Challenging the Fantasy Bond: A Search for Personal Identity and Freedom
Why are many of us compelled to repeat the pain of our past, while avoiding positive experiences that could enrich our lives?
This much-anticipated follow-up to the critically-acclaimed and bestselling The Fantasy Bond tackles the complex question of why so many of us are compelled to repeat the pain of our past while avoiding positive experiences that could enrich our lives.
In this thought-provoking book, clinical psychologist and theorist Robert Firestone explains how the fantasy bond, an illusion of connection, develops early in childhood to cope with the pain and frustration resulting from parental misattunement, neglect, or mistreatment. It is manifested as a destructive internal thought process, the critical inner voice. Later, the fantasy bond is extended to family members, intimate partners, and social groups. In Challenging the Fantasy Bond, Dr. Firestone presents his latest thoughts and observations about the self-defeating aspects of this process and places the original concepts in the broader context of his overall theoretical approach, Separation Theory.
Compelling case studies illustrate how the critical inner voice causes considerable pain and discomfort and interferes with intimacy. These case studies demonstrate how Voice Therapy, a cognitive/affective/behavioral methodology, can be used to counteract these destructive internal messages and help individuals embrace the present, instead of reliving the past.
Challenging our illusions of a merged identity and moving toward separation and individuation are essential if we are to become fully autonomous human beings. This thorough update of a classic work is particularly timely in its identification of the existential fears that contribute to prejudice, political divisiveness, and ethnic strife.