Date(s) - Saturday, June 22nd, 2013
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Narcissism: Inside & Outside the Consulting Room
with Chris Mawson and Pat MacDonald
Use of the term “narcissism” has become almost routine – but what really is it, and how can we understand it better, particularly in the context of a narcissism “epidemic”? Pat MacDonald will help us to think about this “epidemic” by examining the ways in which changes in everyday life have fostered a more narcissistic society. Group discussion will focus on narcissism in relation to issues of family life and child rearing, education, technology and the digital age, old age and death, globalisation, the culture of celebrity and why we are so obsessed with celebrities.
Chris Mawson’s presentation will consider some clinical and theoretical aspects of narcissism. Patients whose minds and relationships are dominated by narcissism are difficult to reach, and Chris will present some details from the analytic treatment of such a patient, in which establishing any kind of convincing understanding was the central problem. The aim is to illustrate something of the moment by moment interaction with the patient to enable us to discuss what might underlie the peculiar and disturbing transactions. In our discussion we will be able to consider the relationship between narcissistic states of mind and the capacity to receive understanding, and to allow the growth of thinking and learning from experience.
Chris Mawson is a training and supervising analyst of the British Psychoanalytical Society and works in private practice as a psychoanalyst. He is also interested in the study of groups and organisations from a psychoanalytic perspective, particularly that pursued by the British Group Relations orientation. He is currently editing The Complete Works of Bion, which will include some previously unpublished work.
Pat MacDonald is a Group Analytic Psychotherapist, writer and lecturer. She is a member of staff at the Westminster Pastoral Foundation and has presented many workshops on different aspects of Narcissism. She has written for various health and psychotherapy journals, and has a special interest in psychotherapy and literature.