Character and Self-Experience: Working with Obsessive-Compulsive, Depressive-Masochistic, Narcissistic, and Other Character Styles
Publisher: Jason Aronson, Inc.
ISBN 10: 1568215800
ISBN 13: 978-1568215808
Character and Self-Experience provides an original and innovative approach to understanding human character in terms of the phenomenology of self-experience. Lawrence Josephs reviews the psychoanalytic theory of character structure from Freud to Klein to Kohut, and proposes an integrative model of the organization of the self. This structural model of the self is then applied to describing and developing vivid character portraitures of major personality styles. Using extensive case examples, Josephs presents evocative narratives of obsessive-compulsive, hysteric, depressive-masochistic, narcissistic, paranoid, schizoid, and antisocial character styles and articulates implications for their treatment. In contrast with previous attempts to highlight theoretical differences to prove one approach superior, this book acknowledges that each theoretical orientation provides an important focus and perspective, and aims to advance a unified theory integrating the multiple views into a coherent whole.
Josephs draws upon the full range of psychoanalytic thought to develop a comprehensive and integrative understanding of the character disorder. His graphic descriptions of each syndrome make the people come alive, and they promote our empathy for the copying strategies entailed by character pathology. (George Striker, Ph.D., The Derner Institute, Adelphi University)
Character and Self-Experience is a heroic effort to integrate psychoanalytic perspectives on character into a unified framework encompassing earlier, diverse views. Joseph's framework, centering on the multiple dimensions of self-experience, provides the basis for an experience-near typology of character that is directly applicable to therapeutic practice. This rich, comprehensive, and lucidly written text is a major contribution to psychoanalytic characterology that should be of great value to students and practitioners of psychoanalytic therapy. (Robert D. Stolorow, Ph.D., Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis, Los Angeles)