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Homework assignments in relational psychoanalytic treatment of personality disorders: A case study of a patient with narcissistic personality disorder
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  • Giuseppe Magistrale,
  • Ilanit Hasson-Ohayon,
  • Paul Lysaker,
  • Giancarlo Dimaggio
Giuseppe Magistrale
Centro DCA

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Ilanit Hasson-Ohayon
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Paul Lysaker
Indianapolis VAMC
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Giancarlo Dimaggio
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Homework assignments in psychoanalysis are contentious; some believe they contradict psychoanalytic principles, while others argue they enhance coping skills. We propose that homework can be a legitimate aspect of relational psychoanalysis when used in a way that is attuned to the patient’s experience and that homework may be an important component of treating personality disorders. We present the case of a man diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder to illustrate this: the patient, wrestling with social relations and control dynamics within therapy, was assigned homework aimed at curbing his compulsive caregiving and exploring its underlying motives. This exercise led him to understand his actions stemmed from avoidance of exposing his vulnerabilities. Subsequently, he was able to engage with relationships from diverse perspectives and discover new meanings. We advocate that homework tasks can be successfully incorporated into the relational psychoanalytic approach, fostering self-reflection and facilitating transformative change in patients with personality disorders.
13 May 2023Submitted to Journal of Clinical Psychology
17 May 2023Submission Checks Completed
17 May 2023Assigned to Editor
17 May 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
18 May 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned
06 Jun 2023Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
11 Jul 20231st Revision Received
14 Jul 2023Assigned to Editor
14 Jul 2023Submission Checks Completed
14 Jul 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
20 Jul 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned
17 Aug 2023Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
30 Aug 20232nd Revision Received
31 Aug 2023Submission Checks Completed
31 Aug 2023Assigned to Editor
31 Aug 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
03 Sep 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned
23 Sep 2023Editorial Decision: Accept