Fear and decision-making in narcissistic personality disorder—a link between psychoanalysis and neuroscience

Linking psychoanalytic studies with neuroscience has proven increasingly productive for identifying and understanding personality functioning. This article focuses on pathological narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), with the aim of exploring two clinically relevant aspects of narcissistic functioning also recognized in psychoanalysis: fear and decision-making. Evidence from neuroscientific studies of related conditions, such as psychopathy, suggests links between affective and cognitive functioning that can influence the sense of self-agency and narcissistic self-regulation. Attention can play a crucial role in moderating fear and self-regulatory deficits, and the interaction between experience and emotion can be central for decision-making. In this review we will explore fear as a motivating factor in narcissistic personality functioning, and the impact fear may have on decision-making in people with pathological narcissism and NPD. Understanding the processes and neurological underpinnings of fear and decision-making can potentially influence both the diagnosis and treatment of NPD.


What Will My Grandchild Remember?

When we think about what we leave behind as grandparents, we hope we will have transmitted lessons about kindness, justice, strength and confidence, the boundless nature of love.

Psychologists I’ve been talking to about kids and “autobiographical memory” — the recall of specific events of personal relevance — tell me that we retain very little of what happened before we turn 3. Childhood amnesia, Freud called it.

“Young children form memories early in life,” explained Patricia Bauer, a cognitive developmental psychologist at Emory University. “But they forget them so quickly, more quickly than adults, that they don’t hold onto them.”

When we think about legacy, what we leave behind as grandparents, probably values top the list: We hope we will have transmitted lessons about kindness, justice, strength and confidence, the boundless nature of love.

Continue reading “What Will My Grandchild Remember?”

‘My in-laws are toxic and my children are suffering’

“It will poison their relationship”

The internet were quick to speak out for the children, caught in the middle of this horrible situation.

“Your kids are old enough that they’ll have a say in whatever custody arrangements get finalised in your divorce, and what you’ve described here sounds like emotional abuse AND parental alienation, which judges don’t really like,” replied one person, suggesting the dad look at spending time with his children away from his family.

They also added, “If your kids have to be mistreated to see their Dad, it will poison their relationship with him no matter how great a parent he is individually.” Continue reading “‘My in-laws are toxic and my children are suffering’”

Mind Control : S.M.A.R.T.’s Ritual Abuse Pages

For survivors, I think the important thing is to realize when these techniques are being used on us. To fight the second suggestion and not follow it blindly. This may entail leaving the area immediately and going to a safe spot. Online this may mean reading certain E-mails with support people present. And to avoid those that may use these suggestions on us whenever possible. Learning how to develop safe
support systems and safe resources can help with this. I believe it is dangerous to believe that we can’t be MC’ed.

Guilt may also be used as a technique, especially on survivors. Making people feel like they haven’t done enough for a particular group or organization, asking people to do things without considering all sides of the issue or their own needs.

Neediness can also be used. Survivors may be looking for approval, acceptance and a place to discuss their feelings. So they may not be able to critically decide what support systems may be the safest for them. Groups will first be very nice or overly nice to them (love bombing), but this will often disappear later and emotional manipulation and threats or guilt may be used to try to cause the desired behavior. Abusers will often apologize after their behavior, but I believe a sincere apology would be to try and change the behavior.

Continue reading “Mind Control : S.M.A.R.T.’s Ritual Abuse Pages”

CLOSING: Research into Parental Alienation | Overcoming Parental Alienation


Professional views of mental health and legal professionals relating to the divorcing family and parenting plans

The concept of parenting plans is included in section 33 of the Children’s Act 38 of 2005 and emphasis is placed on professionals that should assist the divorcing family to structure parenting plans when going through a divorce, before seeking the intervention of a court. The appointment of professionals is made to structure parenting plans for divorcing families to construct their lives post-divorce. This paper focuses on the views of mental health professionals (social workers and psychologists) and legal professionals (attorneys and family advocates) (hereafter professionals) about the divorcing family and parenting plans.

Continue reading “Professional views of mental health and legal professionals relating to the divorcing family and parenting plans”

Quantifying the Degree of Interparental Conflict – the Spectrum Between Conflict and Forms of Maltreatment and Abuse

Interparental conflict is detrimental to the development of children. Only few methods for quantifying the degree of interparental conflict exist and this produces controversies about what is detrimental to child well-being and what is not. This is particularly critical in cases where there is a form of child abuse or maltreatment that cannot be diagnosed because of the lack of standards or criteria. The present study describes a method for quantifying the degree of interparental conflict on the basis of a generalizable measure which is scalable, robust, and reproducible. The method is developed on the data basis of a survey study, in which 1146 parents reported 46,720 items on the topic of hostile-aggressive parenting. The algorithm can estimate the degree of child abuse and child maltreatment which is particularly relevant for assessments of non-sexual forms of child maltreatment or abuse. The present methodology differs from classical psychometric approaches and available instruments in that its application yields the practically interpretable measure of a ‘loss of child well-being’ and that this measure can be dynamically adapted to child welfare standards changing in a society over the years. The approach identifies criteria which family courts or child welfare agencies should use for assessing interparental conflicts in a standardized and reproducible manner.

Continue reading “Quantifying the Degree of Interparental Conflict – the Spectrum Between Conflict and Forms of Maltreatment and Abuse”

Parentification and Language Brokering

Researchers have argued parentification and language brokering experienced in childhood are similar in nature and may have the same deleterious effects on mental health outcomes in adulthood, although there is a dearth of empirical research examining this contention. To address this gap in the literature, parentification was analyzed multidimensionally with subscales for parent-focused parentification, sibling-focused parentification, instrumental parentification, emotional parentification, and perceived unfairness in a nonclinical sample of adults (N = 1,796; Mage = 21.23, SD = 5.25). Overall, we found all parentification scores—with the exception of sibling-focused parentification—to be predictive of mental health outcomes (i.e., depressive, anxiety, and somatic symptoms as well as overall psychological distress). Language brokering showed similar results but to a lesser degree, suggesting parentification had a stronger association with mental health. We also found significant gender differences pointing toward higher levels of parentification and language brokering in male participants. Implications for research and practice are discussed.

Continue reading “Parentification and Language Brokering”

Adult report of childhood exposure to parental alienation at different developmental time periods

The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between exposure to Parental Alienation (PA) at different developmental time periods and psychological maltreatment. Three hundred and sixty‐one adults in Chieti, Italy completed an anonymous and confidential paper and pencil survey regarding their childhood exposure to twenty PA behaviours across three developmental time periods as well as a measure of psychological maltreatment by each parent. Results revealed that exposure to PA at each time period was significantly associated with psychological maltreatment. Moreover, the number of time periods of exposure to PA (from 0 to 3) was associated with psychological maltreatment. This was true for PA by mothers and PA by fathers. Implications for policy and practice are discussed.

Practitioner points

  • Mental health professionals can use the results of this study to guide their intervention efforts
  • Co‐parenting educators can incorporate these results into their routine efforts to help parents be aware of PA and its effects
  • Targeted parents can use these findings to make the case for timely legal and mental health interventions

A Long Goodbye

Dear Mikey, I apologise if my last letter appeared to be addressed more to Mamma and me than it was to you. That happens with writing sometimes. I have a destination in mind at the beginning, only …

Source: A Long Goodbye