Richard WoodDec 22, 2022
A Study of Malignant Narcissism
Personal and Professional Insights
A Study of Malignant Narcissism: Personal and Professional Insights (Routledge, 2022) offers a unique insight into malignant narcissism, exploring both its personal and professional aspects and constructing a theoretical framework that renders its origins and manifestations more accessible.
With reference to his own family dynamic and to 45 years of professional experience, Richard Wood explores the psychology of malignant narcissism, positing it as a defense against love. The book ﬁrst oﬀers an overview of existing literature before examining relevant clinical material, including an analysis of Wood’s relationships with his own parents. Wood presents vignettes illustrating the core dynamics that drive narcissism, illustrated with sections of his father’s unpublished autobiography and with his patient work. The book makes the case for malignant narcissism to be considered a subtype of psychopathy and puts forth a framework setting out the key dynamics that typify these individuals, including consideration of the ways in which malignant narcissism replicates itself in varied forms. Finally, Wood examines the impact of narcissistic leadership and compares his theoretical position with those of other clinicians.
This book will be of interest to clinical psychologists, psychoanalysts, and psychotherapists, as well as all professionals working with narcissistic patients.
Karyne Messina is a licensed psychologist and psychoanalyst at the Washington Baltimore Center for Psychoanalysis and am on the medical staff of Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland. She is the author of Resurgence of Populism: A Psychoanalytic Study of Projective Identification, Blame Shifting and the Corruption of Democracy (Routledge, 2022).