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Rubovits-Seitz, P. (1988). Kohut's Method of Interpretation: A Critique. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 36:933-959.

(1988). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 36:933-959

Kohut's Method of Interpretation: A Critique

Philip Rubovits-Seitz, M.D.

ABSTRACT

To cope with the obscure, complexly overdetermined, and unstable nature of unconscious meanings, Freud developed a pluralistic methodology that employs a wide variety of interpretive strategies and procedures. Conversely, Kohut proposed a radically abbreviated interpretive approach based on the single, subjective method of empathy. This report reevaluates Kohut's monistic interpretive methodology: (1) The principal features of Kohut's interpretive method are reviewed and evaluated. (2) Case material and interpretations from Kohut's final book are used to compare his unidimensional approach with the pluralistic methodology of traditional interpretation. (3) The epistemologic liabilities of Kohut's interpretive method are delineated and discussed. (4) Methodologically more appropriate strategies for improving clinical interpretation are presented.

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