3 Hour Workshop
Traumatic Narcissism: Clinical Challenges with Relational Systems of Subjugation
Sunday, March 25
1:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Location: Salon 12
Daniel Shaw, LCSW
Faculty and Clinical Supervisor
The National Institute for the Psychotherapies, New York City
VALLEY COTTAGE, New York
Daniel Shaw presents a way of understanding the traumatic impact of narcissism as it is engendered developmentally, and as it is enacted relationally. Focusing on the dynamics of narcissism in interpersonal relations, the authordescribes the relational system of what he terms the 'traumatizing narcissist' as a system of subjugation – the objectification of one person in a relationship as the means of enforcing the dominance of the subjectivity of the other.
The author illustrates the workings of this relational system of subjugation in a variety of contexts: theorizing traumatic narcissism as an intergenerationally transmitted relational/developmental trauma; and exploring the clinician's experience working with the adult children of traumatizing narcissists. He explores the relationship of cult leaders and their followers, and examines how traumatic narcissism has lingered vestigially in some aspects of the psychoanalytic profession.
Bringing together theories of trauma and attachment, intersubjectivity and complementarity, Shaw demonstrates how narcissism can best be understood not merely as character, but as the result of the specific trauma of subjugation, in which one person is required to become the object for a significant other who demands hegemonic subjectivity.
Traumatic Narcissism presents therapeutic clinical opportunities not only for psychoanalysts of different schools, but for all mental health professionals working with a wide variety of modalities. Although primarily intended for the professional psychoanalyst and psychotherapist, this workshop will be equally instructive for therapy patients.
The author concludes that it is important to assess trauma clients for exposure to traumatic narcissism, which is often under-reported and insufficiently understood. When applicable, therapists should provide psychoeducation about the traumatizing narcissist's relational system of subjugation as a part of the comprehensive treatment plan.
- Identify and define the dynamics of the traumatizing narcissist's relational system
- Demonstrate the application of a trauma informed contemporary relational psychoanalytic approach to the treatment of the symptoms typical of the patient who has been subjugated by a traumatizing narcissist
- Define subjugation trauma and its clinical implications