Otto F. Kernberg, M.D., F.A.P.A. , is associate chairman and medical director of The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, Westchester Division, and professor of psychiatry at the Cornell University Medical College. He is also training and supervising analyst of the Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research.
The basic text for the understanding of patients with pathological narcissism.
- Aronson, Jason Inc.
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Borderline Conditions and Pathological Narcissism based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Narcissism is an important phase in one's personal development. It is the foundation of a sense of self worth and self-confidence. It is self-love in its benign form. But then, having fulfilled its role, it is replaced by love directed at others (object love). It is here that pathologies occur when the individual is unable to successfully accomplish this transition. Pathological narcissism is a lot more than a fixation on an early developmental phase, though. This is the first weak point of this otherwise seminal work. It is, well, fixated, on a psychodynamic-object relations scenario. additionally, the distinctions between borderline conditions and pathological narcissism - both states of low organization of the personality - are blurred. Otherwise, it is a masterpiece of hands-on clinical work well worth perusing. Sam Vaknin, author of 'Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited'.
This book is gives a very sophisticated description and analysis of the personality organization and defensive techniques characteristic of borderline conditions. Since these structures and techniques are also often encountered to a lesser or greater degree in neurotic and infantile personalities, this book should be valuable to all psychoanalytically oriented therapists. Dr. Kernberg's analysis of 'pathological narcissism' as a syndrome distinct from normal infantile narcissism is very stimulating and convincing. His ideas helped me to gain a more mature understanding of narcissism as it applies to both regressed and pathological personality structures. The book's major limitation is Dr. Kernberg's uneven writing style. He describes clinical encounters with artistic grace, but the theoretical parts of the book are bogged down by excruciating sentence structure, repetitiveness, and an overuse of vague jargon.