University Professor Dr. Joachim Bauer (Berlin) is a psychiatrist, neuroscientist, psychotherapist and author of well-publicized non-fiction books (including „Das Gedächtnis des Körpers“ (Body Memory), „Warum ich fühle, was du fühlst“ (Why I Feel What You Feel), „Schmerzgrenze“ (Pain Limit), „Selbststeuerung“ (Self-Control), and the most recent 2019 book „Wie wir werden, wer wir sind“ (How we become who we are). He received the Organon Research Award from the German Society for Biological Psychiatry for his outstanding research, which also took him to the USA for a longer period. Bauer has worked successfully at the University of Freiburg for many years. He now works as a visiting professor, lecturer and teaching therapist in Berlin.
Built for attachment: The human Self - Its genesis, its role as a social addressee and as an inner doctor
The discovery of neuronal "Self Networks" just a few years ago enables a deeper understanding of the human Self. The human Self owes its existence to dyadic (bi-directional) encounters between the infant and the significant caregiver in the first 18-24 months of life. Along their way, these encounters elicit mutual resonances. The basis for this is the neuronal resonance system (Mirror Neuron System). The way significant caregivers interact with the infant leaves a trace in the infant and provides him (her) with information that and who he (she) is. The resonances coming from his caregivers let the baby especially feel whether it is welcome in this world or not. Accordingly, a corresponding feeling of Self forms. Simultaneously with the emergence of his/her Self, an inner image of the significant You forms in the child. The human Self is a Self connected to a You not just in the moment of its formation, but remains this way throughout its lifetime: Studies on adults show an overlap of the networks that code for one's own Self and those that code for the significant other (the "You"). This explains findings that identify self-networks as a highly sensitive addressee of interpersonal communication. At the same time, the self-networks have the ability to influence downstream brain centers, which in turn regulate biological parameters of the body. This clearly shows that the self-networks act as an interface between the social outside world and the biological inner world (i.e. one's own body). Further reading: Joachim Bauer, „Wie wir werden, wer wir sind“ [How we become who we are] (Blessing Verlag, 2019)