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Atkinson, J. (1991). Jacoby, Mario. Individuation & Narcissism: The Psychology of Self in Jung & Kohut. London. Routledge. 1990. Pp. 267. £25.. J. Anal. Psychol., 36(2):252-253.
(1991). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 36(2):252-253
Jacoby, Mario. Individuation & Narcissism: The Psychology of Self in Jung & Kohut. London. Routledge. 1990. Pp. 267. £25.
Review by: James Atkinson
I have little to add to Barbara Wharton's excellent review in the Journal of Analytical Psychology (1987) 32, p. 187, of Jacoby's original 1985 German publication of this book.
As the title suggests, the book is a comparative study of the essential nature and meaning of the self as described and experienced by Jung and Kohut.
Beginning with Ovid's tale, Jacoby emphasises the importance of the Narcissus/Echo dyad, alluding to its expression in narcissism and to the transformative aspect of the myth, for example, the reflection in the pool episode, which, beginning as error and illusion, becomes recognition and acknowledgement.
Ideas of the self and the ego, as conceptualised in psychoanalysis, Kohut's work, and Jung's, are explored in depth, leaving one with the impression that Kohut is a covert analytical psychologist, because he has notions similar to those of Jung's wholeness of the psyche and the individuation process. Jacoby's exclusive reliance on Neumann's ego/self access concept, Mahler's developmental schema, and Winnicott's ideas, although clarifying his arguments, does so at the expense of introducing other hypotheses. Although the work of Michael Fordham and the ‘London school’ is acknowledged, the essence of the deintegrating/reintegrating self during individuation is not conveyed; and Fordham's concept of the self, as outlined in Chapter 9 of Kenneth Lambert's book, Analysis, Repair and Individuation, seems to me to encompass more fully the early developmental individuation process than does the more two-dimensional ego/self access model.
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