This keynote will be about a hypothetical explanation for the narcissistic cognitive and emotional schemas - high standards, status seeking, entitlement and insufficient self discipline. Our recent study (in review) showed that these personality triads are clustered around a need that can be called “an excessive need for freedom”. They try to fulfill this need by gaining all the necessary assets like high standards and status or even at a more childish level, by feeling entitled to act on impulses.
Our hypothetical explanation for this need will be about a fear of commonness. Like most of the anxiety disorders with a fear of catastrophe in many areas of life, the excessive need for freedom can be a coping strategy against a forgotten catastrophe: being enslaved.
Using this rationalisation with our narcissistic clients helps us to build a therapeutic collaboration. Instead of fighting against the need, we are concentrating on the catastrophic perception of normal life situations as being forced to have a life without pleasure.