Author: Richard D. Chessick M.D. Ph.D.
Three psychoanalytic theories that utilize the concept of the self have a resemblance to the work of Kohut and are often confused with his views. The theories of Fairbairn, Winnicott, and R. D. Laing use different conceptions of the self but all have in common with Kohut the assumption that the self is shaped and formed from its very beginning
out of the interaction with the mother, or what Winnicott (1965) calls the facilitating environment. This is in sharp contrast especially to the views of Melanie Klein and other object relations theorists, who believe the psyche develops internally through cycles of introjection and projection.