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Psychological Therian Theory (Introjection)
Kitzal
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Post: #1
Wink Psychological Therian Theory (Introjection)
I believe a potential explanation for psychological therians may be related to the concept of introjection. Introjection is the psychological term for when people subconsciously adopt habits, ideas, opinions, ect. from others. A common example is how children will introject their parents' ideals. Introjection is thought to be a common coping mechanism in those who are psychologically healthy.

One thing that made me relate this to therianthropy was how introjection presents differently in those with structural dissociation of the personality. Of course, in these cases, the severity of the introjection becomes pathological, which makes it noticeably different from therianthropy. However, I believe this serves as an example of how deeply introjection can affect the mind; in a dissociated personality, introjection can lead to altered identities "based on" people, animals, ect.

So if something like that can occur, then I believe it makes sense for something a bit similar to happen, though on a healthier scale, leading to therianthropy. This somewhat ties into the imprinting theory. The child imprints on a certain animal and introjects traits from it; it turns into their primary coping mechanism, so it develops further than simply accumulating a few characteristics.

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2022-01-27 20:40
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DustWolf
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Post: #2
RE: Psychological Therian Theory (Introjection)
As @BearX has indicated though, therianthropy is not a coping mechanism, otherwise he would be a person who needs a coping mechanism for his coping mechanism.

LP,
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2022-01-28 8:20
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Kitzal
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Post: #3
RE: Psychological Therian Theory (Introjection)

(2022-01-28 8:20)DustWolf Wrote:  otherwise he would be a person who needs a coping mechanism for his coping mechanism.


I don't quite understand what you mean here, can you elaborate? Dog


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2022-01-28 19:23
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Tdae
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Post: #4
RE: Psychological Therian Theory (Introjection)

(2022-01-27 20:40)Kitzal Wrote:  I believe a potential explanation for psychological therians may be related to the concept of introjection. Introjection is the psychological term for when people subconsciously adopt habits, ideas, opinions, ect. from others. A common example is how children will introject their parents' ideals. Introjection is thought to be a common coping mechanism in those who are psychologically healthy.


This is an interesting idea. I see what you're saying and agree to a point, but I don't really think of therianthropy as introjection or a coping mechanism. I think of an introject as being a specific individual rather than an entire species. Humans are not so different from animals so we can readily relate. Personally I believe therianthropy begins in the body or brain wiring. It begins with the physical instincts. If there is introjection, it comes after the bodily instinct. It's how the brain might name and "explain" something that is already there. That's how I feel about it.

Quote:One thing that made me relate this to therianthropy was how introjection presents differently in those with structural dissociation of the personality. Of course, in these cases, the severity of the introjection becomes pathological, which makes it noticeably different from therianthropy. However, I believe this serves as an example of how deeply introjection can affect the mind; in a dissociated personality, introjection can lead to altered identities "based on" people, animals, ect.


Strutural dissociation is a long spectrum that includes PTSD and a number of other conditions. I suspect therianthropy is a variant manifestation of structural dissociation. They look alike: The human/animal duality of therianthropy is similar to the ANP/EP duality described in structural dissociation. Both therianthropy and structural dissociation are concerned with or affected by primal instincts.

I'm not sure what you mean by the "severity of the introjection becomes pathological." Whether the introjection is pathological really depends on the individual. Obviously an abuser introject would be pathological until it learns to stop abusing. But an alternate state isn't necessarily pathological in itself.

Quote:So if something like that can occur, then I believe it makes sense for something a bit similar to happen, though on a healthier scale, leading to therianthropy. This somewhat ties into the imprinting theory. The child imprints on a certain animal and introjects traits from it; it turns into their primary coping mechanism, so it develops further than simply accumulating a few characteristics.


The stuff about imprinting looks like it could be written in a textbook. Problem with this is real people are a lot more complex than a book description. I am not therian but I had a therian-like alter from the past in my system. I have some memory of the circumstances that led to the formation of this state and I would not call it a "coping mechanism." It was existential necessity. I believe a part of my soul was dissociated and "coded" into a ghost wolf for preservation. It was like I could not live if I had to be human.

DustWolf Wrote:otherwise he would be a person who needs a coping mechanism for his coping mechanism.


Medicines might work like this. You take drugs and then more drugs to counteract side effects.


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2022-01-29 6:04
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DustWolf
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Post: #5
RE: Psychological Therian Theory (Introjection)

(2022-01-28 19:23)Kitzal Wrote:  

(2022-01-28 8:20)DustWolf Wrote:  otherwise he would be a person who needs a coping mechanism for his coping mechanism.


I don't quite understand what you mean here, can you elaborate? Dog


It is my understanding that he experiences species dysphoria and has coping mechanisms to deal with it. Therefore therianthropy can't itself be a coping mechanism if people have coping mechanisms to protect against it.

LP,
Dusty


Most problems are man-made.

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2022-01-29 7:03
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Lopori
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Post: #6
RE: Psychological Therian Theory (Introjection)
This is a theory I have too! A similar phenomenon, experience taking, is a common theory among fictionkin. That's where you leave the cinema feeling like you're in the film, basically. It makes sense to me that therians and otherkin would do something similar.

People are just as much a product of their life experiences and social circles as they are innate personality traits. I don't agree with the popular notion that therianthrppy is always on the nature side of the nature/nurture divide. It can develop later on.
I also think it can be atleast a subconscious coping mechanism for some after a traumatic event or something like that. A lot of therians I speak to have experienced ostricisation growing up for various reasons. It doesn't take much mental gymnastics to put two and two together. Though it might not always be the best escape if you end up dysphoric lol.
It doesn't have to be a response to something bad though, it could be spurred on by positive experiences. If an animal has consistently brought comfort and joy, why wouldn't I internalise that? Especially when such positive effects occur during an otherwise tumultuous period. In my case late adolescence.

Similar to the introject theory, I wonder how much special interests play a role. Mental conditions like autism and ADHD are very common among our ranks. We tend to be kinda geeky too on the whole, I've noticed, whether or not it warrants diagnosis of anything specific.
(Special interests aren't just an autistic thing imo, I've known many a neurotypical with them. Look at football fans)
Could someone be so passionate about an animal that it gets absorbed into their sense of self? I'm rather prone to getting really into stuff while being something of an impressionable sponge. There's a chance I've caught being a bonobo like its a cold.

I'm not human I'm just overgroomed!
(This post was last modified: 2022-01-29 13:25 by Lopori.)
2022-01-29 13:24
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Tdae
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Post: #7
RE: Psychological Therian Theory (Introjection)

(2022-01-29 7:03)DustWolf Wrote:  

(2022-01-28 19:23)Kitzal Wrote:  

(2022-01-28 8:20)DustWolf Wrote:  otherwise he would be a person who needs a coping mechanism for his coping mechanism.


I don't quite understand what you mean here, can you elaborate? Dog


It is my understanding that he experiences species dysphoria and has coping mechanisms to deal with it. Therefore therianthropy can't itself be a coping mechanism if people have coping mechanisms to protect against it.

LP,
Dusty


That's an illogical assumption. If I drink to cope then I would also have some water and an aspirin to cope with the side effects of the coping mechanism.


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2022-01-29 14:27
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Kitzal
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Post: #8
RE: Psychological Therian Theory (Introjection)

(2022-01-29 6:04)Tdae Wrote:  Personally I believe therianthropy begins in the body or brain wiring. It begins with the physical instincts. If there is introjection, it comes after the bodily instinct. It's how the brain might name and "explain" something that is already there. That's how I feel about it.


This is very interesting to me, I could definitely see this being a plausible explanation for therianthropy ^_^

(2022-01-29 6:04)Tdae Wrote:  I'm not sure what you mean by the "severity of the introjection becomes pathological." Whether the introjection is pathological really depends on the individual. Obviously an abuser introject would be pathological until it learns to stop abusing. But an alternate state isn't necessarily pathological in itself.


I meant pathological in the sense that it presents differently in people with things like BPD or DID; so, in relation to mental illness. Introjection as a concept is someone that all human brains subconsciously experience. It just can present differently in those with structural dissociation of the personality. Regarding whether an alternate state is necessarily pathological, I don't research non-traumagenic systems, as the vast majority of literature is in relation to trauma causing alternate states.

(2022-01-29 6:04)Tdae Wrote:  Problem with this is real people are a lot more complex than a book description. I am not therian but I had a therian-like alter from the past in my system. I have some memory of the circumstances that led to the formation of this state and I would not call it a "coping mechanism." It was existential necessity. I believe a part of my soul was dissociated and "coded" into a ghost wolf for preservation. It was like I could not live if I had to be human.


I completely agree that real people are more complex than a book description. Psychology is a very soft science after all, every individual is going to be different. I do want to point out that the term coping mechanism includes things your brain does automatically for survival. Such as the way DID forms; the child has to cope with the trauma, and the brain only knows to cope with dissociation. It is a necessary thing that the brain did to keep the child alive.

(2022-01-29 7:03)DustWolf Wrote:  It is my understanding that he experiences species dysphoria and has coping mechanisms to deal with it. Therefore therianthropy can't itself be a coping mechanism if people have coping mechanisms to protect against it.


Coping mechanisms can be negative or positive. ^_^ An example that I myself struggle with is binge eating. I binge eat to cope with intense emotions; that doesn't mean it's good or healthy, and in fact it is something I try to counteract with other, healthier coping mechanisms.

(2022-01-29 13:24)Lopori Wrote:  I also think it can be atleast a subconscious coping mechanism for some after a traumatic event or something like that. A lot of therians I speak to have experienced ostricisation growing up for various reasons. It doesn't take much mental gymnastics to put two and two together. Though it might not always be the best escape if you end up dysphoric lol.
It doesn't have to be a response to something bad though, it could be spurred on by positive experiences. If an animal has consistently brought comfort and joy, why wouldn't I internalise that? Especially when such positive effects occur during an otherwise tumultuous period. In my case late adolescence.


I 100% agree with you Deer Jump I think it's interesting that my Dutch Shepherd theriotype is the kintype that affects my whole system; I grew up around dogs and they were often my source of comfort while I experienced traumatizing events. Outside of this, I also was just very interested in animals in general.

(2022-01-29 13:24)Lopori Wrote:  Similar to the introject theory, I wonder how much special interests play a role. Mental conditions like autism and ADHD are very common among our ranks. We tend to be kinda geeky too on the whole, I've noticed, whether or not it warrants diagnosis of anything specific.


This also makes a lot of sense to me. I'm also nd, and it definitely contributed to my connection to animals. I've had a special interest in biology and animal care since I was a small child, and I'm even going to college for Animal Science. I wouldn't be surprised if this fixation on animals contributed to my being a therian.

(2022-01-29 13:24)Lopori Wrote:  (Special interests aren't just an autistic thing imo, I've known many a neurotypical with them. Look at football fans)


I see where you're coming from, but I'd argue that terms like special interest and hyperfixation have been watered down in recent times. I've seen many people argue that they can never be negative or that they can just be changed if someone so desires. In reality, real special interests and hyperfixations can cause a lot of trouble for the individual (ie. causing one to stay up all night researching things, in my case).


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2022-01-30 17:48
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Tdae
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Post: #9
RE: Psychological Therian Theory (Introjection)

(2022-01-30 17:48)Kitzal Wrote:  I completely agree that real people are more complex than a book description. Psychology is a very soft science after all, every individual is going to be different. I do want to point out that the term coping mechanism includes things your brain does automatically for survival. Such as the way DID forms; the child has to cope with the trauma, and the brain only knows to cope with dissociation. It is a necessary thing that the brain did to keep the child alive.


I've talked about it before that I believe therianthropy in the modern world is an adaptation to trauma or neurodiversity, much like DID. As you can see some people object to the idea that therianthropy is a coping mechanism. So I have distinguished between a coping mechanism and an adaptation. A coping mechanism is like a temporary pattern while an adaptation is more permanent. The child "copes," and as the brain develops the coping mechanism kind of solidifies into an adaptation which you cannot easily stop doing or being.


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(This post was last modified: 2022-02-02 18:05 by Tdae.)
2022-02-02 18:05
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