Treating the Self : Elements of Clinical Self Psychology book cover
1st Edition

Treating the Self
Elements of Clinical Self Psychology

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ISBN 9781572308428
Published December 19, 2002 by Guilford Press
194 Pages


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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents

I. The Psychology of the Self
1. Introduction: Historical Development
2. General Orientation: The Inner Life of Man
3. Basic Concepts of Self Psychology
4. Selfs and Selfobjects
5. Selfobject Relations Disorders: Disorders of the Self
6. Narcissistic Rage
II. Treatment
7. The Setting
8. Principles
9. The Therapeutic Process
10. Selfobject Transferences
11. Countertransference Issues
12. Analytic Reality
13. Termination
Appendices: I. Medications. II. Third-Party Relations.
Glossary of Self Psychology Terms

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Ernest S. Wolf, M.D.
A friend and close collaborator of Heinz Kohut, Dr. Wolf is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Northwestern University Medical School and serves as faculty and training analyst at the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis. He also sits on the Scientific Advisory Boards of the Center for Psychosocial Studies in Chicago, Illinois and the Clinical-Developmental Institute in Belmont, Massachusetts. One of the foremost authorities on self psychology, he has authored numerous articles and book chapters on the topic.


Ernest Wolf, a student, friend, and collaborator of Heinz Kohut has observed at close range and participated in the evolution of psychoanalytic self psychology. From his privileged vantage point he presents us with a clear, concise, at at times moving rendtion of the treatment process based on his own clinical experiences. Wolf's focus is on clarifying basic concepts, but he also succeeds in portraying the complexities of the clinical ambience and process in a direct and simple manner without glossing over controversies. Beginners as well as seasoned clinicians will find this text both a delight and a challenge. --Paul H. Ornstein, M.D.
This book is a bench mark in the literature....An invaluable resource for practitioners, students, and teachers of self psychology.
--The Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 9/26/2002ƒƒ
Wolf has succeeded in clarifying and communicating the essence of self psychology. In this lucid introductory text, he outlines its theory and practice.
--Journal of Group Analytic Psychotherapy, 9/26/2002ƒƒ
A helpful, stimulating, and thought-provoking presentation of treatment according to the self-psychology model.
--International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 9/26/2002