ALCOHOL AS A SELFOBJECT IN ALCOHOL USE DISORDER

ABSTRACT

The term selfobject derives from the self psychology theory of Heinz Kohut (1931-1981). It is used to describe an external object, person or activity which may have become part of the self. In psychopathology, where a person has a developmental deficit or damaged self, a selfobject may be used by that person to self soothe or attune. Alcohol may be considered to be such a selfobject and this work discusses this concept, examining Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) from a selfobject perspective. It also considers the work of other theorists who have supported this construct and examines various theoretical approaches using Kohut’s psychodynamic and empathic integrative therapy.
Keywords: Selfobject, Alcohol Use Disorder, Kohut, Self Psychology, Self Soothing, Self Medicate.

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