One of the classic and original books about personality disorders was written by author and counselor, Eleanor Payson. The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists was ahead of its time. We are enjoying the resurgence in its popularity as the topic of Narcissism is no longer taboo subject matter.
Join us for an in-depth chat with Eleanor on Mental Health News Radio.
Questions for Eleanor on the show:
Why did you write your book? What did you like about the Wizard of Oz story that you titled your book after it?
How do you define narcissism to someone when they ask? What’s the difference between “normal narcissism” and unhealthy narcissism?
What is the difference between having narcissistic traits and the narcissistic personality disorder? What symptoms would we see in a person who has the full disorder? What is the origin?
Can the NPD individual get better? If so, how and what kind of treatment?
What does it mean for the person involved with a narcissist to “lose a sense of self” in these relationships?
Why is it that we might only see the deeper problem/or disorder once we are more “invested” in the relationship or significantly closer?
Why do we tend to call this person “codependent,” and what does that mean? Could a perfectly healthy person get involved with a narcissist and experience damage to their sense of self? If so, why?
What kind of treatment do you recommend for individuals or codependent’s who are stuck in these relationships or trying to heal from the fallout of a relationship with a narcissist?
Have you found that a lucid explanation of personality disorders helps in the therapeutic process? How can accurate knowledge about personality disorders act as a preventative measure against the negative influences of interactions with narcissists?
What is involved in healing for the codependent?
You also run groups for people who are healing from the challenges of involvement with severely narcissistic individuals or narcissists. How do you think these help?
Do you see a more general understanding of personality disorders occurring? How do you see that happening?
Eleanor Payson is a licensed marital and family therapist, receiving her Masters in Social Work from the University of Michigan in 1983. For nearly thirty years she has practiced psychotherapy with individuals, couples, and families. She has continued her education on issues ranging from: chemical dependency and codependency, narcissism and borderline personality disorders, relationship therapy, and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
Eleanor’s commitment to treating issues related to codependency and narcissistic wounding led her to help people in codependent relationships with narcissistic individuals. Her book, The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists: Coping with the One-Way Relationship in Work, Love, and Family, provides new insight and help for the everyday person who is struggling with the many confusing and painful challenges that occur when in relationship with someone who has strong narcissistic traits or a narcissistic personality disorder. She also conducts regular seminars for codependents in these relationships as well as seminars teaching assertiveness skills.