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Self-hatred in Psychotherapy: one of the most difficult things to treat

Owl Talks

Dr Nick Bendit

ANZAP Conference 2018

When the client presents with pervasive and extreme selfhatred, it presents a terrible conundrum for the psychotherapist.

To try and undermine selfhatred is often experienced by the client as undermining their experience of themselves and creates a schism within the relationship. On theother hand, to collude with the selfhatred is even worse, perpetuating damageto the client and usually experienced as unbearable by the therapist.

This paper will explore the underpinnings and possible causation of client selfhatred and explore the links between selfhatred and shame. This will (hopefully) lead to some tentative offerings about how to manage and treat these difficult clients.

posted by bowdwrl4