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Broucek, F. (1990). Shame: The Underside of Narcissism: By Andrew P. Morrison. Hillsdale: The Analytic Press. 1989. Pp. 226.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 71:738-740.

(1990). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 71:738-740

Shame: The Underside of Narcissism: By Andrew P. Morrison. Hillsdale: The Analytic Press. 1989. Pp. 226.

Review by:
Francis Broucek

In the past decade a number of important articles and books on shame have appeared, testifying to an increasing awareness of the importance of shame in the development and maintenance of various psychopathological conditions. Is shame better understood within classical drive/conflict theory or within the perspective of Kohutian self psychology? Can shame be adequately accounted for within either framework? In approaching these questions it might be useful to contrast Wurmser's (1982) The Mask of Shame, an earlier, important contribution to our understanding of shame related clinical phenomena, with Morrison's Shame: The Underside of Narcissism.

Wurmser, while making many fresh, sensitive and important observations about shame, continued in the classical psychoanalytic tradition of trying to derive shame from conflicts involving the 'partial drives' of voyeurism and exhibitionism. He proposed more archaic and general forms of these drives which he labelled 'theatophilia' (corresponding to voyeurism) and 'delophilia' (exhibitionism).

What Wurmser attempted to do was to conserve and extend the classical understanding of shame as a derivative of conflict involving exhibitionistic and voyeuristic partial drives, and in the process also to conserve the notion that component drives are linked to libidinal 'zones'. By so doing Wurmser tried to show that the theoretical views of Heinz Kohut and his 'school' of 'self psychology' could be more adequately formulated within the framework of classical Freudian drive theory, as extended and elaborated by Wurmser.

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