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1996, vol. 29, iss. 4, pp. 499-508
The concept of empathy in Heinz Kohut's Self psychology
University of Belgrade, Faculty of Philosophy, Department of Psychology
The particular contribution to recognizing the multiple functions of empathy in the psychoanalysis comes from the self psychology whose thesis are the continuation and the origin extension of Freud's concepts. Kohut claims that the presence of empathy, in principle, determines the psychological field and that the empathy is an irreplaceable observation mean in the psychoanalysis. He offers a through theory of psychopathology and treatments in which an outstanding importance is given to the empathy. He has articulated new group of developmental needs and considers that the failure of the parents empathy to meet them results in a person's inability to develop intraphysic structures necessary for the reliable regulation of self- respect leaving the person openly dependent on the narcissistic gratification from the environment. The treatment requires careful understanding of these early failures and provides an environment in which those intrapsychic structures can develop with delay but efficiently. Analytical interventions are in the form of the initial emphatic responses and the interpretations close to the client's experience (understanding phase) as the analysis progresses the interpretations tend to be deeper and begin to include the genetic dimensions of the client's current experiences (explanatory phase) By and in itself, the empathy has a certain therapeutic potential because it helps the client to acquire an useful sense that the or she is understood, but the primary therapeutic effect of the analysis comes from the total explanatory process including the interpretations of the explanatory type leading towards the structural changes and the growth by the means of transforming internalization.
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article language: Serbian
document type: unclassified
published in SCIndeks: 02/06/2007

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