Shame is the invisible, unacknowledged driver of narcissism which the culture at large avoids.
Narcissism is a very misunderstood concept. The term is usually associated with a person who is overly confident, self-centered, and mean-spirited. Yet underneath the surface is an individual with deep-seated feelings of unworthiness and insecurity.
Our work is dedicated to the treatment of narcissistic injury: not as a diagnosis, but as a universal condition. Everyone has experienced a lack of confidence, fear of rejection, or disappointment that triggers a loss optimism coupled with feelings of defensiveness and anger.
We are a culture that increasingly rewards the notion of perfectionism, not authenticity. This actually encourages narcissistic tendencies. Our mission, our philosophy, and our treatment model seeks to correct this imbalance.
At the core of all narcissistically-driven over-compensations is an underlying feeling of shame.
The term narcissism has come into vogue in the popular press, of late, and it is generally used as a term of derision to describe individuals who had once achieved some degree of fame, fortune, or power, only to be exposed for an indiscretion that ruined their career or tarnished their reputation. Hero, leader, athlete, politician – far too many to mention, end up suffering a fall from grace, and one of the ways popular media finds to explain these repeated falls from grace is to label the individual as narcissistic.
The general public has come to identify the narcissist as someone who is grandiose, self-absorbed, so self-serving, and entitled, that they don’t believe that “the rules should apply to them”. Although this is partially an accurate description of some narcissistic traits, from a clinical vantage point, what comprises the constellation of narcissistic dynamics is far more complex.
BOOKS AND MEDIA
LISTENING WITH PURPOSE
Listening with Purpose is a clinical treatment manual for seasoned practitioners, post-doctoral training institutes, graduate students, and psychiatric residents who are interested in advancing their skills in therapeutic listening and psychodynamic interventions.
UNCOVERING THE RESILIENT CORE
Uncovering the Resilient Core provides a comprehensive and inclusive methodology that guides the therapist into the nuances and complexities of the therapeutic relationship throughout the entire course of treatment.
VIDEO SERIES: HIDING BEHIND THE MASK
This online video series, featuring Dr. Gianotti and Bishop Rob Hirschfeld of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire, focuses on the connection between narcissism and the underlying feelings of shame that often drive narcissistic behaviors.
DR. PATRICIA GIANOTTI
Patricia Gianotti, Psy.D., is a licensed psychologist, clinical supervisor, and a founding member and managing partner with Woodland Professional Associates, a group private practice in North Hampton, NH. Dr. Gianotti is a seasoned lecturer and facilitator and has taught at Washington University and the University of New Hampshire. She has presented at various professional conferences, including Division 39 of the APA. Her most recent publication appeared in The American Journal of Psychoanalysis. She lives in North Hampton, NH with her husband, Stephen.