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Kohut, H. (1968). The Psychoanalytic Treatment of Narcissistic Personality Disorders—Outline of a Systematic Approach. Psychoanal. St. Child, 23:86-113.

(1968). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 23:86-113

The Psychoanalytic Treatment of Narcissistic Personality Disorders—Outline of a Systematic Approach

Heinz Kohut, M.D.


The classification of the transferencelike structures mobilized during the analysis of narcissistic personalities presented here is based on previous conceptualizations (Kohut, 1966) of which only the following brief summary can be given. It was suggested that the child's original narcissistic balance, the perfection of his primary narcissism, is disturbed by the unavoidable shortcomings of maternal care, but that the child attempts to save the original experience of perfection by assigning it on the one hand to a grandiose and exhibitionistic image of the self: the grandiose self, and, on the other hand, to an admired you: the idealized parent imago. The central mechanisms which these two basic narcissistic configurations employ in order to preserve a part of the original experience are, of course, antithetical.

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