The Crossroads Between Self Psychology and LGBT Clients: A Case Study

Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Capstone

Degree Name



Graduate School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

Peter Buirski

First Committee Member

Artur Poczwardowski

Second Committee Member

Sheila Kamlet


Heinz Hohut provided a new approach to therapeutic work with the development of self psychology. Kohut emphasized that misattunements and the internalization of shame during formative years sets t he foundation for fragmentation of the self. Unfortunatel y. ind i viduals who identify on the LGBT spectrum often times receive early mes ages of rejection regarding their sexual identity as a result of the heterosexist society in which we li ve. Therefore, thi population may have developed internalized shame and self-hatred from early injuries during their exual identity formation. This paper examines the importance of reparative selfobject experiences. as emphasized in self psychology, when working with LGBT clients who have experienced early injuries during their sexual identity formation. A case study is used to illustrate the process of reparative experiences during treatment between a straight therapist and a lesbian client. Additionally. it demonstrates the manner in which a self psychological approach with some LGBT clients can lead to overall greater self-cohesion. as indicated by an increase in self-esteem and greater self-soothing capabilities.


Copyright is held by the author. Permanently suppressed.


25 pages

This document is currently not available here.