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Goldberg, S.H. (1989). Contemporary Psychoanalysis. XXIII, 1987: Experience, Interpretation, Self-Knowledge: The Lost Uniqueness of Kohut's Self Psychology. Benjamin Wolstein. Pp. 329-349.. Psychoanal Q., 58:685-686.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Contemporary Psychoanalysis. XXIII, 1987: Experience, Interpretation, Self-Knowledge: The Lost Uniqueness of Kohut's Self Psychology. Benjamin Wolstein. Pp. 329-349.

(1989). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 58:685-686

Contemporary Psychoanalysis. XXIII, 1987: Experience, Interpretation, Self-Knowledge: The Lost Uniqueness of Kohut's Self Psychology. Benjamin Wolstein. Pp. 329-349.

Steven H. Goldberg

In this paper, an essay review of Kohut's posthumous publication, How Does Psychoanalysis Cure?, Wolstein criticizes Kohut for de-emphasizing the psychic self as a source of its own uniqueness, emphasizing the "self-object" as opposed to the "self-subject." He also finds a unidirectional interpretive slant to Kohut's formulations, which may fit certain patients but would be unlikely to fit others. A second sense in which Wolstein finds a lost uniqueness in Kohut's self psychology is that it fails to recommend a technique different in any significant way from that of traditional psychoanalysis. Kohut's technique moves the clinician no closer to the immediacy of directly felt experience than does the technique of traditional ego psychology. The author goes on to point to what he sees as a contradiction between the recommendation to be empathic and the recommendation to be sustaining. Empathy, he argues, is neither confirming nor disconfirming; sustaining is an act of sympathy, not empathy. Wolstein argues that interpretive myths cannot be borrowed wholesale

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from theory, but must arise from the direct experience and introspection of analyst and analysand.

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Article Citation

Goldberg, S.H. (1989). Contemporary Psychoanalysis. XXIII, 1987. Psychoanal. Q., 58:685-686

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