The simplest statement to define Reflective Emotional Therapy(RET) is “we feel ourselves by feeling for others”. We build self concept based on reflection from numerous emotional relationship that we experience throughout our life.

You might become disappointed if a relationship breaks before fulfillment. This disappointment can lead to serious ego conflict. The ego splits into two parts. One part forms the ego-ideal and the other the ego shared with the other person (love object) in the relationship. The ego-ideal acts as critical agency, and punishes the shade of itself, the shared emotions with the love object. This critical nature of ego-ideal, exposes the hate towards the love object causing disappointment.

Also, the narcissistic nature of love relationship could have resulted in ambivalence in the relationship. The person may carry unconscious thoughts that he/she has willed the breakup, therefore shows self-hatred and self-pity. Thus the hatred towards the love object and the ambivalence struggle manifest as conflict that takes ego against itself.

These struggles happen in the unconscious part of the mind, therefore unavailable for the access of the conscious mind.  Bringing these struggles conscious to the subject will lead to acceptance of the expelled ego. This is achieved by recreating these reflective emotions within the therapeutic relationship.

The client may identify the therapist with a person of importance in his life(transference). Similarly the therapist might identify  with client, a person of importance in his life(counter-transference). Analyzing the transference and counter transference that happen within relationship, is an effective way to reveal these emotions that are residing in the unconscious part of the mind.

Roleplay, literary writing, and modes that bring out the past of life of the person may also be helpful in identifying the emotions that unavailable to the conscious mind, yet hindering the life of the person.

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