Our Relational Selves Narcissistic Wounding and CAT - offered by CAT South West
8th December 2017

This event is Fully Booked.

WARNING! This event has passed.

CAT South West CPD Event
Exeter Community Centre
Friday 8th December 2017 - 9.30am - 4.30pm


Our Relational Selves, Narcissistic Wounding and CAT:
An embodied and theoretical exploration

Facilitated by Tim Sheard
CAT psychotherapist and trainer

This workshop will interweave experiential exercises around our experience with particular clients, group dialogue, CAT theory/diagrams and contributions from Winnicott and other models.

Narcissus is trapped in his own reflection, it is as if much of narcissism is about ‘self-image’, something stuck in and continually recycled in an isolated mind rather than anchored in feeling relationship.  We will begin to explore how this position can be interrupted through engaging with and through our embodied presence and how our relational hearts may mediate qualities and capacities of human feeling that lift us out of narcissistic procedures. 

This experiential work will be linked into theory:  CAT understands the self as a collection of voices or reciprocal roles of varying degrees of integration.  Our identifications shift in different contexts but if we are not too dissociated we have some sense of a continuity of a sense of self.  This sense of ‘self’ is seen to be relationally constructed, it is as if our self is formed in relationship with others and also in how sensitively we are introduced by our carers to non-human aspects of ‘reality’.  If things go well enough this is then integrated or internalised into ‘self to self’ capacities and we can feel a sufficient sense of a self that belongs and has its valid enough place with people and in the world and is supported by a ‘natural’ capacity to love, be loved, join in and contribute to life. 

In narcissistic wounding our sense of self is distorted such that there is a feeling of not being good enough, empty, a void, unworthy, not belonging, perhaps feeling meaningless, empty or void-like inside, or indeed bad, disgusting and hateful. Our experience of our ‘personal self’ is not a resource but instead is experienced as problematic or even traumatic.  Our more authentic or ‘real’ sense of self is consequently either felt not to exist or is withheld from relationship to varying degrees and replaced or fronted by a striving, coping ‘false self’. 

We will explore CAT reformulations of narcissistic wounding: ranging from the sense of not being seen or attuned to, to not feeling loved or valued for who one is, being ‘used’ by carers to prop up their own fragile sense of self, through to the annihilating experience of sustained parental hatred.  In order to try and manage this there may be a split off attempt at identifying with a special admired self, (cut off from love and demanding that others carry pain and vulnerability) or we may identify with a sense of failure, of being nothing, never good enough and inherently unlovable.  This can be understood as a wound to our humanity, to our capacity to share love, a wound of the heart.  The same time this presents very particular and sometimes very difficult challenges to forming an authentic feeling therapeutic relationship. We will begin to explore simple embodiment exercises that may support us as therapists in creatively meeting this challenge.

There may be a cultural dimension to narcissistic wounding:  most if not all of us in western cultures seem to carry some sense of intrinsic shame about ourselves.  Narcissism touches profound questions about our sense of identity and being.

The facilitator: Tim Sheard qualified as a CAT psychotherapist in 1997, has a background in medicine, and has trained in body psychotherapy, transpersonal and constellations work. Nowadays his teaching focuses on embodiment as a creative resource in mediating the therapeutic relationship and therapist self-care. This is described in the summer 2017 edition of ‘Reformulation’.

Refreshments provided, please advise dietary requirements when booking.

For further information about this event please contact Yvonne Stevens: yjs@pobox.com

How to book

  • Book and pay by personal credit or debit card online instantly via this webpage (scroll down to Book Now below)
  • By email attaching the booking form with invoicing information (downloadable below) to:  alison.marfell@acat.me.uk
  • By post enclosing the booking form (downloadable below) with full invoicing information or a cheque to:  ACAT, PO Box 6793, Dorchester, DT1 9DL 

Terms and Conditions

Please click on this link for our Terms and Conditions


Details and Booking Information

8th December 2017

You can book this event online if you are registered or logged into this site. Click here to register or log in using the boxes at the top of this page.

Our Next 7 CPD Events

View all courses

13-04-18 CAT Research Conference - a joint ACAT & Catalyse eventEncouraging to Engaged ~ A one-day research conference for CAT Practitioners #CATres18 Date: Friday 13th April 2018 Time: 9.30am to 4.30pm Venue: Manchester Conference Centre, Sackville Street, Manchester M1 3BB Flyer & programme now avai...

25-04-18 Unmet needs and Unmanageable Feelings: CAT in Action - offered by South Wales CAT Training LtdUnmet Needs and Unmanageable Feelings: Cognitive Analytic Therapy in Action Jason Hepple, CAT Psychotherapist and Trainer and the former chair of ACAT, presents a day for CAT practitioners, CAT trainees and others interested in CAT. In the morning, ...

27-04-18 Mapping Mortality in CAT - offed by NECATNECAT (North East Cognitive Analytic Therapy) Mapping mortality in CAT 1-day workshop led by Mandy Wildman, Friday 27th April 2018, 9.30am – 4.30pm To explore the ways in which we can work with the difficult conversations about mortality in ...

12-05-18 CAT and helping clients with unmanageable feelings - offered by CAT SouthTo be held in Romsey, Southampton Presented by Dahlia Maslin This one-day workshop will cover the following: Introduction to personality disorder, including a discussion around the recent British Psychological Society publication: 'The Power T...

22-05-18 Life is about collecting stories - offered by Collaborate#CATnarr18 Life is about collecting stories - what do yours say? A one-day workshop exploring the use of ideas from Narrative Therapy to add a new richness to your practice of Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) Narrative therapy This form of thera...

15-06-18 Two's company, is three a crowdTwo's company, is three a crowd? Including intimate others in sessions of individual CAT Presented by Alison Jenaway and Rajshree Weston #ACAT2318 Overview of the workshop: To consider the different ways of including intimate others in ind...

14-09-18 Two Day Introduction to CAT#ACATintro918 ACAT Introduction to Cognitive Analytic Therapy A two-day introduction to the skills and concepts in practice This highly-rated, short course is offered by ACAT for people new to the CAT way of working Friday, 14th and Saturday, 15t...

Please help us by completing our NEW visitor survey... it will only take 5 minutes. Thanks!