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Shane, M. Shane, E. (1996). The Essential Other. A Developmental Psychology of the Self. : By Robert M. Galatzer-Levy and Bertram J. Cohler. New York: Basic Books. 1993. Pp. 468.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 77:424-428.

(1996). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 77:424-428

The Essential Other. A Developmental Psychology of the Self. : By Robert M. Galatzer-Levy and Bertram J. Cohler. New York: Basic Books. 1993. Pp. 468.

Review by:
Morton Shane

Estelle Shane

This long, ambitious work recasts psychoanalytic developmental theory in terms of the necessity for the individual to experience essential others throughout the course of life; others, that is, needed for adequate growth not only in infancy, childhood, and adolescence, but equally in young adulthood, middle age, and late life. This theme is repeated, elaborated, integrated, and illustrated in every chapter. Galatzer-Levy & Cohler are obviously inspired by Kohut's selfobject concept, as well as by Kohut's contention that selfobjects are required throughout the life span, but they deliberately expand upon these constructs. They argue that the selfobject concept has not been sufficiently delineated, either by Kohut himself, or by the other self-psychologists who have followed him.

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