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Narcissism, Gender Roles and Psychopathy: Exploring intersecting and reciprocal relationships

An online webinar 

Speaker: Dr Gwen Adshead & Dr Michael Beattie

Date: 18 March 2021, Thursday
Location: Online streaming only (
all our webinar tickets now include complimentary access to a recorded version for 30 days)
Times: 5:00pm to 8:00pm, London, UK time
CPD hours: 3

Online Streaming: £65

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It has become popular to suggest that our social media-obsessed modern world is narcissistic, but it is not always clear that we really understand and agree on what is meant by narcissism in culture and relationships.  At the same time, traditional gender roles are being increasingly questioned in a world emerging from historically patriarchal cultures. At this practical and intellectually stimulating online webinar we explore the intersections between socially endorsed traditional gender roles and our understandings of narcissistic disorders and character traits. Do certain ways of conforming to gender norms generate narcissistic and psychopathic ways of relating to others? And if so, how can we understand these processes better and work more effectively with our clients when these processes create problems in living?

 

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Full Course Information

Dr Adshead and Dr Beattie present and discuss illustrative case vignettes to unpack and explore the reciprocal relationship between strong conformity to gender norms and problems in interpersonal relationships.  What are the different maladaptive ways in which power and control might be transacted between partners in a relationship?  What is the role of shame in gender socialisation and how might narcissism and psychopathy help to defend us against feeling shamed by others?  How can we learn to build trust in our relationships and hold our gender roles less rigidly? Importantly, we discuss how the intersections of gender roles, narcissism and psychopathology present in clinical settings and specifically consider the following:

  • Thinking about traditional gender norms: Although it is acknowledged that there are multiple ways of being masculine and performing masculinity, the way in which men in Western culture understand their gender role is influenced by certain norms
    • We explore these core norms and the ways they influence how boys and men gain acceptance into and maintain their position within the masculine tribe
    • We will also touch briefly on the norms of orthodox femininities to see how a culture of complementary opposites can act to produce a very binary and split gender narrative
  • Thinking about narcissism and psychopathy: Narcissism and psychopathy are comparatively modern concepts associated with ‘badness’ and social undesirability
    • We evaluate the shared features across narcissism, psychpathology and traditional accounts of masculinity
    • We also discuss the function of such concepts in both popular discourse and in therapeutic contexts
  • Exploring intersections: Some of the defining characteristics of masculinity and narcissism appear to map onto one another, so how do we make sense of this?
    • We bring together the two strands of the webinar and explore the intersections and reciprocal relationships between gender norms, narcissism and psychopathy
    • Is there a pro-social aspect to narcissism and psychopathy where traditionally the tribe has needed these traits to be held by members to ensure the safe functioning of the group?
    • If these traits are socially endorsed as norms, how important is it to understand their flexible application?

About the speakers

Dr Gwen Adshead is a Forensic Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist. She trained at St George’s Hospital, the Institute of Psychiatry and the Institute of Group Analysis.  She is trained as a group therapist and a Mindfulness-based cognitive therapist and has also trained in Mentalisation-based therapy. She worked for nearly twenty years as a Consultant Forensic Psychotherapist at Broadmoor Hospital, running psychotherapeutic groups for offenders and working with staff around relational security and organisational dynamics. She is the co-editor of Clinical topics in Personality Disorder (with Dr Jay Sarkar) which was awarded first prize in the psychiatry Section of the BMA book awards 2013; and she also co-edited Personality Disorder: the Definitive Collection with Dr Caroline Jacob. She is the co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of Forensic Psychiatry (2013) and the Oxford Handbook of Medical Psychotherapy (2016). She is also the co-editor of Munchausens’s Syndrome by Proxy: Current issues in Assessment, Treatment and Research.

Gwen was visiting professor at Yale School of Psychiatry and Law in 2013; and also honoured with the President’s Medal for services to psychiatry that same year for her work on ethics in psychiatry. She was awarded an honorary doctorate by St George’s hospital in 2015; and was Gresham Professor of Psychiatry 2014-2017. She now works in a high secure service in Berkshire for high risk offenders with personality disorder; and in a women’s prison.

Dr Michael Beattie is a HCPC Registered Chartered Counselling Psychologist with a research interest in the psychology of men and masculinities.  In addition, he has worked in the field of sexuality, sexual identity and sexual health as well as with issues of gender identity and gender dysphoria.  His book Counselling Skills for Working with Gender Identity & Gender Dysphoria was published with colleagues by Jessica Kingsley in 2018. He currently works as a Counselling Psychologist at the NHS Gender Identity Clinic in London.  Prior to entering the field of counselling psychology Michael worked in marketing communications, facilitating strategic planning and training sessions for clients across the world.

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