New Applications in Treating Shame and Narcissism

March 28, 2024, 1:00 pm – 4:15 pm EDT
Virtual Event
Blue text on white background. Smith College School for Social Work Professional Education. Go Beyond.

Effective treatment of the spectrum of narcissistic injury must include an integrated understanding of narcissistically-driven defenses and behaviors, ranging from:

  • expansive self-enhancement to crushing self-criticism
  • devaluation of others to over-idealization and hero-worship
  • perfectionistic standards for achievement to defiant or flagrant disregard of rules and laws

This workshop will address how these contradictory facets of the self form a tightly constructed defensive organization to keep feelings of shame and inadequacy at bay. Through lecture, case examples and small group discussion, we will begin by examining the three basic styles of narcissistic overcompensation that are defensively-based constructions, comprised of beliefs and behaviors that were created in an attempt to preserve a positive sense of self and maintain emotional equilibrium and self-regulation. Participants will be provided with specific questions to enhance therapeutic inquiry techniques in the service of developing deeper listening and intervention techniques.

To better understand how narcissistic defenses are maintained, participants will be introduced to an integrative Four Quadrant Model, a visual graphic that presents a picture of how narcissistic defenses can be understood from an intrapsychic and relational vantage point. We will explore how compulsive-driven behavioral compensations are not sustainable over the long haul and eventually result in symptom breakthrough as well as episodes of punishing retaliation. Based on foundations in attachment theory, this model and the material provided in this seminar can be applied to psychodynamic and cognitive behavioral approaches with equal facility.

CEs: 3

Learn more and register