New Developments in Self Psychology Practice

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9780765704368: New Developments in Self Psychology Practice

It has been 35 years since the publication of Heinz Kohut's monumental book, The Analysis of the Self, in 1971, and in this period self psychology has undergone a vibrant and exciting evolution that has significantly influenced and expanded the range of psychoanalytic thinking. While undergoing this change, self psychology has kept the developmental importance of self-object relatedness and the primacy of subjective experience as central tenets of the theory. But where other theories of mind can tend to stagnate and resist innovations that transcend their founding figure, Kohut's self psychology continues to grow in depth, complexity and richness. Indeed one of the great strengths of the self psychology movement has been the openness of the succeeding generations to push the theoretical envelope―to entertain, examine and integrate new understandings and perspectives.

New Developments in Self Psychology Practice gives voice to many of these developments, reflected in its four sections. The first section examines complexity theory, attachment theory and the work of the Boston Change Study Group. The second section is concerned with the treatment of children, while the third section examines various treatment modalities such as family therapy, group therapy, and supervisory process. The final section looks at diversity, difference, and otherness within both the therapeutic dyad and therapeutic community and considers how shame, enactments and traumatic experiences influence the therapeutic process.

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About the Author:

Peter Buirski, Ph.D. is Dean of the Graduate School of Professional Psychology at the University of Denver. He is the co-author of Making Sense Together: The Intersubjective Approach to Psychotherapy and author of Practicing Intersubjectively. Maintaining a private practice in Denver, he also holds the position of Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and is on the faculty of the Denver Institute for Psychoanalysis.

Amanda Kottler, M.A., previously an academic at the University of Cape Town, is currently in private practice in Cape Town, South Africa. She is a co-editor of Culture, Power & Difference: Discourse Analysis in South Africa and has written about the dilemmas facing progressive psychologists working within the multiple and contradictory discourses of race and identity in South Africa.

Review:

Peter Buirski and Amanda Kottler have taken up the challenge of updating the almost 40 years of creative play with Heinz Kohut's groundbreaking concepts of self, empathy, and self-object transferences. Through well-chosen contributors, the editors skillfully balance advances in theory with an increasing sophistication in applying the theories to clinical practice with individuals, groups, and in supervision. The cumulative result provides a stimulating entry into the dynamic thinking of a group of interrelated but very individualistic self psychologists. (Joseph D. Lichtenberg, M.D., editor-in-chief, Psychoanalytic Inquiry; author, Craft and Spirit: A Guide to the Exploratory Psychotherapies)

Offering a wide range of subjects and authors who are contributing to the evolution of theory and clinical practice of contemporary self psychology, this book is replete with clinical applications of theoretical innovation to patients of all ages, groups, and families. The detailed clinical work is especially edifying and will bring the reader in on current "hot topics"―for example, systems theory, attachment theory, implicit/explicit, improvisation, and enactment―in the further development of self psychology and contemporary psychoanalysis. (James L. Fosshage, Ph.D., president, The International Association for Psychoanalytic Self Psychology; co-author (with Joseph Lichtenberg and Frank Lachma)

The eminently practical contributions gathered in this volume expand the horizons of self psychology to encompass a broad range of contemporary psychoanalytic and interdisciplinary perspectives and therapeutic modalities. Readers will be richly rewarded. (Robert D. Stolorow, Ph.D., author, Trauma and Human Existence)

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