According tо the рrinсiрlеѕ of psychotherapy, thе humаn реrѕоnаlitу is dividеd into thrее parts: thе Id, which represents our mоѕt bаѕiс drives, such аѕ those fоr fооd and ѕасkѕ, thе Ego, which kеерѕ thе Id undеr control аnd thе Super-Ego, whiсh is responsible fоr making moral intеrрrеtаtiоnѕ аbоut how right аnd wrоng an action оr urgе mауbе.
It is this Super-Ego where problems often arise. That sense of judgment is often harsh and punishing and the end result of its negative assessments can be depression, low self-esteem and a sense of worthlessness.
To counteract these issues, it’s important to understand that the criteria that the Super-Ego uses to assess the actions of the ego or the Id are usually learnt from parents and parental figures.
Asking questions about our Super-Ego can help us bring attention to it. Does our Super-Ego have an audible voice? Whose voice is it? Who does it sound like? Is it constantly critical? Is it always focusing on what’s wrong? Are we afraid of our Super-Ego? Most importantly, can we intentionally change its qualities, such as its tone or tenor and its criteria about what it considers good or bad?
By first distinguishing it as a functional aspect of the three-part personality and then becoming aware of its characteristics, we can begin to disengage from the grip of an aggressive angry and punitive Super-Ego and gradually mitigate its negative impact on our lives.