The Inseparable Nature of Love and Aggression: Clinical and Theoretical Perspectives

18 Apr

The Inseparable Nature of Love and Aggression: Clinical and Theoretical Perspectives

The Inseparable Nature of Love and Aggression: Clinical and Theoretical Perspectives

Otto F. Kernberg

Language: English

Pages: 420

ISBN: 1585624284

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The task Dr. Otto Kernberg takes up in The Inseparable Nature of Love and Aggression: Clinical and Theoretical Perspectives is to first distinguish, then to interrelate psychoanalytic, clinical psychiatric, and neurobiological perspectives in a variety of areas, beginning with severe personality disorders and extending to love, destructiveness, mourning, spirituality, and the future of psychoanalytic inquiry. Dr. Kernberg is renowned for his work with borderline and narcissistic patients, and in this book, he offers new approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of the most severe personality disorders, particularly the spectrum of severe narcissistic psychopathology. His effort to relate psychoanalytic to neurobiological findings continues in two fascinating areas the study of sexual love and of religious experience and he examines object relations theory in relation to these two phenomena. Kernberg s analysis of love and aggression is both bold and nuanced and will captivate the professional psychotherapist as well as the psychologically astute general reader.


















onto the therapist, while ten minutes later, for example, the patient identifies with the object representation while projecting the self-representation onto Transference-Focused Psychotherapy (TFP) Model 35 the therapist. Engaging the patient’s observing ego in this phenomenon paves the way for interpreting the conflicts that keep these dyads, and corresponding views of self and other, separate and exaggerated. Until these representations are integrated into more nuanced and modulated ones,

seems like almost willful destruction of life opportunities may signal this condition. The same is true for patients with the most severe degree of negative therapeutic reaction, reflecting a profound identification with a battering object, 44 THE INSEPARABLE NATURE OF LOVE AND AGGRESSION and patients with the syndrome of malignant narcissism, where self-destructiveness implies the only possible triumph over an otherwise envied external world not suffering from the same conditions that they

the group, thus fostering individual patients’ adaptive responses; helping patients to shift from damaging to effective defensive operations and compromise formations; direct supportive interventions by the therapist, by means of affective and cognitive support in patients’ confrontation with their difficulties, and, under certain circumstances, extending such interventions outside the group situation itself; and selection by the therapist of general themes for the group discussion, determined by

developments in the transference, and the general techniques available to deal with them in the context of a psychoanalytic therapy, are outlined, followed by the prognostically most negative features these patients may evince. Clinical cases illustrating the predominance of such negative prognostic features are briefly outlined, and ways of dealing with them, as well as the limitations of this approach, are spelled out. The most severe cases of this personality pathology probably are at the very

may modify the idealization into a bona fide creative, warm professional relationship, in contrast to an idealization 168 THE INSEPARABLE NATURE OF LOVE AND AGGRESSION process that fixates the supervisee’s conviction that the supervisor will always know better and be superior and that a permanent hierarchy will remain in the relationship of the supervisee with that particular supervisor. Such a negative fixation at an idealizing level is not infrequent, particularly in institutions with

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