The Reign and the Exile: Narcissism and Transference in Psychotherapy


The article describes the characteristics of the narcissistic personality disorder from its first psychoanalytic conceptualizations to the latest discussions raised by the making of the DSM-5. It examines the related literature and illustrates the etiology, diagnosis and treatment of this disorder by using the theoretical model of Classic Transactional Analysis (TA) and, more specifically, of Psychodynamic TA. In particular the text refers to the concepts of dramatic triangle, transference transaction and countertransference analysis in order to help psychotherapists to therapeutically interpret and manage what happens in the difficult relationship with the narcissistic patient.