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The walls within: working with defenses against otherness

Online Conference 5-11 July 2021

Dissolving the glass walls - psychodynamic coaching with narcissistic executives

Dissolving the glass walls - psychodynamic coaching with narcissistic executives

Healthy narcissism is a good precondition for taking on the hardships of leading, dealing with power and creating change.

Pathological, even more malignant, narcissism, though, presents a thread to organizations, caused by the typical conflicts, object relations and corresponding defenses of the executives: idealization, devaluation, splitting and projective identification. Furthermore, thru shaping the social defenses of an organization, central leadership figures tend to shift the balance of an organization from primary task and reality principle to off-task and grandiosity dynamics.

Psychodynamic coaching can help executives and thus organizations to overcome their narcissistic dilemmas. An important part of this work is to dissolve the specific narcissistic structure and defenses, which could be described as “glass walls” between the individual and his environment, hampering his ability to mentalize his co-workers.

This workshop will provide the participants with the following learnings:

  • Diagnosing the difference between healthy and pathological narcissism
  • Understanding narcissism and leadership
  • Describing the culture of narcissistic organizations
  • Knowing specific strategies and techniques in the coaching process
  • Dealing with the “glass wall” defenses of narcissism
  • Using the often intense countertransference
  • Identifying critical moments and obstacles to coaching
  • Differentiating psychotherapy and coaching goals

The workshop will use methods as short inputs, case material, role play and supervising cases from the participants.

Dr. Mathias Lohmer
Psychologist, and psychoanalyst (DPV/IPA/DGPT), supervisor and organizational consultant (DGSv), member ISPSO and local organizing committee for the Berlin-online-conference, principal of M19-Manufaktur für Organisationsberatung.