A Psychoanalytic View of the Addicted Self

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Abstract

Reviews the book, The Self Psychology of Addiction and Its Treatment: Narcissus in Wonderland by Richard B. Ulman and Harry Paul (see record 2006-09516-000). Richard B. Ulman and Harry Paul are leaders in the Training and Research Institute for Self Psychology, with many years of experience as psychoanalysts working with addictive disorders. More important, they are also former addicts with many years of successful recovery. In this careful and scholarly piece of work, they have undertaken to provide a comprehensive survey of self psychological thought surrounding addiction and its treatment. Their position as major thinkers and contributors in that realm for the past two decades grants particular credibility to their viewpoints. Their major thesis is that those who suffer from the major forms of addiction–alcoholism, drug or substance abuse, eating disorders, compulsive gambling, and compulsive sexual behavior–may be usefully understood as narcissistically disordered and lost in a wonderland of apparent magical potions that ease their distress. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved)

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