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Solomon, B.C. (1995). The Widening Scope Of Self Psychology: Progress In Self Psychology, Volume 9. Edited by Arnold Goldberg. Hillsdale, NJ: Analytic Press, 1993, 304 pp., $36.00.. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 43:245-250.

(1995). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 43:245-250

The Widening Scope Of Self Psychology: Progress In Self Psychology, Volume 9. Edited by Arnold Goldberg. Hillsdale, NJ: Analytic Press, 1993, 304 pp., $36.00.

Review by:
Brenda Clorfene Solomon, M.D.

The Widening Scope of Self Psychology is the 1993 selection of the best juried papers presented at the 1992 annual Conference on Self Psychology. This book, as are others in the Progress in Self Psychology series, is divided into five sections: Interpretation, Sex and Gender, Aggression and Rage, Clinical, and Applied. The introduction by Paul Ornstein speaks of self psychology being on a promising trajectory. “The clinical concept of the selfobject transferences and the developmental concept of selfobject needs and experiences—that is, the vicissitudes of the selfobject phenomena throughout life—are the foundational constructs of self psychology from which all the rest derives. New approaches rivet our analytic attention on the microstructures of self-experience, the level on which development and the treatment process can be more adequately accounted for” (p. 7). This volume demonstrates subtle and not-so-subtle differences in emphasis and language, recently enumerated by Estelle and Morton Shane (1993), which suggest that there are many self psychologies, not just one. For readers not yet familiar with this literature, the present volume might whet the appetite for a further taste of self psychology's evolution. As J. Leider comments, “theory informs, but need not restrict, lines of empathic inquiry. But, when a patient's responses do not match our expectations, we do not force them to do so; rather, we strive to fashion a new theory that better articulates and better explains the subjective experience of the patient” (p.

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