Review Of "Self Psychology: Comparisons And Contrasts" Edited By D. W. Detrick And S. P. Detrick

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Although both the title and girth of this volume promise a sweeping review--possibly integrating psychiatric, psychological, and sociological literatures of relevance--most readers will be disappointed to learn that the volume's single focus is on the work of Heinz Kohut. Kohut's modifications of Freudian developmental theory, his elucidation of narcissistic disorders, and his elaboration of the empathy process in therapy have been broadly catalytic, and it is the aim of the volume's editors to trace the reverberations across the therapeutic spectrum. Representatives of 20 alternative perspectives, all familiar with, and sometimes influenced by, Kohut, thus compare and contrast their views with his. Chapters treat both the obvious domains of comparison (e.g., Freud, Horney, Rogers, and object relations specialists), as well as the surprising (e.g., Rank, Ferenczi, Kierkegaard, Lacan). Chapters are generally of high quality, clear and focused. However, most of the contributors pay far more attention to their own positions than to Kohut's. The result is that although the volume is devoted to extending Kohut's influence, the reader glimpses his work only indirectly through these chapters, and through often critical lenses. Advanced undergraduate and above.


This work is freely available courtesy of Choice Reviews. The review has been reproduced in full in the abstract field.

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