Dr. Sheldon Solomon on the Fantasy Bond: Exclusive Interview

The following transcript contains part of an exclusive interview with Dr. Lisa Firestone and Dr. Sheldon Solomon.

Dr. Sheldon Solomon talks about the Fantasy Bond.

SS: You know, Horney’s view was that all of us of necessity experience what she called basic anxiety, you know, the attachment people call it primal terror.  Call it what you will, and long before we’re old enough and mature enough to intellectually grapple with that emotional fact and you know, that highly charged affective set of circumstances – makes us create idealized images of ourselves, the fantasy bonds, that then masquerades as reality.  And by the time we’re conscious of ourselves, we’ve already mistaken this caricature of an anxiety driven stereotype for who we are.  And unfortunately, the average person is never given an opportunity to even notice that, let alone to have the luxury of the kind of therapeutic relationship that might enable them to dispose of that and to become again, pick you term – authentic self, real self – to become that creature that you were back in the day that got buried beneath the pile of psychological debris that kind of got you, you know, off on the wrong track.

I think the action, our best chance is in, is with the kids.  And I think that, you know, we’re not going to obliterate anxiety.  We’re not going to obliterate interpersonal strife.  We’re not going to obliterate people being petty and jealous because that would require that we obliterate human nature.  And that’s neither possible nor even desirable arguably.  But what we can do, of course, is in age appropriate ways help our kids and ourselves recognize and constructively channel those affectations.

About the Author

Sheldon Solomon, Ph.D. Dr. Sheldon Solomon is a psychologist and the Ross Professor for Interdisciplinary Studies at Skidmore College. He is best known for developing Terror Management Theory, along with Jeff Greenberg and Tom Pyszczynski, which is concerned with how humans deal with their own sense of mortality. Dr. Solomon is the author or co-author of more than 100 articles and several books, including In the Wake of 9-11: The Psychology of Terror. He’s been featured in several films and TV documentaries as well as countless radio interviews.

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