Register Now

Narcissism, Rage, and the Embattled Therapist: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Work

Thursday, February 27, 2014: 1:30 PM-4:30 PM
Royal Tern (TradeWinds )

Background: Working with narcissistic, rageful patients can challenge the most gifted practitioners. This presentation, interactive and experiential, will address this complex population. Throughout the process attendees will be encouraged to raise questions, and discuss cases and countertransference experiences. Relevant treatment strategies and theories will be included in this presentation.

Content Outline Guidelines


  1. Discussion of narcissism and rage and their relationship to the treatment process and the practitioner’s experiences, thoughts and feelings.

2.       Discussion with group of course direction and objectives.

3.       Presentation of cases, theories and strategies relating to:

              a.  Primary systems of defense.

              b.  Attachment issues.

              c . Transference and countertransference.

              d.  Defense mechanisms and defenses.

4.       Study of the relationship between theories presented and actual case examples, including:

              a.  Distinguishing phases of treatment

              b.  Understanding countertransferences as useful information

              c.  Addressing resistance to talking

5.       Question and answer period

6.       Final group discussion

Eating disorders are widely acknowledged as complex, often perplexing disorders of long duration that impose great demands on the most skilled practitioners in every treatment discipline.  While treatment involves assisting patients to verbalize, manage and metabolize their complex thoughts, feelings and memories, it likewise can be difficult for the therapist to do the same, especially when the patient's narcissistic injuries and rage may dominate the treatment experience.  The painfully anxious, furious or thought-disturbed patient is a challenge. Sometimes these behaviors will lead, not the patient, but the therapist, to terminate treatment

The purpose of this presentation is to address the core of the therapeutic process and the experience of wondering how we will overcome the many requirements imposed on us by the intensely narcissistic patient.  How can we ourselves metabolize the feelings and thoughts induced in treatment, just as we aim to help patient do the same?

There are few opportunities for therapists to talk with skilled peers, to study the experience of the work we do and to relate this to sound theory, fresh strategies and techniques, and our own expectations.  How we conceptualize what we do, how we understand the patient, how we implement the steps of patient care - interwoven with the question of what "being helpful" means - will be addressed in this presentation.  This program will be interactive and experiential.  Attendees are encouraged to discuss their own cases, experiences and questions.

Primary Presenter:
S. Roy Erlichman, PhD, CAP, CEDS, FIAEDP

Biographical Statement Dr. S. Roy Erlichman is a Certified Eating Disorders Specialist, an Approved IAEDP Supervisor, and has served as president of the board of directors of IAEDP. Currently he is a member of the board of directors and the conference planning and awards committees. Dr. Erlichman graduated from the Philadelphia School of Psychoanalysis and completed training in the Department of Family Psychiatry at Eastern Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and has been noted in Who’s Who In The East, Who’s Who In The South, Who’s Who In The World, and Men of Achievement.

See more of: Workshops
Register Now