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Removing the Mask of Kindness : Diagnosis and Treatment of the Caretaker Personality Syndrome
Les Barbanell
Jason Aronson, Inc. / Softcover / 2006-11-01 / 0765704102
reg price: $73.00 our price: $ 65.70 (may be subject to change)
212 pages
Not in Stock, but usually ships within 2-3 weeks

Character traits may be used as defenses, or, 'coping mechanisms' that may be developed by individuals in an exaggerated fashion in order to conceal psychological conflicts. When these mechanisms break down, previously repressed trauma erupts into consciousness. One such trait is selflessness. Les Barbanell examines the transformation of selflessness into the Caretaker Personality Disorder and how it is not always better to give than receive, that being good can go bad, and that the 'disease to please' can even be fatal.

--- from the publisher


"In his strikingly accessible language, Dr. Barbanell uncovers and elegantly elaborates what lies at the base of many individuals' relentless quest to help, to give, to empathize, and to heal. His investigation of the caretaking personality, particularly in light of its historical and traumatic antecedents, substantially deepens our understanding of the dynamics of human accommodation and its intent to preclude rejection and abandonment. Dr. Barbanell creatively explores and describes the developmental implications of the caretaking personality, who, with help, may strive to reach beyond the mandates and strictures of being-for-others and to restore instead a sense of self in relation to others that is centered on a balance of give-and-receive, eventuating in a more authentic connection with others. Especially compelling is Dr. Barbanell's practical elucidation of the vicissitudes of and necessity for our continuing search for human relatedness and authenticity."—William J. Coburn, Ph.D., Psy.D., editor, International Journal of Psychoanalytic Self Psychology

"Utilizing traditional work on sublimation, the later focus on childhood trauma, considerable clinical experience and contemporary relational paradigms, Dr. Barbanell has formulated a provocative and compelling new personality configuration and disorder. Removing the Mask of Kindness is of general relevance for psychotherapeutic work and has specific usefulness for those who provide psychological care."—Richard L. Munich, Training and Supervising Analyst, Columbia Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research


The Inborn Ability to Protect the Self
Psychological and Emotional Survival
The Benign and Pathological Use of Masks
The Choice of Protective Strategies
From Identity to Catastrophe: When the Masks Fail to Protect
Kindness and Deception
Diagnosis of the Caretaker Personality Disorder
CPD and Other Clinical States
The Psychotherapist with CPD
Obstacles Towards Discarding the False Self
Treatment and the Shift Toward Self-Focus
Observing and Measuring Indicators of Change

About the Author:

Les Barbanell, Ph.D. received his doctoral degree from Columbia University and trained in psychoanalysis at the New Jersey Institute for Training in Psychoanalysis where he is a faculty member, supervisor and control analyst. He obtained certification as a group psychotherapist at the Post Graduate Center in New York City. His published articles are on diverse subjects that include narcissism, selflessness, "emotional invisibility," exercise/sports and mental health, the adolescent sub-culture, psychotherapy with helping professionals and techniques in group psychotherapy. In 1983, Dr. Barbanell received the Jack Krasner Memorial Award from the Post Graduate Center for his paper on "The Management of Narcissistic Defenses in Combined Treatment. He annually leads an eight-week seminar on Relational Analysis for mental health professionals and in 2005 he lectured at the Menninger Clinic on the diagnosis of the caretaker personality disorder. He is currently in private practice in Fort Lee, New Jersey and is a member of the New Jersey Psychological Association.

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