Self Psychology Expanding: A Consideration of Recent Books by Michael Basch, Arnold Goldberg, and Robert Stolorow, Bernard Brandchaft, and George Atwood
It was just thirty years ago that Heinz Kohut announced to the psychoanalytic world his view that empathy and introspection defined and limited the domain of inquiry in our field. For the next twenty-five years, the leading edge of self psychological thinking was dominated by its founder. To be sure, others, including the authors whose books I am considering here, published significant papers and books, but Kohut clearly shaped the advances in self psychology until the publications of his last posthumous paper and book. Like Freud, then, in his premiere position as the inventor of classical analysis, so it had been with Kohut; self psychology began and remained largely in his hands throughout his lifetime. However, at the same time, and with admirable foresight, he attracted to himself, nurtured, and was nurtured by, a group of extremely talented and creative analysts, dedicated to his vision but certainly not limited by it. Indeed, their views of self psychology do diverge, not just from Kohut's views, but
*M. Basch Understanding Psychotherapy (1988, Basic Books); A. Goldberg, A Fresh Look at Psychoanalysis (1988, The Analytic Press), R. Stolorow, B. Brandchaft, & G. E. Atwood, Psychoanalytic Treatment (1987, The Analytic Press).