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Edgar, J.R. (1990). Psychoanalytic Inquiry. VIII, 1988: Case Discussion and Position Statement. Ernest S. Wolf, Pp. 546-551.. Psychoanal Q., 59:331.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Psychoanalytic Inquiry. VIII, 1988: Case Discussion and Position Statement. Ernest S. Wolf, Pp. 546-551.

(1990). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 59:331

Psychoanalytic Inquiry. VIII, 1988: Case Discussion and Position Statement. Ernest S. Wolf, Pp. 546-551.

James R. Edgar

Wolf discusses the case from a self psychology approach. He is primarily interested in the intrapsychic experience of the self and how this is linked to the extrapsychic interpersonal experience. He avoids attributing causality. Eschewing the sexual and aggressive motivations of the classical analyst, the self psychologist feels that behavior is motivated by the need to form a cohesive self. In this process there are certain self-evoking experiences that must be performed by the object in order for there to be a cohesive self. Clinically the self psychologist uses empathy and intuition to be attuned to the patient's experience of herself and the analyst. Wolf finds the case report lacking in the kinds of data he thinks most helpful: transference, countertransference, and reports of selfobject experiences. He then discusses the historical material in the case, showing what a self psychologist considers important. He focuses on the overstimulation and the unreliability of her real objective world and how these experiences would lead to a fragmented self. This fragmented self then leads to secondary behavior in an attempt to feel alive or whole. Wolf follows the treatment process and shows how he conceptualizes it in self-object terms. Sexual and aggressive material is seen as defensive against the underlying self fragmentation. He feels the analysis was useful to the patient not because of the interpretation of the oedipal material, but because the analyst's overall approach was accepting. He feels the analyst created a therapeutic ambiance in which inexact interpretations could be used by the patient metaphorically to make better sense of a fragmented self.

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Article Citation

Edgar, J.R. (1990). Psychoanalytic Inquiry. VIII, 1988. Psychoanal. Q., 59:331

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