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Teicholz, J.G. (2009). The Quintessential Searcher: A Review of Frank M. Lachmann's Transforming Narcissism: Reflections on Empathy, Humor, and Expectations. Int. J. Psychoanal. Self Psychol., 4(4):510-517.

(2009). International Journal of Psychoanalytic Self Psychology, 4(4):510-517

Book Review

The Quintessential Searcher: A Review of Frank M. Lachmann's Transforming Narcissism: Reflections on Empathy, Humor, and Expectations

Judith G. Teicholz, Ed.D.

Introduction

In his book, Transforming Narcissism, Frank Lachmann (2008) suggested that Don Quixote is the world's “quintessential searcher” (p. 216). However, Lachmann himself may rival Quixote for this title: Not only does Lachmann tilt at windmills, so to speak, but he seems actually to harness their power. In this book, he fulfills what appears at first to be just an impossible dream: the dream of transforming Kohut's 20th-century theory of narcissism into a broad and deeply satisfying 21st-century understanding of psychological life through its transformations, as they emerge in their dyadic systems contexts of parent–child interactions and the sociocultural surrounds.

The book (Lachmann, 2008) is organized into three sections whose titles are “Transformation,” “Expectations,” and “Reflections.” In Part 1, “Transformation,” Lachmann explores the process of transforming, in general, followed by a chapter on two forms of communication, the implicit and explicit, both of which may contribute to or detract from positive psychological transformations.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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