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Disorders of the sense of self

devils daughter

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OK, I’ll guess that few folks here are interested in the following academic paper that I found online, but I can’t know for sure unless I post it:


I started to post it on the general “Recommended” thread but it’s not really self-help exactly and is specific for folks with personality issues or disorders.

The first 6 pages give what to me is a very good and understandable description of Heinz Kohut’s theory of the normal process by which an infant and later child develops a good sense of self. It also describes what can go wrong and the disordered self which can result.

I like this article because it describes processes and does not make judgments about people whose sense of self is disordered -- or their parents. It helps me avoid thinking about myself as a victim or being angry with my parents, whom I know did “the best they could” given their own deficiencies.

It gives me a framework to think about what a healthy sense of self would be like – a goal, ideal or endpoint for what I am doing in therapy. And it gives me a way to think about repairing or compensating for what I didn’t get, rather than focusing on the deficiencies or what is “wrong” with me now, which makes relationships problematic sometimes.

Does anybody else here relate to this kind of thing?

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