Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: Downloads should look similar to the originals…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

Downloadable content in PDF and ePUB was designed to be read in a similar format to the original articles.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Bach, S. (1977). On the Narcissistic State of Consciousness. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 58:209-233.

(1977). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 58:209-233

On the Narcissistic State of Consciousness

Sheldon Bach


Our present ego-feeling is, therefore, only a shrunken residue of a much more inclusive—indeed, an allembracing—feeling which corresponded to a more intimate bond between the ego and the world about it. If we may assume that there are many people in whose mental life this primary ego-feeling has persisted to a greater or lesser degree, it would exist in them side by side with the narrower and more sharply demarcated ego-feeling of maturity, like a kind of counterpart to it. In that case, the ideational contents appropriate to it would be precisely those of limitlessness and of a bond with the universe … (Freud, 1930p. 68).

Analysts who work with narcissistic patients frequently complain of the difficulty they experience in 'getting through' to the patient and 'making themselves heard', or, with growing irritation, they speak of 'making a dent' in the patient or 'cracking the narcissistic shell'. They sometimes develop an intense feeling of frustration about the impermanence of even their effective interpretations and compare it with talking into the wind or writing on the sand, only to have one's words effaced moments later by the waves.

And indeed one of the characteristics of the narcissistic transference is that the patient either welcomes or resents the analyst's words, experiences them as an anodyne or as an intrusive, officious imposition, and frequently does not even register the actual content of what is said but rather reduces it to a jumble of words, sounds, noises or tones.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2019, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.