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Fig 2.24 – Symbolic Self

Text: Pages 95 and 96

Jacques Lacan believed traditional psychoanalysts focused on an imaginary self because of their interest in internalized imaginary objects, which neglected the role of symbol and the development of a non- ego symbolic self. The development of the imaginary self began in early childhood when a child viewed themselves in a mirror and, upon seeing a red dot on their forehead, touched the dot, not the mirror. This indicated the beginning of an imaginary self that became further developed by parental and cultural language. The mirror image showed that the ego was not the true subject, but an alienated image of the real person.

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