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Hubback, J. (1973). HEINZ KOHUT: The analysis of the self. No. 4 in: Monograph series of the psychoanalytic study of the child. New York, International Universities Press, Inc., 1971, pp. xvi + 368. $12.50.. J. Anal. Psychol., 18(1):79-80.

(1973). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 18(1):79-80

HEINZ KOHUT: The analysis of the self. No. 4 in: Monograph series of the psychoanalytic study of the child. New York, International Universities Press, Inc., 1971, pp. xvi + 368. $12.50.

Review by:
Judith Hubback

Within the intellectual area of metapsychology—Freud's term for his corpus of theory—careful work has been going on for some years on early personality disturbances. Analytical psychologists also aim to develop continuously and creatively the concepts which Jung originally pioneered with patients suffering from narcissistic disturbances. While the only reference to Jung in this monograph is in a footnote (and it is to Jung personally, not to the substance of his work), yet the book's quality is such that it deserves to be widely read by analysts other than orthodox Freudian ones.

The issue before us is really that of the potential inter-valuing of each other's strenuous work, and the thoroughness of Kohut's application to ‘the study of certain transference and transference-like phenomena in the psychoanalysis of narcissistic personalities, and the analyst's reactions to them, including his counter-transferences’ (p. 1) is distinctly admirable. His work is perhaps principally useful in its systematizing, although it must be remarked that the repetitious emphases are very hard on the reader.

Hartmann and his associated ego-psychologists devoted much attention to studying narcissism, publishing especially from 1958 onwards, and Kohut's work is in line with theirs and based on defining narcissism as ‘the cathexis of the self’. From 1966 onwards, when he published his paper on ‘Forms and transformations of narcissism’, he has been working on the developmental paths of the self. He is interested in the present self, in the body-self, in the mind self, in the body-mind self, in the grandiose self, in the cohesive self and in self-objects (objects experienced as part of the self).

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