Picture of a black hole

Strathclyde Open Access research that creates ripples...

The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde's Open Access research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including by Strathclyde physicists involved in observing gravitational waves and black hole mergers as part of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) - but also other internationally significant research from the Department of Physics. Discover why Strathclyde's physics research is making ripples...

Strathprints also exposes world leading research from the Faculties of Science, Engineering, Humanities & Social Sciences, and from the Strathclyde Business School.

Discover more...

'I-I' and 'I-me': Transposing Buber's interpersonal attitudes to the intrapersonal plane

Cooper, Mick (2003) 'I-I' and 'I-me': Transposing Buber's interpersonal attitudes to the intrapersonal plane. Journal of Constructivist Psychology, 16 (2). pp. 131-153. ISSN 1072-0537

[img]
Preview
PDF (strathprints003262.pdf)
strathprints003262.pdf

Download (162kB) | Preview

Abstract

Hermans' polyphonic model of the self proposes that dialogical relationships can be established between multiple I-positions1 (e.g., Hermans, 2001a). There have been few attempts, however, to explicitly characterize the forms that these intrapersonal relationships may take. Drawing on Buber's (1958) distinction between the 'I-Thou' and 'I-It' attitude, it is proposed that intrapersonal relationships can take one of two forms: an 'I-I' form, in which one I-position encounters and confirms another I-position in its uniqueness and wholeness; and an 'I-Me' form, in which one I-position experiences another I-position in a detached and objectifying way. This article argues that this I-Me form of intrapersonal relating is associated with psychological distress, and that this is so for a number of reasons: Most notably, because an individual who objectifies and subjugates certain I-position cannot reconnect with more central I-positions when dominance reversal (Hermans, 2001a) takes place. On this basis, it is suggested that a key role of the therapeutic process is to help clients become more able to experience moments of I-I intrapersonal encounter, and it is argued that this requires the therapist to confirm the client both as a whole and in terms of each of his or her different voices.