Self Psychology represents a major paradigm shift in psychoanalytical theorizing. Heinz Kohut, an Austrian psychiatrist, came to Chicago in the 1940s and quickly embraced the ego psychological approach dominating analytic thinking at that time. During the 1960s and 1970s, he and a small group of associates at the Chicago Psychoanalytic Institute worked in a study group to expand his research on narcissistic conditions into a full-fledged psychology of the Self. This new approach represented a challenge to the classical drive and defense perspectives offered by Sigmund Freud and the object relations theorists. It represented a substantive shift from conflict psychology to one of deficit psychology. In highlighting how many clients suffer less from intrapsychic conflicts and more from the lack of necessary psychological structures, Kohut ...

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