The Two of Me : The Rational Outer Me and the Emotional Inner Me book cover
1st Edition

The Two of Me
The Rational Outer Me and the Emotional Inner Me

ISBN 9781138877474
Published March 3, 2016 by Psychology Press
320 Pages

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Book Description

How much of what we do is directed by conscious, deliberate decisions and how much originates in unconscious, automatic directives? This is the question explored in The Two of Me via an engaging combination of phenomenological subjective investigation and objective considerations of mental processes and specific structures. John Birtchnell puts forward the thesis that many more of our actions than we might imagine are determined unconsciously. Not only are unnoticed automatic actions motivated unconsciously, but also seemingly conscious or 'thought out' behaviours are actually determined and reinforced by unconscious exigencies. Even where we produce a reasoned discourse taking responsibility for why we hold certain thoughts, there is always the possibility that these explanations serve and follow from an unconscious driving force. The conscious mind seems to act as spokesperson for both itself and the unconscious mind. Investigating this dual aspect of the person, the book addresses the issue across a range of mental processes including memory, language, problem-solving, dreams, delusions, hallucinations and more complex constructs such as the arts, humour and religion.

Table of Contents

Contents. Preface. Part 1: The Outer Me/Inner Me Dichotomy. The Birth of an Idea. The Outer Me. The Inner Me. Part 2: Other Conscious/Unconscious Distinctions. Psychodynamic Distinctions. Cognitive Distinctions. Part 3: The Human Objectives. Survival. Reproduction. Relating. Part 4: The Receptive and Responsive Me. Sensory Input. Emotion. Memory. Part 5: The Active Me. Motor Action. Communication and Language. Mental Activity. Part 6: The Complex Me. Deception and Self-Deception. Delusions and Hallucinations. Dreams. Part 7: The Social Me. The Arts. Humour. Religion. Bibliography. Author Index. Subject Index.

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John Birtchnell is Honorary Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Psychiatry in London and author of Relating in Psychotherapy and How Humans Relate.


This new theory of mind covers ground touched in his two previous texts and synthesises a wide and deep range of knowledge, in which analytic theory, cognitive psychology and the latest research in neuroanatomy combine to yield a thought provoking, holistic, subjective and relational-based view of mind, written with wisdom and compassion. - Dr. Dale Mathers, Member, International Association of Analytical Psychology