Abstract: In outlining Lacan's mirror stage, Carole Lyden highlights some important distinctions between traditional psychotherapy and a Lacanian approach. It is in the mirror stage that the child begins to invest a sense of identity in his image which marks the genesis of the self or ego, the formation of the 'I' function. But this 'finding of self' turns to 'loss of self' once the child begins to realise the image is outside of himself. By conforming to gain acceptance and approval, a split is created within, a division between who he feels he is and who he gives the impression of being. This self-image betrays his true self and as a consequence causes him to suffer throughout his life as his focus turns to external events, such as appearances, circumstances and the desires of others, whilst leaving him bereft within. It is this false self that is at the core of much of the suffering that people present to therapy. As much as we seek approval in the eyes of others, it is so much more important to follow our own desires and gain the approval of our own 'I'. (editor abstract)
To cite this article: Lyden, C. Through the mirror and beyond: understanding Lacan's mirror stage [online]. Psychotherapy in Australia, Vol. 14, No. 2, 2008 Feb: 50-3.
[cited 27 Apr 17].