College of Psychology: Faculty Articles

Title

A Psychodynamic Approach to the Diagnosis and Treatment of Closet Narcissism

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

5-2013

Keywords

Closet Narcissism, Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, Object Relations, Separation-Individuation, False Self

Publication Title

Clinical Case Studies

ISSN

1534-6501

Abstract

The purpose of this article was to increase awareness of an alternative presentation of narcissistic personality disorder, offer treatment strategies specifically geared toward such patients, and demonstrate how an understanding of object relations and defense mechanisms can guide interventions and improve diagnostic refinement. A case study was presented to illustrate this approach. This case study draws mainly from James Masterson’s developmental, self, and object relations approach to the treatment of closet narcissism. Additional psychodynamic theories were also incorporated to provide a more comprehensive conceptualization of the client. Treatment consisted of psychodynamic therapy in which therapeutic neutrality, and analysis of the transference were core features.

DOI

10.1177/1534650113475475

Peer Reviewed

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