Disorders of the Self: A Personality-Guided Approach
For individuals in the U.S. & U.S. territories
In this thought-provoking book, Marshall L. Silverstein applies a self psychological viewpoint, as formulated and broadened by Kohut, to understanding personality disorders. He recasts them as disorders of the self, grouping them into one of three patterns, centering on
- combating devitalization
- forestalling fragmentation
- seeking alternative pathways to a cohesive self
He describes each group and outlines its main theoretical viewpoints, then offers a self psychological reformulation of how the behavior and symptom patterns represent deficits in self-cohesion.
In the first deficit pattern, devitalization (in schizoid, schizotypal, and avoidant personality disorders), the patient's central problem is maintaining vitality when the need for affirmation or admiration has been ignored or insufficiently acknowledged. Typically, these patients withdraw from or react aversively to those around them, removing themselves from potentially painful rebuffs.
The second pattern (in paranoid, obsessive–compulsive, and borderline personality disorders) represents attempts to forestall fragmentation. Such patients harbor fears that their fragile self-cohesion may come undone and they build their lives around safeguarding themselves against threats to their intactness.
In the third pattern (in dependent, histrionic, and antisocial personality disorders), patients attempt but often fail to develop compensatory structures to repair their chronically injured self-cohesion.
Dr. Silverstein also considers three disturbances not classified as personality disorders in the DSM-IV nomenclature: depressive personality, somatization, and the vertical split.
This thoughtfully prepared volume, the first to systematically apply this theoretical framework to this broad group of disorders, offers readers valuable insights into how undermined self-cohesion compromises patients' daily functioning.
I. Theoretical Foundations
- Theoretical Introduction
- Narcissistic Personality Disorder
II. Devitalization: The Unmirrored Self (Schizoid, Schizotypal, and Avoidant Personality Disorders)
- Descriptive Psychopathology and Theoretical Viewpoints: Schizoid, Schizotypal, and Avoidant Personality Disorders
- A Self Psychological Viewpoint: Schizoid, Schizotypal, and Avoidant Personality Disorders
III. Forestalling Fragmentation (Paranoid, Obsessive–Compulsive, and Borderline Personality Disorders)
- Descriptive Psychopathology and Theoretical Viewpoints: Paranoid, Obsessive–Compulsive, and Borderline Personality Disorders
- A Self Psychological Viewpoint: Paranoid, Obsessive–Compulsive, and Borderline Personality Disorders
IV. Alternative Pathways for Preserving a Cohesive Self (Dependent, Histrionic, and Antisocial Personality Disorders)
- Descriptive Psychopathology and Theoretical Viewpoints: Dependent, Histrionic, and Antisocial Personality Disorders
- A Self Psychological Viewpoint: Dependent, Histrionic, and Antisocial Personality Disorders
V. Other Disorders of the Self (Depressive Personality Disorder, Disorders of the Self and Somatic Reactivity, and Disavowal and the Vertical Split)
- Depressive Personality Disorder
- Disorders of the Self and Somatic Reactivity
- Disavowal: The Vertical Split
About the Author
Marshall L. Silverstein received his PhD in clinical psychology in 1974 from Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan. He is currently professor of psychology at Long Island University, C. W. Post Campus, Brookville, New York. He was previously senior psychologist at Michael Reese Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois, and director of training in psychology at the Illinois State Psychiatric Institute, Chicago.
A diplomate of the American Board of Professional Psychology in clinical psychology, Dr. Silverstein also was affiliated with the Department of Psychiatry, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, and the School of Education and Social Policy, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois. He conducts research on neuropsychological dysfunction and premorbid functioning in relation to the course and outcome of schizophrenia and affective disorders. Other areas of research and clinical interest are cognition–personality interactions and psychoanalytic self psychology.
Dr. Silverstein is the author of Self Psychology and Diagnostic Assessment: Identifying Selfobject Functions Through Psychological Testing as well as 70 research and clinical articles.