Narcissicm - On Narcissism: Psychological Theories and...

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On Narcissism: Psychological Theories and Therapeutic Interventions in the Narcissistic Disorders I Introduction I Understanding the Narcissistic Phenomenon U The so called 'narcissistic personality disorder' is a complex and often misunderstood m disorder. The cardinal feature of the narcissistic personality is the grandiose sense of self s importance, but paradoxically underneath this grandiosity the narcissist suffers from a f chronically fragile low self esteem. The grandiosity of the narcissist, however, is often so i pervasive that we tend to dehumanize him or her. The narcissist conjures in us images of i the mythological character Narcissus who could only love himself, rebuffing anyone who w attempted to touch him. Nevertheless, it is the underlying sense of inferiority which is w the real problem of the narcissist, the grandiosity is just a facade used to cover the deep t feelings of inadequacy. f The Makeup of the Narcissistic Personality T The narcissist's grandiose behavior is designed to reaffirm his or her sense of o adequacy. Since the narcissist is incapable of asserting his or her own sense of adequacy, a the narcissist seeks to be admired by others. However, the narcissist's extremely fragile f sense of self worth does not allow him or her to risk any criticism. Therefore, s meaningful emotional interactions with others are avoided. By simultaneously seeking s the admiration of others and keeping them at a distance the narcissist is usually able to a maintain the illusion of grandiosity no matter how people respond. Thus, when people p praise the narcissist his or her grandiosity will increase, but when criticized the
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grandiosity will usually remain unaffected because the narcissist will devalue the g criticizing person. c Akhtar (1989) [as cited in Carson & Butcher, 1992; P. 271] discusses six areas of o pathological functioning which characterize the narcissist. In particular, four of these t narcissistic character traits best illustrate the pattern discussed above. " (1) a narcissistic a individual has a basic sense of inferiority, which underlies a preoccupation with fantasies f of outstanding achievement; (2) a narcissistic individual is unable to trust and rely on r others and thus develops numerous, shallow relationships to extract tributes from others; o (3) a narcissistic individual has a shifting morality-always ready to shift values to gain t favor; and (4) a narcissistic person is unable to remain in love, showing an impaired i capacity for a committed relationship". c The Therapeutic Essence of Treating Narcissism T The narcissist who enters therapy does not think that there is something wrong with w him or her. Typically, the narcissist seeks therapy because he or she is unable to maintain the grandiosity which protects him or her from the feelings of despair. The
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This note was uploaded on 05/21/2011 for the course ACCT 101 taught by Professor All during the Spring '11 term at Kaplan University.

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Narcissicm - On Narcissism: Psychological Theories and...

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