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District Meeting | What is Narcissistic Abuse? And What Can We Do About It? An Actionable Framework for Addressing the Impact of Antagonistic Personality Styles

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It is essential that clinicians understand not just the phenomenon of “narcissistic abuse” (or antagonistic relational abuse), but the fallout from narcissistic abuse (the distress, discomfort, and dysfunction that result from narcissistic abuse). To understand narcissistic abuse means to (a) understand the nature of narcissism and antagonism as a personality style; (b) the dynamics within these relationships; (c) the abusive patterns that occur in these relationships (narcissistic abuse); (d) the fallout of narcissistic abuse and its impact on people in these relationships; and (e) fundamental techniques for working with these clients through psychoeducation, assessment, fostering radical acceptance, and striving for growth. Clients experiencing narcissistic abuse and the attendant fallout may be having this experience in family of origin relationships, long-term committed relationships/marital relationships, friendships, and workplace relationships. This understanding is ESSENTIAL to work with clients enduring post-separation abuse and workplace abuse cases. Narcissistic abuse is the manipulative elephant in the room and this framework can give clinicians an intuitive and actionable roadmap: The dynamics observed in these relationships The patterns that comprise narcissistic abuse The fallout of narcissistic abuse An overview of techniques to bring into treatment Ethical issues in working with clients experiencing narcissistic abuse

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