Narcissism and therapy: introduction

Maxson McDowell PhD is a senior Jungian analyst/therapist who has practiced in New York for the past 30 years. He is past board member and past President of the C.G. Jung Foundation in New York.

A lively podcast  by Max McDowell about narcissistic personality disorder, narcissistic injury and therapy (and a written version of the same).


Narcissistic personality disorder is caused by a severe early injury to healthy self-love or self-esteem. A person with a narcissistic personality disorder is unlikely to seek therapy.

But everyone has some narcissistic injury, even if the effects are only temporary. Everyone shows narcissistic behavior sometimes. Injury occurs whenever our self-esteem or sense of self is hurt. We show narcissistic behavior when we lose our temper, or seek attention too much, or take a criticism too personally.

Narcissistic injuries hurt our relationships, our creativity and our career success, and they steal our pleasure at our achievments and our good fortune.

If a mother or father has a narcissistic personality disorder, or if they have less serious narcissistic injuries, then they may injure their daughter’s or son’s self esteem. Therapy can help adult children understand their hurt and heal their injuries.

In the menu of this site you will find several lively articles on narcissistic injury.

Carl Jung taught that dreams and myths use the same symbolic language. With vivid illustrations, stories and podcasts I show that fairytales and legends anticipate therapy. This tale begins with injured narcissism and ends by showing how the injury may heal.

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