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Given the countless number of notorious political leaders, celebrities, sports stars, cult leaders, brandishing their self-righteously entitled “rules don’t apply to me” lifestyles, or their extraordinary victim-martyrdom, there has been a bourgeoning awakening to popular terms like Narcissist, Gaslighting, Love-Bombing, Empath, Betrayal Trauma and Malignant Narcissism. These terms make a daily appearance on the pages of social media, news journals, and tabloid papers, on television and on radio broadcasts. These terms, once limited to use by professionals in clinical settings, are fast becoming the familiar language of everyday conversation on popular blog pages, and in households around the world.
Narcissism (Et al.) is becoming more readily recognized these days as a means for finally understanding the challenging and off-putting behaviors of one’s partner, lover, friend, boss, colleague, or family member.
Narcissism happens along a spectrum,
from the benignly annoying show-off to the more severely malignant and menacing type, to those in between.
Narcissists fight for approval, control, special rights and privileges, and for the ability to remain emotionally autonomous – for the power to never be controlled by anyone. Their origins usually include an interplay between a certain biologic structure and environmental experiences. They often harbor a great sense of shame and insecurity beneath early unmet needs for unconditional understanding, love, and acceptance, and for frustration tolerance and limit-setting.
Spouses, partners, and others in their orbit often describe the impact on their relationship as (albeit sometimes charming, clever, and heroic) intimidating, violating, lonely, betraying, empty, and for some, abusive.
Confronting the bullying, entitled, and self-aggrandizing states of a narcissist and breaking down the barriers of defiantly closed off emotions is a great challenge for the weary significant other who carries a wounded heart, triggered emotions, self-doubt, and a limited understanding of the complicated architecture of this personality. But even with an emotionally sturdy and professionally trained clinical mind, and a well-stocked reservoir of tools and resources, it is also one of the greatest challenges for the clinician in the treatment room.
What will you learn?
Participants will learn to:
What will this event be about?
Read the abstract of the event
The Wisdom of Empathy in an Era of Narcissism
“Empathy”, a somewhat misunderstood and misused word can push the buttons of many who struggle to experience it in their relationships with these charming and emotionally chafing megalomaniacs. Can empathy it be learned? Does it have real value? Isn’t empathy just another word for sympathy or compassion? How can one have empathy for a narcissist? Can a narcissist experience what is happening inside another person’s skin?
Some of the greatest thinkers and communicators, i.e., journalists, psychologists, researchers, political analysts, anthropologists, even wordsmiths, are investigating the empathy phenomenon — from mirror neurons to moral consciousness – attempting to explain its etiology, agency, and utility.
Most clinical experts agree that healthy adult development is contingent upon a parent or caregiver providing “attuned emotional connection” and unconditional love to their young child. When this need is not adequately met, the experience of feeling misunderstood, invisible, meaningless, lonely…even ashamed, can lead to painfully inscribed themes about self and self-defeating life patterns.
The wisdom of an empathically attuned mind can lead to emotional relief via removal of self-blame, with a focus on effective confrontations, limit-setting, and personal transformation; and sometimes (not always) it compels us towards compassion, tolerance, acceptance, and forgiveness.
The need to be seen, to feel “gotten”, is a highly underestimated human need, perhaps one of the most powerful and necessary elements for healthy adult development and the cultivation of empathic awareness. Being empathic means being in a state of understanding (not necessarily agreeing). It is a state whereby we puzzle piece together a picture, a story– one that helps us to “feel” the experience or internal world of another. We become emotionally, intellectually, and physically engaged in making sense out of what we see, hear, and experience, whether it’s the actor in the movie, the loved one standing before us, or the person in the mirror. This sensory sensibility lights a path to clarity and truth, thus unburdening us of misappropriated responsibility, blame, toxic anger, shame, helplessness, and guilt.
Identifying and Addressing Comorbidity: Narcissistic Personality Disorder / Borderline Personality Disorder.
Did you know that according to a 2008 epidemiological study involving 35,000 face-to-face interviews, about 40% of the people with a narcissistic personality disorder also have either borderline personality disorder or the traits of that disorder?
Well, now you do.
For clinicians who specialize in Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), the implications of this preliminary finding are profound. In this workshop, Randi Kreger, the bestselling author of four books about Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), will illustrate what you need to know about BPD, how it is similar to NPD, and how it is different; as well as alternate comorbid PD’s. She will share the three top indicators of differentiation that will assist clinicians in their assessments and treatment formulations. You will also receive a list of resources for both laymen and clinical professionals.
Randi will offer a broad-brush look at the major interpersonal challenges for family members. Participants will learn about the impact on and treatment implications for parents, partners, adult children, and siblings; those sharing common denominators such as grief, stress, and trauma. With this knowledge, participants can transform the quality of their care and their treatment outcome for those with NPD/BPD and their families.
Unraveling the Destructive Narcissistic Pattern
The presentation will describe the pattern of behaviors and attitudes that comprise a Destructive Narcissistic Pattern conceptualized as a subclinical category for the DSM Narcissistic Personality Disorder. The author conceptualizes narcissism as self-esteem and developmental along a continuum using the theories proposed by Klein, Mahler and Kohut among others. While individuals may exhibit some of the diagnosable behaviors and attitudes, the ones described in the presentation tend to be fewer in number and less intense but are still troubling to others and to their relationships. Also described are types, the impact of their behaviors and attitudes on others, and how to build healthy adult narcissism (HAN).
Slay the Bully: How to Negotiate with Narcissists and Win
Many people think that it is impossible to negotiate with narcissists but that is not true. Through Rebecca Zung’s background, knowledge and experience in dealing with narcissists as an attorney, she has been able to develop the specific strategies and a proven game plan that she will share that will allow people to lead the conversation so that they feel empowered and equipped to go on the offensive instead of always being on the defensive. The audience will come away feeling convinced that it is possible to be the victor instead of the victim – without backlash – feeling courageous – so that they can be to direct the outcome and get the resolutions they want
Treating Narcissistic Personality Disorder today as we understand its psychopathology
We have now options and strategies to better treat patients with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. In particular, clinicians need to target five domains of pathological narcissism:
maladaptive self–other schemas;
poor self-reflection and intellectualizing;
poor theory of mind and empathy.
Against this background, I offer specific treatment suggestions that can be applied in an integrative spirit and are formulated in a way that lends them to empirical investigation.
In particular, Giancarlo Dimaggio will describe how to:
promote self-reflection and reduce intellectualizing; promote awareness of being guided by schemas; sustain agency and goal directed behavior, in particular in domains unrelated to social rank; form new and more benevolent representations of self and others. He will also explain why promoting empathy for the others is not helpful when done too early in therapy. Finally, he will describe clinical vignettes in order to help participants figure out what is likely to deteriorate treatment on the one hand, and what possibly works on the other hand.
Latest Findings in the Science and Research on Narcissism
Scientific research into narcissism has exploded over the last several decades. In this talk, Keith Campbell will present an overview of this progress. He will focus on the two faces of narcissism, grandiose and vulnerable, and how those are grounded in three basic personality traits. He will then highlight several social consequences of narcissism, from social media to leadership, and how the different aspects of narcissism play a role.
Betrayal Trauma, Betrayal Blindness and why being a Whistleblower is the Worst Job in the World
For 12 years I had been ‘following my destiny’ of making the world a better place – mentored by Keith Raniere. Someone I believed to be a highly intelligent, deeply empathic human-behaviour scientist. I was convinced this man was the rarest example of greatness and nobility in human form. A model of who I most wanted to become. In April 2017, I went through the shocking and torturous experience of waking up to the profound betrayal that he was in fact a cruel and delusional malignant narcissist and the organization was a trojan horse for his depraved need for control and psychological warfare on well-meaning seekers. For many years I had trusted him implicitly. My world was upside down and inside out. My most cherished values of goodness and honor had been tainted and I felt as though my soul had been raped. Adrift in sea of uncertainty and floundering under the collapse of my psyche; myself and a few brave whistleblowers went to war against him and his loyalists.
In court his lawyers would employ every abusive tactic possible, leading me to understand DARVO (Deny, Attack, Reverse Victim and Offender) This 3-year battle, which culminated in 6 indictments and a 120-year prison sentence for Raniere, I was immersed in self-examination. What had happened to me? Is the human psyche really THAT malleable? Why are these malignant pathologies and patterns of abuse barely understood in general society? In the course of this war I begun feverishly studying narcissism and narcissistic abuse. Most infuriating was Raniere’s victim’s refusal to see what was right on front of them – in plain sight. They were deeply trauma bonded to a maniac. Why were the very people we were trying to save, protecting this malignant narcissist and directing all their hatred at us whistleblowers? I was the target of a relentless smear campaign and every attempt was made by them to make sure that information I was sharing was censored and suppressed. So was born my interest in the structure and operations of gaslighting, triangulation, smear campaigns, trauma bonding, betrayal blindness, betrayal trauma and covert narcissism. While not a psychologist or an expert in this field, I am an expert in having gone through this experience and am able to give an eyewitness account as to the journey. My studies have helped me emerge from hell into a deeper understanding of self than I have ever had.
Co-Parenting with a Narcissist
Most of us believe that our romantic partner will be our dearest friend and ally. Sadly, there are times when we discover that he or she is a narcissist, making it difficult to resolve even the most common disagreements. Marriage or partnership with someone who is highly self-absorbed can be heart-breaking, especially when children are involved. Partners (and children) of narcissists may be subjected to demeaning and bullying behavior. They may struggle to cope with a need for constant attention and admiration.
Partners are usually blamed when things go wrong and are frequently the target of the narcissist’s rage. Remorse and apologies are typically non-existent because the narcissistic wound makes it impossible to admit wrong-doing; their self-image must be impeccable.
These behaviors can have significant impact on children who thrive in the presence of a loving, attuned parent. Children who grow up with a narcissistic parent may feel unworthy of love, focus on gaining self-worth exclusively through their achievements, or be perpetually drawn toward roller-coaster relationships filled with drama.
In this presentation, author and family therapist Susan Stiffelman will offer strategies to set clear boundaries without inciting adult temper tantrums, diffuse tense situations, and help children understand that they are not the cause of the narcissist’s demeaning, unpredictable, or disappointing behavior.
Susan understands the challenges and complexities that come with parenting with a highly self-absorbed partner, delivering regular support n a monthly membership program on Co-Parenting with a Narcissist with Wendy Behary.
About the Speaker
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* If different types of credits are available (ECM, CPD and CE), please choose them according to your needs.
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