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  1. Steven H. Cooper

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0430

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Cooper, S. H. 2010. Idealization. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1.

Author Information

  1. Harvard Medical School

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


The concept of idealization has been elaborated as part of a process that allows for identification and eventual separation from parents during development as well as a part of the therapeutic process. Whereas idealization was once regarded as a homogenous phenomenon, most current psychological approaches consider there to be a variety of kinds of idealization that may serve multiple functions both during development and the therapeutic process.