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Progress in Self Psychology, V. 12 by Arnold I. Goldberg

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Chapter 1  
Optimal Frustration: An Endangered Concept
David S. MacIsaac

 

In recent years there has been a reexamination in the self psychology literature of the concept of optimal frustration. Although Kohut (1971, 1977, 1984) was insistent that optimal frustration is an essential aspect of the curative process, a number of authors (Bacal, 1985, 1988; Socarides and Stolorow, 1985; Terman, 1988; Bacal and Newman, 1990) have raised questions about its significance for cure and have recommended that the term be replaced by alternative constructs. The purpose of this chapter is to review these criticisms in light of the critical implications that such suggestions might hold for the theory and practice of self psychology.1

OPTIMAL ...

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