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Gauthier, Y. (1988). Narcissisme Et États Limites: Edited by Jean Bergeret and Wilfrid Reid. Montreal: Dunot & Presses Univ. Montréal, 1986, 244 pp., $20.00 Canad.. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 36:1095-1097.

(1988). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 36:1095-1097

Narcissisme Et États Limites: Edited by Jean Bergeret and Wilfrid Reid. Montreal: Dunot & Presses Univ. Montréal, 1986, 244 pp., $20.00 Canad.

Review by:
Yvon Gauthier, M.D.

This book brings together some interesting ideas and hypotheses: borderline states are in close relation with, or the expression of, a severe "essential" depression; this "essential depression," thought to be more frequent than in previous decades, is in close relation with the important sociocultural changes of our modern society. It is also an effort at seeing convergent thinking between psychiatrists, more centered on diagnostic attempts to differentiate between borderline states and other pathological manifestations, and psychoanalysts who are more interested in finding a specific place for borderline states within psychoanalytic theory and in applying the therapeutic implications of such a dynamic comprehension.

There is an international component to this effort, since psychiatrists and psychoanalysts of several European and American countries have been asked to summarize their specific contribution on this theme for the concretization of this book. A summary of each contribution might not be the best way to do justice to this common endeavor. I prefer to give a brief review of the main thoughts and hypotheses which are common to the varied experiences of each author.

Anxiety about loss of object love no doubt is the main theme that recurs through most of the contributions to explain borderline states. Bergeret (France) is the one who insists most on this idea and who places it at the core of his thinking. It is for him the prototype of anxiety in états limites, much tied up to his theory of primitive violence leading to the basic conflict: "It's her or me."

For C. A. Amarel Dias (Portugal), his study of borderline adolescents brings him to understand such severe problems in the light of Mahler's separation-individuation concept: mothers do not accept the adolescent's attempt at autonomy, by their anxiety and overprotection, they hinder his normal individuation process.

In two contributions, an important link is made between addiction and borderline states. A. Charles-Nicolas (France) places the emphasis on the insufficiency of internal objects, much related to the mother's inability to let her child develop on his own, and on the release of aggressive instinct which follows. M.

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