Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Charles Strozier on the Preeminent Position of Freud and Kohut in the Development of Psychoanalysis

Conclusion: "There are two foundational (as opposed to merely important) thinkers in the history of psychoanalysis: Sigmund Freud and Heinz Kohut. Between 1965 and 1981, Kohut’s paradigm shift freed psychoanalytic thinking from the drive model, but retained its multifaceted perspectives and located practice firmly in an empathic context. Contemporary models and orientations, some more creative than others, from intersubjectivity, to the Relationalists, the constructivists, the post-modernists, and so on, have sought to extend aspects of Kohut’s work in their own terms. Such extensions are entirely appropriate and commendable. All of these contemporary thinkers in psychoanalysis, however, are children of Kohut. While Freud created the core ideas of psychoanalysis and its first form of practice, the shift in perspective brought by Kohut energizes in new ways a very relevant tradition that begins with William James, runs through Pierre Janet, finds expression in some of late Ferenczi and aspects of Carl Jung, and re-surfaces with thinkers like Donald Winnicott. For many years such thinking that is so relevant for understanding trauma and other issues ran like a submerged underground stream beneath the huge dyke of ego psychology. Kohut released the waters."

To read the remainder of the article "Robert Stolorow’s Myth of Originality" by Charles Strozier published on the International Psychoanalysis Blog at:
International Psychoanalysis

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