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 seminar 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?

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?
CPD Hours: 3

Ticket prices:

Individual ticket for 2 year access: £60

(note: if you face any problems booking online, please call us at 020 7096 1722)