1st Edition

Taming the Negative Introject
Empowering Patients to Take Control of Their Mental Health

ISBN 9781138584594
Published June 14, 2019 by Routledge
138 Pages

USD $42.95

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Book Description

In this book, Dr. Carol W. Berman describes how to help patients control the self-sabotaging element of their unconscious minds, often called the punitive superego, the negative introject, or the hurt child. The negative introject can provoke horrendous acts against the self, ranging from suicide and addiction to making hurtful comments to loved ones. The role of the psychotherapist is to make the unconscious conscious, allowing the sufferers to take back control of their actions.

Dr. Berman uses case studies to personalize the theory and demonstrate how the negative introject can take hold and impact the lives of those suffering from a variety of illnesses and disorders, including depression, anxiety, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and bipolar disorder. Each chapter concludes with a guide demonstrating how the negative introject was tamed in each case, showing the reader that the negative introject can be identified and then brought into some control.

This book is essential reading for all kinds of psychotherapists, from psychiatrists to social workers and psychologists, as well as all those who wish to identify the negative introject, and help "tame" it.

Table of Contents


Table of Contents

List of Tables

Foreword (by Dr. Phyllis Cohen)

Chapter One: What is the Negative Introject?

Chapter Two: Anxiety and the Negative Introject

Chapter Three: Hypochondria, ptsd, ocd, and the Negative Introject

Chapter Four: Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder, and the Negative Introject

Chapter Five: Psychosis and the Negative Introject

Chapter Six: Personality Disorders and the Negative Introject

Chapter Seven: Addictions and the Negative Introject

Chapter Eight: Denial of the Negative Introject

Chapter Nine: Negative Introject in the Group

Chapter Ten: Dreams and the Negative Introject

Chapter Eleven: Happiness and the Negative Introject


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Carol W. Berman, M.D., is a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at N.Y.U. Langone Medical Center. This is Dr. Berman’s fourth book. She is also the author of 100 Questions and Answers About Panic Disorder, Personality Disorders, and Surviving Dementia: A Clinical and Personal Perspective.


"The creator, writer, and psychiatrist, Carol Berman has done it yet again. Written in such a creative yet practical way, this book is a must for any practitioner who is looking to help patients or themselves understand and move past negativity. The clinical case examples are so varied in terms of the pathologies presented, yet spot on. Her easily broken-down tables and charts make this the best guide for those who are looking to build clinical strategies on a tight schedule. Can’t wait to use these strategies with my patients!"
Asha D. Martin, MD, N.Y.U. Langone Medical Center


"Dr. Carol Berman breathes new life into the old psychoanalytic term, the negative introject. Negative introjects are unconscious, self-defeating thoughts that often stem from disturbing messages received in childhood, which interfere with mental health, happiness, and success. Dr. Berman illustrates with colorful case reports how negative introjects underlie many common psychiatric disorders, such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, hypochondriasis, posttraumatic stress disorder, and body dysmorphic disorder. She describes ways to diminish these negative perceptions with multiple modalities, including medication and psychotherapy. The book includes tables with practical suggestions on ways to counteract negative introjects with positive ideas and behaviors, such as exercise, listening to music, interacting with pets, conversations with positive people, and meditation. Dr. Berman seamlessly blends psychoanalytic thought with behavioral psychology and psychopharmacology in a clear, straightforward manner, which only a seasoned psychiatrist with decades of clinical experience could do. This book is a must read for patients and clinicians alike!"
Barbara Bartlik, M.D., Psychiatrist, private practice, New York, New York; Distinguished Fellow, American Psychiatric Association; Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Weill Cornell Medical College; past President, Women’s Medical Association of New York City


"What an interesting and insightful book! Dr Berman’s Taming the Negative Introject is truly a cogent and a comprehensive guide to psychological defense and confronting the negative introjection in the patient. She does this with wit, wisdom, and profound sensitivity. You know she wrote this book based on her long clinical insight and her service with her patients. This is a beautifully written and organized book with a great reservoir of information and deep sensitivity and empathy for her patients. This invaluable book provides us with the information and knowledge we need to make rational and healthy choices."
Jose P. Vito, M.D., DFAPA, Clinical Assistant Professor, N.Y.U. School of Medicine; Forensic Telepsychiatry, Central New York Psychiatric Center; Director, Medical Education and Training, Outpatient Clinic, Office of Mental Health State of NY; past President, New York Psychiatric Society District Branch of the APA; assembly representative of New York, American Psychiatric Association