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Morrison, A.P. (1994). The Breadth and Boundaries of a Self-Psychological Immersion in Shame: A One-and-a-Half-Person Perspective. Psychoanal. Dial., 4(1):19-35.

(1994). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 4(1):19-35

The Breadth and Boundaries of a Self-Psychological Immersion in Shame: A One-and-a-Half-Person Perspective Related Papers

Andrew P. Morrison, M.D.

Shame colors other feelings and perceptions about the self. From reflections about his own personal experiences and observations regarding a particular manic-depressive patient, the author discusses the evolution of his current clinical and theoretical understanding of shame. The framework of analytic self psychology is offered as a particularly useful perspective from which to consider shame, with its emphasis on the concept of selfobject to account both for shame's development (through selfobject misattunement and unresponsiveness) and for its amelioration (through empathic mirroring, idealization, and twinning). A developmental sequence for shame is advanced reflecting limitations in selfobject responsiveness, and problems are noted in the ability of current self psychology theory to fully account for the alleviation of shaem. The self plays its part in the construction of those selfobjects needed to ease shame, representing the “one-and-a-half-person psychology” of the paper's subtitle. Finally, the important role of countertransference shame is considered through a clinical example of therapist disclosure of his own shame to his patient, utilized in order to repair an interrupted kinship selfobject transference.

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