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Emptied Soul: On the Nature of the Psychopath [Paperback]

Adolf Guggenbühl-Craig
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 1 1999 Classics in Archetypal Psychology (Book 1)
Why do psychopaths exert such fascination? From Blackbeard the pirate to Billy the Kid, John Dillinger and Ted Bundy, psychopaths have stirred feelings of seduction and terror. Do eros and morality have some kind of connection with psychopathy? Are those feelings part of something in us that allows the most violent kind in our society to kill easily, or is there a recognition that we too have a touch of the psychopath lurking in us at all times? Yet in the popular mind psychopathy only describes a disorder of the aggressive, antisocial criminal. Here, the famous Swiss psychiatrist Adolf Guggenbühl-Craig revisions this often overworked word. Within this book’s pages he reviews the field, gives an explanation of the main symptoms, suggests an approach to treatment, and then presents a new vision: psychopathy is not so much a deficiency of morality as it is crippled eros. Guggenbühl-Craig also exposes the successful psychopath in business, professions, and politics.

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Emptied Soul: On the Nature of the Psychopath + Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us + Snakes In Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work
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About the Author

Adolf Guggenbühl-Craig is past President of both the Jung Institute in Zürich and the International Association of Analytical Psychology. He lives in Zürich, Switzerland.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By cm1080
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This book is TINY (barely a hundred pages) and it is written in the jargon of psychoanalysis. It's littered with terms like analysand, superego, persona/shadow, Jungian archetype, etc. I wouldn't have understood it if I hadn't taken a class on psychoanalysis. As it is, however, I found it insightful and provocative to an almost shocking degree. The author argues that we aren't as different from psychopaths as we would like to think; in some way we are all psychopaths. He also theorizes that psychopaths feel a chronic sadness, a kind of depression unique to them, because on some level they are aware of the meaninglessness of a life without love. This wasn't the case with the psychopaths I have known. Additionally, the translation from German could have been better, and a bibliography would have been appreciated.

Like many psychoanalysts, Guggenbühl-Craig has got guts. His writing is controversial and not for the easily offended.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Open Letter To Mr. Hillman Feb. 22 2001
By Aragorn
This is a good start! I hope they get together for part two! Mr. Hillman I enjoyed this tape verymuch! But It stoped in the middle of a thought. One tape is not enough!
Five tapes would just scratch the surfice.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended by Psychologists Sept. 2 2012
By Learch - Published on Amazon.com
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This was one of three books recommended by a Psychologist who helped me to understand my wife. This was also recommended by others during that time. She had every secondary trait, almost as if she was the subject of this book. It sure as heck helped me protect myself. Highly recommended.
20 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astonishing! July 16 2002
By Diana M. Rodriguez - Published on Amazon.com
This book is astonishing! It is a simple masterpiece. The author has given an amazing account of different types of psychopaths in the short, but oh so sweet, book.
Guggenbuhl-Craig should write more books. His style is amazing- it is easy to comprehend and extremely intelligent.
I applaud this book and its author. This is one of the best books on the subject I have ever read. Should get 10 Stars!!!
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't be fooled by the cover Dec 5 2009
By Jacqueline M. Seiwell - Published on Amazon.com
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THis book was one of the best written on the subject I have read. I was interesting and easy to read. It is a great book to help you understand the nature that has for the most part only received an evil stamp. Worth having in your collection.
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deep Insight March 11 2006
By N. Ritter - Published on Amazon.com
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This book presents a distinctly different look at the questions posed about the nature of psychopathy, and society's response to it. One achieves both greater understanding, and insight into the importance of individual responsibility and free will, even in the alternate universe of the sociopath.
11 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Out of date with current state of knowledge, awkward read Aug. 30 2005
By Psychotherapist - Published on Amazon.com
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I was more than a bit surprised at the glowing reviews for this book. The awkward writing will tip you off that this is a translated book. And the absence of references or a bibliography reveals a lack of scholarly rigor. I was first struck by a statement on page 68, made with a degree of certainty that is neither warranted nor substantiated by research. Citing the work of Manfred Bleuler, he writes "They do not become psychopaths because their mothers reject them but the other way around." This `they were born defective' theory appears to be derived from his ex post facto observations done at the Burghölzli asylum in Zurich. It is significant to note that his theory dovetails nicely with the work of his father, Eugen Bleuler, a proponent of eugenics in Nazi Germany. (see International Journal of Risk and Safety in Medicine, 4 (1993) 133-148)

Contrast this with the results of several psychological studies ("Becoming Attached", Robert Karen, pg 60)

[...] Levy writing about adopted children who were deceitful and eerily detached; Bender reporting on psychopathic-like children who had been in a series of foster care and adoptive homes; Bakwin, Goldfarb, and Spitz warning about the psychiatric damage done to institutionalized babies [...] they unanimously found the same symptoms in children deprived of their mothers

I did find some value in the later chapters, where Guggenbuhl-Craig details the symptoms and includes references to the "compensated psychopath." It was in the final chapters, though, where he discusses the Jungian concept of the "shadow" and how there is a bit of psychopath in all of us, that I found most compelling.

Finally, I would caution that certainty in the field of psychological research will only come about when we can know the *complete* experience of a human being. Right now, most research (necessarily) relies heavily on the hearsay of caretakers. To claim objectivity from this group ignores the vested interest that they have in portraying themselves as loving and blameless.
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