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Solomon, M.F. (1988). Chapter 14 Treatment of Narcissistic Vulnerability in Marital Therapy. Progress in Self Psychology, 4:215-230.

(1988). Progress in Self Psychology, 4:215-230

Chapter 14 Treatment of Narcissistic Vulnerability in Marital Therapy

Marion F. Solomon, Ph.D.

Where marriages are made up of individuals with self disorders, it is crucial that therapeutic treatments be developed that take into account the fragile, easily damaged self of one or both partners. An important goal of therapy is to help each partner hear and respond to the needs of the injured self of the other.

Self and Other in Intimate Relationships

Two variables influence the course of all intimate relationships; 1) differentiation and autonomy, and 2) the wish for a symbiotic, mergerlike state of at-one-ment in which there is perfect understanding by a loving other. Finding a balance between these two wishes that is acceptable to both partners is the quandary facing love relationships (Solomon, 1988).

Many family therapists contend that treatment should be designed to help the family move as rapidly as possible toward increased differentiation, and that each new gain in individuality brings the togetherness forces to a higher level of adaptation (Bowen, 1972, 1976).

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