ERIC Number: ED351620
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
When Daughter's Sexual Abuse Is an Injury to Mother's Narcissism.
DePinho, Connie Maria
The mother's reaction to the disclosure of sexual abuse is often dramatic and her particular type of response in turn affects the daughter's coping mechanisms to deal with the abuse and the disclosure. The type of symptoms developed are thus considered in part dependent on the mother's reaction. Mothers of children who have been sexually abused often have intense dependency needs. These mothers frequently look to fulfill these needs through their daughters, consequently, mother and daughter are often involved in a symbiotic, mutually dependent relationship where the daughter is experienced as an extension of her mother's self. Because of this lack of self-other differentiation, these mothers may react to their daughter's disclosure of sexual abuse as an injury to their sense of self and may overlook their child's own needs. Given the premise that mothers and daughters of sexual abuse often exhibit a narcissistic fusion in their pattern of relating, it is the therapeutic task to help the child and the mother to separate and ultimately for the mother to be able to empathize with the child in order to provide selfobject functions for the child. The therapist needs to work with the dyad in the articulation and integration of both the mother's and the child's affectivity in order for the child to ultimately regain and/or develop trust in this and other relationships. (ABL)
Publication Type: Reports - General; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (100th, Washington, DC, August 14-18, 1992).