The most recent and relevant ideas to emerge in psychoanalysis have been those of Heinz Kohut (1913–1981). Unlike cult figures such as Erikson who left mainstream psychoanalysis for the university, Kohut proudly bore the title “Mr. Psychoanalysis.” From the late 1940s until the mid-1960s, he faithfully and diligently (and rather quietly) kept the psychoanalytic flame alive within the tight world of psychoanalytic orthodoxy, serving on numerous committees for the Chicago Institute (where he was on the faculty) and for the American Psychoanalytic Association. In the mid-1960s and throughout the 1970s, Kohut published a series of papers and books that challenged many stale ideas in psychoanalysis and offered alternative ways of thinking about human behavior developmentally and in depth.1 His goal was to redefine psychoanalysis and revitalize it, not to break free from it as so many others who seriously challenge the theory have done. In time Kohut was to call his work the psychoanalytic psychology of the self.
KeywordsGerman Nation German Group Cult Figure National Personality Political Passivity
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- 1.Heinz Kohut, The Analysis of the Self: A Systematic Approach to the Psychoanalytic Treatment of Narcissistic Disorders (New York: International Universities Press, 1971); The Restoration of the Self (New York: International Universities Press, 1977); The Search for the Self: Selected Writings of Heinz Kohut: 1950–1978, two vols., ed. Paul H. Ornstein, (New York: International Universities Press, 1978).Google Scholar
- 2.Heinz Kohut, The Self and History, ed. Charles B. Strozier, (New York: Norton, 1985).Google Scholar
- 4.Kohut returned to Churchill in “Creativeness, Charisma, Group Psychology: Reflections on the Self-Analysis of Freud,” in Freud: The Fusion of Science and Humanism, ed. John E. Gedo and George H. Pollock, Psychological Issues, Monograph 34/35 (New York: International Universities Press, 1976), p. 411.Google Scholar
- 5.Kohut, Analysis of the Self, p. 150.Google Scholar
- 6.Ibid., 256.Google Scholar
- 7.Note John Demos’s comments in “The Self In History,” ed. Charles B. Strozier, Newsletter of the Group for the Use of Psychology in History, 3 (1975), 3-10.Google Scholar
- 8.Heinz Kohut, “Thoughts on Narcissism and Narcissistic Rage,” The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 27 (1972), 397–398.Google Scholar
- 9.Kohut, “Creativeness, Charisma...,” p. 389.Google Scholar
- 10.Kohut, “Thoughts on Narcissism” pp. 362 and 367.Google Scholar
- 11.The following quote is from an unpublished manuscript of Kohut’s that will appear, perhaps somewhat modified, in The Self and History, ed. Charles B. Strozier.Google Scholar