The term Echo Personality Disorder was coined by British Psychosynthesis practitioner Patrick Hurst, as a replacement term for Inverted Narcissism and Covert Narcissism which later terms place unwarranted emphasis on narcissistic qualities of the personality, which in many of these individuals may not be a feature at all.
EPD is a highly differentiated form of Dependent Personality Disorder, marked by behaviours of compliance and a need to mirror significant others -parents, spouse, friends, employer. Individuals with EPD may be attracted to relationships with individuals showing marked narcissistic traits -people who need to be mirrored or praised- though this in no way forms a ...view middle of the document...
Self descriptions of EPD individuals often relate a lack of self worth, and an accompanying fear of rejection, abandonment, and loss, as a result of feeling \"unacceptable\" to others. These agonizing fears are a driving force behind the above-mentioned interpersonal coping style (mirroring and reflecting others). These individuals protect themselves from rejection/abandonment by acting so agreeable to others, via their mirroring capacity, that chances of re-experiencing abandonment agony is brought to a safe minimum. Others generally enjoy being around the benevolent atmosphere cultivated by an EPD individual. Unfortunately this interpersonal style of relating amounts to a false existence with little or even no true-self expression, leading to poor psychological health, and lack of identity.
One characteristic predisposing background of EPD involves individuals being parented by caretakers who are themselves self-absorbed, narcissistic, or overly punitive. In this kind of environment the child learns that asserting ones true self will be met with a form of (often serial) rejection, to which the child responds by substituting compliant behaviour in place of true selfhood. Such compliant behaviour can then be witnessed as a stable feature throughout the childs growing-up years, with other school children, and within the family.
Depression, smoking, alchoholism, and addictive behaviours all occur with very high frequency in this personalty type.
On a more positive note, EPD individuals are excellent contributors to society and family life; are often perceptive of the needs of others; and enjoy contributing in a helpful fashion. The highly respected religions of Christianity and Buddhism are based on such principles of altruism and charity, and this is a lifestyle at which the EPD individual can be said to be expert. Good traits such as these cannot be written off with a catch-cry of pathology, and if the EPD individual can regain a healthy sense-of-self whilst maintaining these good traits, they have the potential to become paragons of social behaviour.
-Essay based on Patrick Hursts definition of EPD.
Echo: a quote from Narcissism and Character Transformation
by Nathan Schwartz-Salant
\"It has been said that the Echo episode was added by Ovid to a prior version of the myth; if this is so it only more attests to Ovids genius, for Echo admirably represents the feminine counterpart of Narcissus. And she also represents what is found clinically when facing narcissistic attitudes of extreme defensive control. Then the demand for mirroring, the demand that we \"shut up and listen!\" -respect the meaning of this control- indeed reduces us to an echo, unless, that is, we blunder. But otherwise we are indeed controlled…and we have little voice of our own.\"
\"In early treatments of the myth, perhaps up to the twelth century, Narcissus is the main concern,...