Therapy Toronto Psychotherapy Definitions

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Projection
In psychoanalytic writing the term projection refers to what people had known for centuries but did not notice in their own behaviour.


As Baruch Spinoza once said, 'When we hear Peter speak about Paul, we generally learn more about Peter than Paul.'

In simpler terms, the pot always calls the kettle black, despite the fact they have both been affected by the smoke and ash of reality. Making somebody else responsible lessens our own need to be responsible.

Projection refers in the Freudian sense to the tendency of finding others guilty of one’s own shortcomings.

Most of us continue such unconscious projecting and blaming of others as adults because this early childhood method of dealing with our personal difficulties is hard to break out of without objective professional assistance.

In psychotherapy we learn to withdraw the power of our negative projections. As we do so we come to appreciate others for who they are. Such negative projection is closely related to the level of our own self-worth and self-esteem.

For Heidegger projection literally meant the way in which we envision ourselves as the person that we wish to be. It is central to his philosophy of existence that by making such a self-projection we are essentially betting all that we have on creating a self that we have not yet become.

This form of projection makes a bet with the future towards which it moves for its fulfilment. This represents a personal risk, because we cannot be sure that we will fulfil the hopes and dreams tht inspire us towards having such a vision for ourselves.

In Daseinsanalysis, there is still a focus on the removal of falsifying projections of the self but the emphasis is placed on the issue of our own self-becoming.
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