Current Psychoanalytic Theories of the Self


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Theories of the self and its role in psychoanalysis are in a state of uncertain and ambiguous flux. In an effort to gain greater comprehensiveness and compatibility with analytic needs, I present a synthetic account of the concept of the self-as-person and indicate its relevance to the analytic process. The self-as-person is consistent with or comparable to some recent accounts of the self, but stands in contradistinction to a variety of other extant approaches to the self, including the concept of the self as representation prevailing in the generally accepted structural theory, the concept of the self in self psychology, and that prevailing in intersubjective and relational approaches. These formulations are found wanting on the basis of providing an incomplete account of the functioning and organization of the self or as rendering an insufficient account of the role of the self in the analytic process.

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