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Volkan, V.D. (1993). Narcissistic Personality Disorder: Edited by Otto F. Kernberg. Psychiat. Clin. N.A., Vol. 12, No. 3. Philadelphia, PA: W. B. Saunders, 1989, 776 pp., $32.00.. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 41:273-276.

(1993). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 41:273-276

Narcissistic Personality Disorder: Edited by Otto F. Kernberg. Psychiat. Clin. N.A., Vol. 12, No. 3. Philadelphia, PA: W. B. Saunders, 1989, 776 pp., $32.00.

Review by:
Vamik D. Volkan, M.D.

This issue of the Psychiatric Clinics of North America brings together the contemporary knowledge of 16 clinicians about narcissistic personality disorder. Kernberg's well-known original contributions to this diagnostic category are unique and specific. According to him, pathological narcissism found in adults is not an altered version of normal narcissism, and it is not a result of a defect in the self. Rather, narcissistic personality disorder reflects the clinical manifestations of the "grandiose self," which is a defensive construction.

Kernberg was influenced by Edith Jacobson and Margaret S. Mahler. The latter's description of separation-individuation and object constancy underlies Kernberg's theoretical formulations.

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