This is what I've written for my assignment on Narcissism...but I don't really get the merging part... According to Kohut and Wolf (1978), the development of a healthy self structure requires a progressive interplay between a) the innate qualities of the infant, and b) the empathic responsiveness of the primary caregivers in meeting the infant's need for mirroring and idealising. Through meeting the infant's need for mirrored grandiose-exhibitionism, and providing opportunities for the infant to idealise the omnipotent primary caregiver, early "selfobjects" containing these functions are merged within the developing self of the infant. Occasional and non-traumatic failures of mirroring and idealising allows the gradual replacement of the child's selfobjects with an autonomous self which contains healthy ambition (evolved grandiose-exhibitionism), ideals and values (internalised idealised parent imago). Any ideas?
selfobject 36-40 1 Jun 29, 2012