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Grotstein, J.S. (1999). Chapter 8 Melanie Klein and Heinz Kohut: An Odd Couple or Secretly Connected?. Progress in Self Psychology, 15:123-146.

(1999). Progress in Self Psychology, 15:123-146

III Klein and Kohut

Chapter 8 Melanie Klein and Heinz Kohut: An Odd Couple or Secretly Connected?

James S. Grotstein, M.D.

Psychoanalysis has already passed its one hundredth birthday and is about to enter a new millennium. Beginning originally as “orthodox psychoanalysis” (id analysis), it gradually evolved into “classical analysis” as Freud and his followers became more interested in the repressing forces and less in the repressed. In the United States classical psychoanalysis became enriched by the concept of adaptation and by the representational world. Yet even in the classical shift of emphasis from id to ego analysis, there remained a mystifying respect for the drives, for infantile sexuality, and utmostly for psychic determinism, the last of which had profound ramifications for the fate of ego psychology in the United States. Stated synoptically, psychic determinism meant that the analysand was exclusively driven by unconscious motivation and intentionality and that only the analyst was qualified to understand that motivation or intentionality because of its unconscious status. In its zeal to maintain the mystification of the unconscious, classical analysis was unwittingly subverting the analysand's own sense of his agency and enfranchisement in the analytic enterprise. A hierarchic class system of a kind had imperceptibly become a fixed feature of the technique.


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