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Kernberg, O.F. (1974). Contrasting Viewpoints Regarding the Nature and Psychoanalytic Treatment of Narcissistic Personalities: A Preliminary Communication. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 22:255-267.

(1974). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 22:255-267

Contrasting Viewpoints Regarding the Nature and Psychoanalytic Treatment of Narcissistic Personalities: A Preliminary Communication

Otto F. Kernberg, M.D.

DESPITE THE EVOLVING AGREEMENT concerning the descriptive clinical characteristics of the narcissistic personality, widely divergent views have developed regarding its underlying metapsychological assumptions and its optimal technical approach within a psychoanalytic modality of treatment. Kohut's approach to these latter is very different from the one I outlined in an earlier paper (1970), one which is closely related to the views of Jacobson (1964), Mahler (1968), Riviere (1936), Rosenfeld (1964), and van der Waals (1965). Insofar as I have already described the clinical characteristics of narcissistic personalities (1970) and I see no major disagreements between Kohut's view and that of the other author's mentioned and myself, I shall not review them here. Instead, I shall focus on areas of agreement and disagreement regarding the metapsychological assumptions and treatment.

The Relationship of Narcissistic Personality to Borderline Conditions and the Psychoses

Kohut differentiates the narcissistic personality disorders from the psychoses and borderline states (1971p. 18).

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