Examples of Through-Lines

Here’s how they look. While the through-line concept necessarily refers to a history of occurrence, their proper descriptions are only committed to the enactment of a pattern of common Significance.  Any Personal Characteristic can be an aspect of a through-line description. 

Some examples of Through-Lines


When there is opportunity and while doing other things as well:

She heedlessly and perhaps unconsciously goes through life attempting to score competitive victories with women who resemble her mother and does so with an eye toward currying favor with unobtainable men. 

While fearfully avoiding degradation, he manages his affairs in such a way as to offend no one while never stepping outside of what be thinks are his competencies. 

He consciously and unconsciously strives to put people in a helpless position in a manner that keeps him, in his view, on the moral high ground. 

Terrified of being alone and doubting her worth to others, she seeks satisfaction by tolerating the abusive needs of others or in actions that undo and distract her awareness of her loneliness.

Requiring a sense of specialness, he looks for opportunities to demonstrate his worth by achievement in competitive arenas while making sure not to out-step the values and achievements of those he considers the conventional esteemed judges. 

Notice the multiplicity of similar and dissimilar performances that can be the enactment, performance or implementation of the Significance described in any of the examples above. 


There is not always opportunity, nor will an opportunity that exists in the ongoing circumstances always be reason enough for a Significance to be enacted. A person’s other significant hedonic, prudent, aesthetic, and ethical perspectives might prevail. Still, over time, patterns can be observed by self or other as what is “in character” for the actor in question. 

Also, notice that some through-lines can coexist with others. And some implementations may satisfy a variety of through-lines. 

A through-line is a significance driven description that can be built with any and all of the relevant features needed to make a pattern understandable regarding what a person is repeatedly up to in the course of their life. 

Some through-lines can end in satisfaction, some can be out grown or no longer be relevant, some can compulsively be repeated without satisfaction, some can be repeated because the satisfactions remain valued. 

They may look, in some cases, to the psychoanalytic observer as a function of a fixation.

Also notice that through-lines organize a description in a manner that highlights a status dynamic.

If this also sound like an example of what Roy Schafer called action language, then I’ve gotten it right.  

By Wynn Schwartz, PhD

*First published at: http://freedomliberationreaction.blogspot.ca/2013/10/examples-of-through-lines.html and republished with permission of the author.

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  1. Wynn Schwartz Ph.D Wynn Schwartz November 6, 2013

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