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Fri, 19 Jan


Webinar workshop

NARCISSISTIC TRAPS, SNAGS AND DILEMMAS AT THE HEART OF THERAPY (repeated for the 8th time due to popular demand)

Learn how the mapping, writing and voicing methods of cognitive analytic therapy in session can work with micro moments of 'narcissism' as the inflation or deflation of our own and others ideas, feelings, roles and actions. This workshop is limited to 10 participants to give room to get involved.

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NARCISSISTIC TRAPS, SNAGS AND DILEMMAS AT THE HEART OF THERAPY  (repeated for the 8th time due to popular demand)
NARCISSISTIC TRAPS, SNAGS AND DILEMMAS AT THE HEART OF THERAPY  (repeated for the 8th time due to popular demand)

Time of Event

19 Jan 2024, 09:30 – 13:00 GMT

Webinar workshop

About the Event

Narcissism permeates all aspects of contemporary society and 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 operates in our cultures and social systems as well as our interpersonal, group and inner lives.  

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 us and 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.  

Using the process of mapping to compassionately notice, name and negotiate the push and pull of feelings with self and others using the ideas and methods of cognitive analytic therapy can make a real difference to how therapy, counselling and any helping relationships works both in the process of formulating life's difficulties, traumas and losses and in co-creating the micro moments of a healing narrative. Tracking them in the immediate moment can help discuss narcissistic traps, dilemmas and snags more safely and openly.   At the heart of these patterns is a yearning for something special or a fear of something hurtful, strange or unfamiliar.  The overvaluation of roles and the inflation of feelings can be enacted as a defence against imagined and real fragility or vulnerability.   The push and pull between these opposing forces narrowly shape our sense of self and can hijack everyday interactions and limit our reflective capacity.  

This half-day CPD event is for therapists and counsellors and people in the mental health professions.  A series of template diagrams for working with moments and memories in terms of narcissistic traps which are relationally ghosted or haunted by formative dilemmas and snags will be explained, demonstrated and tried out in pairs.   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 and their professional role.  They may find a renewed appreciation of the transparency, simplicity and versatility of CAT as an over-arching framework for therapy.

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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