1st Edition

Imposter Syndrome and The ‘As-If’ Personality in Analytical Psychology The Fragility of Self

By Susan E. Schwartz Copyright 2024
    230 Pages
    by Routledge

    230 Pages
    by Routledge

    This insightful book explores the ‘as-if’ personality through the lens of Jungian analytical psychology, illuminating how the same forces that can disturb personal development relationally, socially and culturally are equally an impetus toward expressing and relating with one's more complete self.

    The book describes persons expressing an ‘as if’ personality as facing a conundrum around whether to hide or expose the truth of who they are. It describes the analytic container as a place of growth from that place, affecting person and culture, self and other. Using a myriad of clinical examples (across a range of cultures, contexts and personal experiences), the author describes people who are moving through feelings of not belonging, sexual addiction, ageing, the cultural influence of social media, the role of the father, and body image challenges. All these issues reveal the valuable recognition of the unconscious- a hallmark of Jungian analytical psychology- incorporates the dissociated others into selfhood. The theories of French psychoanalysts Andre Green on absence and the negative, Julia Kristeva on abjection, French philosopher Jacques Derrida on Narcissus and Echo and American philosopher Judith Butler on precarity expand the Jungian analytical thought to reflect the multiplicity of the psyche.

    Using understandable language to interweave various psychoanalytical and philosophical frameworks, Imposter Syndrome and the ‘As-If’ Personality in Analytical Psychology: The Fragility of Self is both accessible to general readers and highly relevant to professional analysts, therapists, clinicians and social workers.

    Acknowledgements  Credits  Introduction  1. As-If defined  2. Through the looking glass of persona  3. The presence of the father's shadow  4. The refusal of twoness in sexual addiction and pornography  5. This is a love story- Echo and Narcissus  6. Blank, void, emptiness  7. Envy as a disturbed search for self  8. The encounter of transferences  9. Ageing, image and illusion  10. Body Fragility  11. Where do I belong?  12. Living on  Index


    Susan E. Schwartz, PhD, trained in Zurich, Switzerland as a Jungian analyst. A member of IAAP, she presents at numerous conferences and has many journal articles and book chapters. Her previous book The Absent Father Effect on Daughters: Father Desire, Father Wounds is translated into several languages. She practices in Paradise Valley, Arizona, www.susanschwartzphd.com

    "Susan Schwartz, drawing creatively on Jung and French psychoanalytical traditions, has produced a beautiful and insightful book on the ‘as-if’ personality. The study uniquely combines theoretical and clinical dimensions so that one gets a full feel for the richness of actual therapy with these most challenging of patients. The text is replete with exquisite quotes that set the emotional tone. This volume, The Imposter Syndrome and the ‘As-If’ Personality in Analytical Psychology: The Fragility of Self, is at the cutting edge of Jungian and psychoanalytic thinking."

    Henry Abramovitch, Founding President, Israel Institute of Jungian Psychology, in honour of Erich Neumann & Preofessor Emeritus, Tel Aviv University.

    "Susan Schwartz’s compelling and timely study of the ‘as-if’ personality explores the phenomenology of a person who exists unseen, as if living behind a wall. Dr Schwartz captures with great empathy the struggles of both individuals and collectives to cope with feelings of acute estrangement, isolation and loneliness by uncovering the underlying emptiness that negates depth and substance. Drawing on the works of C.G. Jung, André Green, Donald Winnicott, Julia Kristeva, Judith Butler and others, Dr Schwartz describes the ‘as-if’ person as stuck between the mirror and the mask and trapped in personal, cultural and historical wounds that include unfinished mourning. She suggests that integration can occur by differentiating untouched, unacceptable ‘shadow’ aspects that open creative dialogues in order to venture beyond the ‘as-if’ façade. This book is essential reading for making sense of the effects of our turbulent psycho-social environment of post-COVID, climate change, environmental disasters and war-torn zones that all exacerbate global trauma."

    Dr Elizabeth Brodersen, Accredited Training Analyst and Supervisor, C.G. Jung Institute, Zürich, and co-editor of Jungian Perspectives on Indeterminate States: Betwixt and Between Borders, 2021.

    "Susan Schwartz addresses the popular topic of the impostor syndrome. In an expanded, careful and exhaustively researched way, she presents reflections on the topic from not only classic Jungian, post-Jungian, and psychoanalytic authors, but also from scholars of philosophy and sociology. The clear and precise description of such a personality, named by the author as ‘as if’, helps us to identify the massive existence of these symptoms in our practices and in the narcissistic and fragmented Western culture in which we currently live. This gives the reader, although facing difficulties in the diagnosis, treatment and transference involved with the syndrome, the possibility of envisioning a kind of ‘cure’ for the subjects who seek in Jungian symbolic analysis a way to experience and better relate with their psychic multiplicity."

    Luciana Ximenez, Jungian analyst in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and co-director of the online program, Thiasos – Shared Imagination Workshop