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(1978). Kohut's Restoration of the Self: A Symposium. Psychoanal. Rev., 65(4):615-615.

(1978). Psychoanalytic Review, 65(4):615-615

Kohut's Restoration of the Self: A Symposium

With this issue the editors of The Psychoanalytic Review establish a new feature: a symposium devoted to a discussion of current issues in psychoanalysis. In the last few years psychoanalytic theory and technique have been subject to a vigorous questioning from within. Signs of an emerging new paradigm, more consistent with contemporary thinking in the philosophy of science and sensitive to the revolution daily affecting the fabric of our social life are glimpsed at meetings, in informal discussions, and in new publications in the field. Representative of these new trends is the work of Heinz Kohut, whose latest book is under discussion here.

Greeted by some as a “landmark publication” ushering in a new psychology of the self that eclipses the theory of instinctual drives and by others as merely a refurbishing of orthodox theory in new terminology, The Restoration of the Self raises some insistent questions: Do we, indeed, operate with two personality theories? As clinicians, do we implicitly think in terms of a self psychology that is not expressly acknowledged in the conceptual mold of drive psychology? Are the tenets of a self psychology subsumed under the structural theory, thus obviating the need for a self psychology? Does a self psychology express universal aspects of personality and not only aspects of the narcissistic disturbance? These are some of the issues raised in this symposium.

In future symposia we shall continue to bring together viewpoints on a wide range of topics of interest to the practitioner, the theoretician, and the researcher.

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