chapter  ELEVEN
21 Pages

Narcissism

ByNeville Symington

This chapter is based on two papers, entitled "Narcissism and Feelings" and "Narcissistic Patients, The Problems for a Psychotherapy Unit". Each paper examined different aspects of narcissism, so the text of each has been retained in order to develop these aspects fully. There is a common element in the diverse therapeutic nostrums that are offered to a patient: the holiday at a spa, the antidepressant, taking the waters, a course of psychotherapy—all are dependent upon an external object or phenomenon for the relief of emotional suffering. If the psychotherapist puts himself entirely into the shoes of the patient and bases his understanding on the patient's own point of view, excluding all else, he will do nothing to solve the patient's basic problem. The patient came to the psychotherapist in the first place because his own point of view had not solved his problem. To be able to solve it, he needs the point of view of the Other.