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Gill, M.M. (1994). Chapter 13 Heinz Kohut's Self Psychology. Progress in Self Psychology, 10:197-211.

(1994). Progress in Self Psychology, 10:197-211

III A Dialogue on Self Psychology

Chapter 13 Heinz Kohut's Self Psychology

Merton M. Gill, M.D.

This chapter is about Heinz Kohut's self psychology. There are other psychologies of the self, such as John Gedo's (1979) and George Klein's (1976), as well as many contributions to self theory within the classical Freudian paradigm, but it is Kohut who has developed a systematic psychoanalytic psychology in which the self is explicitly the central superordinate feature and which has caught the attention of the analytic world.

What you will read, then, will be only headlines, with all the danger of your understanding something other than I intended. I should also tell you that after a quite conscientious study of both Kohut's and post-Kohutian writing, I emerged significantly more respectful of the theory than I was when I began. Indeed, I changed my mind a number of times during the preparation of this chapter, and, as you will see, I remain uncertain about some of my assessments. This is especially important to say because I have changed my mind in some respects even since I sent that third draft to my discussants. Nevertheless, I will essentially present my ideas as they were in that third draft; to do otherwise would be unfair to my discussants, who have based their discussions on that draft. I may have a chance to express some additional views in my response to their discussions.


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