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The Information icon (an i in a circle) will give you valuable information about PEP Web data and features. You can find it besides a PEP Web feature and the author’s name in every journal article. Simply move the mouse pointer over the icon and click on it for the information to appear.

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Tuttman, S. (1988). Psychoanalytic Concepts of “The Self”. J. Amer. Acad. Psychoanal., 16(2):209-219.

(1988). Journal of American Academy of Psychoanalysis, 16(2):209-219

Psychoanalytic Concepts of “The Self”

Saul Tuttman, M.D., Ph.D.


In this paper, I wish to examine some of the contrasting ideas about “the self” in psychoanalytic theory. The objective is to seek perspective in approaching the problems and unresolved issues inherent in theoretical and clinical issues regarding the concept of “the self.”

Why is the notion of “the self” particularly susceptible to confusion and controversy? One factor may be that the self is both subject and object, and both the observer and the observed. This oscillation between being, experiencing and that which is experienced as the subject matter under study leads to serious ambiguities and problems in language and definition.

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