1st Edition

Echoism The Silenced Response to Narcissism

By Donna Christina Savery Copyright 2018
    196 Pages
    by Routledge

    196 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book introduces the importance of echoism as a clinical entity and a theoretical concept. In Ovid's version of the myth of Echo and Narcissus, the character Echo receives equal attention to her counterpart, Narcissus, yet she has been completely marginalised in the pervasive literatures on narcissism.

    The author draws upon her work with patients who have experienced relationships with narcissistic partners or parents, and have developed a particular configuration of object relations and ways of relating for which she uses the term echoism. She uses psychoanalytic theory and existential philosophical ideas to underpin her formulations and inform her clinical thinking.

    Donnna Savery explores the question 'Am I an Echoist?' and introduces the concept of Echoism in the following YouTube video: 


    FOREWORD by ALICE HOLZHEY-KUNZ INTRODUCTION SECTION ONE: IMPORTANT THEORIES IN UNDERSTANDING ECHOISM CHAPTER ONE: The Myth of Echo and Narcissus: Deconstructing dominant readings CHAPTER TWO: Adam’s Rib: A Psychoanalytic approach to Understanding Echoism CHAPTER THREE: To Be or not to Be: An Existential approach to Understanding Echoism SECTION TWO : Types of Echoism CHAPTER FOUR: Chimeras and Chameleons: The Defensive echoist CHAPTER FIVE: Hosts and Henchmen: The Self-destructive echoist SECTION THREE: Over-valued ideas, God Objects and Faith CHAPTER SIX: Mistaken Identity or What you Will: Internal voices, Narcissistic Objects and the Echoist CHAPTER SEVEN: Hera’s Curse - Faith and Reason, a complex paradox SECTION FOUR: A dynamic understanding of an Echoistic-Narcissistic Complex CHAPTER EIGHT: Characters in search of an author: Echoistic Narcissistic Complexes and group dynamics CHAPTER NINE: Is there anybody in there: The Therapist as Echoist SECTION FIVE: Conclusions and Future Directions CHAPTER TEN: Prometheus’ Fire: Being and Becoming: An approach to Treatment


    Donna Christina Savery is a psychotherapist and group therapist in private practice in Buckinghamshire and Harley Street, London. At Exeter University she carried out research for her M.A. which involved working with schizophrenic patients using drama and myth, an experience which sparked a lifelong interest in psychotherapy and psychoanalysis. Following a career as a theatre director and academic, she retrained in 2010 as an existential therapist, beginning her career at MIND.

    She is a group work practitioner, having studied at the Institute of Group Analysis, and is currently undergoing training in Daseinsanalysis, an integrated form of psychoanalysis and existentialism.

    Her clinical work combines different aspects of these trainings and she is never far away from her drama roots in her understanding and approach to working with her patients.

    ‘This book refocuses the Narcissus myth in a compelling way that illuminates and extends our views of narcissism as a personality trait and as a clinical disorder. Donna Christina Savery brings to Ovid’s story a theatrical director's eye and a psychologically informed imagination that draws on existential and psychoanalytic writings to explore the complementary female partnership of male narcissism. It splendidly combines literary intuition and a clinical sense of personal development and inter-personal relationships. For anyone with a professional interest in psychodynamic marital work and couple relationships her concept of ‘Echoism’ is invaluable; for anyone who finds life interesting and art illuminating it is fascinating and stimulating; for those with a psychotherapeutic, clinical, practice it is eye opening.’-Dr. Ronald Britton, Fellow Royal Society of Psychiatrists and Distinguished Fellow British Psychoanalytic Society

    ‘The idea of Echoism, with its potential to tell the other side of such a powerful story (and human dynamic) seems at first so blatantly obvious that I am incredulous that it has been so neglected. This book illuminates a truth about human relationships (therapeutic and otherwise) that has, until now, been hidden in plain sight. Practitioners of all theoretical persuasions should be encouraged to engage with Echo, and all that she has to tell us about ourselves, our clients and our society.’-Dr Susan Iacovou, Chartered Counselling Psychologist and author of Existential Therapy: 100 Key Points

    ‘In her original re-visitation of the Greek myth of Narcissus, psychotherapist Donna Christina Savery offers us here a convincing shift of emphasis to the ‘other’ dramatis persona, the nymph Echo. Left by most conventional readings, psychoanalytic ones included, in the shadow of the beautiful man she is in love with, Echo finds here her due voice, supported by literary and existential-philosophical considerations, in analytic theory and in its therapeutic applications. Described in detail by Savery, and illustrated by relevant clinical vignettes, the phenomenology of the resulting condition of ‘Echoism’, whose prominent feature is ‘an absence of a self… most apparent in the absence of a voice’, deserves our serious consideration.’-Andrea Sabbadini, Fellow of the British Psychoanalytical Society, Director of the European Psychoanalytic Film Festival; author of Moving Images (2014) and Boundaries and Bridges (2014)