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Lazar, S.G. (1999). Heinz Kohut: The Chicago Institute Lectures: Paul Tolpin and Marian Tolpin. Hillsdale, NJ: The Analytic Press, 1996, 440 pp., $49.95.. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 47(1):295-298.

(1999). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 47(1):295-298


Heinz Kohut: The Chicago Institute Lectures: Paul Tolpin and Marian Tolpin. Hillsdale, NJ: The Analytic Press, 1996, 440 pp., $49.95.

Review by:
Susan G. Lazar

This is a most interesting collection of lectures, painstakingly and beautifully edited by Paul and Marian Tolpin, that Kohut delivered at the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis between 1972 and 1976. At this pivotal point in the evolution of his theory, between publication of The Analysis of the Self in 1971 and The Restoration of the Self in 1977, the ease of Kohut' teaching style and the flexibility of his thought are here both quite in evidence. Whatever one' theoretical preferences, it is a pleasure to experience Kohut thinking on his feet with his deep knowledge of Freud and the ego psychological point of view, and the facility with which he compares, contrasts, and combines this way of understanding with his new but still somewhat sparingly applied self psychological perspective. He is here at a point of transition in his thinking, moving from the use of both perspectives in his first book to a more encompassing vision of self psychology in his second. Especially interesting are the clinical discussions, in which it still seems to Kohut that either or both points of view may have varying degrees of explanatory power. Specifically, in situations of a relatively healthy and cohesive self, Kohut continues to rely at this point on the parsimony and utility of the classical Freudian metapsychology and developmental schema.

In the very first lecture, of January 7, 1972, however, in a description of the perversions, Kohut points out clearly what he sees as the preemptive importance of the integrity of psychic structure. He dissects out the crucial fact that the intensity of perversion “is even more intense than the urge toward genital satisfaction” and that it has “the quality of an irresistible addiction” (p.

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