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Understanding Narcissism and High Conflict Personality Styles: A Primer for Clinicians


Everybody is talking about “narcissism”, but what does it do to our clients and how do we talk about it? Narcissism and other high conflict, antagonistic, and dysregulated patterns take a toll on intimate, family, and workplace relationships. It is essential for therapists to understand narcissism and other “narcissism-adjacent” patterns, the impact of these patterns, and tools for working with clients experiencing “narcissistic abuse” or antagonistic relational abuse. This program will provide an overview of these personality styles, their impact on relationships, and an overview of transtheoretical clinical tools that can be used to support clients experiencing these issues.

Participants will be able to:

  1. By the end of this program, participants will be able to: 
  2. Define the categorical DSM-5 model of narcissistic personality disorder, the alternative model of personality disorders, and the trait model of personality disorders with a focus on antagonistic patterns.
  3. Name 3 dynamics which are typically observed in high conflict, antagonistic relationships.
  4. Describe the syndrome termed narcissistic abuse or antagonistic relational stress and the patterns observed in individuals experiencing this pattern in a range of relationships including family, intimate and workplace.
  5. Name at least 3 tools and techniques to work with individuals experiencing this form of relational stress.


  • Dr. Ramani Durvasula, PhD

    Dr. Ramani Durvasula is a psychologist, author, professor of psychology and founder of LUNA Education, Training & Consulting, a company dedicated to providing information on antagonistic relationships for people and organizations. She is the author of 3 books and numerous peer-reviewed publications, and has been involved in national governance in the field of psychology as well. Dr. Durvasula is widely featured in the media speaking about topics related to difficult personality patterns and in the area of mental health widely.

May 8, 2021
Sat 12:00 PM PDT

Duration 1H 30M

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