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From The CriticsReviewer: Nicholas Greco IV, MS, BCETS, CATSM (Abbott Laboratories)
Description: This book provides a needed exploration into a personality disorder where there has been a paucity of research as well as misinterpretations. The author separates pathology from functionality — in other words, from what is a productive personality trait to a full-blown disorder. This delineation is fascinating and highly informative.
Purpose: The purpose is to bridge the gaps between the psychoanalytic, psychological, and psychiatric studies and present a cohesive and integrated clinical and empirical guideline to assist clinicians in their work with narcissistic patients. The breakdown of healthy and pathological narcissism allows clinicians to have the needed differentiation to implement in their practice. The book exceeds objectives and is much needed.
Audience: Clearly, seasoned and young clinicians will benefit as well as academics and researchers. This would make for a good seminar course or as an add-on to graduate training. The author is well-versed and a leading authority in narcissism.
Features: As expected, a historical perspective of the disorder is introduced and supported by appropriate references. The discussion of "normal" narcissism in chapter 2 is intriguing and focuses on empathy, self-reference, control, power, etc. The chapter on differentiating pathological narcissism is a must-read for every clinician. I liked how the case vignettes help elaborate and provide a unique perspective on the material. The book is well written and solidly examines the material.
Assessment: Personality disorders, while always discussed and sometimes deferred on Axis II, do exist. Narcissistic personality finally is receiving the attention it deserves with this book. Readers should always be ready to expand their knowledge base with worthwhile information and this book will quite comfortably satisfy that need.