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Strozier, C.B. Strug, D. Pinteris, K. Kelley, K. Mart, D. (2019). Termination in Self Psychology: Heinz Kohut's Contribution. Psychoanal. Rev., 106(6):537-558.

(2019). Psychoanalytic Review, 106(6):537-558

Termination in Self Psychology: Heinz Kohut's Contribution

Charles B. Strozier, Ph.D., David Strug, Ph.D., M.S.W., MPH, Konstantine Pinteris, LCSW, Kathleen Kelley, DMin, LMFT and Deborah Mart

Psychoanalysis has long grappled with understanding and defining termination. Freud came to some pessimistic conclusions about it toward the end of his life. Later, especially in the United States, the field developed some rigid ideas about endings in psychoanalysis. Heinz Kohut, through his wide-ranging ideas about what he came to call self psychology, brought a sense of openness, fluidity, and nonlinearity to our understanding of termination. His ideas lie scattered throughout his writings, as he never developed a coherent theory of endings in treatment. This paper brings together those thoughts and argues that Kohut prefigures more recent writings about termination, especially by self and relational psychoanalysts. It places Kohut's thoughts on termination in the context of his view of the self as tilting toward cohesion and wholeness, gently nudging the listing ship upright. Termination marks the often vague and indeterminate, yet real, point of mutual recognition of that wholeness.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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