Imposter Syndrome and the ‘As-If’ Personality in Analytical Psychology: Fragility of the Self

by Susan E. Schwartz 

The ‘as-if’ person faces a conundrum whether to hide or expose the truth of who they are. Feelings of loss, limitation and curtailment, alienation, and obsolescence are prevalent yet concealed with glitzy persona/imposter images. Intimacy and being emotionally present are difficult. The ‘as-if’ person withdraws into phantasy. Those living ‘as-if’ are estranged from their true selves at the cost of their desire. The relationship to life outwardly appears ‘as-if’ it was complete yet there is a haunting sense of lack and genuineness. Existence is singular. Very possibly we know these struggles as they are part of us.
The subjects include aging, the cultural influence of social media, the role of the father, transferences and body image. The recognition of the unconscious, a hallmark of Jungian analytical psychology is based on the incorporation of the dissociated personality parts into the self, reflecting the multiplicity of the psyche.