1st Edition

Kohut, Loewald and the Postmoderns A Comparative Study of Self and Relationship

By Judith G. Teicholz Copyright 2000

    In Kohut, Loewald, and the Postmoderns, Judith Teicholz, using the contemporary critique of Kohut and Loewald as a touchstone of inquiry into the current status of psychoanalysis, focuses on a select group of postmodern theorists whose recent writings comprise a questioning subtext to Kohut's and Loewald's ideas. Acutely aware of the important differences among these theorists, Teicholz nonetheless believes that their respective contributions, which present psychoanalysis as an interactive process in which the analyst's own subjectivity plays a constitutive role in the joint construction of meanings, achieve shared significance as a postmodern critique of Kohut and Loewald. She is especially concerned with the relationship - both theoretically and technically -between Kohut's emphasis on the analyst's empathic resonance with the analysand's viewpoint and affect, and the postmodern theorists' shared insistence on the expression of the analyst's own subjectivity in the treatment situation.

    Her analysis incorporates fine insight into the tensions and ambiguities in Kohut and Loewald, whose work ultimately emerges as a way station between modern and postmodern viewpoints, and her appreciation of Kohut and Loewald as transitional theorists makes for an admirably even-handed exposition. She emphasizes throughout the various ways in which Kohut and Loewald gave nascent expression to postmodern attitudes, but she is no less appreciative of the originality of postmodern theorists, who address genuine lacunae in the thought and writings of these exemplars of an earlier generation.

    Teicholz's examination of what she terms two overlapping "partial revolutions" in psychoanalysis - that of Kohut and Loewald on one hand and of the postmoderns on the other - throws an illuminating searchlight on the path psychoanalysis has traveled over the last quarter of the 20th century.

    Introduction: The Absent Authority and the Ever-Present Subjectivity of the Author
    I. Kohut's and Loewald's Writings as Finale to the Modern and Overture to the Postmodern
    1. The One-Half and Three-Quarters Revolutions: The Shift From Modern to Postmodern in Psychoanalysis
    2. Kohut and Loewald: Waystations on the Road to the Postmodern
    3. The Intellectual Climate of Kohut's Time and the Modern/Postmodern Duality of His Self Psychology
    II. Kohut's and Loewald's Ideas and the Postmodern Response
    4. The Self in Kohut's Work and in Postmodern Discourse
    5. Kohut's Concept of Selfobject
    III. Postmodern Trends in Psychoanalysis
    6. A Dual Shift in Psychoanalytic Focus: Self to Subjectivity, Analysand to Analyst 7. The Expression of the Analyst's Subjectivity: A New Guiding Principle of Psychoanalytic Technique?
    8.Intersubjectivity in Psychoanalysis: Major Contributions to a Multifaceted Concept
    9.Intersubjectivity: Implications for the Psychoanalytic Situation
    10.The Impact of Feminist and Gender Theories on Psychoanalysis: The Interface with Self Psychology and the Moderate Postmoderns
    IV.Kohut, Loewald, and the Postmoderns at Century's End
    11.Theories Old and New


    Judith G. Teicholz

    "Judith Teicholz has made a major contribution to the psychodynamic literature.  Her capacity to grasp the essential ingredients of Kohut's and Loewald's thought and to illuminate the anticipations of postmodernism embedded in their work is remarkable for its scholarship and clarity and also for the passion with which she conveys he discoveries.  Her critique of postmodern psychoanalytic writers, whom she places in a useful historical context, is lucid and noteworthy for its synthesis of many ingredients of psychoanalytic thought over the past 40 years.  Dr. Teicholz also defines the changes in her own subjectivity which occurred as she worked on this project, thereby illustrating an important aspect of her exposition of postmodernism.  It is indeed a remarkable experience to read a volume of such depth and scholarship that is simultaneously difficult to put down."

    - Gerald Adler, M.D., Boston Psychoanalytic Institute

    "In Kohut, Loewald, and the Postmoderns Judith Teicholz not only shines a light at the end of the tunnel of relational theories and theoreticians, but electrifies the whole tunnel. With an uncanny grasp of the evolution of psychoanalytic ideas, crystal-clear writing, and astonishing fair-mindedness, she lays bare the psychoanalytic panorama that has emerged over the past 30 years. Kohut and Loewald become the precursors and backdrop for the cohort of postmodern authors: Aron, Benjamin, Hoffman, Mitchell, and Renik. All these authors have profoundly affected contemporary psychoanalytic practice. Teicholz's careful dissection of their contributions thus deepens our understanding of the theoretical and clinical juncture at which the field has now arrived."

    - Frank M. Lachmann, Ph.D., Founding Faculty, Institute for the Psychoanalytic Study of Subjectivity

    "A splendid book written with verve and sensitivity.  This is probably the best exposition available of 'postmodern' psychoanalysis."

    - Arnold Modell, M.D., Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School