3.3 Shouldistic regulation vs Organismic Self-regulation
Looking into Shouldistic regulation versus Organismic Self-regulation it is important to keep in mind, that self-support refers to self-support in the organism / environment field. It does not make sense to look only at the organism and self-support, the organism is always in an environmental field, which is co-created.
Shouldistic regulation is based on introjected shoulds and continuous introjecting.
From the beginning and throughout life a person is faced with external input from the environment (system of acting, feeling, relating and evaluating etc.), it can be assimilated, rejected, integrated, or it can be uncritically accepted and taken in (introjected). Shoulds are internalised statements which control how the person behaves, and which is based on introjected external standards. These internal statements are isolated from the persons authentic needs, wants and priorities.
The internalised shoulds are somehow alien in the person, they are fixed, inflexible and based on an unchanging entity, which does not take into consideration and assess internal authentic needs and environmental demands. This creates an “as if” character which is rigid and static in its form towards the environment, as opposed to a spontaneous and responsive interaction with the environment.
Organismic Self-regulation is the wisdom of the body to achieve homeostasis, and it is creative adjustment to the conditions of the persons environment. It is based on well working self-functions acknowledging the fullness of all sensory, mental and emotional data concerning the persons internal authentic needs and resources, and the needs and resources in the environmental field the person is in. It is based on assimilation, integration and contact with the authentic self, being able to sense, express and go for needs and wants. Many processes have been learned and assimilated with awareness, and then integrated and functioning without becoming figural, hence the id-function’s ground of the sensory-motor experience of assimilated contacts. Organismic Self-regulation is a natural process that functions through a process of contact / withdrawal. It is acknowledgement of the entire field, where different aspects come naturally into the foreground as needed. It creates a character which is spontaneous and responsive with the environment, in a way which is in line with the authentic self.
The maturity process towards increased self-support, from Shouldistic regulation to Organismic Self-regulation, always contains a risk of becoming introjective in itself. If the change becomes imposed, judging oneself, “I should do better” it is a trap. The Shouldistic regulation always creates a split in the person, as the introjected shoulds becomes a foreign process within the person. This will create a habitual or automatic neurotic response in a given situation in a given field, which represents the split as it is not in line with the needs and wants of the authentic self.
In Gestalt Therapy this will be experienced at the contact boundary as problems in the ego-function, as the person will be fighting both for and against the same issue, ie. polarities.
4. Ending the theme of Introjection and Self-support
The theme of this assignment Introjection and Self-support comes together looking into moving from Shouldistic regulation to Organismic Self-regulation – this is the maturation process and the increasing self-support.
A strong introjective organism / environment field from the beginning of a persons life, becomes self-perpetuating and leads to even more introjects and a rigid character. This person having a need, will probably feel the sensation and also have some awareness of the need, but at this point the introjection will stop the mobilization of energy, for example with a sentence like “I’m not a person who have this need…”, which means the gestalt cycle is interrupted and it becomes another unfinished business. This way what comes from the id-function is probably healthy, but the introjection is influencing the personality- and ego functions in a way that stops the mobilization of energy. This indicates how important the id-function is a starting point working with introjection and building self-support.
As I see it, building self-support is so closely connected to working with one’s introjects and unfinished business. Breaking through impasse and getting in contact with needs and wants of one’s authentic self. Moving from Shouldistic regulation to Organismic Self-regulation, will lead to increased self-support and it comes from inside. It means being able to respond with awareness in the nowness of a given organism / environment field situation, and thereby completing all gestalt cycle’s.
I see this as key to Gestalt Therapy.
excerpt from https://gis-international.dk/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/3-year-Jesper-Bobjerg.pdf