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After you perform a search, you can sort the articles by Source. This will rearrange the results of your search, displaying articles according to their appearance in journals and books. This feature is useful for tracing psychoanalytic concepts in a specific psychoanalytic tradition.

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Suler, J.R. (1988). Progress in Self Psychology, Volume 2: edited by Arnold Goldberg. New York and London: Guilford, 1986, 313 pp., $30.00. Psychoanal. Psychol., 5(2):219-222.

(1988). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 5(2):219-222

Progress in Self Psychology, Volume 2: edited by Arnold Goldberg. New York and London: Guilford, 1986, 313 pp., $30.00

Review by:
John R. Suler, Ph.D.

Similar to the first volume of Progress in Self Psychology (Goldberg, 1985), this second volume is a collection of invited papers and papers from national conferences devoted to this area of psychoanalysis. According to Goldberg, these volumes are intended, perhaps temporarily, to serve as a substitute for a journal in self-psychology. Loosely divided into sections on theory, clinical problems, development, and applied psychoanalysis, the collection serves as a convenient sampler of contemporary issues, but does not provide a unified structure for theory and practice that some readers may expect or want from a cutting-edge book.

The one issue that rings clearly throughout the book—particularly in the section on theory that focuses on papers by Curtis and Basch—is how self psychology compares and contrasts to classical psychoanalysis. In the exchange of critical attacks and counters, a variety of questions are raised: Which is the more crucial aspect of intrapsychic life—drive vicissitudes or self-cohesion? Is the goal of treatment the resolution of conflict via interpretation, or the repair of structural deficits through the empathic-introspective exploration of selfobject transferences? Will self psychology revolutionize and replace traditional psychoanalysis? Is it a branch of psychoanalysis, or is it what analysts have been doing all along?

The debates about drives versus self, deficit versus conflict, and analysis versus empathy will be absorbing for those readers who love pure theory, and a bit of a burden for those who do not. Similarly, readers will be divided in whether they are concerned about what seems to be the pressing question underlying the debates—what is “real” psychoanalysis? Often the controversy boils down to matters of orthodoxy and theoretical wranglings about ideal types.

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