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"A landmark book which will exert increasing influence with passing time.... Its success lies in the accomplishment of its stated aims." (Carl T. Rotenberg, Journal of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis)"
--This text refers to the
About the Author
Arnold Goldberg, MD, is a training and supervising analyst at the Institute for Psychoanalysis in Chicago and the Cynthia Oudejan Harris, MD, Professor of Psychiatry at Rush University Medical School. He is the author of The Problem of Perversion; Being of Two Minds: The Vertical Split in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy; and Misunderstanding Freud.
Strengths: The short answer to the question is "empathy." The longer answer is "transmuting internalization," a clumsy phrase necessitated by James Strachey (Freud's translator) using variations of "transformation" and "internalization" in his own essay of the therapeutic effect of psychoanalysis. From a psychoanalytic perspective, Dr. Kohut put empathy on the map. This particular work was assembled by Arnold Goldberg, M.D. and Paul Stephansky (editors), working from an advanced draft by Dr. Kohut, after the latter's untimely death in 1981. The work establishes the connection between phase-appropriate failures of empathy in the analyst and the establishment of psychic structure of the self that enables the person to transform his anxieties, etc. Empathy becomes a tool for the reestablishment of emotional equilibrium on an occurrent as well as dispositional basis. On my reading, it is the non-traumatic breakdown's in empathy and their interpretation and working through that become the basis for structural change (and expansion and "improvement") in the self. Kohut's work in The Restoration of the Self puts empathy at the center of self psychology and includes the claim (only partially justified) that data gathered empathically through vicarious introspection provide a scientific (or at least rigorous) basis for psychoanalysis as a verifiable intellectual discipline. Weaknesses: Not really a weakness but ... The work is most accessible to those familiar with the self psychology, which itself is accessible as a conversation and (partial) disagreement with Freud. If you are turned off by the amount of sexual dynamics of to be found in Freud's drive theory [a statement that makes almost no sense in our hyper-sexual times], then you will likely find Self Psychology a welcoming option.Read more ›
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This is one of the most difficult of Kohut's books, published posthumously with the assistance of one of the most talented analysts of this period: Arnold Golberg.
The book is a compendium of Kohut's theories and techniques as well as a defense of the innovations he introduced when he wrote "The Analysis" (of the self) and "The Restoration" (of the self, of course).
For anyone who deals with the narcissism of borderline patients, as-if personalities and eating and its disorders I can not think of a better source of enlightment and wisdom than reading: The Analysis, The Restoration, How does (it) cure? and finally, Heinz Kohut: The Making of a Psychoanalyst.
As a lay person you should feel gratified. As a therapist, you should feel reward it.
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