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February 16, 1994

Coming to Life: Reflections on the Art of Psychotherapy

Author Affiliations

Emory University School of Medicine Atlanta, Ga

JAMA. 1994;271(7):557. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03510310089050

While the term psychotherapy suggests a healing process directed toward the emotional life, there are perhaps well over 100 various types of psychotherapy that have been described and advocated by their respective proponents. If one were to attempt to reduce the various types to major categories, the five leading schools would be psychoanalytic, cognitive-behavioral, interpersonal, family systems, and, more recently, "self psychology." The last was elaborated and systematically developed by the late Heinz Kohut and was based on his theories of normal and pathological narcissism. Although this book is not directed toward formal techniques or concepts— and the writer never formally states what philosophy his therapeutic approach is based upon—it is self psychology that the book most likely reflects. This type of psychotherapy is based on ascertaining how damage and distortion in this "narcissistic" line of development has affected the patient's self-concept and subsequent interpersonal relationships.

The author presents 11

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