Identity Therapy

identity therapyHumans are psychologically essentially like onions with the outer layers containing difficult life experience. However, in the onion the new layers grow from within while in humans new layers are socially constructed from without.

Michel Foucault noted that identities are discursively inscribed on the surface of the skin. Therefore, the outer layers of trauma and imposed identities can certainly most easily be peeled off. Trauma is essentially a form of identity and identity itself is trauma although many traumas are mild, painless and harmless. The prevalent assumption is that traumas exist deep within consciousness when in truth traumas are part of the most external layers of the human onion.

Identity therapy therefore involves becoming aware of how specific traumas/identities have come about in the individual history of the person and peeling them off by renunciation of identity of trauma. The patient simply silently declares to herself either “I am not X” or “I am not N” with X being the identity of the trauma and N the person who caused/imposed the trauma. The renunciation is silently repeated whenever the patient is reminded of the trauma until the trauma is gone. The outer layers of the human onion containing the trauma is thus simply renounced and therefore peeled off by the patient herself. Understanding that the trauma is not intrinsic to the psychological core of patient but only exists on the surface of personhood is also essential to the process of healing and indeed to the de-dramatization of the trauma.

This innovative form of psychotherapy can even be performed by the patient herself without a psychotherapist. A trauma may be overwhelming and for a person to understand that s/he is not infected but only affected by trauma is important to the process of healing. However, a psychotherapist may be useful in the process off peeling off harmful traumatic identities.

Identities are often psychologically burdensome in typically enclosing persons within non-chosen collectives. Therefore, humans should only retain identities that are ethically relevant and should either discard or deconstruct those identities that are not.

There is however a way to avoid becoming traumatized and that is through the construction of an inner “bureau”. Most humans have indeed the psychological ability to build an inner bureau where each drawer in the bureau is hermetically isolated from every other drawer. The only thing required for creating an inner bureau is simply will to do so. Having an inner bureau makes it possible to love an unlimited number of persons in an entirely unselfish way with every loved person having her own drawer. The content in each drawer is pure and simple and is completely protected from traumatization.

Identity therapy thus involves peeling off unwanted traumas/identities and concludes with creating an inner bureau as a protection against future traumatization. Identity therapy is pure, simple and effective in healing any trauma and although the participation of a psychotherapist may be useful this is not necessary in most cases.

There is in fact every reason to remove and/or deconstruct identities that lack ethical relevance and this relates of course to redundant identities generally which obviously can be most easily renounced indeed.

Other methods for identity therapy includes role-playing whereby harmful major traumas are performatively semiotically supplanted by harmless, truly trivial new minor traumas. Another form of identity therapy is simply completely and forever changing living environments whereby the physical milieu (e.g. a house full of bad memories) and a social context mentally associated with traumas are left behind forever. Emigrating to another country can thus be a particularly effective form of identity therapy as the surrounding cultural/environmental triggers underpinning traumas are left behind forever.

Changing friends for new ones may thus be helpful if bad & negative friends are part of the problem in the sense of having a negative influence that therefore perpetuates painfully traumatic identities. Divorce may certainly be part of the treatment for those in unhappy marriage. Finding multiple new appreciative sexual partners may therefore be most helpful and constructive indeed.