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Richards, A.D. (1981). Self Theory, Conflict Theory, and the Problem of Hypochondriasis. Psychoanal. St. Child, 36:319-337.

(1981). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 36:319-337

Clinical Contributions to Psychoanalytic Theory

Self Theory, Conflict Theory, and the Problem of Hypochondriasis

Arnold D. Richards, M.D.

THE WIDENING SCOPE OF PSYCHOANALYTIC TREATMENT HAS INItiated a controversy in psychoanalytic theory and technique. Central to this controversy is the issue of the place of the self in psychoanalytic theory. Two broad and apparently antithetical positions have been taken. The first position is that radical revision of psychoanalytic theory is necessary to account for new data relating to the self and to explain specific forms of psychopathology, particularly narcissistic personality disorders. The second position, to which I subscribe, is that current psychoanalytic theory is adequate to account for the phenomenology and psychopathology of the self and that therefore an alternative model or an alternative theory is not necessary (Richards, 1979).


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