While the IG is important for goal-oriented action, the EG stores all life and work experience. In these experience networks, infinite biographical experiences are condensed and largely stored unconsciously. This experience memory is invaluable for self-calming ability and also for the practice of professional therapists and consultants. The EG is the centre of the entire professional and life experience and enables the emotional expression of one’s own state and is thus the basis for self-calming and emotional processing as well as coping. The EG is fundamental for the sense of self and can be equated with the holistically networked self-system (Kuhl 200, 2010). The self-system is important for the integration of loss-laden and painful experiences and is the supporting pillar of self-calming competence. The latter cannot be emphasized enough, because self-expression is required before self-calming. If this is possible in an accepting social environment, the person can calm down. This explains the effect of so-called mourning process, in which loss-laden experiences are told over and over again, before, most cases, calming gradually sets in (not always – this also depends on other factors).
Under the influence of pain and anxiety, the access to the EG (self-system) is inhibited and the access to the OES is facilitated according to the modulation dynamics of the personal systems. People differ greatly in their ability to counteract the system dynamics despite difficult conditions, in threatening situations or under stress. If they succeed in doing this well, this is referred to as a very pronounced self-calming competence. The affective state of the facilitated self is that of sovereign serenity or, expressed functionally analytically, of the down-regulated negative affect. People who have less self-calming competence or who are exposed to extreme pain, strain or threats need social support in order to maintain access to the self-system and thus to their self-calming competence despite these adverse conditions.
There are many factors that can support and facilitate access to the self-system. These include social resources such as high-quality relationships in which the quality characteristics of personal presence, authenticity, appreciation and empathy are implemented. In addition to resource-oriented relationship structures, there are other factors that can support self-access, for example artistic or musical self-expression. The creative authentic expression of the self is, as already mentioned above, the first important stage of self-calming. The self-system is strongly linked to bodily experiences. Physical perception exercises can also improve the sense of self.
Interesting for change processes are the level of motives, the unconscious power sources of a person and their self-management competences that allow a person freedom of will and action (Ritz-Schulte & Huckebrink).