Remembering the Self

Sharon B. Berlin

in Clinical Social Work Practice

Published in print February 2002 | ISBN: 9780195110371
Published online January 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199865680 | DOI:
 Remembering the Self

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This chapter describes the self as a memory system, made up of memories of attributes, interpersonal interactions, emotional responses, goals, values, motives, and action competencies. Memory patterns of the self (self-schemas) may be multiple, variable, and relatively independent from each other, allowing people to access different response sets in different situations. Moreover, access to memories of possible future selves can play an important role in guiding change. The chapter explains the emotion-infused nature of self-schemas and gives a conceptual account of how problematic schemas are maintained and can be changed. This explanation, based on Teasdale and Barnard's (1993) model of Interacting Cognitive Subsystems, is balanced with real-life illustrations of how these processes play out in clinical situations. Finally, the chapter explores the idea that the two fundamental requirements of change are discrepancy (or differences in the nature of available information) and selection (attention to those differences).

Keywords: self-schemas; emotions; motivations; possible selves; multiple; variable selves; independent selves; schema maintenance; schema change; Interacting Cognitive Subsystems discrepancy

Chapter.  19465 words.  Illustrated.

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