TitleThe management of narcissistic vulnerability
NameRiordan, Robert Williams (author), Fishman, Daniel (chair), McWilliams, Nancy (co-chair), Rutgers University, Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology,
Mitchell, Stephen A.,1946-
DescriptionThe psychological literature pertaining to the treatment of the patient with a narcissistic personality disturbance is dominated by the divergent theories of Otto Kernberg and Heinz Kohut. In this context, Stephen Mitchell’s theory of narcissistic illusion, which integrates Kernberg’s view of narcissism as a defensive phenomenon and Kohut’s view of narcissism as a growth-enhancing opportunity, is first reviewed. The current study then seeks to assess, through the application of Mitchell’s integrated treatment model to three long-term psychotherapy cases, the efficacy of Mitchell’s model. Efficacy is assessed through a comparison of pre-treatment and post-treatment, standardized, self-report measures, including Raskin and Terry's Narcissistic Personality Inventory and the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory-III, as well as by Fishman’s individual-case-comparison method. In interpreting the findings of the case studies, I argue that the goal of treatment of patients with a narcissistic personality disturbance is to help them (a) acknowledge their narcissistic orientation, and (b) ultimately understand the function of their narcissistic illusion. I conclude that Mitchell’s theory successfully guides the clinician to such an outcome. The strengths and limitations of Mitchell’s model are critically reviewed. Finally, adjunctive interventions to aid the clinician in the management of the patient’s ongoing narcissistic vulnerability are proposed.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references
Noteby Robert Williams Riordan
CollectionGraduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.