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Teicholz, J.G. (2012). By Any Other Name?. Int. J. Psychoanal. Self Psychol., 7(4):577-580.

(2012). International Journal of Psychoanalytic Self Psychology, 7(4):577-580

By Any Other Name?

Judith Guss Teicholz, Ed.D.

“[T]hat which we call a rose, by any other name, would smell as sweet.”

(Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, II.ii.47–48)

Would Kohut want to change the name of Self Psychology if he were alive today? When Kohut gave the name of Self Psychology to his new psychoanalytic theory, he was trying to solve problems that he saw in Classical Psychoanalysis at that time. In his view, these problems related primarily to the mechanistic and impersonal aspects of Freud's drive and structural theories. Conceptualizing a theory to explain the development of an experiential “sense of self” or selfhood in the context of and through the relationships with primary caregivers, he may have felt that he had adequately addressed his difficulties with the theories that preceded him and labeled the new theory appropriately.

Foremost in his theory of self-development was his concept of the selfselfobject relationship, in which self and other formed an indivisible unit and were mutually constituted through their interactions as well as constantly revised because of their shared and permeable boundaries.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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