Excerpt About Psychopathology

Limitation on the Usefulness of Depth Psychology

In addition, this incomplete understanding tends to limit the usefulness of depth psychology to the treatment of psychopathology, when it could be so valuable in supporting the realization of the full human potential. For this reason, in this exploration we hope to extend the present psychological understanding to include the deeper dimensions of experience. Enlarging the view of the self to include these deeper dimensions is accomplished not through an arbitrary trick of redefining the self, but in direct response to an extensive knowledge of the actual lived experience of those whose identities have expanded to include these dimensions. The roots of narcissistic disturbance are far deeper than assumed by prevailing theories of the self. These theories have made possible the understanding presented in this book, but we will go much deeper into the phenomena in question, addressing the question of narcissism at a new depth which takes us past the limitations inherent in the assumption that the self is the same as the self-representation, and the assumption that the distinction is not of critical importance.

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