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Edgar, J.R. (1992). Psychoanalytic Inquiry. IX, 1989: Discussion: Self Psychology and Mrs. X. Ernest S. Wolf. Pp. 528-538.. Psychoanal Q., 61:508.

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Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Psychoanalytic Inquiry. IX, 1989: Discussion: Self Psychology and Mrs. X. Ernest S. Wolf. Pp. 528-538.

(1992). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 61:508

Psychoanalytic Inquiry. IX, 1989: Discussion: Self Psychology and Mrs. X. Ernest S. Wolf. Pp. 528-538.

James R. Edgar

Wolf uses the psychology of the self to organize his discussion of the case. He points out the early excessive idealization of others (in particular, Dr. Z) coupled with an apparent abnegation of the patient's own self. When Dr. Z interferes with these idealizations and merger fantasies, Mrs. X becomes frantic and fears she will die. Wolf sees the "so-called self-destructive behavior" as attempts to reassure herself that she is alive and to define her boundaries. He speculates that her earlier roles as mother and teacher had provided her with needed merger fantasies and selfobject experiences that staved off fragmentation. Wolf feels that the therapy moves forward because of a process of "disruptive-restorative events" that involve Dr. Pearson's having done something that interfered with Mrs. X's needs for an idealizable, perfect selfobject and the subsequent discussion of the disruption between patient and therapist. He sees her anger and fear as secondary to those disruptions of the idealized selfobject.


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Article Citation

Edgar, J.R. (1992). Psychoanalytic Inquiry. IX, 1989. Psychoanal. Q., 61:508

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WARNING! This text is printed for the personal use of the subscriber to PEP Web and is copyright to the Journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to copy, distribute or circulate it in any form whatsoever.