Narcissistic & Borderline Conditions

Adult Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (APP)
2019-20, 1st Block — Mondays, 8:00-9:15pm
Kim Brotherton, LICSW BCD


In this eight-week course, we will focus on the dynamics and treatment of Narcissistic and Borderline character organization. Through readings and case material, we aim to strike a balance between clinical theory and practice experience. In our sessions we will review key concepts in the readings for each week while applying these to our own clinical experiences.

In preparation for our sessions, while reading the material for the week, you may find it useful to attend to your emotional reactions in addition to your critical thinking. In what ways do you like/not like, agree/disagree with the writer? Why? What relevance, if any, does the material have for your clinical work? How does it help inform your understanding of a particular case or cases?

September 9, 2019

[43 pages]

Lingiardi, V.; McWilliams, N. (Eds.) (2017). Ch1, “Personality Syndromes” in Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual (2nd Edition, PDM-2). New York: Guilford Press. pp15-29

This reading provides a brief background on conceptualizing personality structure and developmental levels.

Lingiardi, V.; McWilliams, N. (Eds.) (2017). “Narcissistic Personalities” in Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual (2nd Edition, PDM-2). New York: Guilford Press. pp46-48.

A brief overview of Narcissistic Personalities.

Erwin, E., Ed. (2001). The Freud Encyclopedia: Theory, Therapy, and Culture. New York: Routledge. pp355-359.

A Freudian conceptualization.

McWilliams, N. (2011). Ch 8, “Narcissistic Personalities” in Psychoanalytic Diagnosis: Understanding Personality Structure in Clinical Process (2nd Edition), pp176-195.

September 16, 2019

[55 pages]

Kohut, H. & Wolf, E.S. (1978). The Disorders of the Self and their Treatment: An Outline. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 59:413-425.

Kernberg, O. (1974). Further Contributions to the Treatment of Narcissistic Personalities. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 55:215-240.

Miller, A. (1979). Depression and Grandiosity as Related Forms of Narcissistic Disturbances. Int. Rev. Psycho-Anal., 6:61-76.

September 23, 2019

[48 pages]

Shaw, D. (2014) Chapter 2, “The Adult Child of the Traumatizing Narcissist: Enter Ghosts!” in Traumatic Narcissism: Relational Systems of Subjugation. New York: Routledge. pp22-42.

Shaw, D. (2014) “But What Do I Do?” Finding the Path to Freedom in Traumatic Narcissism: Relational Systems of Subjugation. New York: Routledge. pp89-115.

Optional Reading

McWilliams, N. & Lependorf, S. (1990). Narcissistic Pathology of Everyday Life: The Denial of Remorse and Gratitude. Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 26: 430-451.

September 30, 2019

[36 pages]

Mid-Point Check-in.

Transition from Narcissism to Borderline Conditions.

Bromberg, P.M. (1983). The Mirror and the Mask – On Narcissism and Psychoanalytic Growth. Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 19:359-387.

Lachman, F.M. (1994). From Narcissism to Self Pathology: New Pathology or New Perspective on Pathology? International Forum of Psychoanalysis, 3:157-163.

Optional Reading

Mitchell, S.A. (1986). The Wings of Icarus: Illusion and the Problem of Narcissism. Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 22:107-132.

October 7, 2019

[62 pages]

Kernberg, O. (1967). Borderline Personality Organization. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 15:641-685.

Ogden, T.H. (1979). On Projective Identification. The International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 60:357-373.

October 14, 2019

[43 pages]

Kernberg, O. (1987). Projection and Projective Identification: Developmental and Clinical Aspects. Journal of the American Psychoanalysis Association, 35:795-819.

Fonagy, P. (2000) Attachment and Borderline Personality Disorder, Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. 48:1129-1146.

Optional Reading

Caligor, E. Diamond, D. Yeomans, F.E. Kernberg, O.F. (2009). The Interpretive Process in the Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy of Borderline Personality Pathology. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 57(2):271-301.

This is an optional replacement for the assigned Kernberg article for this week.

October 21, 2019

[41 pages]

Kalsched, D. (2013) Dissociation and the Dark Side of the Defensive System: Dante’s Encounter with “Dis” in the Inferno in Trauma and the Soul: A Psycho-spiritual Approach to Human Development and Its Interruption. New York: Routledge. pp86-126.

October 28, 2019 — Wrap Up

Course material integration: we will have space to revisit readings and continue exploration of case material.