What a Patient Can Learn about His Narcissism in an Analytical Group
Narcissism has always been a difficult problem for the psychotherapist and it remains so today. Freud’s pessimism regarding the resolution of narcissism in psychoanalysis is well known. In the development of psychoanalytical thought, a certain amount of optimism concerning this problem has been brought about by the findings of ego psychology, Melanie Klein’s theoretical concepts, and the appearnce of group psychotherapy. Psychoanalytical theory has illuminated and clarified certain problems of narcissism but has not yet produced adequate therapeutic solutions. Thus, for instance, Abse,1 quoting Kohut, notes the following: “The formulations of Heinz Kohut (1971) concerning the dynamics of narcissism shed considerable light on some aspects of the primal transference and related alterations of the ego. He points to the evolution of a “grandiose self” from feelings of incapacity, helplessness, and worthlessness experienced after early separation-individuation experiences (ego processes), and he describes also projective identification with idealised parents. Such concepts not only contribute to our understanding of the narcissistic resistance often encountered in individual analysis, but they sharpen our awareness of its existence.”
KeywordsTherapeutic Group Psychoanalytical Theory Mirror Reaction Group Phenomenon Primal Transference
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