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Narcissistic Personality Disorder The purpose of this paper is to di

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the general characteristics and treatment of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). The paper begins with some historical information regarding the condition. Diagnostic criteria and prevalence rates are also provided. This is followed by a brief review of counseling and therapy strategies and techniques for treating NPD.

NPD: History, Diagnostic Criteria and Prevalence

According to Pervin (1990), the origins of psychological thought regarding NPD can be found in Freud's early writings on narcissism. In this regard, Pervin states that Freud characterized narcissism in five ways. These were as: (1) a sexual perversion in which one's own body was used as a sexual object; (2) a stage of libido development; (3) a type of object choice in which the sexual object is chosen because of having characteristics similar to one's own; (4) a type of object-relationship in which libidinal cathexis is withdrawn from external objects and redirected toward the self or parts of self; and (5) a constituent of self-esteem related to the ego ideal.

The pivotal role of self in Freud's early thoughts on narcissism is retained in contemporary conceptions of narcissistic personality disorder which the American Psychiatric Association (DSM-IV, 1994) characterizes as a personality marked by a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and lack of empathy. The APA also states that proper diagnosis of the condition requires that it begin by early childhood and that it be present across a variety of contexts as indicated by five or more of the following:

(1) Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g. exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements).

(2) Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love.

(3) Believes she or he is special and unique and can only be understood by...

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