An incisive biography of the founder of "self psychology" -- a key movement in American psychology -- and one of the greatest analysts since Freud.
Heinz Kohut was at the center of the twentieth-century psychoanalytic movement. After fleeing his native Vienna when the Nazis took power there, he settled in Chicago and worked in its university; within a decade he became the leader of the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis, a site for some of the most important research and clinical practice in the field.
The years after World War II were the halcyon days of American psychoanalysis, which thrived as one analyst after another expanded upon Freud's insights. But, in time, the discipline's gradually eroding humanism began to trouble analysts and patients alike. Kohut, America's most powerful and prestigious analyst, was also one of the first to recognize the limits of classical psychoanalysis. His work brought the self into new focus and helped create psychotherapy as we know it today.
In this biography, Charles B. Strozier shows us Kohut as a paradigmatic figure in American intellectual life: a charismatic man whose ideas enriched many, but one who could be unbearably self-centered and grandiose. He brings to his telling of Kohut's life all the tools of an analyst -- intelligence, erudition, empathy, contrary insight, and a willingness to look far below the surface.
"Strozier navigates this complicated material with skill and sensitivity, never reducing his complex subject to a case study, in a work that will appeal to a small but dedicated audience." - Publishers Weekly
by Charles Dickens
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by Charles Strozier