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Clinical Social Work Journal

, Volume 30, Issue 1, pp 9–21 | Cite as

The Existential Side of Kohut's Tragic Man

  • David Klugman
Article

Abstract

This article explores the way in which Kohut's concept of Tragic Man functions as a response to criticisms of self psychology as proffering a partial, utopian, strife-denying theory of human development. After citing several representative critiques in this respect, I review the concept of Tragic Man as defined by Kohut, and then seek to deepen the clinical usefulness of this concept through a discussion of affects, empathy, and free association. A clinical vignette concludes the paper, through which some of these ideas find illustration.

empathy existential Kohut self psychology 

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© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Klugman

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