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contextual therapy

Boszormenyi-Nagy's model that includes an appreciation of relational ethics


parental acts and statements that express the parents' image of their children; may be objective or distorted


Boxzormenyi-Nagy's term for the amount of merit a person accrues for behaving in an ethical manner toward others

false self

Winnicott's term for a defensive facade that comes to dominate some people's dealings with others


partial arrest of attachment or mode of behavior from an early stage of development

good-enough mothering

Winnicott's term for the average-expectable parenting, which is sufficient to nurture a reasonably healthy child


a tendency to exaggerate the virtues of someone; part of the normal develpmental process in children's relationships to their parents and in intimate partnerships


not merely imitation but appropriation of traits of an admired other

internal objects

mental images and fantasies of oneself and others; formed by early interactions with caregivers


a primitive form of identification; taking in aspects of other people, which then become part of the self-image

invisible loyalties

Boszormenyi-Nagy's term for unconscious commitments that children take on to help their families


Kohut's term for the expression of understanding and appreciation -- not praise but appreciation of what the other is feeling


self-regard. The exaggerated self-regard most people equate with narcissism is pathological narcissism

object relations

internalized images of self and others based on early parent-child interactions that determine a person's mode of relationship to other people

object relations theory

psychoanalytic theory derived from Melanie Klein and developed by the British School (Bion, Fairbairn, Guntrip, and Winnicott) that emphasizes relationships and attachment rather than libidinal and aggressive drives as the key issues of human concern

projective identification

a defense mechanism whereby unwanted aspects of the self are attributed to another person and that person is induced to behave in accordance with these projected attributes


return to a less mature level of functioning in the face of stress


Kohut's term for a person related to not as a separate individual but as an extension of the self

self psychology

Heinz Kohut's version of psychoanalysis that emphasizes the need for attachment and appreciation rather than sex and aggression


the process whereby the infant begins, at about two months, to draw apart from the symbiotic bond with mother and develop his or her autonomous functioning


distorted emotional reactions to present relationships based on unresolved early family relations


memories, feelings, and impulses of which a person is unaware. Often used as a noun, but more appropriately limited to use as an adjective

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