Narcissism

Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Psychology


Selected Abstracts


OVERT AND COVERT NARCISSISM: TURNING POINTS AND MUTATIVE ELEMENTS IN TWO PSYCHOTHERAPIES

BRITISH JOURNAL OF PSYCHOTHERAPY, Issue 4 2001
Jan Ole Revik
ABSTRACT Two patients, one with an overt and the other with a covert narcis-sistic disorder, are followed through five years of psychoanalytic psychotherapy. A number of important turning points in the therapies are closely evaluated in order to discover possible mutative elements. Special attention is paid to the patients' self-sufficiency. The attachment process to the therapist and the patients' gradual acceptance of healthy dependency are described. The theoretical framework is selfpsychological. [source]


ASPECTS OF NARCISSISM IN A ONCE-WEEKLY PSYCHOTHERAPY

BRITISH JOURNAL OF PSYCHOTHERAPY, Issue 1 2000
Dick A Gass
ABSTRACT The author explores the clinical problem of narcissism by discussing a patient who was seen privately for once-weekly therapy for a period of two years. The emphasis is on trying to understand the nature of this pathology and the difficulties it presents to the therapist, especially in the transference and countertransference. The clinical material is examined in the light of theoretical concepts relating mainly to pathological organizations of the personality and perversion. The viability of working once weekly with such patients within a psychoanalytic framework is also considered. [source]


Spiritual Seeking, Narcissism, and Psychotherapy: How Are They Related?

JOURNAL FOR THE SCIENTIFIC STUDY OF RELIGION, Issue 2 2005
PAUL WINK
This study used data from a long-term longitudinal study of men and women to examine the relations among spirituality, narcissism, and psychotherapy. The findings indicated that in late adulthood (age late 60s/mid 70s) spirituality was related to autonomous or healthy narcissism but was unrelated to willful (overt) or hypersensitive (covert) narcissism, two pathological forms of the construct. Autonomy in early adulthood (age 30s) was a significant predictor of spirituality in late adulthood (a time interval of close to 40 years) and this relation was mediated by involvement in psychotherapy in midlife. Autonomy was related positively, and hypersensitivity was related negatively, to concern for the welfare of future generations. These findings are discussed in light of current concerns about the social implications of the therapeutic culture. [source]


Narcissism and Cardiovascular Reactivity to Rejection Imagery,

JOURNAL OF APPLIED SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY, Issue 5 2009
Kristin L. Sommer
This study examined the interactive effects of imagined rejection and narcissism on cardiovascular reactivity (CVR). Participants completed measures of overt narcissism (Narcissistic Personality Inventory, NPI; Raskin & Hall, 1979), overt,covert narcissism (Margolis & Thomas, 1980), and trait self-esteem. They then imagined 2 scenarios culminating in either interpersonal acceptance or rejection. Systolic (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) and heart rate (HR) were assessed before, during, and after the imagery. Overt,covert narcissism was positively associated with task increases in SBP and DBP and recovery elevation of HR following rejection, but not acceptance. Similar effects on SBP were found for the Entitlement/Exploitativeness dimension of the NPI. Lower self-esteem predicted greater task increases in SBP, DBP, and HR across conditions. Implications for health are discussed. [source]


Narcissism, confidence, and risk attitude

JOURNAL OF BEHAVIORAL DECISION MAKING, Issue 4 2004
W. Keith Campbell
Abstract The present research addresses whether narcissists are more overconfident than others and whether this overconfidence leads to deficits in decision making. In Study 1, narcissism predicted overconfidence. This was attributable to narcissists' greater confidence despite no greater accuracy. In Study 2, participants were offered fair bets on their answers. Narcissists lost significantly more points in this betting task than non-narcissists, due both to their greater overconfidence and greater willingness to bet. Finally, in Study 3, narcissists' predictions of future performance were based on performance expectations rather than actual performance. This research extends the literature on betting on knowledge to the important personality dimension of narcissism. Copyright 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


Narcissism and Effective Crisis Management: A Review of Potential Problems and Pitfalls

JOURNAL OF CONTINGENCIES AND CRISIS MANAGEMENT, Issue 4 2007
Granville King III
In the event of a crisis, effective leadership by senior officials plays a significant role in an organization's attempt to return to a state of normal operation. Effectiveness, however, can be hampered by a leader's behaviour and attitude towards colleagues, and other employees within the organization. This paper explores how narcissism and narcissistic leaders may affect crisis management within an organization. Using the literature from the American Psychiatric Association, crisis management, and leadership, this paper explores how personality disorders associated with narcissism may affect the pre-crisis, crisis, and post-crisis stages of crisis management. The paper concludes by offering suggestions on how to handle narcissistic leaders within an organization, and areas for future research. [source]


Comparing Clinical and Social-Personality Conceptualizations of Narcissism

JOURNAL OF PERSONALITY, Issue 3 2008
Joshua D. Miller
ABSTRACT There is a lack of consensus surrounding the conceptualization of narcissism. The present study compared two measures of narcissism,one used in clinical settings (Personality Diagnostic Questionnaire, PDQ-4+; Hyler, 1994) and one used in social-personality research (Narcissistic Personality Inventory, NPI; Raskin & Terry, 1988),across two samples. Sample 1 (N=271) was composed of undergraduates, whereas Sample 2 (N=211) was composed of parents of the Sample 1 participants. The scales were significantly interrelated but manifested divergent relations with general personality traits, personality disorders (including expert prototypal ratings of narcissism), recollections of parenting received, and psychological distress and self-esteem. PDQ-4 narcissism captured an emotionally unstable, negative-affect-laden, and introverted variant of narcissism; NPI narcissism captured an emotionally resilient, extraverted form. The clinical and social-personality conceptualizations of narcissism primarily share a tendency to use an antagonistic interpersonal style. Implications for the DSM-V are discussed. [source]


Parenting Narcissus: What Are the Links Between Parenting and Narcissism?

JOURNAL OF PERSONALITY, Issue 2 2006
Robert S. Horton
ABSTRACT Previous theorizing by clinical psychologists suggests that adolescent narcissism may be related to parenting practices (Kernberg, 1975; Kohut, 1977). Two studies investigated the relations between parenting dimensions (i.e., warmth, monitoring, and psychological control) and narcissism both with and without removing from narcissism variance associated with trait self-esteem. Two hundred and twenty-two college students (Study 1) and 212 high school students (Study 2) completed the Narcissistic Personality Inventory, a trait self-esteem scale, and standard measures of the three parenting dimensions. Parental warmth was associated positively and monitoring was associated negatively with both types of narcissism. Psychological control was positively associated with narcissism scores from which trait self-esteem variance had been removed. Clinical implications of the findings are discussed, limitations are addressed, and future research directions are suggested. [source]


When a Grandiose Self-Image Is Threatened: Narcissism and Self-Concept Clarity as Predictors of Negative Emotions and Aggression Following Ego-Threat

JOURNAL OF PERSONALITY, Issue 4 2002
Tanja S. Stucke
ABSTRACT Two studies examined the relation between narcissism, self-concept clarity, negative emotions, and aggression based on theoretical assumptions proposed by Baumeister, Smart, and Boden (1996). Narcissism and self-concept clarity were examined as predictors for anger, depression, and verbal aggression following ego-threat, which was operationalized by a bogus performance feedback on an intelligence test. The second study also examined the mediating effects of participants' negative emotions to provide an additional explanation for the aggressive reactions after failure. As expected, narcissism and self-concept clarity were significant predictors of negative emotions and aggression after failure. In accordance with our hypothesis, high narcissists with low self-concept clarity reacted with anger and aggression after failure, whereas less narcissistic individuals with high self-concept clarity showed feelings of depression and no aggression. The results also indicated that aggression was always directed toward the source of the ego-threatening feedback. Additionally, anger and depression could predict the aggressive response after failure but they did not mediate the relation between narcissism, self-concept clarity, performance feedback, and aggression. [source]


Narcissism: fragile bodies in a fragile world.

PSYCHOTHERAPY AND POLITICS INTERNATIONAL, Issue 3 2008
Part
Abstract In this two-part paper, we explore how, in Western society, intensified consumer culture, playing on feelings of shame and inadequacy, can be seen as reactivating the ,narcissistic wound' while the recent growth of information technology increasingly provides access to a global spectacle and a virtual world that offer an escape from reality, fuelling the illusion of immortality and invulnerability to physical/emotional needs. We ask who benefits from this culture of unrelatedness and disembodiment and what are the repercussions in terms of participation in social life and organized response to global issues. Using material from our practices and from social life, we seek to identify the collective cost of maintaining a disassociation that can permeate not only the therapeutic process but also work, personal relationships and events on the political stage. We consider a view of Bush as a narcissistic president in a narcissistic culture with the Iraq war as a narcissistic misadventure, and we present vignettes from the consulting room, Dance Movement Therapy work in Holloway Prison, and the academic world of prehistoric archaeology to show how narcissistic behaviours are embedded in many diverse situations in Western society. We ask how the concept of narcissism in our media age can help us understand phenomena such as the rise of fundamentalism; celebrity cult; insatiable aspirations to ,self-improvement'; obsession with ,success' and consumer goodies; the denial of ageing; the upsurge in cosmetic surgery, body modification and self-harm; as well as growing addiction to alcohol and hard drugs. Finally we ask, how do the narcissistic fantasy of self-sufficiency, the disavowal of loss and the denial of the ultimate non-discursive reality of death affect our ability to respond appropriately to human injustice and the fragility of our planet? Copyright 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


Aristotle's Account of Anger: Narcissism and Illusions of Self-Sufficiency

RATIO, Issue 1 2002
Stephen Leighton
This paper considers an allegation by M. Stocker and E. Hegeman that Aristotle's account of anger yields a narcissistic passion bedevilled by illusions of self-sufficiency. The paper argues on behalf of Aristotle's valuing of anger within a virtuous and flourishing life, showing that and why Aristotle's account is neither narcissistic nor involves illusions of self-sufficiency. In so arguing a deeper appreciation of Aristotle's understanding of a self-sufficient life is reached, as are some interesting contrasts between Aristotle's understanding of anger, its connections to value and our own understanding of these matters. [source]


The dark triad: Facilitating a short-term mating strategy in men

EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF PERSONALITY, Issue 1 2009
Peter K. Jonason
Abstract This survey (N,=,224) found that characteristics collectively known as the Dark Triad (i.e. narcissism, psychopathy and Machiavellianism) were correlated with various dimensions of short-term mating but not long-term mating. The link between the Dark Triad and short-term mating was stronger for men than for women. The Dark Triad partially mediated the sex difference in short-term mating behaviour. Findings are consistent with a view that the Dark Triad facilitates an exploitative, short-term mating strategy in men. Possible implications, including that Dark Triad traits represent a bundle of individual differences that promote a reproductively adaptive strategy are discussed. Findings are discussed in the broad context of how an evolutionary approach to personality psychology can enhance our understanding of individual differences. Copyright 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


Kim Jong-Il of North Korea: in the shadow of his father,

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF APPLIED PSYCHOANALYTIC STUDIES, Issue 3 2008
Jerrold M. Post
Abstract This paper explores the political personality of North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-Il, particularly in the context of his succession from his father, the founding leader Kim Il-Sung. Drawing upon what is known of Kim Jong-Il's childhood and family life, the paper examines the key personality formations that have shaped his political persona and leadership style, particularly his narcissism, paranoia and lack of empathy. Eccentric, reclusive and self-indulgent, Kim is depicted as an emotionally volatile, narcissistic personality who indulges in hedonistic behavior while ignoring the privations of his people. Copyright 2004 Cornell University Press. [source]


On the Construct Validity of Integrity Tests: Individual and Situational Factors as Predictors of Test Performance

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SELECTION AND ASSESSMENT, Issue 3 2001
Michael D. Mumford
Although integrity tests are widely applied in screening job applicants, there is a need for research for examining the construct validity of these tests. In the present study, a theoretical model examining the causes of destructive behavior in organizational settings was used to develop background data measures of individual and situational variables that might be related to integrity test scores. Subsequently, 692 undergraduates were asked to complete these background data scales along with (a) two overt integrity tests , the Reid Report and the Personnel Selection Inventory, and (b) two personality-based measures , the delinquency and socialization scales of the California Psychological Inventory. When scores of these measures were correlated with and regressed on the background data scales, it was found that relevant individual variables, such as narcissism and power motives, and relevant situational variables, such as alienation and exposure to negative peer groups, were related to scores on both types of integrity tests. However, a stronger pattern of validity evidence was obtained for the personality-based measures and, in all cases, situational variables were found to be better predictors than individual variables. The implications of these findings for the validity of inferences drawn from overt and personality-based integrity tests are discussed. [source]


Spiritual Seeking, Narcissism, and Psychotherapy: How Are They Related?

JOURNAL FOR THE SCIENTIFIC STUDY OF RELIGION, Issue 2 2005
PAUL WINK
This study used data from a long-term longitudinal study of men and women to examine the relations among spirituality, narcissism, and psychotherapy. The findings indicated that in late adulthood (age late 60s/mid 70s) spirituality was related to autonomous or healthy narcissism but was unrelated to willful (overt) or hypersensitive (covert) narcissism, two pathological forms of the construct. Autonomy in early adulthood (age 30s) was a significant predictor of spirituality in late adulthood (a time interval of close to 40 years) and this relation was mediated by involvement in psychotherapy in midlife. Autonomy was related positively, and hypersensitivity was related negatively, to concern for the welfare of future generations. These findings are discussed in light of current concerns about the social implications of the therapeutic culture. [source]


Struggling To Be Happy , Even When I'm Old

JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHILOSOPHY, Issue 1 2002
Margaret Gullan-Whur
My thesis seeks to reduce what may be a natural human antipathy to ageing and/or the elderly by working with one distinctive and consistently approved feature of some older people. This feature is a bold and cheerful struggle within a self-chosen project. The argument opens by distinguishing short-term gratification from lasting, fulfilling happiness, and showing the link between gratification and dependence. Three kinds of struggle (non-voluntary, part-voluntary and positive) are then outlined and exemplified. Gerontological and anthropological research suggest that attitudes to struggle are fixed early in life, and while in the past they mitigated for or against successful survival, they now influence happiness and coping in later life. I argue that the negative effects of the first two kinds of struggle - which are often misguided, grudging or ,no-win' struggles - are responsible for the rigidity, narcissism and resentment disliked in some older people. Self-respect, contrasted with self-righteousness, is shown to accrue only from the positive (voluntary and congenial) struggle that seems at any age to deflect or compensate for depression, disappointment, loneliness and illness. [source]


Narcissism and Cardiovascular Reactivity to Rejection Imagery,

JOURNAL OF APPLIED SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY, Issue 5 2009
Kristin L. Sommer
This study examined the interactive effects of imagined rejection and narcissism on cardiovascular reactivity (CVR). Participants completed measures of overt narcissism (Narcissistic Personality Inventory, NPI; Raskin & Hall, 1979), overt,covert narcissism (Margolis & Thomas, 1980), and trait self-esteem. They then imagined 2 scenarios culminating in either interpersonal acceptance or rejection. Systolic (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) and heart rate (HR) were assessed before, during, and after the imagery. Overt,covert narcissism was positively associated with task increases in SBP and DBP and recovery elevation of HR following rejection, but not acceptance. Similar effects on SBP were found for the Entitlement/Exploitativeness dimension of the NPI. Lower self-esteem predicted greater task increases in SBP, DBP, and HR across conditions. Implications for health are discussed. [source]


Narcissism, confidence, and risk attitude

JOURNAL OF BEHAVIORAL DECISION MAKING, Issue 4 2004
W. Keith Campbell
Abstract The present research addresses whether narcissists are more overconfident than others and whether this overconfidence leads to deficits in decision making. In Study 1, narcissism predicted overconfidence. This was attributable to narcissists' greater confidence despite no greater accuracy. In Study 2, participants were offered fair bets on their answers. Narcissists lost significantly more points in this betting task than non-narcissists, due both to their greater overconfidence and greater willingness to bet. Finally, in Study 3, narcissists' predictions of future performance were based on performance expectations rather than actual performance. This research extends the literature on betting on knowledge to the important personality dimension of narcissism. Copyright 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


Relations of proactive and reactive dimensions of aggression to overt and covert narcissism in nonclinical adolescents

AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR, Issue 1 2010
Andrea Fossati
Abstract In recent years, there has been increasing acknowledgment of the multidimensionality of narcissism and that different types of narcissism may relate differently to other domains of functioning. Similarly, aggression,a frequently discussed correlate of narcissism,is a heterogeneous construct. In this study, the relations of proactive and reactive aggression with overt and covert manifestations of narcissism were examined in a sample of 674 Italian high school students (mean age=15.5 years, SD=2.1 years). Overt narcissism was positively related to both proactive and reactive subtypes of aggression, whereas covert narcissism related only to reactive aggression. Vanity, Authority, Exhibitionism, and Exploitativeness were the components of overt narcissism related to Proactive Aggression (all remained unique correlates when controlling for Reactive Aggression), whereas Reactive Aggression was associated with the Exhibitionism, Superiority, and Entitlement subscales (only the latter was uniquely related when controlling for Proactive Aggression). Aggr. Behav. 36:21,27, 2010. 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]


Narcissism and Effective Crisis Management: A Review of Potential Problems and Pitfalls

JOURNAL OF CONTINGENCIES AND CRISIS MANAGEMENT, Issue 4 2007
Granville King III
In the event of a crisis, effective leadership by senior officials plays a significant role in an organization's attempt to return to a state of normal operation. Effectiveness, however, can be hampered by a leader's behaviour and attitude towards colleagues, and other employees within the organization. This paper explores how narcissism and narcissistic leaders may affect crisis management within an organization. Using the literature from the American Psychiatric Association, crisis management, and leadership, this paper explores how personality disorders associated with narcissism may affect the pre-crisis, crisis, and post-crisis stages of crisis management. The paper concludes by offering suggestions on how to handle narcissistic leaders within an organization, and areas for future research. [source]


Self-Compassion Versus Global Self-Esteem: Two Different Ways of Relating to Oneself

JOURNAL OF PERSONALITY, Issue 1 2009
Kristin D. Neff
ABSTRACT This research examined self-compassion and self-esteem as they relate to various aspects of psychological functioning. Self-compassion entails treating oneself with kindness, recognizing one's shared humanity, and being mindful when considering negative aspects of oneself. Study 1 (N=2,187) compared self-compassion and global self-esteem as they relate to ego-focused reactivity. It was found that self-compassion predicted more stable feelings of self-worth than self-esteem and was less contingent on particular outcomes. Self-compassion also had a stronger negative association with social comparison, public self-consciousness, self-rumination, anger, and need for cognitive closure. Self-esteem (but not self-compassion) was positively associated with narcissism. Study 2 (N=165) compared global self-esteem and self-compassion with regard to positive mood states. It was found that the two constructs were statistically equivalent predictors of happiness, optimism, and positive affect. Results from these two studies suggest that self-compassion may be a useful alternative to global self-esteem when considering what constitutes a healthy self-stance. [source]


Narcissistic Subtypes and Contingent Self-Esteem: Do All Narcissists Base Their Self-Esteem on the Same Domains?

JOURNAL OF PERSONALITY, Issue 4 2008
Virgil Zeigler-Hill
ABSTRACT It has been suggested that there are two forms of narcissism: a grandiose subtype and a vulnerable subtype. Although these forms of narcissism share certain similarities, it is believed that these subtypes may differ in the domains upon which their self-esteem is based. To explore this possibility, the present study examined the associations between these narcissistic subtypes and domain-specific contingencies of self-worth. The results show that vulnerable narcissism was positively associated with contingencies of self-worth across a variety of domains. In contrast, the associations between grandiose narcissism and domain-specific contingencies of self-worth were more complex and included both positive and negative relationships. These results provide additional support for the distinction between grandiose and vulnerable narcissism by showing that the domains of contingent self-esteem associated with grandiose narcissism may be more limited in scope than those associated with vulnerable narcissism. [source]


Comparing Clinical and Social-Personality Conceptualizations of Narcissism

JOURNAL OF PERSONALITY, Issue 3 2008
Joshua D. Miller
ABSTRACT There is a lack of consensus surrounding the conceptualization of narcissism. The present study compared two measures of narcissism,one used in clinical settings (Personality Diagnostic Questionnaire, PDQ-4+; Hyler, 1994) and one used in social-personality research (Narcissistic Personality Inventory, NPI; Raskin & Terry, 1988),across two samples. Sample 1 (N=271) was composed of undergraduates, whereas Sample 2 (N=211) was composed of parents of the Sample 1 participants. The scales were significantly interrelated but manifested divergent relations with general personality traits, personality disorders (including expert prototypal ratings of narcissism), recollections of parenting received, and psychological distress and self-esteem. PDQ-4 narcissism captured an emotionally unstable, negative-affect-laden, and introverted variant of narcissism; NPI narcissism captured an emotionally resilient, extraverted form. The clinical and social-personality conceptualizations of narcissism primarily share a tendency to use an antagonistic interpersonal style. Implications for the DSM-V are discussed. [source]


Parenting Narcissus: What Are the Links Between Parenting and Narcissism?

JOURNAL OF PERSONALITY, Issue 2 2006
Robert S. Horton
ABSTRACT Previous theorizing by clinical psychologists suggests that adolescent narcissism may be related to parenting practices (Kernberg, 1975; Kohut, 1977). Two studies investigated the relations between parenting dimensions (i.e., warmth, monitoring, and psychological control) and narcissism both with and without removing from narcissism variance associated with trait self-esteem. Two hundred and twenty-two college students (Study 1) and 212 high school students (Study 2) completed the Narcissistic Personality Inventory, a trait self-esteem scale, and standard measures of the three parenting dimensions. Parental warmth was associated positively and monitoring was associated negatively with both types of narcissism. Psychological control was positively associated with narcissism scores from which trait self-esteem variance had been removed. Clinical implications of the findings are discussed, limitations are addressed, and future research directions are suggested. [source]


When a Grandiose Self-Image Is Threatened: Narcissism and Self-Concept Clarity as Predictors of Negative Emotions and Aggression Following Ego-Threat

JOURNAL OF PERSONALITY, Issue 4 2002
Tanja S. Stucke
ABSTRACT Two studies examined the relation between narcissism, self-concept clarity, negative emotions, and aggression based on theoretical assumptions proposed by Baumeister, Smart, and Boden (1996). Narcissism and self-concept clarity were examined as predictors for anger, depression, and verbal aggression following ego-threat, which was operationalized by a bogus performance feedback on an intelligence test. The second study also examined the mediating effects of participants' negative emotions to provide an additional explanation for the aggressive reactions after failure. As expected, narcissism and self-concept clarity were significant predictors of negative emotions and aggression after failure. In accordance with our hypothesis, high narcissists with low self-concept clarity reacted with anger and aggression after failure, whereas less narcissistic individuals with high self-concept clarity showed feelings of depression and no aggression. The results also indicated that aggression was always directed toward the source of the ego-threatening feedback. Additionally, anger and depression could predict the aggressive response after failure but they did not mediate the relation between narcissism, self-concept clarity, performance feedback, and aggression. [source]


The Self and the Other: On James Joyce's ,A Painful Case' and ,The Dead'

ORBIS LITERARUM, Issue 5 2007
Benjamin Boysen
Throughout the majority of the short stories Dubliners (1916), the phenomenon of love is severely distorted and bitterly debased due to the socio-ideological circumstances in this modern metropolis; but even though love should be able to steer round the lethal traps set up by the Catholic and capitalistic order of society, it is nevertheless far from certain that things will turn out well. In addition to the external difficulties, love must overcome the narcissistic temptation consisting in the rejection or the reduction of the otherness of the other. This is the case when the subject, spellbound by the sorcery of narcissism, is incapable of perceiving the other as anything but a means instead of a goal in itself, as is clearly illustrated in ,A Painful Case' and ,The Dead'. In opposition to ,A Painful Case', which reveals the deadly and tragic consequences of the narcissistic lure, ,The Dead' is the only one of the short stories in Dubliners to offer the outlines for an ethics of love formulated by the fundamental alienation towards the other, who manages to defy the subject's egalitarian attempts for mastery. In the latter, the other designates the very heterogeneity and unconsciousness of the subject that forms the premise for any possible subjectivity and identity of the ego; the other is, in other words, the otherness or unconsciousness of the subject, but also the very presupposition for identity and subjectivity, which is generously bestowed upon it. [source]


Narcissism: fragile bodies in a fragile world.

PSYCHOTHERAPY AND POLITICS INTERNATIONAL, Issue 3 2008
Part
Abstract In this two-part paper, we explore how, in Western society, intensified consumer culture, playing on feelings of shame and inadequacy, can be seen as reactivating the ,narcissistic wound' while the recent growth of information technology increasingly provides access to a global spectacle and a virtual world that offer an escape from reality, fuelling the illusion of immortality and invulnerability to physical/emotional needs. We ask who benefits from this culture of unrelatedness and disembodiment and what are the repercussions in terms of participation in social life and organized response to global issues. Using material from our practices and from social life, we seek to identify the collective cost of maintaining a disassociation that can permeate not only the therapeutic process but also work, personal relationships and events on the political stage. We consider a view of Bush as a narcissistic president in a narcissistic culture with the Iraq war as a narcissistic misadventure, and we present vignettes from the consulting room, Dance Movement Therapy work in Holloway Prison, and the academic world of prehistoric archaeology to show how narcissistic behaviours are embedded in many diverse situations in Western society. We ask how the concept of narcissism in our media age can help us understand phenomena such as the rise of fundamentalism; celebrity cult; insatiable aspirations to ,self-improvement'; obsession with ,success' and consumer goodies; the denial of ageing; the upsurge in cosmetic surgery, body modification and self-harm; as well as growing addiction to alcohol and hard drugs. Finally we ask, how do the narcissistic fantasy of self-sufficiency, the disavowal of loss and the denial of the ultimate non-discursive reality of death affect our ability to respond appropriately to human injustice and the fragility of our planet? Copyright 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]


On the edge: The psychoanalyst's transference,

THE INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PSYCHOANALYSIS, Issue 5 2007
Aira Laine
Countertransference is a central topic in analytic work and in the literature. The concept of countertransference includes a basic question which has been understood in different ways. The author attempts to differentiate between the psychoanalyst's transference and his countertransference in the analytic process. It is hard to draw a line between them; analysts are always on the edge. The analyst's transference will be explored and described using three approaches: narcissism, regression profile and the analyst's phase of life. Regression profile is a new concept developed by the author, which may help us to understand the core of the analyst's transference in the analytic situation. She illustrates the topic by clinical vignettes. [source]


The superego, narcissism and Great Expectations

THE INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PSYCHOANALYSIS, Issue 3 2007
Graham Ingham
The author notes that the concepts of the superego and narcissism were linked at conception and that superego pathology may be seen as a determining factor in the formation of a narcissistic disorder; thus an examination of the superego can function as a ,biopsy', indicating the condition of the personality as a whole. Charles Dickens's novel Great Expectations is presented as a penetrating exploration of these themes and it is argued that in Pip, the central character, Dickens provides a perceptive study of the history of a narcissistic condition. Other key figures in the book are understood as superego representations and, as such, integral to the vicissitudes of Pip's development. In particular, the lawyer Jaggers is considered as an illustration of Bion's notion of the ,ego-destructive superego'. In the course of the paper, the author suggests that Great Expectations affirms the psychoanalytic understanding that emotional growth and some recovery from narcissistic difficulties necessarily take place alongside modification of the superego, allowing for responsible knowledge of the state of the object and the possibility of realistic reparation. [source]


Seeing and being seen: Narcissistic pride and narcissistic humiliation

THE INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PSYCHOANALYSIS, Issue 4 2006
JOHN STEINER
Seeing and being seen are important aspects of narcissism, where self-consciousness is always a feature, and one which becomes acute when a patient loses the protection of a narcissistic relationship and is obliged to tolerate a degree of separateness. Having felt hidden and protected, he now feels conspicuous and exposed to a gaze which makes him vulnerable to humiliation. This often has a devastating and unbearable quality to it, particularly when it is felt to arise in retaliation to the patient's own use of gaze to establish a superiority which allowed the patient to look down on others. The need to avoid or cut short such humiliation may be so acute that the patient cannot deal with guilt and other emotions connected with loss which might otherwise be bearable. The author argues that development is impeded unless the patient is able to gain support to make the humiliation better understood and hence better tolerated. He describes some sessions from an analysis to illustrate how, in some analytic situations, much of the patient's concern and many of his defensive manoeuvres aim to reduce or to reverse experiences of humiliation. An understanding of the mechanisms involved seemed to enable some development to proceed. [source]