Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Compassion, Self-hate (Psychology), Object relations (Psychoanalysis), Psychoanalysis and evolution, Neurobiology, Abused children, Theoretical, Self-compassion, Object relations theory, Evolution, Childhood abuse


It seems a common belief that a person cannot have genuine compassion for other people until he can have compassion for himself. However, it seems a pervasive phenomenon that when encountering difficult situations (e.g. failure and fatal disease), many people do not give themselves the compassion they would give to other people in the same situations. This theoretical study aims at supporting my hypothesis that people without self-compassion can still have compassion for others. Relevant evolutionary and neurobiological theories and object relations theories are used to explore this phenomenon. I also apply these two theories to a case study of a client at my interning organization, which seems to provide further validation of my hypothesis. A critique of this study and suggestions for future research are included in the discussion chapter.




iii, 76 pages. Thesis (M.S.W.)-Smith College School for Social Work, 2014. Includes bibliographical references (pages 63-76)