A narrative theory of the self offers explanations of the holistic relationship between a mental content and other mental contents, as well as the relationship between an experience and its subject. For this reason, it offers an attractive alternative to atomistic psychological theories of personal identity, in which a person is defined using memory and other relationships grounded on discrete, impersonal experiences. Narrative theories often require a narrative of the entirety of a person’s life, which is an implausible requirement. My recommendation is that the narrative account be applied only to threads within a person’s life. This leaves us with a notion of a person that does not necessarily require a complete narrative unity, but is a bundle of narrative threads, with links in consciousness and the unconscious. Understanding this can provide a suitable context for engaging with patients with disorders of the self.


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