chapter  5
Affects and Selfobjects
Pages 22

Westatedinchapter2thatweregardtheconceptofselfobjectfunc~ tiontobeoneofthreefoundationalpillarsofKohut'spsychoanalytic psychologyoftheself.However,weperceivethisconcepttobevulner~ abletotwomaladiesthatcanafflictimportanttheoreticalideasinthe earlyphasesoftheirevolution.Ononehand,thereisatendencyfor theconcepttoremainundulystaticandnarrow,restrictedtothepar~ ticularidealizingandmirroringtiesdelineatedbyitsoriginator.On theotherhand,intheenthusiasmoftheoreticalexpansion,thereis thedangeroftheconceptbecomingoverlygeneralandimprecise,as whenitisextendedtoencompassalmostanycaregivingactivitythata childordevelopmentallyarrestedadultmayrequire.Ourintentionin thepresentchapteristoofferanexpansionandrefinementofthe selfobjectconceptthatwebelievecanskirtboththeScyllaoftheoreti~ calencrustationandtheCharybdisofovergeneralization.Itisourcon~ tentionthatselfobjectfunctionspertainfundamentallytothein~ tegrationofaffectintotheorganizationofself~experience,andthatthe needforselfobjecttiespertainsmostcentrallytotheneedforattuned responsivenesstoaffectstatesinallstagesofthelifecycle.Todevelop thisclaimwemustfirstexaminebrieflythepivotalroleofaffectandaf~ feetintegrationinthestructuralizationoftheself.