Michael DeVries is currently Professor of Psychology and Director of the Masters Program in Counseling Psychology at North Park University in Chicago. A Licensed Clinical Psychologist in Illinois since 1988, he maintains a private psychotherapy practice at Olive Branch Counseling Associates in Tinley Park, Illinois.
Some researchers have claimed narcissism has reached “epidemic” proportions in contemporary society. In this presentation, narcissism is discussed as a dimensional trait best considered on a spectrum and not exclusively from the standpoint of pathology. Considered in relation to contemporary culture, narcissistic character traits can form the basis for both a cohesive self and a stable social identity. However, in pathological character types, narcissistic traits serve as the basis for identities permeated by hostility, grandiosity, deception, ideological extremism, and insensitivity to others.