Afterword: Our Narcissistic Age—or Not


Please address correspondence to: Barry A. Farber, Box 102, Program in Clinical Psychology, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, New York 10027. E-mail:


This brief article argues that narcissism, though seemingly ubiquitous in contemporary American society, is in fact a timeless phenomenon. Current manifestations and favored types of narcissism, especially grandiose and vulnerable presentations, are reviewed; it is argued that milder (“subclinical”) versions of narcissistic phenomena, while frequent in clinical practices, may be overlooked. Treatment recommendations are outlined with particular emphasis on the need for clinicians, even while challenging problematic behaviors of narcissistic individuals, to be mindful of the essential fragility—the terribly injured selves—of this group.