Weight-Based Emotional Abuse: Self Psychological Implications for Treatment
Date of Award
Graduate School of Professional Psychology
Lupe Rebeka Samaniego
First Committee Member
Second Committee Member
Michele J. Forstot Nadel
Self psychology; Overweight individuals; Emotional abuse
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.
Harris, Dianna, "Weight-Based Emotional Abuse: Self Psychological Implications for Treatment" (2010). Graduate School of Professional Psychology: Doctoral Papers and Masters Projects. 121.