The Institute for Clinical Social Work

Syllabi Archive

CF 602: Psychodynamic Psychology IV

Ph.D. Program: spring 2012-13

Amy Eldridge, PhD

Judith Aronson, PhD

Course Description

This course is an introduction to the basic concepts of self psychology. Through the works of Heinz Kohut, his colleagues and subsequent generations of self-psychological thinkers, we will examine the evolution of central ideas and their application to a range of clinical questions.


• To achieve a working knowledge of the central concepts of self psychology
• To recognize how these central concepts continue to evolve in current psychoanalytic thinking
• To enhance the application of self psychological concepts to clinical work

Required Text

There is no required text but below is a book suggested as a good Kohut primer. There is an assigned reading and several optional readings from this text. The assigned readings will be available in PDF format.
Siegel, A. (1996). Heinz Kohut and the psychology of the self. New York, NY: Routledge.

Written Work

All written work should follow APA style. Please consult APA for citations. Papers must be double-spaced. Please edit your work. If you are submitting your work via email, put your name in the file document name.


Students are expected to read all assigned readings. Students will present a summary of at least one of the original readings. Please feel free to bring case examples to class that might illustrate the concepts we are examining.

Evaluation of Learning

Attendance is mandatory. If a class is missed, a make-up activity will be negotiated with the instructor(s). If absence is necessary, students must inform the instructors by email or voice mail.

More than two absences may result in failure.

Each student is responsible for an oral presentation on one or two readings chosen in the first class. The oral presentation will:

  •  Summarize key points
  •  Explain concepts
  •  Raise questions about the concepts inviting further explanation
  •  Presentations should be 15 to 20 minutes in length
  •  Include written, informal notes/outline regarding the presentation given to the instructor after the presentation

There will be a midterm and a final paper.
The midterm will be due one week after the fourth class. It will consist of 4-5 open book essay questions. These questions will be provided on or before the 3rd class.

The final will consist of an 8 to 10 page paper. It will be due midnight of the last scheduled class meeting. If it is emailed, make sure your last name in the file document name. The final paper assignment is on page 3 of this syllabus.

  •  Midterm is 25% of grade.
  •  Final Paper is 35% of grade.
  •  Class Participation is 20% of grade.
  •  Oral Presentation is 20% of grade.

Final Paper Assignment

CF601 Psychodynamic Psychology IV: Self Psychology
Spring 2013

Choose one of the following concepts:

  •  Empathy
  •  Self object experience
  •  Development of the Self
  •  Transference
  •  Narcissistic rage
  •  Shame
  •  Trauma
  •  Disavowal
  •  Restoration and vitality of the self

Using at least three authors referenced in this class, discuss the concept from a self-psychological perspective. The citations need not be from the assigned or optional readings. You may want to compare the similarities and differences between the authors or trace the development of the concept. Although you are focusing on one concept, other concepts may be included in your discussion.
Apply that concept to a case and demonstrate how your increased knowledge of the concept influences a specific treatment dynamic and/or assessment of the person.
This paper should be 8-10 pages long and in APA format.
It is due by midnight the day of the last class via email in Word format.

Class Topics and Assigned Readings

Class 1: Introduction and Empathy

Ornstein, H. and Ornstein, A. (1996). Some General Principles of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy: A self-psychological perspective. In L. Lifson (Ed.), Understanding therapeutic action: Psychodynamic concepts of cure. Hillsdale, NJ: The Analytic Press. 87-101. Database

Kohut, H. (1959). Introspection, empathy, and psychoanalysis: an examination of the relationship between mode of observation and theory. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 7, 459-483. PEP

Geist, R. (2007). Who are you, and where are we going: Sustained empathic immersion in the opening phase of psychoanalytic treatment. International Journal of Psychoanalytic Self Psychology. 2:1-16. PEP

Lachmann, F. M. (2010) Going home. International Journal of Psychoanalytic Self Psychology. 5: 144-159. Database

Siegel, A. (1996) Chapter 3 Early papers: Emerging strands of a new cloth. In Heinz Kohut and the psychology of the self. New York, NY: Routledge. Database
Kohut (1991). Chapter 17, On empathy. In Ornstein, P. (ed.) The search for the self: selected writings of Heinz Kohut. Database

Class 2: Self Object Experience

Siegel, A. (1996) Chapter 4 Toward a psychology of the self. In Heinz Kohut and the psychology of the self; . New York, NY: Routledge. 55-69.
Kohut, H. (1991) Chapter 12 Four basic concepts in self psychology. In Ornstein, P. (ed.) The Search for the self: selected writings of Heinz Kohut. Database
Kohut, H. (1977). Chapter 4 The bipolar self. In The restoration of the self; 171-219. Database
Bacal, H. (1994). The Selfobject relationship in psychoanalytic treatment. Progress in Self Psychology, 10:21-30. PEP

Siegel, A. (1996). Chapters 7 and 8. Heinz Kohut and the psychology of the self. New York, NY: Routledge. Database

Class 3: Development

Tolpin, M. (1971). On the beginnings of the cohesive self: An application of the concept of transmuting internalization to the study of the transitional object and signal anxiety. The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 16, 316-351. PEP
Beebe, B. and Lachmann, F. (1994). Representation and Internalization in Infancy: Three Principles of Salience. Psychoanalytic Psychology. PEP
Galatzer-Levy, R.M. and Cohler, B.J. (1990) The selfobjects of the second half of life: an introduction. In A. Goldberg(ed) The Realities of transference: Progress in self psychology, Hillsdale: The Analytic Press. Database
Stern, D (1983) The early development of schemas of self, other, and "self with other"
In J. Lichtenberg & S. Kaplan (Eds.), Reflections on self psychology 49-83.

Tolpin M (1978). Self-objects and oedipal objects—A crucial developmental distinction. The Psychoanalytic study of the child; 167-184. PEP

Class 4: Transference I

Wolf, E. (1988). Chapters 10, Selfobject transferences, pg. 124-135, and 11 Countertransferences In Treating the self: Elements of clinical self psychology. 136-145. Database
Tolpin, M. (2002). Doing psychoanalysis of normal development: forward edge transferences. Progress in Self Psychology. 18:167-190. PEP
Ornstein, A. (1990). Chapter 5 Selfobject Transferences and the Process of Working Through. Progress in Self Psychology, 6:41. PEP
Kohut, H. (1979). The Two Analyses of Mr. Z. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 60:3-27. PEP

Siegel, A. (1996) Chapter 9 The Two Analyses of Mr. Z . In Heinz Kohut and the psychology of the self. . New York, NY: Routledge.

Class 5: Transference II

Bacal, H. (1985). Optimal responsiveness and the therapeutic process. In A. Goldberg (Ed.), Progress in self psychology. 1: (pp. 202-227). New York: Guilford Press. PEP
Stolorow, R. and Lachmann, F. (1987). Transference—the organization of Experience. In R. Stolorow, B. Brandschaft, and Atwood, G. Psychoanalytic treatment, an intersubjective approach. Hillsdale, NJ: The Analytic Press, pp. 28-46. Database
Palombo, J. (1985) Self-psychology and countertransference in the treatment of children. Journal of child & adolescent social work. 2:1, 36-48. Database
Fosshage, J.L. (2007). The Analyst's participation in cocreating the analytic relationship: Implicit and explicit dimensions of analytic change. International Journal of Psychoanalytic Self Psychology. 2: 147-162 PEP

Class 6: Narcissism and Rage

Kohut, H. (1972). Thoughts on narcissism and narcissistic rage. Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 27:360-400. PEP
Terman, D.M. (1975). Aggression and narcissistic rage: A clinical elaboration. Annual of Psychoanalysis. 3:239-255. PEP
Ornstein, P.H. (1993). Chapter 12, Chronic rage from underground: Reflections on its structure and treatment. Progress in Self Psychology, 9:143-157 PEP
Lachmann, F.M. (2000). Transforming aggression. NJ: Jason Aronson, pp. 1-25. Database

Class 7: Trauma and disavowal

Basch, M.F. (1983). The perception of reality and the disavowal of meaning. The Annual of psychoanalysis, 229-263. PEP
Ornstein, A. (1994). Trauma and psychic continuity. In A. Goldberg (ed), A Decade of Progress: Progress in self psychology, Hillsdale, NJ: The Analytic Press. PEP
Goldberg, A. (1995). The problem of perversion. New Haven: Yale University Press. Chapters 7 and 8. Database
Stolorow, R.D. (2007). Anxiety, authenticity, and trauma: The Relevance of Heidegger's existential analytic for analysis. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 24:373-383. PEP

Class 8: Contemporary thoughts in self psychology

Palombo, J. (1992). Narratives, self-cohesion and patient’s search for meaning. Clinical Social Work Journal, 20 (3): 249-270. Database
Shane, E. (2006). Developmental systems self psychology. International Journal of psychoanalytic self psychology, 1 123-45. PEP
Knoblauch, S.H. (2008). Attention to the Analyst's Subjectivity: From Kohut to now... how are we doing? International Journal of Self Psychology 3:237-239. PEP
Geist, R. A. (2009). Empathy, connectedness, and the evolution of boundaries in self psychological treatment. International Journal of Self Psychology 4:2 165-80. PEP

Please note that links to some course readings have been purged from archived syllabi. Electronic texts on the ICSW website are protected by copyright law. These files are made available strictly for individual, educational use and may not be copied or distributed in any way. Distribution of copyrighted material to non-enrolled individuals or ICSW students will be considered an act of Academic Dishonesty and be dealt with accordingly as indicated in the Student Manual. Federal penalties for copyright infringement may be found at