Identity, Narcissism, and the Other: Object Relations and their Obstacles

1st Edition

Jean Arundale

Routledge
Published August 23, 2017
Reference - 214 Pages
ISBN 9781782203971 - CAT# K379006

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Summary

Practitioners of psychoanalysis find three central themes to be recurrent and ubiquitous in every analysis; firstly, issues around identity, the struggle to know the self, to understand the self and to be the self in an authentic way. Intricately entangled with self-identity is the problem of narcissism, essentially viewed as a defensive retreat to a mental state characterized by an unconscious belief in the special value of the self and the diminution of the Other. The motive for seeking psychoanalytic treatment is often to improve the quality of relationships with the Other, which is clearly jeopardized by narcissistic states; the person undergoing psychoanalysis might hope to re-discover a resilient self and a sense of personal identity, and to overcome narcissism sufficiently to be able to form relationships. However, there are a multitude of inherent anxieties involved in close and intimate relationships. As Freud pointed out, even in our most intimate relationships there is an element of hostility.

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