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Newton, K. (1983). Schwartz-Salami, N. Narcissism and Character Transformation. Toronto. Inner City Books. 1982. Pp. 169. $12, £5.70.. J. Anal. Psychol., 28(1):75-76.

(1983). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 28(1):75-76

Schwartz-Salami, N. Narcissism and Character Transformation. Toronto. Inner City Books. 1982. Pp. 169. $12, £5.70.

Review by:
Kathleen Newton

Edited by:
Corinna Peterson

This book comprises a comprehensive study on narcissism. Schwartz-Salant is deeply versed in Jung's seminal work on archetypes and the self. He moves freely in mythological material and, in addition, he is widely read in psychoanalytic literature on the subject, so he is well qualified to make a comparative study of different points of view.

The introduction consists of a brief survey of the evolution of psychoanalytic thought on narcissism, and Schwartz-Salant relates this to the themes of identity and the self. As we know, Jung made many and varied statements about his postulate. It is not Schwartz-Salant's purpose to survey contemporary Jungian views, although when discussing the unfolding activities of the self he refers to Fordham's idea of deintegration. He concentrates and spends considerable time in establishing his own orientation in the concept. For him, Jung's self cannot be understood without reference to the numinous nature of its symbols. He specifies three functional dimensions: I, the self as a content of the ego; 2, the self as a focus outside the ego, a core of wisdom and of energy far greater than the ego; and 3, the self experienced as transcendent. It is the archetype of wholeness, and thus comprises the opposites. He compares his position with that of Jacobson and Kohut, and while clarifying theoretical differences he sets out to illustrate that, clinically, there is a meeting ground.

Schwartz-Salant proposes two stages of healing and transformation in the work with narcissistic patients.

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