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Rowe, C.E., Jr. (1988). The Theory and Practice of Self Psychology. Marjorie Taggart White & Marcella Bakur Weiner. New York: Brunner/Mazel, 1986, xxx + 209 pp.. Psychoanal. Rev., 75(2):346-348.

(1988). Psychoanalytic Review, 75(2):346-348

The Theory and Practice of Self Psychology. Marjorie Taggart White & Marcella Bakur Weiner. New York: Brunner/Mazel, 1986, xxx + 209 pp.

Crayton E. Rowe, Jr.

Beginning with his seminal 1959 paper “Introspection, Empathy and Psychoanalysis: An Examination of the Relationship Between Mode of Observation and Theory” and culminating with his posthumously published work How Does Analysis Cure? (1984), Heinz Kohut was concerned that the field of psychology was moving away from the purely psychological “experience near” introspective mode of gathering data to an “experience distant” mode of observation. He believed this movement toward extrospection and away from understanding based on introspection seriously limited the investigation of complex mental states. With these basic considerations in mind, Kohut constructed a psychoanalytic theory of the self that evolved from his empathic immersion into the inner life of his patients.

Drs. White and Weiner in their monograph The Theory and Practice of Self Psychology clearly and succinctly review Kohut's major concepts. They also demonstrate the use of his conceptualizations not only through interesting and pertinent treatment vignettes but also through the actual dialogue that took place in supervisory discussions.

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