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The Center for Transference-Focused Psychotherapy

Hatred, Emptiness, and Hope: Transference-Focused Psychotherapy in Personality Disorders

Otto F. Kernberg, MD
American Psychiatric Association Publishing, 2023

Hatred, Emptiness, and Hope: Transference-Focused Psychotherapy in Personality Disorders

In this important new volume, Otto F. Kernberg, M.D., of Weill Cornell Medical College, offers an updated vision of psychoanalytic object relations theory, revealing its application to transference-focused psychotherapy (TFP), a treatment approach derived from, and related to, psychoanalysis.

Collecting previously published articles and new material based on empirical studies carried out by the Personality Disorders Institute of Weill Cornell, the book illustrates TFP's applicability in scenarios that include:

  • Schizoid personality disorders
  • Psychotic personality organization
  • Disturbances in sexuality and love relations in cases of narcissistic personalities
  • Inpatient hospital treatment
  • Large group regression in organizational and political settings as a consequence of malignant narcissism

Hatred, Emptiness, and Hope also devotes a chapter to the implications of new developments in neurobiology on psychoanalytic object relations theory, examining the relationship between neurobiological dispositions and their interaction with psychodynamic developments.

Besides offering a detailed look at the application of TFP to severe personality disorders, this book also examines the practice of TFP itself, tackling controversial issues regarding the supervision of psychoanalysis and its derived psychotherapies, the challenges for the future of psychoanalysis, and innovations that may serve to strengthen its role as a profession, a treatment approach and a social organization within mental health sciences.

“In this most recent book of his, Kernberg skillfully synthesizes mentalization-based approaches, neurobiological observations, and psychoanalytic object relations theory with his widely recognized paradigm of TFP ( Transference Focused Therapy) for the treatment of severe personality disorders. He delineates useful strategies for the inpatient management of patients with such disorders and extends his insights to malignant regressions at the societal, large group levels. Working in unison, these contributions produce an illuminating, wise, and highly beneficial addition to our professional literature”

—Salman Akhtar, M.D, Professor of Psychiatry, Jefferson Medical College Training & Supervising Analyst, Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia

“Otto Kernberg is one of the leading psychoanalysts in the world. This volume collects his most recent papers on theory, clinical method, supervision, psychotherapy, groups and organizations, and the future of psychoanalysis.”

—Robert Michels, M.D., Walsh McDermott University, Professor of Medicine and Psychiatry, Weill Cornell Medicine President, Board of Directors, The Psychoanalytic Quarterly, Former Joint Editor-in-Chief The International Journal of Psychoanalysis


2023 • 276 pages • ISBN 978-1-61537-461-8
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