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Fors, M. (2019). THE REPARATIVE THERAPY OF KOHUT AND MILLER. Psychoanal. Self. Cxt., 14(4):402-408.

(2019). Psychoanalysis, Self, and Context, 14(4):402-408

THE REPARATIVE THERAPY OF KOHUT AND MILLER

Malin Fors, MSc

This essay is a response to a paper by Janna Sandmeyer which received the Ralph Roughton award. Sandemeyer examines Jule Miller’s 1985 article, “How Kohut actually worked,” in which Miller describes Kohut’s supervision of his work with a patient struggling with issues of homosexuality. I expand on Sandmeyer’s comments on the heteronormativity and homophobia in Miller´s case description and make observations about the quality of the supervisory relationship between Miller and Kohut. I argue that this treatment was in reality reparative therapy and should be named as such. I posit a parallel to the conversion therapist David Matheson, who recently came out as gay, and suggest that if I am right, Miller and Kohut deserve our compassion. But to grieve and move beyond our crimes of the past, we also need to hold them, and our whole field, accountable. While acknowledging and admiring Sandmeyer´s important contributions to the exploration of heteronormativity and homophobia, I submit that the first step to empowerment and forgiveness is to call a reparative therapy what it was.

[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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