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Episode 10: Understanding The Invented Self - Part Two

Psychological Positions & Parental Injunctions [Updated with Captions]

Part Two in a three-part series on the public image I refer to as the Invented Self that emotionally wounded people use to cover-up the private image that I call the False Self.

Distorted reality can be caused by Injunctions, Counter-Injunctions, Attributions, and Decisions made by children early in life. These basic elements of a person’s Existential Position are usually at the root of whatever problems exist in their present-day life as adults. These beliefs and decisions about “reality” become embedded in the implicit memory — stored on the neural networks of the Parent and Child ego states, they continue to run automatically as subconscious programs into adulthood.

12 Common Parental Injunctions:

In their book, Changing Lives Through Redecision Therapy, Robert Goulding, MD and Mary McClure Goulding, MSW have listed 12 general Injunctions to look for at the core of limiting beliefs. They are listed below:

  1. Don’t do Anything

  2. Don’t Be, (aka Don’t Exist)

  3. Don’t Be Close

  4. Don’t Be Important

  5. Don’t Be a Child

  6. Don’t Grow

  7. Don’t Succeed

  8. Don’t Be You

  9. Don’t Be Sane

  10. Don’t Be Well

  11. Don’t Belong

  12. Don’t Trust

Four Rules of a Dysfunctional Family

Four basic injunctions have been identified as the Four Rules that keep the dysfunction in a dysfunctional family:

  1. Don’t Feel

  2. Don’t Think

  3. Don’t Trust

  4. Don’t Talk

Although many Injunctions, Attributions, and Counter-Injunctions are given in early childhood, they do not become a factor in one’s life unless the child accepts them and lives his or her life as if they are true. A child may decide to reject an injunction for a number of reasons. For example, a trusted other such as a teacher, counselor, relative, friend or coach may be able to give the child appropriate support and information over a period of time.

Key Point: Life Decisions were made by a Child ego state in order to adapt to the dysfunction of that time in their life. They were made with the very limited resources available to the child at the time. Then they become embedded in the implicit memory as a subconscious program — automatic responses that can cause problems for an adult later in life.

In order to break free of these old programs that are no longer needed, the Adult ego state needs to revisit the original imprint experience(s) and re-imprint this issue.

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Internet of the Mind Podcast
Internet of the Mind Podcast
The Internet-of-the-Mind Podcast is about the role of our subconscious mind plays in constructing our world to suit our internal functioning and how YOU can make biological changes to your neural circuitry, at the biological level, in order to bring more serenity and success to your life. The Internet of the Mind offers tools to strengthen mental and emotional resilience for living at such a time as this.