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self/object differentiation

This concept was mainly developed and applied by authors with a psychoanalytic orientation. The concept implies that each individual should in the course of his or her development formulate a concept of self that is differentiated from the identity of other individuals and is autonomous in itself. Here "self" is defined as the set of all ideas and perceptions of one's own being as they are developed in the course of individual development and are then more or less integrated into and perceived as a functional whole (identity).

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)