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Perelberg, R.J. (2004). Narcissistic configurations: Violence and its absence in treatment. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 85(5):1065-1079.

(2004). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 85(5):1065-1079

Narcissistic configurations: Violence and its absence in treatment Language Translation

Rosine Jozef Perelberg

‘On narcissism: An introduction’ constitutes a turning point in psychoanalysis. Although narcissism is a concept which has not been explicitly referred to by many important thinkers for decades, it could be said that there is no paper written in psychoanalysis since Freud that does not implicitly take into account the modifications in thinking that the work brought about. In this paper, the author contrasts two types of narcissistic configurations: in the first, the intolerance of the other is dealt with by expulsion and violence; in the second, by withdrawal. The author contrasts patients who express manifest violent behaviour with patients for whom the violent behaviour is absent but who, nevertheless, present similar background histories, which might have led to a prediction of violence. They are also profoundly different in terms of what they provoke in the countertransference. In addition, this paper argues that the treatment of narcissistic personalities has allowed in recent years the understanding of a modality of depression. Following Green, the author argues that, instead of a fruitless debate that involves evolutionary issues around the concept of narcissism, it is necessary to distinguish the narcissistic aspect in any analytic relationship, to identify the narcissistic transference in different types of psychopathologies.

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