About Adoptee Rage

Statistics Identify large populations of Adoptees in prisons, mental hospitals and committed suicide.
Fifty years of scientific studies on child adoption resulting in psychological harm to the child and
poor outcomes for a child's future.
Medical and psychological attempts to heal the broken bonds of adoption, promote reunions of biological parents and adult children. The other half of attempting to repair a severed Identity is counselling therapy to rebuild the self.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Common Psychological Injuries to Adopted Children Perpetrated By their Adoptive Parents "Psychological Projection" and "Projective Identification"


Category: Adopted Child Psychological Abuse

Psychological Projection and Projective Identification
Common Psychological Injuries to Adopted Children
Perpetrated By their Adoptive Parents

The psychological impact of adoption on the adopted child alone is cause for public concern regarding the lifelong circumstances, deprivations, problems and psychological struggles that effect the population of adult adoptees. Compounding the the adopted child's mental health complexities is the consistent problem of ineffectual, compromised mental health status and borderline personality, including the dangerous and questionable narcissistic adoptive parent. The bare minimum screening effects on the general public is essentially lacking. Where children are placed in questionable psychological circumstances of adopting parents are overlooked when considering the opportunistic economic benefit by financial status of the adopting parents, which is no surprise in the material consumer culture that allows the buying, selling and returning of dependent minor children. The statistics grow more corruptible each year as adopted and foster care child abuse and murder are swept under the media to protect the integrity of the adoption industries image.
The psychological defense mechanism behaviors of psychological projection and projective identity are common adoptive parent coping mechanisms perpetrated on innocent and impressionable young children that have no choices in adoption placement or self preservation. Adult adoptees in recovery can identify the adoptive parents common psychological manipulative methods of parenting and the effects of being raised by people that take advantage of child adoption for reasons other than a child's benefit. In too many adoption child abuse cases the parent's psychological immaturity and psychological development stagnation places the adopted children psychologically older than some of the adoptive parents. Circumstances where the adopted child is providing the care and nurturing to the psychologically compromised adoptive parent is not uncommon, morally wrong and a tremendous burden to the adopted child who's childhood is used for the benefit of others. The population of physical, sexual and psychologically abused adopted children and adult adoptees grows daily in disturbing numbers, yet the social avoidance, invalidation and social silence remains acceptable and promoted by the same populations that exploit, deny and discard the adopted child. 

Psychological projection is a theory in psychology in which humans defend themselves against unpleasant impulses by denying their existence in themselves, while attributing them to others. For example, a person who is rude may constantly accuse other people of being rude.
According to psycho-social research, the projection of one's negative qualities onto others is a common process in everyday life.

Historical precursors

A prominent precursor in the formulation of the projection principle was Giambattista Vico (23 June 1668 – 23 January 1744), and an early formulation of it is found in ancient Greek writer Xenophanes (c.c. 570 – c. 475 BC), which observed that "the gods of Ethiopians were inevitably black with flat noses while those of the Thracians were blond with blue eyes." In 1841,Ludwig Feuerbach (July 28, 1804 – September 13, 1872), was the first to employ this concept as the basis for a systematic critique of religion.

Psychoanalytic developments

Projection (German: Projektion) was conceptualized by Freud in his letters to Wilhelm Fliess and further refined by Karl Abraham and Anna Freud. Freud considered that in projection thoughts, motivations, desires, and feelings that cannot be accepted as one's own are dealt with by being placed in the outside world and attributed to someone else. What the ego repudiates is split off and placed in another.
Freud would later come to believe that projection did not take place arbitrarily, but rather seized on and exaggerated an element that already existed on a small scale in the other person. (The related defense of projective identification differs from projection in that there the other person is expected to become identified with the impulse or desire projected outside, so that the self maintains a connection with what is projected, in contrast to the total repudiation of projection proper.)
Melanie Klien saw the projection of good parts of the self as leading potentially to over-idealisation of the object. Equally, it may be one's conscience that is projected, in an attempt to escape its control: a more benign version of this allows one to come to terms with outside authority.

Theoretical examples

Projection tends to come to the fore in normal people at times of crisis, personal or political, but is more commonly found in the neurotic or psychotic in personalities functioning at a primitive level as in narcissistic personality disorder or borderline personality disorder.
Carl Jung considered that the unacceptable parts of the personality represented by the Shadow archetype were particularly likely to give rise to projection, both small-scale and on a national/international basis. Marie-Louise Von Franz extended his view of projection, stating that: "... wherever known reality stops, where we touch the unknown, there we project an archetypal image".
Psychological projection is one of the medical explanations of bewitchment used to explain the behavior of the afflicted children at Salem in 1692. The historian John Demos asserts that the symptoms of bewitchment experienced by the afflicted girls were due to the girls undergoing psychological projection of repressed aggression.

Practical examples

  • Blaming the victim The victim of someone else's accident or bad luck may be offered criticism, the theory being that the victim may be at fault for having attracted the other person's hostility.
  • Projection of marital guilt: Thoughts of indidelity to a partner may be unconsciously projected in self-defence on to the partner in question, so that the guilt attached to the thoughts can be repudiated or turned to blame instead, in a process linked to denial.
  • Bullying: A bully may project his/her own feelings of vulnerability onto the target(s) of the bullying activity. Despite the fact that a bully's typically denigrating activities are aimed at the bully's targets, the true source of such negativity is ultimately almost always found in the bully's own sense of personal insecurity and/or vulnerability. Such aggressive projections of displaced negative emotions can occur anywhere from the micro-level of interpersonal relationships, all the way up through to the macro-level of international politics, or even international armed conflict.
  • Projection of general guilt: Projection of a severe conscience is another form of defence, one which may be linked to the making of false accusations, personal or political.
  • Projection of hope: Also, in a more positive light, a patient may sometimes project his or her feelings of hope onto the therapist.


Jung writes that "All projections provoke counter-projection when the object is unconscious of the quality projected upon it by the subject. Thus what is unconscious in the recipient will be projected back onto the projector, precipitating a form of mutual acting out.
In a rather different usage, Harry Stack Sullivan saw counter-projection in the therapeutic context as a way of warding off the compulsive re-enactment of a psychological trauma, by emphasising the difference between the current situation and the projected obsession with the perceived perpetrator of the original trauma.

Clinical approaches

Drawing on Gordon Allport's idea of the expression of self onto activities and objects, projective techniques have been devised to aid personality assessment, including the Rorshach ink-blots and the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT).
Projection may help a fragile ego reduce anxiety, but at the cost of a certain dissociation, as in dissociative identity disorder. In extreme cases, an individual's personality may end up becoming critically depleted. In such cases, therapy may be required which would include the slow rebuilding of the personality through the "taking back" of such projections.


Some studies were critical of Freud's theory. Research supports the existence of a false-consensus effect whereby humans have a broad tendency to believe that others are similar to themselves, and thus "project" their personal traits onto others. This applies to good traits as well as bad traits and is not a defence mechanism for denying the existence of the trait within the self.
Instead, Newman, Duff, and Baumeister (1997) proposed a new model of defensive projection. In this view, people try to suppress thoughts of their undesirable traits, and these efforts make those trait categories highly accessible—so that they are then used all the more often when forming impressions of others. The projection is then only a by-product of the real defensive mechanism.

Projective identification

Projective identification is a term introduced by Melanie Klein to describe the process whereby in a close relationship, as between mother and child, lovers, or therapist and patient, parts of the self may in unconscious fantasy be thought of as being forced into the other person.
While based on Freud's concept of psychological projection, projective identification represents a step beyond. In R. D. Laing's words, “The one person does not use the other merely as a hook to hang projections on. He strives to find in the other, or to induce the other to become, the very embodiment of projection”. Feelings which can not be consciously accessed are defensively projected into another person in order to evoke the thoughts or feelings projected.


Though a difficult concept for the conscious mind to come to terms with, since its primitive nature makes its operation or interpretation seem more like magic or art than science, projective identification is nonetheless a powerful tool of interpersonal communication.
The recipient of the projection may suffer a loss of both identity and insight as they are caught up in and manipulated by the other person's fantasy. One therapist, for example, describes how "I felt the progressive extrusion of his internalised mother into me, not as a theoretical construct but in actual experience. The intonation of my voice altered, became higher with the distinctly Ur-mutter quality. If the projection can be accepted and understood, however, much insight into the projector will be obtained.
Projective identification differs from simple projection in that projective identification can become a self fulfilling prophecy, whereby a person, believing something false about another, influences or coerces that other person to carry out that precise projection. In extreme cases, the recipient may lose any sense of their real self and become reduced to the passive carriers of outside projections, as if possessed by them.

Objects projected

The objects (feelings, attitudes) extruded in projective identification are of various kinds – both good and bad, ideal and abjected.
Hope may be projected by a client into their therapist, when they can no longer consciously feel it themselves; equally, it may be a fear of (psychic) dying which is projected.
Aggression may be projected, leaving the projector's personality diminished and reduced; alternatively it may be desire, leaving the projector feeling asexual.
The good/ideal parts of the personality may be projected, leading to dependence upon the object of identification; equally it may be jealousy or envy that are projected, perhaps by the therapist into the client.


Projective identification may take place with varying degrees of intensity.
In narcissism, extremely powerful projections may take place and obliterate the distinction between self and other.
In less disturbed personalities, projective identification is not only a way of getting rid of feelings but also of getting help with them.
In an emotionally balanced person, projective identification may act as a bridge to empathy and intuitive understanding.


Various types of projective identification have been distinguished over the years.
Acquisitive projective identification, where someone takes on the attributes of someone else. Unlike attributive projective identification, where someone else is induced to become one's own projection.
Projective counter-identification (Grinberg, 1962), where the therapist unwittingly assumes the feelings and role of the patient to the point where he acts out within the therapy within this assumed role that has been projected into him, a step beyond the therapist merely receiving the patient's projections without acting on them.
A division has also been made between normal projective identification and pathological projective identification, where what is projected is splintered into minute pieces before the projection takes place.
Projective identification may be used as a type of defence, a means of communicating, a primitive form of relationship, or a route to psychological change; used for ridding the self of unwanted parts or for controlling the other's body and mind.

In psychotherapy

As with transference and countertransference, projective identification can be a potential key to therapeutic understanding, especially where the therapist is able to tolerate and contain the unwanted, negative aspects of the patient's self over time. Transactional analysis emphasises the need for the therapist's Adult to remain uncontaminated, if the experience of the client's projective identification is to be usefully understood.

Wounded couple

Relationship problems have been linked to the way there can be a division of emotional labor in a couple, by way of projective identification, with one partner carrying projected aspects of the other for them. Thus one partner may carry all the aggression or all the competence in the relationship, the other all the vulnerability.
Jungians describe the resultant dynamics as characterising a so-called “wounded couple” - projective identification ensuring that each carries the most ideal or the most primitive parts of their counterpart. The two partners may initially have been singled out for that very readiness to carry parts of each other's self; but the projected inner conflicts/division then come to be replicated in the partnership itself.
Conscious resistance to such projective identification may produce on the one side guilt for refusing to enact the projection, on the other bitter rage at the thwarting of the projection.