Search For The Real Self
While this book is a
From the authoritative expert in personality disorders, Search for the Real Self is a thorough dissection of how one’s real self is developed, how it relates to the outer world, and how personality disorders are understood and treated in our modern society. Masterson show great perspective in statements like "It has been fashionable in some psychiatric and lay circles to blame the mother for whatever goes wrong in development. If blame must be assessed it should be placed on the human condition which requires such prolonged dependence on one individual [to be mentally healthy and balanced] "
Search for the Real Self describes where borderline and narcissistic personality disorders come from and the kinds of behaviors they lead to in adults. It is written more for therapists than those seeking self-help, but the writing is clear and will make sense to a layman. A lot of the ideas are applicable to all people, not just those with personality disorders.
James F. Masterson's undergraduate studies at the University of Notre Dame were interrupted by Army service in World War II. After the war, he earned a medical degree from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. He was long associated with the Payne Whitney Psychiatric Clinic in New York, serving as the head of its adolescent program in the 1960s and 1970s. A trained psychoanalyst, Dr. Masterson was an authority on the narcissistic and borderline personality disorders. At his death, he was clinical professor emeritus of psychiatry at Weill Medical College of Cornell University. He was also the founder and director of the Masterson Institute for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy. Established in 1977, the institute offers psychoanalytic training at its headquarters in Manhattan and its West Coast branch in San Francisco.
Dr. Masterson was one of the first people to bring the psychoanalytic approach known as object relations theory to bear on the study of personality disorders of the self. In so doing, he helped widen the lens through which personality disorders are viewed beyond the classical Freudian one that analysts had favored for decades. Object relations theory was primarily meant to explain human behavior. But in work he began in the mid-20th century, Dr. Masterson came to believe that it also held the key to personality, in particular the origin and treatment of personality disorders. (The psychoanalysts Heinz Kohut and Otto F. Kernberg also played seminal roles in applying the object relations model to the realm of personality.)
Masterson helped psychiatry shift to offer more complex, more effective models in the treatment of personality disorders.
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