The Relational System of the Traumatizing Narcissist

October 25, 2024

Abstract
In this presentation, Daniel Shaw will explain the theory of the traumatizing narcissist and his relational system of subjugation; discuss the origin of the theory's development; and describe how victims of the traumatizing narcissist can be helped to recognize the nature of the abuse and learn to recover from damage to the sense of self caused by the experience of subjugation.

Kernberg and his associates have focused on defining, diagnosing, and treating pathological narcissism in people they diagnose with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Kohut, on the other hand, focused on the healing of narcissistic wounds that had been caused by developmental failures on the part of parents who had not appropriately responded to nor helped regulate the narcissistic tendencies of grandiosity and exhibitionism in the developing child. Both theorists focus on the patient's narcissism: correcting it, in the Kernberg model, and converting narcissistic disturbances into healthy narcissism, in the Kohut model. The theory of the traumatizing narcissist's relational system  departs from the models of Kernberg, Kohut and many other theorists of narcissism, in that it is centered on helping victims of narcissistic abuse in a process of healing and recovery.

In this theory, the traumatizing narcissist is understood to have developed a manic delusion of omnipotence which is characteristically expressed as shamelessness. He (or she) views himself or herself as perfectly infallible, and therefore in no need of growth or change. The traumatizing narcissist promotes shamefulness in those he seeks to control, as a means of keeping them dependent on himself. In doing so, the traumatizing narcissist is using manic defenses against his own extreme, disavowed and deeply shameful dependency, and finding ways to evacuate those feelings into others. 

The traumatizing narcissist theory provides a way for therapists to help victims of narcissistic abuse by teaching patients to recognize the characteristic behaviors of the traumatizing narcissist, understand his psychology, and use their knowledge to work toward liberating themselves from situations of control and exploitation.

Potential to Distress: No
 

Target Audience

Intermediate

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this presentation participants will be able to:

  • Identify and define the dynamics of the traumatizing narcissist's relational system
  • Identify the significant character traits and behaviors of the traumatizing narcissisy
  • Describe the traumatic harm victims of the traumatizing narcissist experience
  • Employ psycho-education as part of the clinical work of healing self-alienation
  • Implement working with parts in the treatment of victims of the traumatizing narcissist
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 3.00 APA
    The International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
  • 3.00 ASWB ACE
    The International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD), #1744, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. ISSTD maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider approval period: 08/20/2021 – 08/20/2024. Social workers completing this course receive 3.00 continuing education credits.
  • 3.00 ISSTD Certificate Program
    This program is eligible for 3.00 credits in the ISSTD Certificate Program.
Course opens: 
05/01/2024
Course expires: 
12/31/2024
Event starts: 
10/25/2024 - 9:00am EDT
Event ends: 
10/25/2024 - 12:30pm EDT
ISSTD Member cost:
$0.00
Rating: 
0

Daniel Shaw LCSW
Daniel Shaw LCSW is a psychotherapist in private practice in New York City and in Nyack, New York. After many years of psychoanalytic training, he went on to study Sensorimotor Psychotherapy with Janina Fisher; and completed Fisher’s certification in Trauma-Informed Stabilization Treatmment (TIST), which integrates Structural Dissociation Theory, Affect Regulation Theory and Internal Family Systems concepts.

He has extensive experience helping individuals with the negating impact of being in relationship to highly narcissistic significant others; and he has 30 years of experience helping cult survivors to heal from traumatic abuse in cults. He lectures and teaches to professional audiences internationally, and he provides individual clinical consultation and leads clinical consultation groups via teleconference.

Prior to entering the mental health profession, he trained as an actor at Northwestern University and with the renowned teacher Uta Hagen in New York City. He later worked for more than a decade as a missionary for an Indian guru. His eventual recognition of cultic aspects of this organization led him to become an outspoken activist in support of individuals and families traumatically abused in cults. Simultaneous with leaving this group in 1994, he began his training in the mental health profession, becoming a faculty member and supervisor at The National Institute for the Psychotherapies in New York. His book, Traumatic Narcissism: Relational Systems of Subjugation, was published in 2014 for the Relational Perspectives Series by Routledge and was a runner-up for the distinguished Gradiva Award. In 2018, he was honored by the International Cultic Studies Association with the Margaret Thaler Singer Award for advancing the understanding of coercive persuasion and undue influence. His second book, Traumatic Narcissism and Recovery: Leaving the Prison of Shame and Fear, was published by Routledge in 2021.

Available Credit

  • 3.00 APA
    The International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
  • 3.00 ASWB ACE
    The International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD), #1744, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. ISSTD maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider approval period: 08/20/2021 – 08/20/2024. Social workers completing this course receive 3.00 continuing education credits.
  • 3.00 ISSTD Certificate Program
    This program is eligible for 3.00 credits in the ISSTD Certificate Program.

Price

ISSTD Member cost:
$0.00
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