James F. Masterson pioneered an innovative clinical approach to the dynamic psychotherapy of personality disorder, based on a steadily evolving synthesis of his own theory and interchange with other leaders in the field. Together with these originating minds, he established greater appreciation of mother-child attachment for shaping the personality -- the basis for the effectiveness of a parallel therapeutic relationship in later healing of early relational failure. Masterson holds that borderline, narcissistic, and schizoid conditions begin when growth of outer relationship and inner object relatedness is inhibited at focal stages of the beginning development of the self. A therapeutic relationship addressed to the specific developmental needs of a troubled personality, he believes, frees the natural progress of the self toward fulfilment. This review of Masterson's legacy cites his later integration of neurobiology as well as attachment theory, and considers inclusion of such post-Masterson concepts as self-state theory. Clinical examples are offered throughout to illustrate this dynamic approach to a therapeutic challenge now at the forefront of today's caseloads.
1. Overview: Personality Disorder and the Developmental Paradigm
2. The Borderline Personality
Case Study: Confrontation of Hysterical [Borderline] Transference Acting Out
3. The Narcissistic Personality
Case Study: A Patient with Manifest Narcissist Personality Disorder and Developmental Trauma
4. The Schizoid Personality
Case Study: The Differentiating Schizoid - Clinical Considerations
Case Study: Schizoid Fantasy: Refuge or Transitional Location?
5. Abandonment Depression, the Triad, and the Developmental Paradigm
6. The Diagrams
7. Masterson and Beyond: Dissociation, Trauma, and Self-States
Part 1: Psychotherapy with a Borderline Adolescent: From Clinical Crisis to Emancipation
Part 2: Integration of Multiple Personality Disorder in the Context of the Masterson Approach