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Psychotherapy of Narcissistic Injuries

Arnold Goldberg, MD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1973;28(5):722-726. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1973.01750350090016.
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A separate diagnostic category of acute narcissistic injuries is proposed. These disorders are defined as injuries of a psychologic nature to one's self or self-esteem. The category is differentiated from that of acute depressive reactions although the clinical phenomena are similar and the distinction is mainly in order to propose a psychotherapeutic approach. This in turn is based on the psychotherapist being used as a narcissistic object or a functional unit of the self to facilitate the healing of the injury. Case reports are included to illustrate the process. Some relevant literature is reviewed and suggestions for a continued utilization of new insights into the psychology of the self obtained from psychoanalytic investigations is urged.


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