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article: 1 from 1  
1997, vol. 30, iss. 1-2, pp. 125-136
Discussion on apprehending the empathy in self psychology
University of Belgrade, Faculty of Philosophy, Department of Psychology
Kohut's notions have been severely criticized by the part of psychoanalytic establishment. Many mentioned criticisms do not seem justified and leave the impression that they are based on insufficient knowledge of self psychology. In spite of some disputable points it is often difficult to recognize the similarities between the distortions of psychoanalytic techniques imputed to Self psychology and that what these authors actually advocate in their writings. Assertions that emphasis on empathy forces the blaming attitude towards the parents and therapists, that it implies treatment based on love and non-analytic efforts to gratify client's wishes, that empathy keeps the work on the surface and prevents penetration into depth reflect the animosity of the critics rather than Kohut's ideas or practice. Self psychology does not advocate the change of the basic nature of the analytic technique. Transfers can be developed and are enabled to, and their understanding as well as the explanation in dynamic and genetic terms are in the focus of analyst's attention. However, self psychology remains vulnerable to some criticisms for it lacks elaborate theory on internal determinants of self-objects experience. While self psychologists lead detailed discussions on the influence of self-objects on the child development, much less is known about the influence of the specific child's personality on the parents efforts to empathize with them and provide self-object functions. The area that is somehow neglected is the contribution of analyst's fantasy and the distortion it might convey in the early development as well as in the therapy. Further research in this direction would be welcomed.
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article language: Serbian
document type: unclassified
published in SCIndeks: 02/06/2007

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