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Narcissism: Denial of the True Self Paperback – Mar 1 2004


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

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; New edition edition (March 1 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743255437
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743255431
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 14.2 x 1.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 240 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #69,168 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Bell on 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 By Srebrenica Forever on 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 By Sam Vaknin on 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 By "paragate@neis.net" on 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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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 informing the reader regarding narcissism and how to recognize, understand, and deal with it. Ultimately I found I could not force myself further than about a third of the way through it.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By "mr_arch_stanton" on April 28 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
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 with narcissists or who suspect that narcissism might be the root of their troubles. (HINT: If you think you might be a narcissist, you probably aren't.) That said, this is a fun and entertaining read by a well-known name in the field. Dr. Lowen is a bit "out there" at times, he can get very Esalen all of a sudden, but generally this book has good theoretical foundations and will be of help to any clinician who is treating a narcissistic patient.
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