Mervin Smucker (2015). Developing Positive Introjects

Because childhood trauma victims often have developed hostile introjects resulting from their traumatic experiences, having imaginary “therapeutic” conversations with important support people (e.g., a therapist, counselor, coach, teacher, mentor) can be useful in helping individuals to develop positive introjects that compete with and eventually replace the old negative, hostile introjects. The new positive introject is essentially a positive internal representation of the support person that, when visually activated or “summoned up”, can have a calming/soothing effect on the individual’s mood – especially during times of emotional distress – and which eventually becomes a permanent part of the individual’s schematic internal representation of self. The goal for trauma victims is not only to develop an enhanced ability to self-calm and self-soothe when feeling upset, but also to develop stronger “shock absorbers” so that they can better absorb the daily “knocks” of life without being thrown into a major crisis whenever they “go over a bump on the road

Mervin Smucker

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