Exploring the specific issues and critical content related to sexual activity can be, albeit incredibly important to conceptualization and treatment, an uncomfortable endeavor for many therapists. Add to that… the defensiveness, self-righteous entitlement, denial, and arrogance of a narcissistic client with a hypersexual mode, and it can feel downright impossible to conduct any meaningful exploration.
Treating the narcissistic client involves helping them to get their early unmet needs met; including the need for unconditional love and acceptance, empathy, and tolerance for reasonable frustration and realistic limits. This comes with the challenge of confronting charming, bullying, critical, and approval-seeking modes.
These patients may also default to self-stimulating modes where they become involved in an excessive sexual activity such as pornography, cyber-sexual relationships, prostitutes, affairs, or other erotic preoccupation. Intimacy suffers and relationships can become fractured. The refurbishing of trust is a very challenging but sometimes achievable goal if the leverage is high enough (meaningful consequences) and partners are willing to engage in the treatment process individually and together, ultimately.
At the heart of schema therapy, we have an approach capable of weakening these (maladaptive) overcompensating/avoidant modes, and internalized demanding modes. Adaptive responses replace unhelpful ones as schemas heal. The schema therapist, through the use of effective strategies grounded in emotional engagement in the therapy relationship, is poised to correct early emotional experiences typically linked with high demands for extraordinary performance, confusing messages of over-indulgence mixed with feeling of inadequacy, insecure attachments, devalued emotional experiences as “weaknesses”, and poor limit setting.
About the Presenter:
Wendy Behary with 25 years post-graduate training and advanced level certifications, Wendy Behary is the founder and director of The Cognitive Therapy Center of New Jersey and co-director (with Dr. Jeffrey Young) of The New Jersey-New York City Schema Therapy Institutes. 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 merging in 2012 with the NJ Institute), 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 Institute). Wendy served as the President of the Executive Board of the International Society of Schema Therapy (ISST) from 2010-2014.
Wendy Behary has co-authored several chapters and articles on Schema Therapy and Cognitive Therapy. She is the author of "Disarming the Narcissist...” (New Harbinger, 2013) translated in 10 languages. Wendy has a specialty in treating narcissists and the people who live with and deal with them. As an author and an expert on the subject of 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, and the subject of narcissism, relationships, anger, and dealing with difficult people. Her private practice is primarily devoted to treating narcissists, partners/people dealing with them, parenting issues, and couples experiencing relationship problems.
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Why Schema Therapy?
Schema therapy has been extensively researched to effectively treat a wide variety of typically treatment resistant conditions, including Borderline Personality Disorder and Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Read our summary of the latest research comparing the dramatic results of schema therapy compared to other standard models of psychotherapy.