Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Nostalgia and Kohut: Toward an Understanding of This Bittersweet Phenomenon
by Erickson, Andrew Carss, M.A., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2015, 60; 1692061
Abstract (Summary)

This thesis works to develop a more comprehensive understanding of the various forms of nostalgia by utilizing a hermeneutic methodology. In reviewing both the psychodynamic literature and empirical research on nostalgia, this thesis identifies three forms of nostalgia: pathological nostalgia that causes debilitating negative affect, pathological nostalgia that performs defensive screen functions, and prototypical nostalgia that performs beneficial functions. This thesis also provides an overview of Heinz Kohut’s theoretical model and reinterprets the different forms of nostalgia through the lens of this theory. Findings suggest that the two pathological forms of nostalgia may stem from early trauma, which interrupts the development of the self, and that prototypical nostalgia may be dependent upon a well-integrated self and could contribute to the further development of the self. Finally, Kohut’s therapeutic process could be utilized to help clients move from pathological nostalgia to prototypical nostalgia.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Pottenger, Rebecca
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 54/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Counseling Psychology, Clinical psychology, Personality psychology
Keywords: Analytical psychology, Kohut, heinz, Narcissism, Nostalgia, Psychoanalysis, Self psychology
Publication Number: 1692061
ISBN: 978-1-321-68687-6
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