Experiencing Selfhood Is Not "A Self"


Authors
Robert D. Stolorow
University of California, Riverside (PhD)
Abstract
Kohut’s lasting and most important contribution to psychoanalytic clinical theory was his recognition that the experiencing of selfhood is always constituted, both developmentally and in psychoanalytic treatment, in a context of emotional interrelatedness. The experiencing of selfhood, he realized, or of its collapse, is context-embedded through and through. The theoretical language of self psychology with its noun, “the self,” reifies the experiencing of selfhood and transforms it into a metaphysical entity with thing-like properties, in effect undoing Kohut’s hard-won clinical contextualizations. The language of such decontextualizing objectifications bewitches intelligence in order to evade the tragic dimension of finite human existing.
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