Source: Breshgold and Zahm on Invariant Organizing Principles

“Stolorow “maintains that due to very early developmental experiences with others we reflexively organize how we experience certain environmental stimuli. For example, a woman who experienced her father as frequently critical and demanding with exceedingly high expectations for her has a tendency to experience others in her life, such as her husband or her therapist, as critical or demanding when they show any slight or subtle questioning of her actions, or give any indication she has disappointed them. This is how her inner world is organized, and she may react in what looks like ‘defensive’ or ‘neurotic’ ways as a result of this organizing principle…(importantly)…invariant organizing principles can be seen as reflecting a predisposition to a particular figure formation or gestalt, in response to a specific environmental stimulus.”(Breshgold and Zahm paper).

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