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Kohut, H. (1979). The Two Analyses of Mr Z. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 60:3-27.

(1979). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 60:3-27

The Two Analyses of Mr Z

Heinz Kohut


Although hardly more than a dozen years old, the psychoanalytic psychology of the self has now reached a point in its development when, for the benefit both of those who understand it thoroughly, and are used to applying the new concepts in their clinical work and in their research, and for the benefit of those who are seriously trying to learn more about this new step and want to form a judicious judgment about it, we need to summarize our theoretical conclusions and to demonstrate their usefulness in our clinical work. The first—a summary of the present state of our theoretical insights—was attempted in the summarizing statement which appeared recently in this Journal (Kohut & Wolf, 1978), the second—the demonstration of the clinical usefulness of the new viewpoint—was undertaken with the publication of The Psychology of the Self, A Casebook(Goldberg, 1978). The present case report belongs, of course, in the second realm: it aims at showing the relevance of the new psychoanalytic insights in the clinical field.

Two considerations determined my choice of this particular case within the context outlined above: First, the structure of Mr Z's personality illustrates with great clarity the explanatory power of the psychology of the self. Second, this purpose is also served, and perhaps even more unambiguously, by the fact that Mr Z's analysis took place in two installments, each conducted five times a week and lasting about four years, which were separated by an interval of about five and a half years.

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