Thought Leadership Talk: The Tragic Dimensions of Narcissism

About the Presentation:

The “Tragic Dimensions of Narcissism” are filled with poignancy. NPD patients are steeped in a fundamental dilemma: they desperately need to be admired or loved, but their style of relating to others often pushes people away. Because of their interpersonal style, they are often doomed to fail in their pursuit of the love and admiration they so desperately seek. There is a pleomorphism involving three subtypes–The Grandiose/Oblivious Subtype, the Vulnerable/Hypervigilant Subtype, and the High-Functioning Subtype. We will also address the “Masochism in Narcissism”. Vulnerable narcissists often have a strong masochistic streak in them. At times the narcissist hits bottom and wishes he could die. Therapists must work closely with these patients to be tuned in to their despair. Throughout the presentation, I will point out strategies that may help the patient to continue rather than quit. I will also address the risk of suicide in some patients with intense narcissism.

About the Presenter:

Glen O. Gabbard, M.D., is Professor and Director of the Baylor Psychiatry Clinic at the Baylor College of Medicine and Training and Supervising Analyst at the Houston-Galveston Psychoanalytic Institute in Houston, Texas. He was previously Director of the Menninger Hospital in Topeka, Kansas.

Dr. Gabbard is the author or editor of more than fifteen books and currently is joint Editor-in-Chief and Editor for North America of the International Journal of Psychoanalysis. His numerous awards include the 2000 Mary Sigourney Award for outstanding contributions to psychoanalysis.


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