it would be helpful to resolve some ambiguities: when we've been talking about 'projections' has it been in a generic sense of the kind referred to when talking about 'projective testing' ("reading into inkblots" being the classic example of this, perhaps) or the more specific defense as alluded to in the quote above, in which case we then might benefit from making a distinction between simple projection (which is what I understand the above mechanism to be), projective identification (?where the recipient of the projection then processes whatever it is and reflects it back either untouched or in a new form), and transference, which may be a more accurate term for seeing someone as your father, significant other, archetype or whatever. Another person or sentient being besides yourself.
I think projective identification in particular may have a lot to do with the peretuation of flame wars, and the generic "reading into inkblots" sense of projection also seems to capture something of what we try to express about the ambiguous or incomplete information we have to deal with in this medium.
"The concept of "projective identification" was developed to describe extensions of splitting in which parts of the ego are separated from the rest of the self and projected into objects.
Also, in more modern understanding / useage of the term (e.g. Otto Kernberg) what is projected onto the other and identified with by the other is also experienced by the other as though these projections of thoughts, feelings, behaviour were their own, not the "property" of the projector. In other words, If I want to kill someone on this list, it is because the are projecting their murderous stuff on me and I, in turn, am experiencing these feelings as though they were my own.
boundaries between people are very, very permeable -such that someone can find themself experiencing someone else's feelings.
Here's a poser for you fellow psychobabblers: ?the difference between projective identification and empathy is in the affects that get generated.
In f2f interactions we are warned that one of the red flags of a really powerful, regressive projection coming at you is that from nowhere you get an adrenaline rush complete with rapid heart rate etc., and that feeling of actually being taken over by some very alien pulls and urges -
Personally I'm starting to distrust anything that generates (stirs up? evokes?) just about any emotion too much or too quickly, be it ego-dystonic ('alien'), or exciting, or warm and fuzzy
I gave the illustration of projective identification - that my murderous feelings toward another group member might be the result of my "identifying" with their murderous "projection" - merely as a hypothetical, an illustration. Of course, the obvious pitfall to this way of thinking is that it gets one off the hook about their own feelings, by claiming they are someone else's. This is exactly why I have always been uncomfortable with the concept of "projective identification" It's just too easy to say "You made me do it!" Many a therapist has masked their own hatred for thier patient by claiming that the patient "induces" these feelings. To that I generally say "bullshit!"
Projection has an assaultive connontation: Someone has thrust something upon me and I must reject it. Empathy, on the other hand, connotes a moving in (not intrusively, but vicariously/almost compassionatley).
I have noticed that in the past year since I first logged on to the internet, I have built up an ability to read personalities into the messages. Sometimes I catch myself reading the posts with voice inflections being noted. It may be pure projection, but I don't think it is completely so
It is simply human nature to fill up an unstructured situation, or ambiguous stimulus with stuff from inside us.
Except perhaps in experiential or therapy 'net groups, 'net transference is destructive.
I think the projections fly so fast and furiously that we often can't see the forest for the trees. There is also a way the internet fosters more than usual amounts of suspiciousness and reactiveness, seems to me anyhow.
The projections need to be contained by understanding.
While sleeping I was attacked by an idea for a transference buster. We, or any list could use the technology that gets us here in the first place. This list or any list could make a web page with pictures and short bios of the people that one would be likely to encounter on the list.
If indeed this were an experiential (e.g., Tavi-esque) group, then transference would be the very stuff to promote and study. It depends on our goals, as in any other gathering, or in a therapy situation. If our goal is "regression in the service of the ego" (psych-speak: getting a little crazy in a controlled setting, so as to study it), then that's one thing. If the goal is to discuss issues as maturely as possible, that's another. Is it possible to do both of these at once? I don't know, but I kinda doubt it.
I guess the way I see this is as a situation where it's not even necessary to induce or foster regression because of the nature of the medium -- it happens all by itself -
Sure, it's possible to regress and look at it maturely afterwards. That's how traditional psychoanalysis works. It's also what happens when a list goes through flaming or lots of projection, then cools off and figures out what happened.
. An easy way to think of transference: it's the *assumptions* we make about the emotions of people we don't know well. If I imagine lurkers as all silently sneering at me, that's my negative transference. Conversely, if I picture them cheering my every word, that's positive transference. (Either extreme can be very unrealistic.) BTW, it's called "transference" not because one ascribes one's own feelings to others, but because in Freudian theory one's childhood relationships, eg, with a parent, is being "transferred" to a new, unknown person through fantasy. Leaving aside the Freudian angle, I think this concept is central to understanding net dynamics. We could avoid jargon by calling it "assumptions about the emotions of others"
I must say that I view with pride the absence of any posting of mine in the output of the search for use of the word "transferance."
At the risk of seeming to repeat myself (I am), may I offer for your consideration: all perception of others is based on self-perception.
OI think the same goes for trying to control transference/countertransference and for the same reasons. . . Sure, you can calm it down, but if we are looking at netdynamics, both this entry disruption stuff and transference/countertransference are endemic and need to be examined. Sometimes too much controlling of such things makes them go underground to the point that it is hard to see them, but I don't think for amoment that they go away.
Projection is never more prevalent than in romantic infatuation. (So it isn't always such a bad thing... :-))
i can read a book or news paper without any need to have an imiage of the writer in my head. why is it that i always form such an imiage here?
We have a collection of folks who's desire to be a group is based on individual projections of what that group is and individual motives for why they wish to be a part of it.
There's a continuum, traditionally labeled normal to neurotic to personality-disordered to psychotic, in which one's perceptions are more and more a product of one's own projections. For any given perceiver, different situations encourage more or less projection. "A terminal with a buncha letter typed onnit" promotes projection pretty strongly it seems. . . . The other side of this is that we can take the medium into account, and act in ways that actively discourage projection. This would include saying how one feels, offering some personal information, and not intentionally being enigmatic. If we're seeking more genuine relationships, that is.
Yes, there's much that we each supply to create a fuller, more colorful and living picture of the other. Some of what we fill in is projection (projections of aspects of ourselves which we like/dislike, and therefore "identify" with.) Also projections of our memories of others we have known, currently know (transferences), would like to know in some glorious future (wishes/fantasies)or dread to know in our worst nightmares (fears/ paranoia). I think we fill in these details, yes, but there's a co-creative process to all of this: The "other" provides of sketch of sorts -- through words, verbal pictures, nuances of language which are very suggestive -- suggesting a kind of person with certain kinds of qualities -- It's this "suggestiveness" I think that invites another to fill in with projections and fantasies of varying sorts. The end result is not entirely a projection or fantasy
Just another thought which is about the Pygmallion myth: The sculpture who falls in love with the beautiful figure he/she has created. I wonder how much this myth operates here - Because we are always in some measure co-creating one another here by filling in missing pieces (faces, lifestyles, fuller personalities). Perhaps some of the intense affect which the Net is becoming quickly notorious for (flame wars and net-affairs) has to do with this narcissistic (?) investment we place in the products of our own creativity?
I don't "take back my projections" regarding you. You still sound like a pompous blowhard, and not just to me. Nonetheless, my complaining about your persona is just pissing in the wind after a while, so I'll listen for the good ideas you offer, and ignore your condescension and psycho-invective.
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