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Goldberg, A. (1987). A Self Psychology Perspective. Psychoanal. Inq., 7(2):181-187.

(1987). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 7(2):181-187

A Self Psychology Perspective

Arnold Goldberg, M.D.

It is an interesting exercise in the accumulation of the supposed raw data of analysis to see if there can be any sort of truly free association by a patient. This particular case is admittedly conducted according to one particular clinical model or theory, and the merging material should necessarily reflect that. The analyst and patient are engaged in a dialogue, and every exchange of any sort serves to redirect or reset the process. But no matter how focused the intent of the analyst was or how constrained the material may seem to be, it is the mark of any worthwhile alternative theory that it is able to perceive material that not only is congenial to its own tenets but likewise serves to expand one's vision and so to offer a more comprehensive explanation.

Psychoanalytic self psychology studies this analytic material with an aim of enabling one to fairly readily follow the dialectic between this unhappy patient and her frustrated analyst with what we hope will thereby be an added tool of understanding. It is of course easy to say that this is a mismanaged or poorly conducted analysis that should have been better done in one manner or another. It is also easy to say that everything is going along just fine and there is, indeed, light at the end of the tunnel.

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