My name is Sam Vaknin. I am the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited, and other books about personality disorders.
I have spent the past few years developing a new treatment modality, a new therapy. It is geared and intended to treat mainly people with close-to-be personality disorders, with emphasis on narcissists, and cytopus, people who have been diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder.
It seems to be effective with both these personality disorders as well as with certain types of mood disorders, especially extended dysthymia and major depressive episodes.
I dubbed this new treatment modality "cold therapy". Cold as opposed to warm or hot. Cold therapy is built upon one observation and one major technique.
The observation is that it is a mistake to try to treat narcissists and to a lesser extent, cytopus, as adults. It is a mistake to use tools and instruments from the arsenal of therapies which are geared to deal mainly with adults, most notably cognitive behavioral therapy.
Both narcissists, and again to a lesser extent, cytopus, are the outcome of dysfunctional attachment. Attachment disorder, problems with early childhood attachment owing to early childhood abuse, a type of trauma, or the violation and breaching of the child's emerging boundaries as an individual by the parents.
So we are talking about situations of arrested development. Narcissists are children, psychodynamically speaking.
Because they are children, cold therapy makes use of tools and instruments, techniques and tactics which are common in child psychology rather than adult psychology.
So this is the first observation.
Now the technique at the core of cold therapy is that cold therapy seeks to recreate, regenerate, rebuild or reboot the environment conducive to the replication of original childhood traumas.
In other words, cold therapy is about re-traumatization. It is intended to allow the client to resolve early childhood conflicts, to cope with early childhood pain, and in a way to reverse the pernicious outcomes of early childhood abuse and trauma by going through the very same experiences again as an adult.
As an adult, the client or the patient is much better equipped to deal with many of the issues which when he was a child looked insurmountable.
And so re-traumatization is at the core of cold therapy.
But to re-traumatize, we should create an environment which is not a holding environment, not a safe environment, not an empathic emotion-filled, warm, welcoming environment.
Because in these kinds of environments, safe and authentic holding environments, it is not possible to genuinely experience traumas except perhaps on the abstract intellectual level.
But re-traumatization, and especially cold therapy re-traumatization, has to be emotional, has to be deep, has to be all pervasive, has to affect the client exactly as it had affected him when he was a child.
So we need to create a similar environment which is essentially hostile, dangerous, frightening, ominous, cold therapy. It's a cold environment, a cold space where the client enters a nose and anticipates trauma and abuse.
Only he is given the tools or already possesses the tools as an adult to cope with these issues, resolve the conflicts, and emerge the other end of the cold therapy space. Healed, changed, if not unscared.
So these are the core concepts of cold therapy.
Now, I'm going to have the first ever certification seminar for cold therapy in Vienna sometime around April or May.
If you as a therapist, psychologist, mental health practitioner, if you are interested to attend, please write to me.
Go down to the description under the video where you will find relevant links and email addresses where you can register with me.
At this stage, no payment is required, just an expression of interest. You will be put on a mailing list and we will keep you updated with the progress of the certification seminar. The seminar will be held, as I said, in Vienna, Austria. It will be held for a period of three days. The duration is three days. And at the end of which, we will be providing the first certificates, cold therapy certificates.
But perhaps even more importantly, the idea is to create a cold therapy institute where early childhood trauma and abuse will be studied as the antecedents and leading to certain personality disorders.
In other words, the perception is that narcissistic personality disorder, for example, is a post-traumatic condition.
So the emphasis in the institute will be on studying trauma and its outcomes, one of which, or the major one, is narcissism, pathological narcissism.
At any rate, all the participants in the first certification seminar will be given a single share in the cold therapy institute and in effect will have become the founders of this institute as it grows and expands, hopefully, as work is done, studies conducted and published, probably.
These people, the first ones to have attended the certification seminar in Vienna, these founders of the institute will, of course, grow with the institute.
And that's the idea. The idea is to make all of you stakeholders interested stakeholders, stakeholders who will both contribute to the growth of the cold therapy, shall we say, movement on the one hand, and on the other hand, benefit from it.
Now, as I said, the workshop or the seminar, the cold therapy certification seminar, is comprised of three days.
In the first day, we will discuss narcissistic personality disorder more generally, topology of personality disorder, comorbidity of personality disorder, and we will discuss other treatment modalities which try valiantly to cope with narcissists in a therapeutic setting. And we will also try to dissect and understand why the overwhelming majority of treatment modalities and therapies fail miserably in affecting any long term substantial change in the narcissistic patient.
And then, at the end of the first day, we will have acquired a good overview, I hope, of narcissistic personality disorder. And then we will discuss presenting signs and symptoms, problems with the clinical interview, the intake interview, as the narcissist attends therapy.
However, rarely, diagnosis, prognosis, problems with psychological tests and the interpretation of such tests, narcissistic defenses and narcissistic resistances in the therapeutic setting, possibility of alliencing or contracting with a narcissistic patient, and then setting realistic therapy goals, very specifically.
Then, the second day, we will focus on the therapist.
So, the first day is focused on the patient, second day on the client, and the second day is focused on the therapist.
Issues of idealization and evaluation cycles to which the therapist is subjected by the narcissistic patient, coping with transference and countertransference. The therapist owns narcissistic defenses provoked by the patient, co-optation and collusion with the patient, andof course, the therapist's victim, which they often end up being when they deal with narcissistic patients.
Having finalized or finished the overview, we will begin to tackle the rudiments or the path leading to co-optherapy, how to leverage the false self-defense mechanisms and the narcissist's grandiosity for therapeutic goals, how to tackle cognitive deficits, thinking errors and the narcissist's victim stance, the role of medication and placebos in therapy, how to deal with confrontation with the persecutory delusions, with narcissistic rage, narcissistic shame, and so on.
And then, on the second day, second part of the second day, we begin to study co-optherapy, co-optherapy techniques.
So, the hostile comfort zone, grandiosity reframing, guided imagery, negativity ratio, erasure, happiness manner, mirroring.
I'm just taking off the various techniques which are exclusive to co-optherapy. They don't exist in any other treatment modality of therapy.
These 25 techniques have been developed especially for co-optherapy, and some of them have proven to be pretty powerful.
Escalation, roleplay, co-optherapy type roleplay, assimilative contribulation, hypervigilant referencing, reparenting, other scoring, and so on and so forth.
This is the second thing.
On the third day, we will simulate co-optherapy sessions and simulate co-optherapy supervision. And we will use advanced techniques such as de-ignification to introduce the participants in the seminar to the unique aspects of co-optherapy and the unprecedented environment that it seeks to create in the therapeutic setting or space, and the possible reactions of narcissistic patients and psychopathic patients to the various techniques that we have enumerated before.
At the end of these three days, you receive certificates and your founding share in the Institute of Co-optherapy.
I hope to see you all there.
Co-optherapy is a totally new, totally innovative approach to dealing with narcissistic character disturbances, narcissistic personality dimensions and disorders.
It has the potential to revolutionize the field of treating narcissists by inducing real and long-lasting healing.
It is less effective with psychopaths, but definitely much more effective than anything I know of.
And it is surprisingly and totally unexpectedly very effective with more disorders, especially depressive disorders.
So there's a lot to learn, a lot to apply and implement.
And we will all be pioneers in a sense.
We all don't know enough about co-optherapy and about reactions to co-optherapy of both clients and practitioners.
We are all here to learn together.
I will introduce you to the fundamentals, but the rest of the path, the rest of the trajectory and the route is yours.
Looking forward to meeting all of you in Vienna, Austria, in April or May.
Again, to register, go to the description under this video and use either the link or my email address to write to me so that I can put your name on a mailing list and update you as things progress.
Thank you for your patience and thank you for your interest.