The Narcissistic Group Self and Its Role in Group Psychotherapy
The examination on the Narcissistic Group-Self and its role in group psychotherapy uses mainly a depth psychological vertical-motivational view. We could naturally also understand the (therapeutic) group from an interactional-horizontal-sociological aspect. Also it would be possible to see the group from a comprehensive system approach since with the General System Theory (von Bertalanffy,1974), we can of course also explain the psychological processes in each individual himself forming a system. But what I shall try to formulate in this context is only the involvement of each individual’s narcissism at the beginning and during the group process. I call by the term narcissism the real Self or self-representation with its capacity for self-love and -estimation, which gives to the instances Id, Ego and Super-Ego as well as to the body the information of belonging together to a specific entity experiencing and being in the past, today and in the future always the same. I do not want to discuss narcissistic personality disorders (Kohut,1971, 1977) or borderline conditions (Kernberg,1975) in a group, although different modalities of group psychotherapy with both kinds of patients could be described (Ganzarain,1982), but to try to describe the role of normal or perhaps pathological narcissism in group formation and cohesion.
KeywordsGroup Psychotherapy Personality Disorder General System Theory Social Learning Process Borderline Condition
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