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empathic failure

1. a lack of understanding of another person’s feelings, perceptions, and thoughts. In self psychology, a parent or caregiver’s repeated empathic failure toward a child is thought to be a potential source of later psychopathology, such as narcissistic personality disorder and borderline personality disorder.

2. in psychoanalysis, a situation in which a patient feels misunderstood by the therapist or analyst. Compare attunement; misattunement. [first described in 1966 by Austrian-born U.S. psychoanalyst Heinz Kohut (1913–1981)]

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Psychology term of the day

March 1st 2024

body-size overestimation

body-size overestimation

the specific tendency to overestimate the size of body features (e.g., width of waist, hips, or thighs) in relation to objective size measurements. It was once thought to be an essential feature of anorexia nervosa. See body-image distortion.