"Aggression in Personality Disorders and Perversions" by Otto Kernberg

Aggression in Personality Disorders and Perversions Otto Kernberg

Publication date:
27 Sep 1995
Yale University Press
326 pages: 229 x 152mm

In this important new book, Dr. Otto F. Kernberg, one of the world's foremost psychoanalysts, explores the role of aggression in severe personality disorders and in normal and perverse sexuality, integrating new developments in psychoanalytic theory with findings from clinical work with severely regressed patients. The book also integrates Dr. Kernberg's recent studies of the descriptive, structural, and psychodynamic features of problems stemming from pathological aggression with the vicissitudes of their psychoanalytic treatment. Finally, Dr. Kernberg demonstrates the importance of differential diagnosis for effective psychoanalytically inspired treatment of these disorders, providing a rich variety of clinical illustrations.

The book begins by relating the dual-drive theory of libido and aggression to contemporary developments in affect theory. Dr. Kernberg then applies this general theory of affects to aggression, which in its pathological form centers on the affect of hatred. He analyzes sado-masochistic, hysterical-hysteroid, and narcissistic-antisocial spectrums of personality disorders, emphasizing how aggression is structured in each group. Dr. Kernberg next describes and updates the theoretical frame underlying his approach to the treatment of these disorders, outlines their clinical manifestations, and illustrates their diagnosis and treatment, ranging from standard psychoanalysis with infantile personalities, to psychoanalytic psychotherapy with borderline personalities, to the psychotherapeutic approach to the treatment of psychosis and hospital milieu treatment in the management of highly regressed patients. In the final section, Dr. Kernberg links the findings from psychoanalytic approaches to personality disorders with those from the psychoanalytic study of sexual perversions.

"There can be little doubt that this work will be understood and accepted by its intended audience."?Science Books and Films

"Examines the development of antisocial and narcissistic personality disorders in the contexts of object relations and affect theory and discusses current treatment of this and related disorders. . . . A readable and convincing work from which we will reap knowledge for years to come. This book is recommended without reservation."?David A. Allen, Readings

"An interesting and important . . . book by one of the leading intellectual lights in United States psychoanalysis. It is mandatory that everyone in the ever-diminishing group of individuals who practice intensive psychotherapy or psychoanalysis thoroughly acquaint themselves with Kernberg's views and techniques, and there is no better place to start than with a careful reading of this advanced book."?Richard D. Chessick, M.D., Ph.D., Psychoanalytic Books

"Again, Kernberg serves us well. In this volume, he pulls together and brings to a new level theoretical and clinical conceptualizations he has addressed during the past 10 years. . . . Kernberg takes us a major step further in the evolution of his enriching writings. Get his book; he makes you think?and have fun while you work."?Henri Parens, Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic

"This is a book by a modern master of psychoanalysis, written at the peak of his powers. . . . Aggression in Personality Disorders is a masterpiece of psychoanalytic theory and practice, strengthening the structure of psychoanalysis by defending against the findings of other sciences."?Donald L. Nathanson, American Journal of Psychiatry

"The volume ranges so far and wide that it is scarcely possible to summarize it in a meaningful fashion. Its many topics are dealt with in clinical, developmental, and clinical fashion."?Harold R. Galef, Psychoanalytic Quarterly