Application Of Kernberg Theory To Narcissistic Personality Disorder

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Application of Kernberg Theory to Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is one of the four personality disorders in Cluster B. These four personality disorders are tied together due to similar symptoms. People with a Cluster B personality disorder are often viewed as overly emotional, self-dramatizing, and unstable. The other three Cluster B disorders are antisocial, borderline, and histrionic personality disorder. NPD is characterized by a pattern of grandiosity, a constant need of admiration, and a lack of empathy for others (Frey, 2012). According to Kernberg and Kohut, the roots of NPD can be traced to disturbances in the parent-child relationship before the child turned three years old (Frey, 2012). However, Kernberg differed from Kohut in that Kernberg believed that NPD was rooted in a defense by the child towards an unempathetic and cold parent (Frey, 2012). This paper will explore Kernberg’s theory as it applies to NPD and its treatment. As well as examine the neurobiology and diversity of NPD.
Theory
A person’s character or personality is made up of various traits (Hertz, 2011). Some of those traits can be adaptive and useful in one situation yet dysfunctional in another (Hertz, 2011). A person is diagnosed with a personality disorder when these character traits become so maladaptive and inflexible that they begin to cause significant impairment in occupational or social functioning or cause subjective distress (Hertz, 2011). As

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