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Tip: To review the bibliography…

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It is always useful to review an article’s bibliography and references to get a deeper understanding of the psychoanalytic concepts and theoretical framework in it.

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Mitchell, S.A. (1979). Twilight of the Idols—Change and Preservation in the Writings of Heinz Kohut. Contemp. Psychoanal., 15:170-189.

(1979). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 15:170-189

Twilight of the Idols—Change and Preservation in the Writings of Heinz Kohut

Stephen A. Mitchell, Ph.D.

The other idiosyncrasy of the philosophers is no less dangerous; it consists in confusing the last and the first. They place that which comes at the end—unfortunately! for it ought not to come at all!—namely, the 'highest concepts.' which means the most general, the emptiest concepts, the last smoke of evaporating reality, in the beginning, as the beginning. This again is nothing but their way of showing reverence: the higher may not grow out of the lower, may not have grown at all.
Nietzsche (from Twilight of the Idols)

ONE OF THE LIVELIEST AND MOST CONTROVERSIAL areas in psychoanalytic theorizing over the past two decades has been in the attempt of various writers to adapt classical drive theory to the clinical phenomena and conceptual problems posed by the more severe characterological disturbances. Heinz Kohut's contributions have been among the most fertile and stimulating in this area. His earlier work, although clearly introducing novel theoretical perspectives, was largely focused on issues of psychoanalytic technique. The Analysis of the Self, published in 1971, delineated "narcissistic personality disorders" as a diagnostic concept with a specific developmental origin, demanding a new treatment approach; Kohut introduced major technical innovations designed to deal with the unique transference phenomena which, he argued, emerged in the analytic treatment of this group of patients. The Analysis of the Self left several major theoretical questions unanswered, particularly those concerning the precise relationship between Kohut's new concepts and classical theory.

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