Wendy Behary, MSW, LCSW

Co-parenting with a Narcissist: Effective Strategies for Professionals Working with Families in Crisis

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Interactive Online Workshop

A recording of the workshop will be available for 30 days after the workshop.

Workshop Description

Whether you are working with the offended co-parent, the narcissistic co-parent, or the couple, in your treatment room, there will be unparalleled challenges.  The use of schema therapy, an integrated, science-based approach, offers a robust conceptual framework for navigating the many pitfalls that we inevitably face when dealing with the important issues of co-parenting and the rigidly entrenched traits and coping patterns of the narcissist, and when assisting offended partners in reclaiming a voice for healthy assertiveness.  We, too, will need to enlist a sturdy spine, a mindfully empathic stance, and a formidable toolkit of strategies to successfully mount this Everest of provocation and confrontation.

Co-parenting with a narcissist requires a sturdy sense of self, whether living together or in separate homes. Co-parents will need to avoid spending precious energy enduring temper tantrums, argumentativeness, boundary-breaking violations, and gaslighting. They will need to learn to speak clearly and firmly, enforce boundaries, and set limits. They will need to cultivate and care for the healthiest self to undertake the exhausting “repair work” that ensures their children’s self-esteem, prepares them for a satisfying interpersonal life, fosters a secure attachment to the world, and buoys their confidence as they develop autonomy. 

While there are some differences between co-parenting with the narcissist together in one home and co-parenting from separate homes, in both cases, the offended co-parents will report concerns in the treatment room. The most common of these concerns:

  1. How do I protect my child from becoming a narcissist? What are the signs?
  2. How do I get my narcissistic co-parent to stop belittling me in front of the children and to stop overriding my decisions?
  3. How do I get my narcissistic co-parent to model safety and healthy distress tolerance, including wearing a seat belt, no drinking and driving, monitoring children’s exposure to inappropriate material, setting limits on screen time and unhealthy foods, patiently waiting their turn in line, and being respectful toward people assisting them?
  4. How do I get my narcissistic co-parent to ease up on the expectations and demands he/she places on the children, including the constant need for perfection and the degrading critical or cold-shouldered responses given when the children do not meet high expectations?
  5. How do I handle my narcissistic co-parent bad-mouthing me to my children when I’m not present? My children reluctantly share this with me, fearing repercussions.
  6. How do I deal with the barrage of threats that I will “lose access to my children, “lose support,” or “lose my children’s love” if I don’t fall in line with my narcissistic co-parent’s demands?
  7. How do I get my narcissistic co-parent to engage more lovingly, patiently, playfully, emotionally with the children—to be present, empathize with their feelings, and express acceptance?
  8. How might I encourage my narcissistic co-parent to get professional parenting help, allow the children to receive therapy, or enter family therapy?
  9. How do I explain narcissism to my children? Is this even a good idea?
  10. How do I care for myself amid these challenges?

    Meet Wendy

    Wendy Behary is the author of “Disarming the Narcissist: Surviving and Thriving with the Self-Absorbed” Third Edition (New Harbinger 2021) which has been translated in over 10 languages.

    Wendy has a specialty in treating narcissists and the people who live with and deal with them. Wendy Behary has co-authored several chapters and articles on Schema Therapy and Cognitive Therapy. She lectures both nationally and internationally to professional and general audiences on schema therapy, and the subject of narcissism, relationships, anger, and dealing with difficult people. Her work has included speaking with engagements focused on interpersonal conflict resolution.

    With over 25 years of post-graduate training and advanced level certifications, Wendy Behary is the founder and director of the Cognitive Therapy Center of New Jersey and co-director (with Dr. Jeremy Young) of the New Jersey-New York City Schema Therapy Institutes. She is a Founding Fellow and consulting supervisor for the Academy of Cognitive Therapy (Aaron T. Beck Institute). Ms. Behary served as the President of the Executive Board of the International Society of Schema Therapy (ISST) from 2010-2014 and is currently the chairperson for the Schema Therapy Development Programs Committee of the ISST.

    Her private practice is primarily devoted to treating narcissists, partners/people dealing with them, parenting issues, 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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    • To be eligible for group rate, all 3 registrations must be registered at the same time, and paid with one cheque or credit card number.
    • For student rate, a valid full-time student ID must be presented.
    • Above includes payment by credit card and cheque. Other payment methods.
    • Certificate of Participation will be given at the end of the workshop.

    Learning Objectives

    1. Understand the makeup, origins, and evolution of narcissism and NPD
    2. Conceptualize narcissism in schema therapy terms
    3. Anticipate and Recuperate from personal triggers
    4. Learn strategies to support the co-parent of the narcissist to confront and cope with the narcissistic individual’s demanding, dismissing and controlling behaviours.
    5. Practice strategies to keep a sturdy posture and healthy adult mode in the room, necessary for achieving effective outcomes

    Who Should Attend

    This conference is for:

    • Lawyers 
    • Judges
    • Mediators/Arbitrators
    • Family Consultants
    • Custody Evaluators
    • Counsellors and Therapists
    • Social workers
    • Psychologists
    • Psychiatrists
    • Chaplains
    • School Counsellors
    • Youth workers
    • Police
    • Case Managers
    • Others who work with high conflict families
    • Other Professionals in the Human Service Sector


    CCPA accreditation for MAGentix's workshops
    CCPA      Pending 6 CEU CACCF   Pending 6 CEU

    Participation in this workshop allows OAMHP members to apply Pending 6 hours (CECs) towards their required continuing education hours. OAMHP does not endorse this training or the training provider.