Companion Animal Selfobject Questionnaire (Brown, 2007) : Updating the Human-Animal Bond

Companion Animal Selfobject Questionnaire (Brown, 2007)

by David Anderson on 07/16/15

Companion Animal Selfobject Questionnaire (Brown, 2007

Published in:

Brown, Sue-Ellen.

            Self psychology and the human-animal bond: an overview (Chapter 8), p.137-149, In: Blazina, Christopher, Boyra, Güler; Shen-Miller, David (editors). The psychology of the human-animal bond: a resource for clinicians and researchers. New York : Springer, 2011. Xxii, 421 p. ; 24 cm. : illus. ISBN: 9781441997609 (hard cover)

            The questionnaire is published on p.147-149.

Developed in:

Brown, Sue-Ellen.

Companion animals as selfobjects. Anthrozoös. 2007 Dec; 20(4): 329-343.


            The 16 Self psychology interview questions are published as Table 1, p.331.

Abstract: This research examined whether self psychology could be systematically applied to human-animal relationships. Twenty-four semi-structured interviews were conducted, which consisted of 16 questions designed to illuminate selfobject needs. The interviews were intended to identify whether the horse/dog/cat/rabbit was a selfobject, that is, a provider of self-cohesion, self esteem, calmness, soothing, and acceptance, for the participant and, if so, whether the primary type(s) of selfobject was mirroring, idealizing, or twin-ship. Results revealed that self psychology could be applied successfully to human-animal relationships, that it could usually be determined whether the animal served a selfobject function, and that selfobject type was generally able to be established. In this sample, animals rivaled and even surpassed humans in their ability to provide important selfobject needs.

Brown, Sue-Ellen.

Companion animals as selfobjects. Selbstpsychologie: Europäische Zeitschrift für psychoanalytische Therapie und Forschung = Self Psychology: European Journal for Psychoanalytic Therapy and Research. 2009; 10(38): 343-364.

This is a reprint of the preceding article.

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