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self-psychology


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A version of psychoanalysis, put forward by the Austrian-born US psychoanalyst Heinz Kohut (1913–81) in his books The Analysis of the Self (1971) and The Restoration of the Self (1977), and in his edited volumes The Search for the Self (1978) and How Does Psychoanalysis Cure? (1984), placing emphasis on the self and the experience of selfhood, the constituent sectors of the self being the pole of goals and ambitions, the pole of ideals and standards, and the arc of tension between the two poles functioning to activate basic talents and skills. Kohut distinguished between the virtual self (an image of the neonate's self in the mind of a parent), the nuclear self (the initial organization of the self that emerges in the second year of life), the cohesive self (a coherent structure representing the normally functioning self), and the grandiose self (a normal exhibitionistic and self-centred self in early infancy). See also grandiose self, narcissism, narcissistic personality disorder, self-object.

Subjects: Psychology.


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