Kernberg Narcissism Essay

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All theories of human behavior are not alike because they do not hold equal status in dimensions nor in the depth of research and information that is provided. Freud’s original thoughts for Ego psychology are still prevalent because it is one of the earliest contemporary perspectives that molded the fieldwork to further understand narcissism. From his 1914 work On Narcissism, Freud aligned narcissism with libido theory and stated that it grew and diffused into object relationships. Shortly after, Freud formulated the developmental sequence that included the autoerotic phase which is coined as the primary narcissistic condition. Overtime, Freud viewed narcissism as a widespread developmental process that is continuous through human beings lives, …show more content…

Kernberg believes that narcissism is a defense mechanism against an empty self. Being that behavior is developed due to parental devaluation, rather than overvaluation, meaning the cause of an ‘empty self’ derives from the works of hostile parenting. Kernberg addressed that the grandiose of behaviors that characterizes a narcissistic person, is the defense against the projection of “oral” rage that stems from the individuals’s lack of being able to depend on internalized good objects (Kernberg, 1985). In his work, Kernberg proposes that the background of most narcissists include extremely stern parental figures, who coldly display covert or indifference, but overly aggressive attitudes towards their children. The formation of narcissistic traits and parent to child relations are a result of Kernberg’s extensive research. He believed that “pathological narcissism develops when oral frustration is created by parents to the point that the infant feels intensely hostile, including resentment, envy, and hatred” (Herron, 1999). Kernberg argued that distant parent to child relationships played a part in the development of narcissistic

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