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Eisnitz, A.J. (1987). How Does Analysis Cure: By Heinz Kohut. Edited by Arnold Goldberg with the collaboration of Paul E. Stepansky. Chicago/London: University of Chicago Press, 1984. 240 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 56:536-543.

(1987). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 56:536-543

How Does Analysis Cure: By Heinz Kohut. Edited by Arnold Goldberg with the collaboration of Paul E. Stepansky. Chicago/London: University of Chicago Press, 1984. 240 pp.

Review by:
Alan J. Eisnitz

This is Heinz Kohut's last book, published posthumously through the collaboration of the editors, Arnold Goldberg and Paul Stepansky, and Kohut's widow, Elizabeth Kohut. Although a familiarity with Kohut's other writings is obviously helpful, this book stands on its own. The discerning reader can obtain a good idea from it of the main components of Kohut's views on self psychology. The book is provocative and thoughtful, and can be of value to all psychoanalysts, whether or not they espouse Kohut's position. While nothing startlingly new is added, there is valuable reflection and refinement in it of Kohut's theories. His views on the oedipus complex and castration anxiety are discussed extensively, as are his ideas about defense, resistance, and psychoanalytic cure.

The book was written, according to Kohut, to elaborate on some of the ideas expressed in his earlier work, The Restoration of the Self. Kohut seems to have been most concerned about a comment written to him, in an otherwise approving letter, about what seemed to be Kohut's position that "one will have to break off treatment before the analysand gets into too disturbing material" (p. 3). He takes great pains in this volume to try to demonstrate that this is not the case, that he advocates the analysis of all material, early or otherwise, as it unfolds in the transference.

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