Me, Myself & I: working with narcissism and its pathological manifestations A one-day seminar and discussion with Dr Gwen Adshead Discussions hosted by Dr Jan Hepburn London, 31 January 2020 (Friday) 10:00am - 4:00pm
Narcissism has been described as pleomorphic, a multiheaded hydra with a multiplicity of forms (Gabbard & Crisp, 2018) – narcissistic clients don’t fit neatly into one category or another. While the concept of narcissism has always been of clinical interest, its importance for psychological dysfunction is under new scrutiny. Narcissism as a defence against vulnerability and distress, its linkages with emotional regulation & Attachment security and the neurobiological underpinnings of narcissistic disorders – are all areas of recent findings and research. At this practical and intellectually stimulating seminar, which would be especially relevant for psychotherapists, psychologists, counsellors and psychiatrists, Dr Gwen Adshead and Dr Jan Hepburn highlight and explain how, as therapists, we need to comprehend the spectrum of narcissism – from adaptive to malignant. We need to understand how the conceptual framework for narcissism has evolved, together with the clinical manifestations of narcissism (and its disorders) – so as to able to work therapeutically with its more sadistic and psychopathological expressions. Using illustrative case vignettes and discussions, the workshop explains theories of narcissistic disorders, showing that there is actually a spectrum of psychological dysfunction. Key discussion themes for the day include: The ever-shifting representations of narcissism – when the same behaviour may be considered developmentally natural in one setting but pathological in another The roots of narcissistic disorders and the symptomatology for Narcissistic Personality Disorder Narcissism as a defence mechanism – how the client faces up to vulnerability and / or distress Countertransference issues with narcissistic clients – from the client who looks-down on the therapist to the one who intensely scrutinises the therapist’s actions Ideas about healthy and pathological narcissism and how these are evolving today Clinical manifestations of narcissism and behaviours associated with narcissistic disorders Indicated treatments for these disorders and their problems
About the speakers Dr Gwen Adshead is a Forensic Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist. She trained at St George's Hospital, the Institute of Psychiatry and the Institute of Group Analysis. She is trained as a group therapist and a Mindfulness-based cognitive therapist and has also trained in Mentalisation-based therapy. She worked for nearly twenty years as a Consultant Forensic Psychotherapist at Broadmoor Hospital, running psychotherapeutic groups for offenders and working with staff around relational security and organisational dynamics. She is the co-editor of Clinical topics in Personality Disorder (with Dr Jay Sarkar) which was awarded first prize in the psychiatry Section of the BMA book awards 2013; and she also co-edited Personality Disorder: the Definitive Collection with Dr Caroline Jacob. She is the co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of Forensic Psychiatry (2013) and the Oxford Handbook of Medical Psychotherapy (2016). She is also the co-editor of Munchausens’s Syndrome by Proxy: Current issues in Assessment, Treatment and Research. Gwen was visiting professor at Yale School of Psychiatry and Law in 2013; and also honoured with the President’s Medal for services to psychiatry that same year for her work on ethics in psychiatry. She was awarded an honorary doctorate by St George’s hospital in 2015; and was Gresham Professor of Psychiatry 2014-2017. She now works in a medium secure unit in Hampshire in a service for high risk offenders with personality disorder; and in a women’s prison. Dr Jan McGregor Hepburn has a background in Social Work Management and Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy and is a trainer for the North of England Association for Training in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy. She has been the Registrar of the British Psychoanalytic Council since 2005 and chairs the Professional Standards Committee. She is the author of several papers, most notably those published in the British Journal of Psychotherapy and European Psychotherapy Journal. She has presented papers at conferences and devised and facilitated both seminars and workshops on a variety of subjects to both management dynamics and clinical topics. She is part of the ScopEd project which is the collaboration between BACP, UKCP and BPC to map the core competencies for clinical work. She is on the Reading Panel of the British Journal of Psychotherapy and has a doctorate from the University of Northumbria.

Continuing professional development through seminars, workshops and conferences for psychotherapists, counsellors and psychologists.