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Shelby, R.D. (2000). Narcissistic Injury, Humiliation, Rage, and the Desire for Revenge: Thoughts on Drescher's Psychoanalytic Therapy and the Gay Man. Gender and Psychoanalysis, 5(3):275-289.

(2000). Gender and Psychoanalysis, 5(3):275-289

Narcissistic Injury, Humiliation, Rage, and the Desire for Revenge: Thoughts on Drescher's Psychoanalytic Therapy and the Gay Man

R. Dennis Shelby, M.S.W., Ph.D.

In conceptualizing our work with gay men we run the risk of holding the archetypal gay man up as a victim of society. Of course gay men and lesbian women have suffered the assaults of a thousand slings and arrows in the course of development and we can observe repetitions of these unhappy events in the course of treatments and our own lives. But along with the mortification of grandiose strivings and disrupted idealizations, comes narcissistic rage, which may then become a defense, and while protecting the self from further assaults also prevents the rekindling of earlier strivings and needs. By acknowledging and analyzing our own rage, we as clinicians are in a better position to help our patients work through developmental traumas and the defenses that surround them in order to further develop and exercise the capacities of their unique selves.

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