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Atkins, N.B. (1992). A Fresh Look at Psychoanalysis: The View from Self Psychology: By Arnold Goldberg. Hillsdale, N.J.: Analytic Press, 1988, xvii + 275 pp., $29.95.. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 40:270-273.

(1992). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 40:270-273

A Fresh Look at Psychoanalysis: The View from Self Psychology: By Arnold Goldberg. Hillsdale, N.J.: Analytic Press, 1988, xvii + 275 pp., $29.95.

Review by:
Norman B. Atkins, M.D.

In these essays, Goldberg elaborates on many of Heinz Kohut's key concepts, fleshing them out with clinical examples. This book brings to the reader many of Goldberg's own contributions, some of which have already appeared in different forms in published books and journals. It is helpful in reading Goldberg's volume to have become acquainted beforehand with Kohut's ideas on self psychology as they have been developed in such books as The Analysis of the Self, The Restoration of the Self and How Does Analysis Cure? Goldberg worked closely with Kohut for many years and helped edit How Does Analysis Cure? from a manuscript left following Kohut's death.

Goldberg has been intimately involved with the origin and development of psychoanalytic self psychology. He describes the essays collected in this volume as representing his own "waxing and waning uncertainties about its significance, along with my strong certainty about its value and impact" (p. ix).

Goldberg introduces his theoretical concerns in the first chapter. Here he struggles with how philosophy of science might concern itself with psychoanalysis as an authentic scientific discipline. He examines psychoanalysis as alternately an empirical science, a historical discipline, and as hermeneutics. He believes all of these are applicable and states, "The three theories are held together in terms of their own network of applicability; they are not competitive but alternative ways of viewing the field."

This essay sets the tone of the remainder of the book, which dips into clinical considerations, developmental ideas, theory of technique, all from the self psychology point of view.

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