Survival Personality/Primal Wounding

Primal wounding is the break in the ‘I-Self‘ connection that can occur in our early childhood. They are moments of empathic failure that effect the natural unfoldment of our true personality. So, instead of of expressing who we are in the environment we find ourselves in, we hide our true natures and become what the environment needs us to be.

This derailment of our authentic personality is what one major British psychotherapist, Winnicott, and others in the field recognise as the ‘False Self’. It is also called the Survival Personality. It is developed in order to survive within a non empathic environment and can be so resilient and so hidden that often it will remain completely invisible until a personal crisis dramatically disrupts it.

In Psychosynthesis we work to reveal this survival personality as it is only then that we can begin to be aware of how this orientation pervades our daily lives. We can then work to uncover the primal wounding that created it and gradually begin our movement towards true authenticity. Something that is not a single insight or breakthrough experience but the beginning of a life-long journey.

(Firman & Gila – 1997: The Primal Wound, a transpersonal view of trauma, addiction and growth. State University of New York Press: 163-167, 178)