Perspectives on self and object

Psychoanal Rev. 1984 Spring;71(1):145-68.


The normal adult is able both to experience himself and to know himself as an object in the world; he is capable of both subjective and objective self-awareness. Both types of awareness are developmental achievements, and their integration is related to the development of self-constancy and the sense of reality and identify. They are perspectives depending on where the line is drawn between the self observing and the self observed, and they vary in altered states of consciousness. Psychological theories also vary along these dimensions and although psychoanalysis is distinctive in attempting to integrate both viewpoints, the language of the theory and certain technical parameters change as the emphasis changes from defects in objective self-awareness to defects in subjective awareness.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Awareness
  • Ego*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Language
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Narcissism
  • Neurotic Disorders / psychology
  • Neurotic Disorders / therapy
  • Object Attachment
  • Perception
  • Psychoanalytic Interpretation
  • Self Concept*
  • Transference, Psychology