Presented by Susan Schwartz, PhD
Jung, Narcissism and the ‘as if’ Personality
The ‘as if’ personality is characterized by feelings of fraudulence and narcissistic wounding, bounded by a wall of impenetrability. Like Narcissus, the struggle to connect to himself and others is hindered by a fragile internal structure of perfectionism and dissociation, which eventually collapses. Such patients often present with body numbing, distorted self-image and difficulty with intimacy and relationships. Drawing from myth and clinical work, we will focus on Jung’s contribution to understanding the internal world of these patients and our response to them.
The Deadened Mother
Raised by a depressed and deadened mother himself, Jung turned towards the larger, archetypal world for containment and a sense of belonging. Drawing from stories both personal and collective, we will look at some of the similarities and differences between Jung’s understanding of the Mother Archetype and Andre Green’s theory of the Dead Mother Complex. Both Jung and Green describe attachment situations in which the psyche can become narrowed and fragmented, affecting one’s experience of self and other, relationships and individuation, and each offers a unique insight into finding a relationship to this dark and often lonely place.
Susan E. Schwartz, Ph.D., is a Jungian analyst and clinical psychologist in private practice in Phoenix, Arizona. She has lectured at many Jungian Conferences in the US and abroad. Susan has published several journal articles in Plath Profiles, International Journal of Jungian Studies, as well as chapers in several books on Jungian analytical psychology, focusing on the ‘as if’ personality, fathers and daughters, auto-immunity and Julia Kristeva.