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Meissner, W.W., S.J. (1996). The Impact Of New Ideas: Progress In Self Psychology, Vol. 11. Edited by Arnold Goldberg. Hillsdale, NJ: Analytic Press, 1995, xvii + 313 pp., $36.00.. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 44:1001.

(1996). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 44:1001

The Impact Of New Ideas: Progress In Self Psychology, Vol. 11. Edited by Arnold Goldberg. Hillsdale, NJ: Analytic Press, 1995, xvii + 313 pp., $36.00.

Review by:
W. W. Meissner, S.J.

This is the latest in the extended series of volumes devoted to the elaboration and development of self psychology. However, it seems that all is not well in the house of self psychology. The divisions in the house are apparent from the first pages of Stolorow's introduction, and are developed in a series of papers by Carveth, Trop, and Ornstein. The house is divided between the loyalists (to Kohut's selfobject concept) and the expansionists (presumably including the intersubjectivists). The gauntlet is tossed by Carveth in a withering attack on self psychology in general, but the intersubjective brand in particular. Opposite sides of the debate are forged by Trop (intersubjective) and Ornstein (loyal).

Leaving the controversies unresolved, the remainder of the volume is taken up with clinical and theoretical studies of varying merit. Subjects include an interpretation of internal object relations as intersubjective (Powell), sexual differences as aspects of reality and their involvement in selfobject issues (Lachmann and Kiersky), archaic selfobject transferences in group therapy (Baker), self psychology perspectives on multiple personality (Palef), and studies of working through (Lewinberg) and termination (Muslin) in self psychological therapy. A separate section is devoted to suicide (Abramowitz) and death and dying (Hagman, Knoblauch). Other more exploratory essays are contributed on personality testing (Geller), creativity and the problem of writer's block (Tuch), the role of guilt in tragic man (Droga and Kaufmann), and judging empathic attunement in patient responses (Shapiro). A final contribution sounds the trumpet for self psychology as the psychoanalysis for the coming century.

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