The dialogical self as a landscape of mind populated by a society of I -positions

Authored by: Agnieszka Konopka , Hubert J. M. Hermans , Miguel M. Gonçalves

Handbook of Dialogical Self Theory and Psychotherapy

Print publication date:  November  2018
Online publication date:  November  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138503670
eBook ISBN: 9781315145693
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315145693-2

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Abstract

The dialogical self has been described as a landscape of mind inhabited by a multiplicity of I-positions (Hermans, 2001). I-positions are understood as characters or parts of the self that are distinguishable and often divergent or even contradictory. I-positions represent a society of mind in which, like in regular society, a variety of positions enter into dialogical interactions with each other. There are many possible relations between I-positions, from self-love and self-compassion to self-conflicts and self-devaluation, as there are many forms of self-organization, with authoritarian or democratic forms of organization as particularly significant ones. I-positions are more or less powerful in the organization of the self and in different degrees influence the whole community of the self. The metaphor of landscape of mind reflects the spatial, multidimensional character of the self, picturing its depth and breadth, as well as the potential accessibility of the different areas in one’s inner world.

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