Healthy narcissism vs. clinical narcissism

Psychotherapist & Author Wendy Behary, LCSW, shares advice for parents on the signs that your child has a healthy or unhealthy level of narcissism
The Difference Between Healthy Narcissism and Clinical Narcissism
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Healthy narcissism vs. clinical narcissism

You might worry as a parent that if you see your child asking for things that they want, looking at themselves in the mirror and twirling about. "Don't I look pretty, Mommy?" "Aren't I wonderful?" "Aren't you proud of me?" "Didn't I do a great job?" Well, you can take comfort in knowing that you are probably raising a pretty healthy child. It's normal, children bring normal, self-confidence, feeling good about themselves, wanting to be recognized, wanting to feel seen and visible, an appreciated for who they are and what they can do and what they can accomplish. It's the excessiveness that we want to pay attention to, be aware if it's excessive, if it rules out everyone else in the universe, if it forgets that other people have feelings and rights too. But this is normal, and healthy narcissism of the child to be able to say, "Look at me, Mommy, don't I look pretty?" and just wanting that moment of connection in a way that makes the child feel good about who they are.

Psychotherapist & Author Wendy Behary, LCSW, shares advice for parents on the signs that your child has a healthy or unhealthy level of narcissism


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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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