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Relationship Worlds and the Plural Self

Barrett-Lennard, G.T. (2013) Relationship Worlds and the Plural Self. In: Cornelius-White, J.H.D., Motschnig-Pitrik, R. and Lux, M., (eds.) Interdisciplinary Handbook of the Person-Centered Approach. Springer, New York, pp. 277-288.

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This chapter holds that self-diversity is a natural expression of our inherently complex nature and formative experience in diverse relationships. Plurality of self is evident in everyday relations and experience, is reflected in serious literature and is apparent from psychotherapy dialogue. It is also receiving support in pertinent research, though more such study is needed to closely decipher how the multi-self works. Human relationships are seen here both as engines of self-formation and as emergent from the association of selves. Self and relationship are thus viewed as interdependent partners in human life. Felt loneliness is a frequent expression of this interdependence when the self is unduly divided internally or cut off from its life in key relationships or wider systems of belonging. Selves can easily stream pass each other with little relational connection and nurture in the turbulent ‘oceans’ of complex modern societies.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Psychology and Exercise Science
Publisher: Springer
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