Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Mirroring in Couple and Family Therapy

  • Gihane Jérémie-BrinkEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_318


Attachment theorists, such as Kohut and Bowlby, emphasize early caregiving relationships. They suggest that the responsiveness of the caregiver will influence how the child develops into an adult and how that adult develops of a healthy sense of sense and will respond in intimate relationships (Marmarosh and Mann 2014). Mirroring is known as one of the three selfobject transferences evolved from the relationships with the caregiver that Kohut focused on. Kohut theorized that a healthy mirroring selfobject experience, such as being the gleam in a parent’s eye, enables self-esteem, ambitions, and the ability to assert oneself later in life (Marmarosh and Mann 2014). An important aspect of the therapy process is for the therapist to identify the selfobject transferences as they develop, such as awareness of the patient’s unmet selfobject needs. Within the therapy process, the therapist serves multiple selfobject functions, such as being attuned to the ways the client both...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Family Institute at Northwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Eli Karam
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LouisvilleLouisvilleUSA