Home Personal Psychology Personality Harry Stack Sullivan: Energy and Interpersonal Relationships

Harry Stack Sullivan: Energy and Interpersonal Relationships

16 min read

Needs for satisfaction include:

A wide range of Physical and emotional tensions and desires.

Physiological needs such as food or oxygen

Necessity for emotional contact with people such as tenderness and intimacy

Joyful exercise of capacities and functions such as play & self-expression

Infant-mother dyad is required to meet an infant’s needs for satisfactions

Needs for satisfactions undergo transformations over the course of development obtained through zones of interaction which is an exchange between a person and his environment; in an infant, these zones include oral, retinal, auditory, tactile, vestibular, kinaesthetic, genital and anal

Needs for security include:

Characterised by the experience of anxiety which is similar to “fear”

“Fear” is postulated to be caused by either violent disturbances in perceptions (such as loud noises or cold) or by imminent dangers to an infant’s existence (such as hunger or pain)

Security is defined to be a freedom from anxiety

Earliest discrimination of the experience of non-anxious and anxious states is termed “good-mother” and “bad-mother” respectively. The term “mother” is not to be confused with the actual mother

“Me-you” patterns which are formed from anticipated anxiety and threats to self esteem when interacting with others conjure fictitious image of self and a corresponding image of others

Infant learns to discriminate “signs” (such as, wrinkled brow, postural tensions, and so on) which is connected to anxious & non-anxious mother through a sequence of steps. Infant gradually realizes that both good & bad mother are a single person which assist the infant to discover that some of his behaviour makes mother more anxious while some are not. This happens at the age of one year & facilitated by the inception of language. Infant learns a complex set of process to control the mother’s anxiety as well as through the “empathic linkage” his own anxiety.

Self-consciousness starts with the discrimination between euphoria and anxiety. Euphoria refers to a complete absence of anxiety and tension

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