Self psychology represents a major paradigm shift that was not evident until the later stage of its development. Paradigms can be said to be “universally recognized scientific achievements that for a time provide model problems and solutions to a community of practitioners” (Kuhn, 1962, p. viii). For example, a paradigm shift occurred in physics when Einstein’s wave theory of light replaced Newton’s corpuscular theory. In this volume, we present psychotherapy as employing three major paradigms: (1) healing based on what we refer to as a magical covenant, (2) classical analysis, and (3) self psychology. Our major interest is in the paradigm shift from classical analysis to self psychology and the divergent opinions of self psychologists about the nature of this shift.
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