The Return to the Self: A Self Oriented Theory of Development and Psychotherapy

In order to address an overemphasis on the role of the object, I discuss eight principles of a self relations theory: (1) There is an innate, self organizing endo self, (2) The self is the aim of the drive not the object, (3) The self, not the other, is the organizing agent of experience, (4) The self to self relationship is the earliest relationship, (5) The self creates the object, (6) The self creates the object to satisfy its desires, not its needs, (7) The object does not gratify, (8) Detachment is as important as attachment. To overcome an over emphasis on the formative role of the other in development and psychotherapy I argue for an early state of subjectivity that is a coherent, sense of selfexistence, prior to relation with others (Davis, 2014). Arising autopoietically, this self is brought to initial relationships, leading in turn to its own further development. The importance of the other is not denied, but redefined. There is increasing evidence of the self initiating and self regulating resources of the infant: the self as the organizing agent of its own experiences.

Keywords: Self relations theory, self, Reich, instroke, self referential, default mode network, brainstem consciousness