How developing autonomy avoids narcissism

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How developing autonomy avoids narcissism

The problem with development of autonomy for children who are growing up with a narcissistic parent, particularly a narcissistic mother, where the expectation is that the child be highly connected and highly attuned to her needs and her wants. This is also true with the father, although with the mother there tends to be more of a guilt being laid upon the child if they’re not looking after the mom, and this interferes with the child’s own natural need to develop an autonomous self, the capacity to stand on their own two feet, the capacity to think for themselves, to do what comes sometimes natural to them, to develop their own opinions and ideas. So autonomy can be interrupted. Autonomy can be slowed and doesn’t develop naturally or well if the child is highly enmeshed with the narcissistic mother. On the other hand, you can have narcissists who are just so autonomous because they had to develop a very strong sense of autonomy even from the time they were very little, because the nurturing was not available to them, so they had to take care of themselves.

Watch Video: How developing autonomy avoids narcissism by Wendy T. Behary, LCSW, ...


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Wendy T. Behary, LCSW

Psychotherapist & Author

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 The New Jersey Institute for Schema Therapy. She has been treating clients, training professionals and supervising psychotherapists for more than 20 years. Wendy is also on the faculty of the Cognitive Therapy Center and Schema Therapy Institute of New York, where she has trained and worked with Dr. Jeffrey Young since 1989. She is a founding fellow of The Academy of Cognitive Therapy (Dr. Aaron T. Beck). Wendy is also the President of the Executive Board of the International Society of Schema Therapy (ISST).

Wendy Behary has co-authored several chapters and articles on schema therapy and cognitive therapy. She is the author of the New Harbinger Publication (1st and upcoming 2nd edition) Disarming the Narcissist: Surviving and Thriving with the Self-Absorbed. 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. She lectures both nationally and internationally to professional and general audiences on schema therapy, and the subject of narcissism, relationships, and dealing with difficult people. Her work with industry has included speaking engagements focused on interpersonal conflict resolution. Her private practice is primarily devoted to treating narcissists, partners/people dealing with them, and couples experiencing relationship problems. She is also an expert in coaching individuals in interviewing, public speaking, and interpersonal skills enhancement.

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