Cover image for Passive-aggression : a guide for the therapist, the patient, and the victim
Passive-aggression : a guide for the therapist, the patient, and the victim
Kantor, Martin.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Praeger, 2002.
Physical Description:
xxvi, 204 pages ; 24 cm
The passive-aggressive patient. Making the diagnosis -- Anger and anger styles -- Causes of anger-- Indirect anger- its manifestations -- Developmental and defensive aspects of anger restraint -- Cognitive-behavioral, interpersonal, and biological aspects of indirct hostility -- Pseudopassive-aggressives -- The interaction between passive-aggression and victim. The pathognomonic effect of passive-aggression on the victim -- Pseudovictims -- Sadomasochism and passive-aggression -- Therapy. Psychodynamic psychotherapy -- Supportive/directive therapy -- Cognitive therapy --Interpersonal therapy -- Transference and countertransference issues -- Treatment of victims of passive-aggression -- Treatment of sadomasochistic interactions.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
RC569.5.P37 K36 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



With absorbing detail and deftness, Kantor gives clinical descriptions of the dynamics in this overlooked syndrome: Passive-Aggressive Personality Disorder. It is a syndrome rooted in poorly suppressed, thinly disguised, and indirectly unleashed anger. This volume presents a scientifically based approach to the patient that will help him or her deal with anger in a healthier, and sometimes life-saving, way.

An eclectic approach--including psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, and interpersonal techniques--is used to answer the two most important questions of passive-aggression: Why is the passive-aggressive so angry? And why cannot he or she express the anger more directly? Therapists can also use this approach to help the victims of passive-aggression and minimize the suffering that occurs in relationships with these difficult people.

Author Notes

Martin Kantor , MD is a Harvard psychiatrist who has been in full private practice in Boston and New York City, and active in residency training programs at several hospitals, including Massachusetts General and Beth Israel in New York. He also served as Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai Medical School and as Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey--New Jersey Medical School. He is currently a full-time medical author, the author of more than a dozen other books, including Homophobia, Second Edition (Praeger 2009); Uncle Sam's Shame: Inside the Veteran's Administration (Praeger 2008); Lifting the Weight: Understanding Depression in Men: Its Causes and Solutions (Praeger 2007); The Psychopathy of Everyday Life: How Antisocial Personality Disorder Affects All of Us (Praeger, 2006); Understanding Paranoia: A Guide for Professional, Families, and Sufferers (Praeger 2004); Distancing: Avoidant Personality Disorder, Revised and Expanded (Praeger, 2003), Passive-Aggression: A Guide for the Therapist, the Patient, and the Victim (Praeger, 2002), Treating Emotional Disorder in Gay Men (Praeger, 1999), and Homophobia (Praeger, 1998).

Reviews 1

Choice Review

A form of concealed hostility directed toward others and occasionally the self, passive-aggression (P-A) is a familiar clinical construct. People with P-A do not know how to express anger directly or appropriately, but whether their condition constitutes a true personality disorder is still debated. This lack of clarity makes P-A controversial among therapists: some treat it as an identifiable and pathological disorder, whereas others label it a negative trait or even a defense mechanism. Kantor, a practicing psychiatrist, believes the controversy exists because P-A is "elusive ... difficult to identify, let alone describe, understand, and cure." He points out that it is dynamic and interactive, not one style of anger but several, posing problems for patients who have it, victims (family, friends, coworkers, occasional strangers) who encounter it, and therapists who try to treat it. People with P-A isolate themselves while hurting others, the bystanders who unknowingly provoke attacks. According to Kantor, therapists must tread lightly, if strategically, fitting technique to the style of P-A manifested by patients. Though this fine book, filled with illustrative profiles and case studies, will primarily interest practitioners, researchers, and graduate students in psychiatry or clinical psychology, it may also prove useful at the upper-division undergraduate level. D. S. Dunn Moravian College

Table of Contents

Introductionp. xi
Part I The Passive-Aggressive Patient
1 Making the Diagnosisp. 3
2 Anger and Anger Stylesp. 13
3 Causes of the Angerp. 21
4 Indirect Anger--Its Manifestationsp. 33
5 Developmental and Defensive Aspects of Anger Restraintp. 51
6 Cognitive-Behavioral, Interpersonal, and Biological Aspects of Indirect Hostilityp. 67
7 Pseudopassive-Aggressivesp. 83
Part II The Interaction between Passive-Aggressive and Victim
8 The Pathognomonic Effect of Passive-Aggression on the Victimp. 89
9 Pseudovictimsp. 101
10 Sadomasochism and Passive-Aggressionp. 103
Part III Therapy
11 Psychodynamic Psychotherapyp. 115
12 Supportive/Directive Therapyp. 125
13 Cognitive Therapyp. 135
14 Interpersonal Therapyp. 139
15 Transference and Countertransference Issuesp. 147
16 Treatment of Victims of Passive-Aggressionp. 161
17 Treatment of Sadomasochistic Interactionsp. 183
Bibliographyp. 187
Indexp. 191