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Fri, 14 Jun


Webinar workshop

NARCISSISTIC TRAPS AT THE HEART OF THERAPY (When part of me becomes all of me)

This popular workshop is repeated for the 11th time (over 160 CAT practitioners have attended in the past three years). It goes to the therapeutic core of loss and recovery of healthy selves in societies which can be simultaneously enabling, deeply disorganising and narcissistically challenging.

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NARCISSISTIC TRAPS AT THE HEART OF THERAPY (When part of me becomes all of me)
NARCISSISTIC TRAPS AT THE HEART OF THERAPY (When part of me becomes all of me)

Time of Event

14 Jun 2024, 09:30 – 13:00 BST

Webinar workshop

About the Event

What are the ideas? 

  • When part of me becomes all of me.  CAT's therapeutic use of mapping and writing and voice work can show the emotional and relational patterns of coping that become narcissistically inflated or hijacked with a resulting loss of self in relation to others. 
  • We live and breathe narcissism in our cultures, economies, politics and identities. 
  • Narcissism can distort our individual and collective ambitions, achievements and sensitivity to our own and others' feelings. 
  • It shows up in relationships as imbalances of power, entitlement, overvaluation of ideas, crushed feelings and threats of denigration and contempt.  
  • It can be understood and worked with as a variety of emotionally defensive procedures in the face of shame, vulnerability and emotional disorganisation and confused, entangled empathy.   
  • Healthy forms of narcissism (self-assertion, appropriate pride and delight and expression) can get entangled with harmful forms of idealisation, binary prejudice and division.  
  • Whilst the more divisive and extreme forms of narcissism are relatively easy to recognise, even if challenging to treat or oppose, there can be a  narcissistic element to all our coping strategies.  
  • The narcissistic element can trap, divide and thwart us internally and externally. 
  • We lose ourselves in restrictive patterns of relating that can be mapped as traps, dilemmas and snags for our sense of self, agency and identity.  

What can I learn, try out and take away?

  • A broader more attuned sense of narcissism in the relationship within around and between us can help work with the whole self alongside solving therapeutic problems.  
  • The target problem patterns and powerful early role relationships at the heart of CAT therapy can be seen in the context of narcissistic processes.  
  • By thinking in terms of overvalued roles and inflated or deflated ideas narcissism can be demystified and made a more ordinary part of therapy.  We can be better equiped to spot and not join our own and others or society's and organisational narcissistically driven 'systemic' dances.  
  • By locating narcissism as the opposite to relational awareness and narrative freedom the core philosophy of CAT practice can be revitalised. 
  • Participants should go away with new ways of thinking about and working with narcissism in their everyday practice; as well as the risks of narcissism in the therapist, their model of working, their professional role, context and model of working. 

Who is it for? 

  • This half-day CPD event is for therapists and counsellors and people in the mental health professions.  Some knowledge of CAT is helpful.  
  • Participants will try out a series of simple diagrammatic exercises step by step that can be taken away and used in various contexts.  
  • They may find a renewed appreciation of the transparency, simplicity and versatility of CAT as an over-arching framework for therapy.
  • The workshop has had great feedback over the past few years of it being run.  

Steve Potter is a psychotherapist and a life member of ACAT and works as a therapist, supervisor and teacher.   He is the author of two books on therapy.  


  • Fee

    Payment is for attendance of one person and for workshop reading and teaching materials

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