...man can no more survive psychologically in a psychological milieu
that does not respond empathetically to him, than he can survive
physically in an atmosphere that contains no oxygen.
"Empathy is not
just a useful way by which we have access to the inner life of man - the
idea itself of an inner life of man, and thus of psychology of complex
mental states, is unthinkable without our ability to know via vicarious
introspection - my definition of empathy... what the inner life of man
is, what we ourselves and what others think and feel (Kohut, 1977,
maintained that parents' failures to empathize with their children and
the responses of their children to these failures were 'at the root of
almost all psychopathology.' For Kohut, the loss of the other and the
other's self-object ("selfobject") function (see below) leaves the
individual apathetic, lethargic, empty of the feeling of life, without
vitality, in short, depressed."
Heinz Kohut -
Reflections on Empathy
"Kohut's final speech, "Reflections on Empathy", was given at the 1981
Self Psychology conference in Berkeley, California. He was aware he was
dying, and at the conclusion of his speech he announced his final
farewell. This is a Lifespan Learning Institute video."
"Another reason to go back to empathy
I have a responsibility about the abuse of this concept.'
Other's claim that empathy cures, I don't believe that at all.
Introspection and empathy as an informer of appropriate action.
Empathy can be used for kindness or hostility.
Analysis cures and
empathy plays a role."
Self Psychology: A National Conference on the Work of Heinz Kohut
This is the fourth conference to be held on self psychology. Based on
ideas in Heinz Kohut’s work on the development, disturbance, and
restoration of the self are the focus of the program.
Presenters: Heinz Kohut, Arnold Goldberg, Charles Stroizer, Michael
Basch, Paul Topin, Paul Ornstien, Morton Shane, Ernest Wolf
Kohut, Heinz; Goldberg, Arnold, and Stepansky, Paul E.
analysis cure?. University of Chicago Press.
Has a section on Empathy.