PERSONAL AFFECT AND MODULATION SCRIPT
Donald L. NATHANSON in Shame and Pride, Affect, Sex and the Birth of the Self,
Ed. W.W.Norton & Company, New York. London,1992.
PERSONAL AFFECT MODULATION SCRIPT
No one emerges from the birth canal with the slightest idea of the modulation of anything-and we cannot teach what we have not learned. Almost everything we know about soothing, calming, relaxing, consoling, comforting, satisfying, cheering, or loving others has been learned from someone else and adapted for our own use within highly personal affect modulation scripts. P.402
Those who benefit most from successful therapy seem to find their own level. An enlightened adult lives and works in terms of his or her true complement of attributes. P.404
THE PLASTICITY OF THE AFFECTIVE SYSTEM: THE SEDATIVE SCRIPTS
Simply stated, Tomkins sees some people as developing what he calls deprivation affect, a complex and highly magnified affective state which the individual attributes to the absence of whatever substance or activity has come to bring solace. He gives the name sedative scripts to the actions through which one attempts to reduce the deprivation affect by which
the absence of this substance or activity has been made to appear dangerous.
Not infrequently, people become quiet upset that something might interfere with a sedative script. These are times when we worry that we might run out of cigarettes, alcohol, or anything chosen to relieve or reduce deprivation affect. Tomkins calls the affect that accompanies such ideas addictive affect. An addictive act is one taken to prevent or limit addictive affect; this is when we light more than one cigarette at the time so there is no possibility of being without one, drink in order to avoid the way we might feel if we needed a drink and couldn’t find one, horde or earn money to ward off the danger of poverty we will therefore never feel, engineer sexual release so we will not get the kind of nervousness calmed by an orgasm. In true sedative act, once is enough because the psychological device
Works to make us feel better. In addiction however, one never really achieve sedation because what is being ameliorated is only the dense and terrible affect associated with the idea that we might not have access to our sedative script when we really need it!
Note: Food can be sedative:” Food is both relief from hunger and a modulator of distress, we learn from earliest childhood that food is a calming substance, a sedative.” P.422 So can be “ the immersion on physical activity”p.420
WE ARE MORE THAN THE SUM OF OUR PARTS
“ I have attempted to show that extraordinarily dense human affect is by nature immutably complex, far more complex than can be accepted by most of who study it. Directly proportional to the density of affect seen in an individual will be the complexity of the scripts that have produce it. Social forces are important, but they are not the one true key to understanding. Neurotransmitters, drives, affect, and prewritten habit patterns are important, but we are more than the sum of our parts. Neocortical cognition is important, but notwithstanding the yearning of 19th-century rationalism it too is biological and cannot be separated from the biological field from which it evolved. Whoever wishes to help guide humans along their best paths towards their highest goals must learn all of these systems.”P.430
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