Grand Lake psychologist Joe Burgo pens book on narcissism

Lance Maggart

We live in a self-important age, something Grand Lake resident Joe Burgo knows a thing or two about.

Burgo is a clinical psychologist and author. He recently published his second non-fiction book titled, “The Narcissist You Know: Defending Yourself Against Extreme Narcissists in an All-About-Me Age”, with publisher Touchstone, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. The Narcissist You Know is primarily a discussion of different types of narcissists, as categorized by Burgo, along with discussions on what narcissism means and how narcissists are created.

“The word narcissism gets use loosely,” said Burgo. “People use it to describe people who think a little too well of themselves, or people we don’t like. But from my clinical experience it is much more complicated.”

Burgo delves into the psychology of different types of narcissism, such as the bully narcissist, the vindictive narcissist, the grandiose narcissist and many others. While examining each of these categories of narcissism Burgo also discusses clinical material from his own private practice and ties each category of narcissistic behavior to a particular celebrity who exhibits such traits.

Burgo highlighted the Tour De France winning steroid-taking cyclist Lance Armstrong as a “bullying narcissist” while current Republican Presidential front runner Donald Trump was described as falling into the “self-righteous narcissist” category.

The Narcissist You Know was featured in the New York Times Review of Books in late September in an review that also include the Times review of Kim Kardashian’s recent book of selfie photographs. Burgo will be reading excepts from The Narcissist You Know at the Juniper Library in Grand Lake on Saturday, Oct. 10, at 2 p.m.

Since publishing in late September, Burgo has been traveling the country performing readings from his book and giving interviews discussing narcissism. Burgo was recently interviewed on The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC discussing Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and what fuels his behavior. You can watch Burgo’s interview with O’Donnell by Googleing “Inside the mid of Donald Trump.”

The Narcissist You Know is Burgo’s second full-length non-fiction novel. His first work was titled, “Why Do I do That? Psychological Defense Mechanisms and the Hidden Ways They Shape Our Lives,.

He is currently working to self-publish a collection of fairy tales, which he hopes to have out by March. He is also working on developing a book proposal for another non-fiction book he hopes to sell to publishers. Burgo was cagey about his new non-fiction work but explained, “It will be about the truth of human nature. All of its darkness as well as its goodness.”

Burgo is originally from Los Angeles. He lived and worked in Chapel Hill, N.C., for many years before moving to Grand Lake where he now lives year-round. He has been a practicing psychologist and psychoanalyst for over 30 years.

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