Title

Weight-Based Emotional Abuse: Self Psychological Implications for Treatment

Author

Dianna Harris

Date of Award

7-19-2010

Document Type

Doctoral Capstone

Degree Name

Psy.D.

Department

Graduate School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

Lupe Rebeka Samaniego

First Committee Member

William Menaker

Second Committee Member

Michele J. Forstot Nadel

Keywords

Self psychology; Overweight individuals; Emotional abuse

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to provide evidence that overweight individuals are at increased risk for emotional abuse compared to their normal weight counterparts. Studies examining weight-based discrimination and bullying demonstrate examples of emotional abuse aimed at overweight individuals. The psychological difficulties associated with emotional abuse, such as symptoms of anxiety, depression and social difficulties, are reviewed. It is hypothesized that similar psychological difficulties are experienced when obese persons experience weight based emotional abuse. A self psychological conceptualization is applied to understand the effect emotional abuse has on one's sense of self. A treatment proposal, which aims to utilize self-object transferences to strengthen the self, is offered. Future research for the application of self psychology in a group therapy format is discussed.

Comments

Copyright is held by the author. Permanently suppressed.

Extent

unnumbered

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