WHAT IS THE IDENTITY IN MENTAL HEALTH?

ACCREDITED SENIOR PSYCHOTHERAPIST/COUNSELLOR -Dr.Fawzy Masaoud-LONDON, ENGLAND

According to the “identity process theory” (Breakwell,
1986), identity is concerned with the impact of events, and particularly ‘threats’
on identity. Identity can be seen as made
up of several factors:

  • 1-Continuity – which implies that people will attempt
    to reconcile changes in themselves with their past history.
  • 2-Distinctiveness –which distinguishes one individual
    from others and also serves to put
    people into groups (e.g. gender or ethnic groups, social groups). We tend to seek positive ways of being
    distinct.
  • 3-Self-esteem –which can be viewed as motivation
    to sustain and improve a positive self- concept.

A satisfied and well-adjusted
individual would have a strong sense of continuity, moderate distinctiveness,
and high self-esteem. People often do
not fit this profile, either because they have not developed these
characteristics or because ‘threats’ such as loss of employment have affected
them. Such threats to identity can cause extreme distress.

We…

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