A psycho-emotional structure that develops as the backbone of the psyche of those children who are treated by their caregivers as an extension of themselves, which leads to a compulsive drive for achievement-based approval.
Some people experience a particular kind of emotional deprivation in childhood. They don’t get treated in a way that would enable them to develop an ongoing sense of autonomous existence, independent of the results of their behavior and achievements.
You could say they never got a sense of having an unconditional right to be who they are.
The absence of the conviction to be and live as your own person creates a vacuum within as well as a sense of terror for this inner emptiness. So, you subconsciously adopt various strategies for getting positive vibes from your caretaker. Those positive vibes are the closest thing to a normal healthy respect that you can obtain from this type of parents.
Those (subconsciously) self-imposed strategies include various requirements for feeling or acting certain ways, or various conditions you believe you must fulfill, in order to get those vibes from your parent or other caretaker. Successfully meeting those requirements or “conditions” is experienced as a moment of validation of your existence as a person. It functions as your Substitute Sense of Self.
This state of “Feeling-good-about-self”, derived from the outcome of an action or achievement fills the earlier mentioned inner emptiness. It functions as the placeholder for the absent Healthy Sense of Self and as such experiencing this moment becomes a matter of life and death and ultimately, it becomes the only goal in a person’s life.
The Substitute SoS is the central part of an entire complex of motives, goals, feelings, needs, desires, habits, and behaviors which this Method calls the Substitute-Sense-of-Self-Oriented System.
This system dominates your psyche and has a profound influence on your health, your relationships, your work; in short on every area of your life and with that on your environment as well (your children, spouse). It causes a great deal of human suffering, for yourself as well as for those others.
Fortunately, with enough determination and effort and the support of the SoS Method this condition can be healed.
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