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Fosshage, J.L. (2002). A relational self psychological perspective. J. Anal. Psychol., 47(1):67-82.
(2002). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 47(1):67-82
A relational self psychological perspective
James L. Fosshage, Ph.D.
I thank Joseph Cambray, US Editor, for his invitation and am delighted to participate in this ongoing dialogue between psychoanalysts and analytical psychologists. In addressing the questions as succinctly as possible, I will try to create a coherent narrative by responding to the questions in this order: 8, 6 & 7, 4, 3, 5, 1 & 2 and 9.
I think it will be helpful for the reader to know the following about my background. I was fortunate to be introduced to Jung in high school, to complete an independent study of Jung in college, and to journey through two Jungian analyses in New York City while I was in graduate school at Columbia University. During that period of my life, I avidly read Jung and Jungian authors and, thus, have been substantially influenced by Jungian thought. I then began my psychoanalytic training in 1968 at the age of 28 at the Postgraduate Center for Mental Health, New York City. The Postgraduate Center in those days had a reputation of being an eclectic Freudian Institute, which I came to learn meant id psychology and ego psychology.
During my training, however, I did not find Freudian theory to be experientially meaningful. I came upon Guntrip's writings - later, Winnicott's and Balint's - all of which spoke to me. Shortly before graduating from psychoanalytic training in 1972, I read Kohut's (1971) first book. I knew that his reformulation of narcissism and identification of transference-like phenomena, later called selfobject transferences, were of utmost importance. Yet, I strongly disagreed with his drive and energy theory and his postulation of two independent object relational and narcissistic lines of development. To suggest that self feelings and feelings about others are not intricately interwoven does not fit our experience. Thus, I turned to focus on dreams, an interest which emerged out of my Jungian and ego psychological analyses and co-authored, with Clem Loew and others, Dream Interpretation: A Comparative Study(1978). Subsequently, I developed what I call the organization model of dreams (1983, 1987a, 1987b, 1989, 1997a) which was also presented in a Revised Edition(1987) of our book. By the late 1970's self psychology had emerged more fully and at the time it deeply captured my interest.
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