The mechanisms of mental health and mental disorders in the dialogical self theory

Anna Gabińska, Bartosz Zalewski, Bartosz Szymczyk, Hubert Suszek, Małgorzata Jędrasik-Styła

Abstract


The paper presents the literature review on the mechanisms of mental health and mental disorders from the Dialogical Self Theory perspective. In its first part, the most important assumptions of the Dialogical Self Theory are presented, relevant to the understanding the health and psychopathology. In the second part, the following main determinants of mental health are described: (1) possessing sufficient self diversity; (2) the ability to be aware of possessing many I-positions; (3) the ability of different I-positions to engage in dialogical relations; (4) the presence of metaposition. In the third part of the article, key mechanisms responsible for the development of mental disorders are gathered, grouped and described. The following groups of those mechanisms have been distinguished: (1) primary impairment consisting in disturbances of dialogues among I-positions (absence of dialogue, disorganized dialogues, monologue, impoverished dialogues); (2) secondary impairment involving dysfunctions in the hierarchy of I-positions (silent positions, domination, lack of hierarchy, dysfunctional coalitions); (3) impaired functioning of metaposition. FInally, the practical utility of the presented understanding of psychopathology is discussed.


Keywords


dialogical self; mental health; psychological disorders; psychopathological mechanisms

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References


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