Medusa appears: a case study of a narcissistic disturbance

Perspect Psychiatr Care. Jul-Sep 2000;36(3):86-94. doi: 10.1111/j.1744-6163.2000.tb00698.x.


Topic: A detailed case study of the brief psychotherapy of a college student with a narcissistic disturbance, discussed through the lens of relational psychoanalytic theory and including a description of important interventions.

Purpose: To promote greater understanding of psychoanalytic theory and therapy with a particular young adult population, and to underscore the importance of empathy and the therapeutic relationship to successful psychotherapeutic outcome.

Source: The author's own clinical practice.

Conclusions: The therapeutic alliance is fundamental to the psychotherapeutic change process. Empathy is not just a means to a better healing relationship; it is in itself healing. Accurate empathy within the therapeutic relationship is essential to developmental unfolding, especially where sustained, age-appropriate emotional responses to developmental needs were lacking and an integrated sense of self failed to develop.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Dreams
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mythology
  • Personality Disorders / nursing*
  • Personality Disorders / psychology
  • Psychoanalytic Interpretation
  • Psychotherapy, Brief*