Personality Development (Core Concepts in Therapy)

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  • Personality Development

    C O R E C O N C E P T S I N T H E R A P Y

    S E R I E S E D I T O R : M I C H A E L J A C O B S

    Personality D

    evelopment S




    Valerie Simanowitz Peter Pearce

    Personality Development

    This book draws out the essence of a range of personality theories ina clear and accessible way, moving from the seminal works of Freudand other prominent analytical theorists, to the stage theories ofErikson and Levinson and the development of personality as it isviewed in existential and person-centred theory. The text:

    Highlights the salient points of different personality theories Critiques the theories Examines important aspects of personality development neglected

    by previous books on this topic such as spirituality and thedevelopment of racial identity and gender

    The book reflects strongly on the context from which the theoriessprang and seeks to trace how this context has influenced thetheorists and their disciples. It also highlights the similarities betweenthe concepts and structure of many of the theories. The authors, bothexperienced counsellors and trainers, evaluate which elements of thetheories can be useful to the work of the therapist in the twenty firstcentury and give examples from their case work.

    Personality Development is a valuable new resource for practitioners,lecturers and trainers as well as students of counselling,psychotherapy and psychology.

    Valerie Simanowitz is an experienced counselling practitioner,supervisor and trainer. She currently works independently, as a part-time counsellor at a young asylum seekers project in Worthing and asa supervisor at a drop-in centre for young people in Eastbourne.Formerly, she was Director of the Diploma in Person-CentredCounselling (BACP accredited) at Lewisham College.

    Peter Pearce is an experienced therapist, trainer and supervisor whohas worked within the NHS since 1988 and is currently Primary Tutoron the Degree in Counselling (BACP accredited) at the MetanoiaInstitute, London. He also has experience as a family support worker,an outreach worker supporting people returning home from long-stay hospitals and as a residential worker with adults with learningdisabilities.

    Cover design: Barker/Hilsdon

    Personality development 13/8/03 9:57 AM Page 1


  • Core concepts in therapy

    Series editor: Michael Jacobs

    Over the last ten years a significant shift has taken place in the rela-tions between representatives of different schools of therapy. Insteadof the competitive and often hostile reactions we once expected fromeach other, therapists from different points along the spectrum ofapproaches are much more interested in where they overlap andwhere they differ. There is a new sense of openness to cross-orientation learning.

    The Core Concepts in Therapy series compares and contrasts the useof similar terms across a range of the therapeutic models, and seeks toidentify where different terms appear to denote similar concepts.Each book is authored by two therapists, each one from a distinctlydifferent orientation; and where possible each one from a differentcontinent, so that an international dimension becomes a feature ofthis network of ideas.

    Each of these short volumes examines a key concept in psycho-logical therapy, setting out comparative positions in a spirit of freeand critical enquiry, but without the need to prove one modelsuperior to another. The books are fully referenced and point beyondthemselves to the wider literature on each topic.

    List of forthcoming and published titles:

    Barden & Stimpson: Words and SymbolsDinesh Bhugra & Dilys Davies: Models of PsychopathologyPaul Brinich & Christopher Shelley: The Self and Personality StructureJenifer Elton-Wilson & Gabrielle Syme: Objectives and OutcomesDawn Freshwater & Chris Robertson: Emotions and NeedsJan Grant & Jim Crawley: Transference and ProjectionRichard J. Hazler & Nick Barwick: The Therapeutic EnvironmentDavid Edwards & Michael Jacobs: Conscious and UnconsciousHilde Rapp & John Davy: Resistance, Barriers and DefencesJohn Rowan & Michael Jacobs: The Therapists Use of SelfLynn Seiser & Colin Wastell: Interventions and TechniquesValerie Simanowitz & Peter Pearce: Personality DevelopmentNick Totton & Michael Jacobs: Character and Personality TypesKenneth C. Wallis & James L. Poulton: Internalization


    Valerie Simanowitz


    Peter Pearce

    Open University Press

  • Open University PressMcGraw-Hill EducationMcGraw-Hill HouseShoppenhangers RoadMaidenheadBerkshireEnglandSL6 2QL

    email: wide web:

    First published 2003

    Copyright Valerie Simanowitz and Peter Pearce 2003

    All rights reserved. Except for the quotation of short passages for thepurposes of criticism and review, no part of this publication may bereproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form orby any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording orotherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher or alicence from the Copyright Licensing Agency Limited. Details of suchlicences (for reprographic reproduction) may be obtained from theCopyright Licensing Agency Ltd of 90 Tottenham Court Road, London,W1T 4LP.

    A catalogue record of this book is available from the British Library

    ISBN 0 335 20635 2 (pb) 0 335 20636 0 (hb)

    Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication DataCIP data has been applied for

    Typeset by RefineCatch Limited, Bungay, SuffolkPrinted in Great Britain by MPG Books Ltd, Bodmin, Cornwall

  • Contents

    Acknowledgements ixSeries editors preface xPreface xiii

    1 Psychoanalytic/psychodynamic developmental theories 1Sigmund Freuds developmental stage theory 1

    The oral stage 4The anal stage 5The phallic stage 7The latency stage 9The genital stage 10

    Karl Abraham on psychosexual stages 10Anna Freud and ego psychology 12Object relations theory 13Melanie Klein 14W.R.D. Fairbairn 17D.W. Winnicott 19Margaret Mahler 21Heinz Kohut 23John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth: attachment theory 25Daniel Stern 28Conclusions 29

    2 The developmental theories of Erikson and Levinson 30Erik H. EriksonEriksons eight-stage life cycle 33

    Stage 1. Infancy: trust versus mistrust 34


  • Stage 2. Early childhood: autonomy versus shameand doubt

    Stages 3 and 4. Play age: initiative versus guilt;School age: industry versus inferiority 35

    Stage 5. Adolescence: identity versus identitydiffusion

    Stage 6. Early adulthood: intimacy versusself-absorption 40

    Stage 7. Adulthood: generativity versus stagnation 41Stage 8. Old age: integrity versus despair 42The application of the theory to therapy 43

    Daniel Levinson: the seasons of a mans life 44The significance of transitions 45The research 46The eras 46

    Erikson and Levinson: similarities and differences 48

    3 Personality development in person-centred theory 50Elements of developmental theory in Rogers 19propositions 50

    The development of the self and the self-concept 52Conditions of worth 53The locus of evaluation/The outcomes of conditionsof worth 54

    Disturbance, distortion, denial 55David Mearns and Brian Thornes developments ofRogers theory: configurations of self 56

    Conditions conducive to awareness and change 58The fully functioning person 59The seven-stage developmental model of counselling 60M. Cooper on person-centred developmental theory 62

    4 Existential approaches 65Background 65Scientific reductionism versus (inter) subjectivity 66Scientific determinism versus freedom and choice 66Thrownness 67Authenticity 67

    Ontological anxiety 67Being-in-the-world 69Existential views on personality development 70

    Early development 71

    vi Personality development



  • Later development 71Conclusions 72

    5 Moral development 73Lawrence Kohlberg: six stages of moral development 73

    Three levels of moral stages: pre-conventional,conventional and post-conventional 75

    The distinctive features of moral judgement 76Theories of moral development: cognitive-developmental, socialization and psychoanalytic 77

    Carol Gilligans feminist critique of Kohlbergsdevelopmental theory 79

    6 Feminist critiques of developmental theories 87Freud and penis envy 88Critiques of psychoanalytic and object relationsdevelopmental theories: Dorothy Dinnerstein,Nancy Chodorow and Jessica Benjamin 91

    Feminist critiques of humanistic developmental theory 102Conclusions 103

    7 Cultural factors in personality development 105The revised Cross model of the development of blackidentity 107

    Stage 1: the pre-encounter stage 107Stage 2: the encounter stage 109Stage 3: the immersion and emersion stage 110Stage 4: internalization 111

    Other models of black identity 114Paul Pedersens ten frequent assumptions of culturalbias in counselling 115

    8 Transpersonal and psycho-spiritual psychology 117Carl Jung and the spiritual dimension 118Roberto Assagioli and psychosynthesis 119Ken Wilbers levels of consciousness and the pre/transfallacy 122

    James Fowlers faith development model 125Psychological crisis and spiritual emergence 126

    Contents vii

  • 9 Conclusion 128

    References 136Index 145

    viii Personality development

  • Acknowledgements

    For help, support, generosity and encouragement from ArnoldSimanowitz, Philippa Donald, Sue Daniels, John Barry (BrightonUniversity Library) and Leni Gillman.

  • Series editors preface

    A major aspect of intellectual and cultural life in the twentieth cen-tury has been the study of psychology present of course for manycenturies in practical form and expression in the wisdom and insightto be found in spirituality, in literature and in the dramatic arts, aswell as in arts of healing and guidance, both in the East and West. Inparallel with the deepening interest in the inner processes of char-acter and relationships in the novel and theatre in the nineteenthcentury, psychiatry reformulated its understanding of the humanmind, and encouraged, in those brave enough to challenge the mythsof mental illness, new methods of exploration of psychologicalprocesses.

    The second half of the twentieth century in particular witnessed anexplosion of interest both in theories about personality, psycho-logical development, cognition and behaviour, as well as in the prac-tice of therapy, or perhaps more accurately, the therapies. It also saw,as is not uncommon in any intellectual discipline, battles betweentheories and therapists of different persuasions, particularly betweenpsychoanalysis and behavioural psychology, and each in turn withhumanistic and transpersonal therapies, as well as within the majorschools themselves. Such arguments are not surprising, and indeedobjectively can be seen as healthy potentially promoting greaterprecision in research, alternative approaches to apparently intract-able problems, and deeper understanding of the wellsprings ofhuman thought, emotion and behaviour. It is nonetheless disturbingthat for many decades there was such a degree of sniping andentrenchment of positions from therapists who should have beenable to look more closely at their own responses and rivalries. It is as if

  • diplomats had ignored their skills and knowledge and resorted intheir dealings with each other to gun slinging.

    The psychotherapeutic enterprise has also been an internationalone. There were a large number of centres of innovation, even at thebeginning Paris, Moscow, Vienna, Berlin, Zurich, London, BostonUSA and soon Edinburgh, Rome, New York, Chicago and Californiasaw the development of different theories and therapeutic practice.Geographical location has added to the richness of the discipline,particularly identifying cultural and social differences, and wideningthe psychological debate to include, at least in some instances,sociological and political dimensions.

    The question has to be asked given the separate developments dueto location, research interests, personal differences, and splitsbetween and within traditions whether what has sometimes beencalled psycho-babble is indeed a welter of different languagesdescribing the same phenomena through the particular jargon andtheorizing of the various psychotherapeutic schools. Or are theregenuine differences, which may lead sometimes to the conclusionthat one school has got it right, while another has therefore got itwrong; or that there are horses for courses; or, according to the Dodoprinciple, that all shall have prizes?

    The latter part of the twentieth century saw some rapprochementbetween the different approaches to the theory and practice of psy-chotherapy (and counselling), often due to the external pressurestowards organizing the profession responsibly and to the high stand-ards demanded of it by health care, by the public, and by the state. Itis out of this budding rapprochement that there came the motivationfor this series, in which a number of key concepts that lie at the heartof the psychotherapies can be compared and contrasted across theboard. Some of the terms used in different traditions may prove torepresent identical concepts; others may look similar, but in fact high-light quite different emphases, which may or may not prove useful tothose who practise from a different perspective; other terms, appar-ently identical, may prove to mean something completely different intwo or more schools of psychotherapy.

    In order to carry out this project it seemed essential that as many ofthe psychotherapeutic traditions as possible should be represented inthe authorship of the series; and to promote both this, and the spiritof dialogue between traditions, it seemed also desirable that thereshould be two authors for each book, each one representing, wherepracticable, different orientations. It was important that the seriesshould be truly international in its approach and therefore in its

    Series editors preface xi

  • authorship; and that miracle of late twentieth-century technology,the Internet, proved to be a productive means of finding authors, aswell as a remarkably efficient method of communicating, in the casesof some pairs of authors, halfway across the world.

    This series therefore represents, in a new millennium, an extremelyexciting development, one which as series editor I have found moreand more enthralling as I have eavesdropped on the drafts shuttlingback and forth between authors. Here, for the first time, the readerwill find all the major concepts of all the principal schools of psycho-therapy and counselling (and not a few minor ones) drawn togetherso that they may be compared, contrasted, and (it is my hope) aboveall used used for the ongoing debate between orientations, but moreimportantly still, used for the benefit of clients and patients who arenot at all interested in partisan positions, but in what works, or inwhat throws light upon their search for healing and understanding.

    Michael Jacobs

    xii Personality development

  • Preface

    What is character but the determination of incident? what is incident butthe determination of character?

    Henry James

    Since ancient times people have been fascinated to discover how theycame to possess their personal characteristics a...