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In reference to the question of how and to what extent an individual develops the feeling of self-worth or worthlessness, individual psychology and family therapy find themselves on common ground. The emphasis in ego psychology is on an individual's developing and maintaining a feeling of self-esteem in order to survive. How this happens depends on intrapsychic evaluation processes (from a psychoanalytic viewpoint these are seen as an aspect of the "ideal self" or "superego") and standards, as well as on interactions and, in particular, on familial processes having to do with negotiation of acknowledgment. The latter is of central interest for family theory and practice.

Definition extracted with permission from Simon, Fritz, et al, Family Process, Inc.: Language of Family Therapy: A Systemic Vocabulary and Source Book (Family Process Press Series)



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