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Disarming the Narcissist: How to Set Limits and Hold Them Accountable

Presented by Wendy Behary, LCSW 6 CE Hours

Workshop Description:
Peeking into the complexities of the narcissistic client can arouse our curiosity. Treating
them individually or in the context of couple’s work can activate a sense of inadequacy
and frustration. Maintaining a firm and flexible posture, understanding our own personal triggers –
along with the narcissist’s makeup – helps us to bypass obstacles when dealing with
them, promoting a sturdy stance for (empathically) holding the narcissist accountable. In
so doing, we are able to sustain the necessary leverage for healing, for enduring change.
How can we summon up the courage, maintain an empathically attuned state of
mind, and effectively engage these clients when they’re more likely to defend, deny,
demean, devalue, attack, distract, and charm us rather than cooperate with us and comply
with treatment? Schema Therapy is an innovative, integrative therapeutic approach, originally developed by Jeffrey Young as an expansion of traditional cognitive-behavioral treatments. The
schema approach draws from cognitive-behavioral therapy, attachment theory,
psychodynamic concepts, and emotion-focused therapies. In comparison to “standard”
cognitive-behavioral therapy, schema therapy places more emphasis on self-defeating life
patterns, characterological problems, deep-rooted emotional themes, affective change
techniques, and the therapeutic relationship, with special emphasis on limited reparenting.
Schema therapy is particularly well-suited for difficult, resistant clients with entrenched,
chronic psychological disorders, including personality disorders (such as BPD and
narcissism), eating disorders, difficult couples problems, and criminal offenders. It is also
often effective for relapse prevention with depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and
other Axis I disorders.

Participants will become familiar with (1) an overview of the Schema Therapy model and how to
use empathic confrontation to gain and maintain leverage and avoid power struggles, address
entitlement and lack of reciprocity, access client responsibility, and set necessary limits (2) learn
to apply specific strategies such as replacing self-defeating patterns and coping modes with
healthy and adaptive modes via the moment-to-moment encounters in the therapy relationship;
(3) identify and stabilize the therapist’s personal challenges—our own schemas—a major
obstacle to treatment effectiveness; (4) create customized dialogues that fortify leverage, and
enhance opportunities to access client vulnerability and emotion; (5) facilitate treatment for
partners and for couples, such as helping the partners conceptualize “schema clashes” while
modeling for offended partners a strengthened voice that asks for accountability for the impact of
unacceptable behaviors, and enforces reasonably meaningful consequences (motivational
drivers) for getting needs met. Video / Demonstrations / Role Play / Lecture and Discussion will be

Learning objectives:
This webinar is designed to help you:
At the conclusion of this workshop participants will be able to:
1. Identify a working conceptualization of Narcissism and NPD in schema terms;
2. Apply specific clinical strategies with narcissistic clients;
3. Apply integrated concepts from interpersonal neurobiology -- demonstrated as powerful tools for accelerating treatment effectiveness;