This book is about how an analyst analyzes. Rooted in the theory of psychoanalytic self-psychology as put forth by Heinz Kohut and his colleagues, Treating the Self focuses specifically on the application of the self-psychological concept of the psyche to the actual conduct of psychoanalytic treatment. The result is not a how to'' approach, but rather a volume that suggests a theory of treatment and offers its readers guidelines for new ways of thinking about therapy. Based on the author's own familiarity of the therapeutic process, it concentrates on the detailed experiences of both the analyst and analysand, and demonstrates ways of creating and attitude and ambience that facilitates and guides successful treatment. Written by Ernest Wolf, a close collaborator of Heinz Kohut, this volume is a personal account of the process of self-psychology presented by one of the foremost experts in the field.
Divided into two parts, the volume's first section provides an general orientation to the field. It includes a review of self-psychology's historical development, and elaboration of basic concepts, and an introduction to the Kohutian concepts of selfobject transference and narcissistic rage. A unique feature of this section is a chapter that provides, for the first time in a text, a comprehensive classification of disorders of the self with illustrative clinical vignettes. Part II, which focuses on treatment, explicates the principles and process of treatment, and offers in-depth discussion of such topics as analytic reality, countertransference, and the problems and process of termination.
An outstanding contribution to the development and understanding of the process of self-psychology, Treating the Self is an invaluable resource for psychoanalysts, psychiatrists, psychotherapists, psychologists, social workers, and pastoral counselors. It is also an excellent text for advanced graduate courses in these fields.