Alter Ego: Alternate Views

This video lists some books offering insights into what makes us tick as we do - sometimes! Everyone is different, and some people change over time more than others. No single approach makes sense for all scenarios or individuals. If we use labels to describe people, they should be helpful for those people in that situation rather than counter-productive. The sad thing about extremes of opinion is that people can easily get hurt or ostracised through no fault of their own.

If you have experience or knowledge that is upsetting, the video is not meant to make things worse. It may be of interest, and could help people to find approaches or ideas that make sense for them. If something does not feel helpful there is nothing to feel ashamed of in steering away from it. It is not a failure on your part. Learn what suits you, be ready to change an approach, or look for things to be doing to help yourself.

The placebo effect seems relevant for whether we get better or how quickly. Does this apply to how convincing a psychotherapist is, or how damaging the wrong emphasis is for some vulnerable people? If you had unsuitable help, perhaps you can gain strength from that in some way.

Since preparing the video, we have come across other material agreeing with some issues, disagreeing with others or providing further information. What makes sense for us is individual, depending on what happens and how we experience it. Areas need to be open to discussion without putting all one's eggs into one ideological basket, or doing things to jeopardise other people's wellbeing or reality.

How we remember things may differ from actual events and many factors are involved. Laboratory experiments on memory are not ideal, but people who have studied memory say we probably don't repress memories to surface later on. Other people think traumatic events get stored differently, or perhaps there are even more types of memory?

This is a difficult subject to raise because of people's painful experiences and the accusations that can follow. When someone is abused they may want to set the record straight and tell people, which is natural. Sometimes the wrong person is accused through confusion over facts or impressions, and their life gets damaged too. Some issues may be straightened out over time but not always.

Books where you may find useful information are listed here in addition to ones in the video, and covering a spectrum of views. Inclusion of these books is not meant to imply acceptance of any or all of their content. The list appears at

Divided Minds & Successive Selves by Jennifer Radden
First Person Plural: Multiple personality & Philosophy of mind by
Stephen E Braude
I: the philosophy and psychology of personal identity
by Jonathan Glover
Memory and Abuse by Charles Whitfield
Multiplicity: the new science of personality by Rita Carter
Open to Suggestion by Robert Temple
Pillar of Salt by Janice Haaken
Searching for Memory by Daniel Schacter
Suggestions of Abuse by Michael Yapko
Theater of Disorder: Patients, doctors, & the construction of illness by Brant Wenegrat
The Plural Self: multiplicity in everyday life by John Rowan, Mick Cooper
The Saturated Self: dilemmas of identity in contemporary life by Kenneth Gergen

Blog on behaviour that is out-of-character for us is at

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