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Ostow, M. (1979). Letter to the Editor. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 60:531-532.

(1979). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 60:531-532

Letter to the Editor

Mortimer Ostow

To the Editor,

In his paper 'The Two Analyses of Mr Z' published in your Part 1, Vol. 60 (1979) issue, Dr. Heinz Kohut presents a case report which 'aims at showing the relevance of the new psychoanalytic insights in the clinical field'. The case report and the interpretations and explanations which accompany it, seem to me to invite some comment.

Dr. Kohut argues that in the first analytic effort made with this patient, pursued with what he considers good classical technic, he failed to analyze the patient's negative complex toward his mother. This negative complex included the patient's enslavement to his mother, his fear of separating from her and his anger towards her. In the second analytic endeavor, however, informed by his new theory and guided by his new technic, he understood this material and was able to analyze it effectively. In addition, this issue having been satisfactorily dealt with, he was now able to analyze the positive features of the patient's relation to his father. The contrast between the two episodes of analysis demonstrates, Dr. Kohut suggests, the advantage of his 'psychoanalytic psychology of the self' over classical psychoanalytic theory and technic.

The crucial question is whether the first analytic procedure was indeed conducted with proper classical technic. I think one could argue that it was not, while the second procedure corrected some of its defects.

Confronted with the patient's memories of a pleasant and gratifying relation with his mother, and simultaneously with his demands for unlimited devotion and unqualified praise from the analyst, Dr.

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