Projectuality versus eventuality: Sullivan, the (ambivalent) intentionalist. Conference Paper uri icon


  • HS Sullivan's “Toward a Psychiatry of Peoples” is a difficult-to-penetrate tour-de-force on intentionality. In it, Sullivan walks the persistent reader through two aspects of what makes us human: Goal-directedness (labeled by Sullivan the need for satisfaction and here “projectuality”), and its derailment by interpersonal forces (referred to by Sullivan as the need for security and herein as “eventuality”). The tension between projectuality and eventuality gives rise to the self-system: A defensive self-organization aimed at maintaining self-esteem through the prevention of caregiver's anxiety. Herein, a link is made, to the best of my knowledge for the first time, between Sullivan's intentionalism, existential writings such as those of Rollo May, and DW Winnicott's notion of the true and false self. Implications to psychotherapy integration are discussed.(PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all …

publication date

  • January 1, 2011