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Perlman, S.D. (2007). Angels in My Consulting Room: Kohut and Others as Selfobjects for a Trauma Therapist. Int. J. Psychoanal. Self Psychol., 2(4):441-462.

(2007). International Journal of Psychoanalytic Self Psychology, 2(4):441-462

Angels in My Consulting Room: Kohut and Others as Selfobjects for a Trauma Therapist

Stuart D. Perlman, Ph.D.

This is the story of how a therapist survived the experience of a treatment that at many points was devastating and unbearable. The therapist became aware of angels, or internally generated selfobjects of his favorite theorists. He discerned four different roles for these angels: helping understand the patient; supplying ideas of how to conduct treatment; legitimizing and protecting him from attack from other professionals; and especially, supporting him emotionally when events in the treatment pushed him to the limits of his endurance. This is illustrated in the case presentation.

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