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Villela-Minnerly, L. (1991). The Said and Unsaid of Self Psychology, Part I: The Question of Language. Psychoanal. Psychol., 8(1):25-42.

(1991). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 8(1):25-42

The Said and Unsaid of Self Psychology, Part I: The Question of Language

Lucia Villela-Minnerly, Ph.D.

In his article on introspection and empathy, Kohut (1959) defined psychoanalysis in terms of methods used rather than tenets held, and thus started a far reaching conceptual revolution that has considerably modified and expanded Freud's drive-based, psychosexual model. Over the last 30 years, a more-or-less cohesive system of explanatory propositions has developed into what we now call self psychology. The said of self psychology will examine some of the explicitly stated propositions for their conceptual coherence. The unsaid will examine some of the covert or seldom articulated questions and assumptions that guide (or that subvert) the self psychological approach. It is argued that language (examined here) and sexuality (examined in a later article) are two of the major unsaids of self psychology. This article assumes that all theories have their unsaids, and therefore the subversion of a theory may be a precondition of its contribution to future work.

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