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Boćwińska-Kiluk, B. (2021). “Venus in scars” – implications regarding self-harm pathogenesis in adolescent girl in object relation theory perspective. IJP Open, 8:1.

(2021). IJP Open, 8:1

“Venus in scars” – implications regarding self-harm pathogenesis in adolescent girl in object relation theory perspective

Beata Boćwińska-Kiluk

A case of moderate self-harm of one year' duration in a 17-years old girl who had onset of cutting-healing cycles when she started leaving institutional care was discussed in the light of the object relations theory. By extension, in this case, self-harm cycles were significant as transitional object in in context of separation-individuation and quality of the evironment which have triggered this dermal oriented act. Thus, for this young “Venus in scars”, body and its products were a form of conversion into “Venus in fur”. So, self-harm was a concrete vehicle on the way to reach the states of being close to and separate from caregiver by regression to still controversial in psychoanalitical thinking, the “dermal developmental phase”. It means that self-harming adolescent was making scarred-skin as a stronger home-spun-fur-ego instead of absent overcoat from apropriate environmental care. Self-harming adolescent has drawned out skin, body, blood or other bodial products as material of own psychic germ, and converted them into working psychic structure and threads of thought, by hand and in a concrete way as a antiparanoid and antipsychotic medicine, and the object relationship organization (and with some other reasons).

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