The fundamental outlook of this book is clinical. It attempts to establish a unitary model of the processes at work in different forms of narcissistic pathology, and to offer a model that is both an alternative to, and complementary to, Freud's model of what are usually considered to be neurotic problems. The aim is to extract a sequence of mental processes that could be seen as typical of narcissistic disturbances of the sense of identity, with their several forms and clinical variations. The book describes how these are structured, together with their intrapsychic and intersubjective functions, based on the hypothesis of a defensive pattern that is set up to counter the effect of a split-off primary trauma and the threat that hangs over the mind and subjectivity.

chapter |26 pages


Primary trauma, splitting, and non-symbolic primary binding

part I|141 pages


chapter One|20 pages

Drives and intersubjectivity

chapter Three|23 pages

Interpretation, play, and style

chapter Four|18 pages

Play and potential

chapter Five|15 pages

Communicating primitive experiences

part II|65 pages


chapter Eight|18 pages

The symbolizing function of the object

chapter Nine|22 pages

Associativity and non-verbal language

chapter Ten|23 pages

Research and exploration in psychoanalysis