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Seidler, G.H. (1999). Destructive Narcissism and the Obliteration of Subject-Object Separation: Various Manifestations of an Underlying Psychodynamic Configuration. Brit. J. Psychother., 15(3):291-305.

(1999). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 15(3):291-305

Clinical Papers

Destructive Narcissism and the Obliteration of Subject-Object Separation: Various Manifestations of an Underlying Psychodynamic Configuration

Günter H. Seidler

The article describes the specific psychodynamics of ‘destructive narcissism’, a configuration which in its effects, if not in its intentions, can truly be said to be ‘destructive’. The two most widely used diagnostic manuals (ICD-10 and DSM-IV) correctly deny it the status of an illness or personality disorder in its own right, as it is more appropriately described as a fundamental anthropological dimension. As such it is similar in status to consciousness, bipersonal reciprocity or self-referentiality. Its aim is the obliteration of the subject-object relation. Destructive narcissism finds expression in a variety of manifestations differing according to context. They include some psychic symptoms and disorders. The article is also a plea for the application of psychoanalysis (enriched by a phenomenological perspective) to the discussion of anthropological issues.

[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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