Primitive Ego Psychology

We use our minds to create the lives we live. So it makes sense the more we know about how our minds work and how we think…..the more successful our lives will be.

Primitive Ego Psychology and Primitive Ego Theory helps people to awaken and become more self-aware, so they learn the skills and insights needed to tame their childhood primitive ego, create happiness, develop more healthy relationships, and live the successful and meaningful life they’ve dreamed about living.

Primitive Ego Psychology and Primitive Ego Theory helps life coaches, life coaching clients and readers of my Stonyhill-Nuggets Newsletter blog to:

  • increase their self-awareness so they can better listen to the wisdom of their lives,
  • awaken their consciousness to the limiting beliefs and unconscious conditioning of their childhood primitive ego (what I call taming the unconscious primitive ego)
  • achieve greater authenticity, happiness, purpose and meaning in their lives, and
  • increase their ability to add value to their lives, the lives of others, and the world… to improve their relationship with reality.

Primitive Ego Psychology teaches that our future will become our today…..and the future we create is always our choice. There is no such thing as “the future”. There are only “possible” futures. The future we create will be determined by the choices we choose or fail to choose as individuals and as a species.

Why Primitive Ego Psychology?

The questions and answers below will give a brief overview of Primitive Ego Psychology and Primitive Ego Theory for professional life coaches, mental health counselors, and those who simply want to improve the quality and meaning of their lives.

Are you struggling to build a successful coaching practice? Like most life coaches, do you struggle getting clients and then keeping them?

Getting new clients and then keeping them long enough to achieve their goals is often a challenge in creating a successful life coaching practice. Signing new clients and minimizing turnover can be challenging for both new coaches as well as experienced and well established practices.

Successful life coaches know from experience that retention is the key to success. The have learned the skills needed to keep their client’s engaged in the coaching process when a client hits the inevitable psychological and behavioral blocks that keep them from achieving their goals; the unconscious blocks that brought them into coaching. The very unconscious beliefs, emotions, and behaviors that have been in the way of them achieving their life goals and dreams for all or most of their lives.

Primitive Ego Psychology is focused on retention. It offers life coaches the step-by-step insights and skills needed for the client to successfully move toward the life they have dreamed of living. Using simple, clear, everyday language, Primitive Ego Psychology enables life coaches to offer their client’s the tools they need to overcome their unconscious obstacles and continue moving toward their goals. Client’s that are making progress toward their goals are motivated to stay in coaching.

Like so many life coaches, do you spend most of your energy helping clients get unstuck from their past? Do they seem to get stuck struggling over issues that have no relationship to the goals they hired you to help them achieve?

If your client’s knew how to overcome the barriers that have been keeping them from creating the successful life they have dreamed about living……they would not have hired a coach. If the barriers were conscious they would have already dealt with them. Successful coaching recognizes that most of the barriers that keep our clients from success and happiness in life are unconscious!

Primitive Ego Psychology focuses on the unconscious conditioning, beliefs, survival skills, and behaviors our client’s unknowingly adopted in early childhood. They are so much a part of their life they are almost impossible to identify until they awaken and begin to intentionally grow in self-awareness. Unfortunately, most life coaches have not yet dealt with this childhood material themselves. Until they do, new and experienced life coaches will quickly discover that it is impossible to lead a client any further into the wilderness than they have journeyed themselves.

A life coach can not teach the student what they don’t know. Client retention requires that the client is able to successfully continue moving toward their goals. Client’s who are stuck leave coaching.

Primitive Ego Psychology helps life coaches and their clients awaken to this unconscious childhood material. It gives life coaches the clarity, insights, and skills they need to ensure their client’s continued growth and progress. Using the insights offered by Primitive Ego Psychology they are more successful in guiding their client’s toward their goals and dreams. Their client retention level is high.

Are you frustrated dealing with clients that refuse to grow no matter what you offer them? Does it sometimes feel like your clients are attempting to create a successful adult life / career using the emotional and cognitive mind of an obstinate seven year old?

Primitive Ego Psychology teaches us that this isn’t simply a feeling…..it’s reality. Until your client has intentionally awakened to the presence of their childhood conditioning and become self-aware of the many ways they get in the way of their own growth, they will quickly become frustrated and drop out of coaching. Primitive Ego Psychology teaches that we all tend to look and sound like adults…..until we encounter one of our many unconscious emotional triggers from childhood. When that happens, the emotional knee-jerk response we send into the world will reflect the energy of a seven-year-old child.

A good example of an unconscious emotional trigger is observing how we feel and react when someone tells us we are wrong! Being “right” is one of the most powerful tools our ego uses in childhood to create and support our sense of “self” and our self-identity. We unconsciously carry this conditioning into adulthood. Primitive Ego Psychology is a branch of object relations theory that offers us a window into this kind of unconscious childhood conditioning. It supports growth in self-awareness so we can tame our unconscious childhood primitive ego……our own unconscious life coach primitive ego, and our client’s unconscious primitive ego.

Primitive Ego Psychology is about taming the unconscious primitive (immature) ego of childhood. It’s focus is not on Maslow’s survival needs. It is focused on self-transcendence, “being” and “meaning” needs. Primitive Ego Psychology teaches that a successful life has achieved clarity on the “purpose” of one’s life. It supports our growth in consciousness from “what’s in it for me” and the unhealthy belief in our own importance…… to that of mutual benefit, common good, adding value to the world, and adding value to the lives of others.

Are you frustrated with client’s who drop out of coaching because change feels too frightening or overwhelming? Do you lose client’s who simply refuse to embrace reality?

One of the more challenging tasks of life coaching is helping the client grow in self-awareness without triggering an unconscious push-back defensive response in the client. Primitive Ego Psychology teaches that the fear of change (whether internal change or external change), is one of the more frightening things a coach can suggest to the primitive ego of our client.

Primitive Ego Psychology teaches that change happens only when the old ways of thinking no longer make sense to the client. Until that awareness arises, even though the client nods, smiles, and outwardly agrees with the suggestion of change……..their primitive ego’s unconscious fear of change will cause the client to resist! When you hear “yea, I tried that…but…” in the following session, you can be certain you are engaged in a struggle for control with the frightened unconscious primitive ego of the client……a struggle that eventually cause the client to drop out of coaching. The insights contained in Primitive Ego Psychology a designed to help the client become more self-aware and more awakened to the reality that the old ways of thinking and behaving no longer make sense. When that awareness happens in the client, the change they need to embrace will happen without effort or fear. It’s like a snake shedding it’s skin simply because it has outgrown it.

Primitive Ego Psychology helps the client become self-aware of the primitive ego’s presence so they can begin the work of taming it. Primitive Ego Psychology moves the struggle for change from the client’s relationship with the coach to the client’s relationship with their own unconscious primitive ego. When that happens, the journey toward awakening and growth in self-awareness is no longer resisted inside of the client.

Primitive Ego Psychology….why is it so important in the creation of a successful life coaching practice? How does Primitive Ego Psychology support the awakening and growth in self-awareness of your client? We can’t teach what we don’t know. So how does Primitive Ego Psychology support and encourage the growth of you…..the life coach?

Object Relations Theory in Analytic Psychotherapy is a human development theory focused on the need that humans have to form relationships…..the need for contact with others. Every experience in life is the experience of a “relationship”. Primitive Ego Psychology simply applies the insights and skills of Object Relations Theory on the formative experiences we have in early childhood.

I developed the theory of Primitive Ego Psychology during my 25 years in private practice as a mental health counselor and life coach. As I worked with clients helping them develop the skills and insights needed to create the lives they dreamed about living, I soon recognized that most of the struggles my clients were wrestling with came from early childhood conditioning. It became clear to me that the technical language of psychotherapy was useful for me as a therapist, but it was not helpful for the client. As a result, Primitive Ego Psychology uses language and concepts that even a child can understand. In fact, the insights of Primitive Ego Psychology can be successfully taught to children in grammar school.

For those who are interested in digging deeper into the benefits of Primitive Ego Psychology, the resources tab at the top of this home page will take you to the books and articles I’ve written over the years on Primitive Ego Psychology theory and its practical application for those interested in awakening, taming their primitive ego, and growing in self-awareness.

There are many excellent “How To” training programs for professional life coaches. But there are very few that explore the details of unconscious childhood conditioning and how that conditioning impacts our lives. Primitive Ego Psychology and Primitive Ego Theory focus on how our minds work…..and how our minds unconsciously prevent us from realizing our goals and dreams. Knowing how our mind works is essential if our goals in life include happiness, success, meaning, and healthy relationships……with others, the planet, and reality itself. Why? Because we use our minds to accomplish, or fail to accomplish, everything in our lives. It makes sense, the more we know about how our minds work and how we think……the more successful we’ll be in creating a successful life.

Welcome to the world of Primitive Ego Psychology. If your clients are struggling to realize their goals and dreams, you can be all but certain that taming their unconscious primitive ego is at the core of their struggles.

My hope is that Primitive Ego Psychology serves you as well as it has served me in my own personal life, and during my career as a mental health counselor and life coach.