FROM THE COSMIC EGG SPRINGS FORTH EROS: DEINTEGRATION-REINTEGRATION IN THE EVOLVING EGO-SELF RELATIONSHIP
Journal of Sandplay Therapy, Volume 20 Number 1, 2011
KEY WORDS: deintegration-reintegration, ego, Self, archetypal energy, life transitions, sexual trauma, Michael Fordham, Sandplay therapy, lige crises, clinical example, girl, child, female.
ABSTRACT: Michael Fordham’s theory of the development of the ego from activated aspects of the Self in early childhood and later during major life transitions gives meaning to the repetitive sequences of chaos, struggle, resolution often observed in the sandplay process. Termed “deintegration-reintegration” by Fordham, it is an activation of the Self that comes forth into the outer world, readying the ego to perceive and act. Deintegration-reintegration occurs not only during the second year of life as Fordham described, but also during major phases of transition, as in adolescence and mid-life, life crises and when the Self is engaged in spiritual and creative work. An example of two major phases of deintegration-reintegration during an 11-tray sandplay segment of nine-year-old is presented. Through her ego-Self process of deintegration-reintegration, an apparent resolution of her sexual trauma and a more direct relationship with her inner self occurs.