Understand Yourself Like a Clinical Psychologist: Power and Persona

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Power and Persona
Image by Ryan McGuire, courtesy Gratisography


How Well Do You Know Yourself?

It’s time to get your “shrink” on.

Shrink is a common, sometimes pejorative term, for psychologists, psychiatrists, or counselors.  The term shrink comes from “head shrinker” which apparently developed in Hollywood, California (about 40 miles from where I’m sitting) sometime in the 1940s. 

A “head shrinker” was someone who helped you eliminate feelings of personal grandeur and greatness by telling you EXACTLY what is wrong with you.  Later shortened to simply “shrink” the term stuck… and many people now call counselors by that term.

So shrinks are counselors, in a manner of speaking. 

Counselors are typically equipped in the fields of either psychology or psychiatry. Psychiatry is more deeply based in the medical field (meaning psychiatrists can prescribe medications) while psychology is more based in the social or behavioral sciences.

Psychology is the ‘Science’ of Behavior

Psychologists and Psychiatrists seek to understand you and your motivations, and how motivations affect your behavior.  If successful, people can have more self-awareness and begin to move toward wholeness.  And that all begins with “knowing thyself” as the ancient philosopher Plato said.
PLATO Know Thyself

Knowing ourselves has to do with our sense of identity. 

The cultivation of a person’s identity, cumulatively~ over time, results in the formation of one’s persona. This persona is the fundamental basis from which someone thinks, feels, and acts (lives).

For this reason, an impaired personality (viz., a dysfunctional person) remains necessarily and existentially ‘lost.’ And until that person can find himself, he/she remains incapable of being truly happy, healthy, whole, and holy.


People Who Haven’t Found Themselves are “Lost” Emotionally and In Their Own Identity.  People Who Haven’t Been Found by God are “Lost” Spiritually.

This leads to the pitiful phenomena of a person being estranged within his own existence. This possibility may sound strange but is, I believe, a common reality for a portion of our society, Christian or not.

The Haunted Self

But the one who has plumbed the depths of his haunted self, when guided into the light of selfhood by the truth of God’s Word & Spirit (Rom 12:3), ultimately finds himself.
Finding oneself is progressive– it can’t happen all at once.  

That’s because our human nature is like an onion, wrapped or encased in layers upon layers of thoughts, ideas, reflections, self-evaluations, motives, feelings, and the like.

But if and when a person does the hard work of sorting through his or her soul, they ultimately gain the grace of finding themselves. 
This liberating reality infuses such a person with a profound sense of identity. It is this (and only this) transformed individual who is able to shrug off the insecurities and limitations of the empty self to finally begin to become all that God has made him to be.

Becoming a Person of Power and Presence

Show me a person like this, and I will show you a man or woman of profound power and personal presence.

This is where God wants to transport all believers, but most are seemingly too fearful of their haunted and misunderstood humanity or are too in love with the illusion of godless liberation to ever be truly liberated.
Don’t let that be said of you.  Do the work of seeking and finding who you are by discovering who God made you to be.  Then you’ll be free… liberated!
“For where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” 2 Corinthians 3:17


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2 Replies to “Understand Yourself Like a Clinical Psychologist: Power and Persona”

  1. I agree with your assessment that once you have sorted through one’s soul, they will ultimately gain the grace of finding one’s self. This “sorting through one’s soul” is different for everybody and is a very difficult process. I don’t know anyone who has undergone this self-assessment and not done some very hard work to rid themselves of what holds them back. I would encourage your readers to explore this process. Finding out what is important in your life and why the other things are unimportant is a revelation. Kudos to you, Freddy. Psychology is a subject Christians shy away from for fear of being labeled progressive. Phooey on them!

    1. Tom, thank you. You’re right. Sorting through the human heart is challenging because it’s a haunted place. There are unknown floors, trap doors, secret rooms, and hidden hallways. We are very complex as people and have souls that even we don’t completely understand. Thanks– I too would encourage readers to go through this incredibly rewarding process. Thank you. And I want to encourage readers to also check out your important content on BrunersBreak. I’m a regular reader and I have subscribed to your content as well, so I don’t miss a post. Thank you.

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