One of the tasks of adolescence is for the individual to adopt a realistic self-image, consistent with her limitations and attributes. The process to reach this task is complicated by adolescent mechanisms to regulate self-esteem, which involve unrealistic identifications with specific peers and with her peer group. I present the case of a fashion model whose adolescent process was stilted by living in an artificial environment that did not allow her to develop a realistic self-image. This problem became more pronounced as she aged and could not find activities and interests that allowed her to feel accomplished. A psychodynamic psychotherapy enabled her to synthesize a new self-image that had aspects derived from her mother and her nanny, the most important figures of her childhood. The process was first to allow her to explore in the transference aspects she saw as repulsive and integrate them with others that she felt were desirable.
Journal of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis & Dynamic Psychiatry – Guilford Press
Published: Jun 1, 2010