Self Psychology Psychoanalysis


It is the empathic process of understanding and explaining - paralleling the therapeutic process of traditional analysis - that allows the treatment to go forward and the self to acquire the missing structures in what Kohut (1984) describes as a three-step movement.

  1. First, there is the analysis of defense and resistance against the emergence of the new editions of the selfobject transference.
  2. Second, there is the unfolding of the various selfobject transferences and their working through.
  3. Third, there is the making possible the establishment of an empathic intuneness between the self and the selfobject on a more mature adult level.
In other words, self psychology does not view the mature self as achieving an ideal state of "separation-individuation," as certain object relations theory would suggest, but it maintains that even the mature self continues to have a need for mirroring, idealizing, and twinship selfobject experiences.

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