I have been looking at the Haven models and it is hard to say when I agree because there seems to be many contradictions.
We are born authentic and society conforms us into something less authentic.
We are born seeing all people as objects and being unable to truly relate.
True relating is achieved only through revealing the authentic self (and almost all relationships are developed between conforming sheep and do not know true loving.)
The Selves Model is basically just a misleading reprint of Freud, but Freud was never meant to be a model for life. After years at Haven, I still fail to see how this applies to day-to-day living. How arrogant does one have to be to write a Manual for Life as Ben and Jock have?
So how is relating actually achieved? As children, we develop strong bonds and attachments to our parents. Although we have developed the capacity for attachment through evolution and survival, this does not lessen the authenticity and power of this love. This is why childhood attachment is the greatest predictor of adulthood relationships. That we need people doesn’t make our love for them any less true. Attachment is not the same as objectification. Ben and Jock seem to confuse theory of mind with empathy (the same is true of the Dynamic Empathy course.)
Maybe the love the rest of society has is bullshit. Maybe we aren’t authentic when we aren’t degrading those we dislike. Maybe the whole world is bullshit. But I would rather be in it.
To understand empathy, look to developmental psychology. To teach people empathy, look to literature. The point of existential philosophy is that there is nothing more absurd than creating a manual for life. Existentialism was a fight against religions’ prescriptions and claims to truth.
The first time in rehab, I quoted the TV show House, there is no unconditional love, it’s just unconditional need.
That’s how this started, the therapist said, you had the same quote.
I started and ended with House. That tells you a lot about what my attachments had been.
I am open enough to change my mind, and humble enough to say that the way I see the world doesn’t make it truth. Ben and Jock take their own dark views of human nature and take it to be universal.
Perhaps it isn’t a contradiction that I felt more like an object at Haven than anywhere else. Our models create our reality.