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Narcissism: Denial of the True Self [Paperback]

Alexander Lowen
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
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Book Description

March 1 2004
NARCISSISM Are you a narcissist? Do you interact with someone who is? Contrary to popular belief, narcissists do not love themselves or anyone else. They cannot accept their true selves, constructing instead fixed masks that hide emotional numbness. Influenced by forces in culture and predisposed by factors in the human personality, narcissists tend to be
• More concerned with how they appear than what they feel
• Seductive and manipulative, striving for power and control
• Egotists, focused on their own interests but lacking the true values of the self -- self-expression, self-possession, dignity, and integrity
• Without a solid sense of self, which leads them to experience life as empty and meaningless
In this groundbreaking study, Dr. Alexander Lowen uses his extensive clinical experience to demonstrate how narcissists can recover their suppressed feelings and regain their lost humanity. By the use of Bioenergetic Analysis, the psychotherapy created by Dr. Lowen, a new possibility of a fulfilling and authentic life is presented for people with narcissistic characteristics and for those who interact with them.

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Narcissism: Denial of the True Self + Disarming the Narcissist: Surviving and Thriving with the Self-Absorbed + Why Is It Always About You?: The Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism
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Product Description


Los Angeles Times Thoughtful and provocative.

About the Author

Alexander Lowen, M.D., is a world-renowned psychiatrist and leading practitioner of Bioenergetic Analysis -- the revolutionary therapy that uses the language of the body to heal the problems of the mind. A former student of Wilhelm Reich, he developed Bioenergetic Analysis and founded the International Institute for Bioenergetic Analysis. Dr. Lowen is the author of many publications, including Love and Orgasm, The Betrayal of the Body, Fear of Life, Joy, and The Way to Vibrant Health. Now in his tenth decade, Dr. Lowen currently practices psychiatry in New Canaan, Connecticut.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I found my self Aug. 30 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I found this book to be excellent because it answered many questions about myself and my past behavior. I have a narcissistic personality and have often wondered why I acted out in such self-destructive ways. He explains how someone's behavior can reveal their true self. This is right on the mark. Everyone has a personality, which is revealed in their speech and their behavior. When someone's speech is different from their behavior, you know they are projecting a false image of their self. People who project false images of their self are naricisstic. Much of Dr. Alexander Lowan's research can be validated by the work done by the FBI's Behavior Science Unit, which was the basis for the popular movie "Silence of the Lambs." Once you've read Dr. Lowan's book, an excellent follow up book would be Journey Into Darkness by John Douglas, the FBI agent who started the FBI's Behaviorial Science Unit. I can truly say, Dr. Lowan's book saved my life and helped me change my behavior and find happiness with my self. This book is a must read for anyone who is in denial of their true self.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and Informative! April 26 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is a very interesting book that deals with a dangerous and destructive disorder. Lowen reveals that contrary to popular belief, narcissists do not love themselves, hence the title of the book Denial of the True Self! Instead, narcissists choose not to show their true selves as they fear rejection. Lowen writes very well and he manages to capture the reader's attention from the very beginning to the end. Not only is this book informative but also interesting and important! The fact that Lowen accounts for his therapy sessions where he treats narcissists makes the reading even more interesting. The section on how individuals compensate for the feelings of inferiority is extremely interesting and it provides an adequate explanation as to why some individuals behave aggressively toward other people. Lowen divulges that people who appear to be strong, untouchable and self-important are in fact weak and apprehesive. I would like to recommend this book to all people who wish to understand narcissistic personality disorder. Buy this book today! You will enjoy reading every single page of it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too Narrow, too Wide Aug. 5 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Alexander Lowen is an authority on pathological narcissism. The book is an overview of this pernicious disorder characterized by self-destruction and lives wasted - both the narcissist's and his nearest and dearest. Lowen observes correctly that narcissism is the outcome of alienation and dissociation. A False Self is created - often in response to early childhood trauma and abuse in its myriad forms. Lowen was among the first to suggest that re-connecting with the atrophied, immature, and repressed True Self of the patient will serve to revitalize it. I don't care much for the bio-energetic mumbo jumbo - but the rest of the book is worth the investment. Sam Vaknin, author of "Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited".
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lowen's Narcissism an Eye-Opening Experience Jan. 5 1998
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Although another reviewer rated this book as a "1", I wonder whether we read the same book. We are, at least, very different readers. Perhaps for an academic, Lowen's discussion of narcissism might seem narrow. However, for the general reader, and especially for anyone who is fascinated (or tortured) by the paradox of self-destructive behavior, Lowen's analysis is revelatory. One does not have to accept BioEnergetic theory in general to conclude that Lowen has achieved some critical insights into the affliction known as "narcissism." Rather than the state of haughty self-absorption it is often made out to be, narcissism is in fact a form of slavery to a false image of the self. The theory that narcissism is actually a symptom of self-alienation, that can be relieved by bringing the sufferer back into contact with those portions of the self that he or she has banished, is most liberating. Lowen makes his points using understated, elegant prose that is more evocative of a collegial conversation than an argument. Highly recommended to anyone who has ever been baffled by behavior, whether of themselves or of a family member, reflecting a combination of gross insensitivity to others, intolerance of personal shortcomings, and a bewilderment at the seeming aridity of life itself. Lowen has gone a long way toward making sense of this suffering.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful and useful information. Aug. 2 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I found this book to be truly helpful in understanding the dynamics of the narcissist's inner world. Beyond that it offers insight into ways that narcissism can be treated. Modern Psychiatry holds that it cannot be treated, only controlled. Dr. Lowen offers hope to those diagnosed with the condition; through body memory release work. This book is a must for those who have a family member diagnosed with narcissism.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A helpful, but flawed, book July 27 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book provides an good overview of narcissism, along with some very enlightening case studies. The introduction is a terrific overview of the whole landscape of narcissism. The book had a great deal of interesting information in it, along with some insight into how narcissism is passed from one generation to the next. The author wrote with a lot of compassion and insight into the narcissist's inner world.
However, I felt that the book was limited in several ways. First, it posits a continuum of narcissistic patterns which strikes me as too simplistic to account for the various ways in which narcissism recreates itself in the children of narcissists. Second, there was a great deal of attention paid to a particular clinical approach which was insufficiently explicated (that is, having to stop and figure out what he must mean when he described various bio-energetic therapy activities distracted me from the main point of what I was reading). Finally, the writing was somewhat wooden and often drew my attention away from the subject at hand.
On the whole, this was a valuable book. It just seemed that the author *almost* wrote a better book, and it's that better book that I really wanted to read.
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Most recent customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I am not entirely in favour of this author's approach to the subject. Furthermore, I found the book to be more about his particular theoretical and practical approach than about... Read more
Published 19 months ago by G Campbell Ellison
4.0 out of 5 stars Let go of your ego, now!
I had a big ego. I use to take pleasure in my success and unfortunately, the failure in others brought me pleasure in some ways. Read more
Published on Sept. 30 2008 by Tom
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply a jem!
One of the most eye-opening books i have ever read. Having read previous revious i must disagree, it is definetly a self help book. Read more
Published on Nov. 19 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for Reseach. NOT A SELF HELP BOOK
This book provides detialed insite to the mind and functions of the narcisistic indivigual. This book is excellent for any student of psychology interested in learning more about... Read more
Published on June 22 2003 by Alex T. Hart
4.0 out of 5 stars Not for the layperson...
This is not made clear in the marketing for this book -- it is written expressly for clinical psychologists and other mental health professionals, and not for people who are living... Read more
Published on April 28 2003 by "mr_arch_stanton"
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not a self-help book...
This is an excellent review of the character of the narcissist, but if you are looking for a book to help you deal with your own or someone else's narcissism, this book is not for... Read more
Published on Feb. 15 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Look At Yourself!
When I first bought this book, I was excited, because I knew that reading it would help me to solve some of my biggest problems, in dealing with people, or more accurately,... Read more
Published on May 28 2002 by Carmen Matthews
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting perspective on the subject matter
The one thing I liked best about this book was that in the first chapter, the author admitted that he has a Narcissistic personality. Read more
Published on Aug. 24 2001 by Diana M. Rodriguez
3.0 out of 5 stars Dry
There was certainly a lot of information and insight into narcissism however the writing style was dry, even for a clinician. Read more
Published on Dec 10 2000 by mefrank
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