grief & loss
on being a therapist
my child within
taming the mind
spam of the mind
basic human rights
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Johari Window: A Useful Tool for Understanding Self
Johari Window - named for its creators, Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham - is a useful tool for understanding how therapy can help us live more effective lives. The four "panes" of the Johari Window represent four parts of our Self.
My Public Self is what I show others about me. My Hidden Self is what I choose to hide from others. My Blind Spots are parts of me others see but I do not. My Unconscious Self are parts of me I do not see nor do others. We all have these four parts of Self, as shown in the Johari Window diagram, but their respective sizes vary in each of us.
A more fully aware person has a large Public Self with the other three areas small in comparison. This person understands why she acts the way she does and is genuine and open with others because she has minimized her Hidden Self and Blind Spots while working to bring the Unconscious Self to greater awareness. She is in touch with her needs, feelings, and values - her True Self - the source of her wisdom and identity.
A generally unaware person has a small Public Self with the other three areas large in comparison. This person acts in ways he doesn't understand because outdated decisions and defense mechanisms have caused him to develop substantial Blind Spots. In addition, he is guarded and less genuine with others because he has developed a significant Hidden Self as a defense against his own deep-seated shame. In short, he has disconnected from his True Self, becoming more defended than genuine.
Let's review: Overwhelming emotional pain, particularly early in life, causes us to utilize whatever methods and defenses are necessary to survive. These methods offer short-term relief but can create long-term problems because they often require us to repress or disconnect from our painful emotions. Thus, our Blind Spots, Hidden Self, and Unconscious Self expand, and our Public Self shrinks as we distance ourselves from our feelings and needs. In essence, we lose touch with our True Self, which is our real compass and the source of our wisdom and identity.
A solution: Therapy can assist you in expanding your Public Self while shrinking your Blind Spots, Hidden Self, and Unconscious Self. As your Public Self expands, you will reclaim disowned parts of yourself - the parts you had to abandon to survive. In essence, you will reclaim your True Self - the source of your wisdom and identity. Are you ready for the journey? If so, then click on the photo below to request online therapy.
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Text and photos by Carl Benedict except where noted
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