Wendy Behary, MSW, LCSW
Leading Edge Seminars
Live Broadcast Date*:
Thursday, June 8 and Friday, June 9, 2023
Live Broadcast Time*:
1:00 pm – 4:15 pm ET each day
Convert to your local time here
*Can’t Attend Live? This webinar will be recorded and archived. All registrants will be given unlimited access to the recording for a full year after the live broadcast date.
Peeking into the complexities of a client with narcissism can arouse our curiosity as therapists. Treating them individually or in the context of couples work can also arouse our sense of inadequacy and sheer frustration.
Maintaining a firm and flexible posture, understanding our own personal triggers, and understanding the narcissist makeup helps therapists bypass obstacles when dealing with narcissistic clients, thereby promoting a sturdy stance for (empathically) holding the narcissist accountable. In so doing, we can sustain the necessary leverage for healing and meaningful, sustainable change.
But how can we summon up the courage, maintain an empathically attuned state of mind, and effectively engage narcissistic 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?
Exploring the critical content related to early life experience and unmet needs is essential to the formulation of a robust conceptualization and the implementation of treatment. But this can be a triggering endeavour for many therapists when facing the belligerence, self-righteous entitlement, denial, neurotic victimization, and arrogance of a narcissistic client.
Treating the narcissistic client—whether overt or covert—involves meeting early unmet needs, such as unconditional love and acceptance, empathy, and tolerance for frustration and limits. This comes with the challenge of confronting bullying, critical, passive-aggressive, detached, martyrish, and approval-seeking modes.
These clients can also sometimes default into hypersexual activity, such as pornography, cyber-sexual relationships, prostitutes, affairs, or other erotic preoccupations. Intimacy is fractured and the refurbishing of trust is challenging due to the “betrayal trauma” of offended partners and the entitled stance of the narcissist. Healing is possible, however, when leverage is high enough and partners are willing to engage in the treatment process individually and together.
At the heart of schema therapy, we have an approach capable of weakening narcissistic coping modes and internal demanding critic modes. Adaptive responses replace unhelpful ones as schemas heal. Using effective strategies grounded in emotional engagement and the therapy relationship, therapists are poised to correct the biased early emotional experiences typically linked with high demands for extraordinary performance, confusing messages of over-indulgence alongside inferiority and insecure attachments, devalued emotional experiences, and poor limit setting.
About the Presenter:
With 30 years of professional experience and advanced level certifications, Wendy Behary is the founder and director of The Cognitive Therapy Center of New Jersey and The Schema Therapy Institutes of NJ-NYC-DC. She has been treating clients, training professionals and supervising psychotherapists for more than 20 years. Wendy was on the faculty of the Cognitive Therapy Center and Schema Therapy Institute of New York (until the Institutes merged in 2012), where she trained and worked with Dr. Jeffrey Young since 1989. She is a founding fellow and consulting supervisor for The Academy of Cognitive Therapy (Aaron T. Beck’s Institute). Wendy served as the President of the Executive Board of the International Society of Schema Therapy (ISST) from 2010-2014 and served as the Training and Certification Coordinator for the ISST Executive Board from 2008-2010. She is currently the chair of the Schema Therapy Development Programs Sub-Committee for the ISST.
Wendy Behary has co-authored several chapters and articles on Schema Therapy and Cognitive Therapy. She is the author of an international bestselling book, “Disarming the Narcissist…” translated in 16 languages. The Third Edition was recently released and was selected by Oprah Daily as one of the top books on the subject of Narcissism. Wendy has a specialty in treating narcissists and the people who live with and deal with them. As an author and subject matter expert on narcissism, she is a contributing chapter author of several chapters on schema therapy for narcissism for professional readers. She lectures both nationally and internationally to professional and general audiences on schema therapy, narcissism, interpersonal relationships, anger, and dealing with difficult people. She receives consistent high praise for her clear and articulate teaching style and her ability to bring the therapy to life through dramatic demonstrations of client interactions in the treatment room.
Her speaking engagements focus on interpersonal conflict resolution. Her private practice is primarily devoted to treating narcissists, partners/people dealing with them, and couples experiencing relationship problems.