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No audience : mind constructed through representation of self

By Philippa Martin

Abstract

Includes bibliographical references (leaves 49-51).This study uses the single case study method to provide an illustration of aspects of mental representation and its relationship to mirroring. People with Borderline Personality Disorder often perform self-destructive behaviours, and cutting and bulimia are frequent symptoms (Fonagy, Target, Gergely, Allen & Bateman 2003; DSM-IV-TR, 2007). These behaviours have been linked to early attachment relationship difficulties, which result in problems with affect regulation (Fonagy & Target, 2006), and the ability to mentalize and maintain a clear sense of a core self (Bateman & Fonagy, 2004). In this research I am looking at the representation of affective states and beliefs, thoughts and intentions in current behaviour, and its link to early attachment difficulties. I am particularly interested in the phenomenon of cutting in people with Borderline Personality Disorder, and how this is conceptualised in mentalization literature. I will use case material from a patient of mine to illustrate the argument that cutting, and then photographing the results, is used as a form of self-representation, or mirroring of self states

Topics: Clinical Psychology
Publisher: Department of Psychology
Year: 2010
OAI identifier: oai:open.uct.ac.za:11427/14617

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