Working with Your Most Challenging Couples: Anger, Narcissism and Countertransference



Narcissistic clients can be your most challenging clients.

This seminar shows therapists and treatment providers interventions and strategies to work with some of their most challenging issues in couples therapy: anger and narcissism. Wendy Behary, the author of Disarming the Narcissist is an expert in treating the defenses and creating leverage to avoid power struggles in the treatment of couples where our own countertransference is triggered.

Download the teleseminar and listen at your convenience

Taught by: Dr. Tammy Nelson and Wendy Behary, LCSW

Designed for:  Psychotherapists, counselors, and therapists interested in narcissism.

Course includes:   A three-part recorded teleclass and reading material. Each part is one hour in length.

3 AASECT CEs** Available in these Core Knowledge Areas (CKAs):

Sex Education: N

Sex Therapy: A, E, F

Certified Sex and Couples Therapist (CSCT): Category 2a, 2b, 2c, 2d

You must complete a Feedback Form and pass a short quiz at the conclusion of the course to get CE credit. Please email your Feedback Form and quiz to

This course offers therapists and providers insight into helping clients understand how narcissism in a partner can create emotional and behavioral patterns. We will show how to use cognitive restructuring, re-parenting work, attachment, and behavioral skills training. Through experiential techniques, you learn how to assess hot buttons and manage triggered reactions like aggression and anger toward the partner in the session and at home.

Practitioners will gain an understanding of coping styles that manifest as bravado, mask inadequacy, intolerable shame, sadness, and loneliness. This understanding allows you to set limits with your narcissistic client and create new treatment goals along with a new insight into your own feelings about the treatment and how to manage and empower yourself as the provider.

There will be information for practitioners at all levels of interest.

In this workshop, we will develop strategies for working with couple clients where narcissism impacts clients and therapists. Each teleclass session will integrate questions and cases from participants.

Agenda to cover throughout the course:

  • Origins of Narcissism and Treatment
  • Effects of Narcissism in the Sexual Relationship
  • Overcoming Challenges in Treatment of Anger and Narcissism
  • Interventions and Strategies for Change
  • Countertransference
  • Sexual Empathy
  • Feedback and questions


During this course: 

  • Participants will demonstrate specific clinical strategies to apply with narcissistic clients and anger.
  • Participants will use interventions to bypass personal countertransference triggers activated by the narcissist.
  • Participants will demonstrate strategies to create new forms of intimacy and sexual connection as an agent for change, learning behaviors from the treatment room.
  • Participants will define couples dysfunctional communication styles and at least one intervention for creating new forms of connection and non-pathological assessment and therapeutic treatment.
  • Participants will identify at least two treatment interventions that directly impact the couples erotic function and focus on strength-based approaches to relationship interaction and behavioral changes.


Meet your instructors:


i-FKjNMdQ-MDr. Tammy Nelson is the author of several books including The New Monogamy (2012), Getting the Sex You Want (2008), and What’s Eating You (2004). Her memoir Naked TherapistTM is currently under negotiation.

She has been a featured expert in New York Times, Self, Washington Post, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Redbook, MSNBC, Healthy Life Magazine, Shape, Men’s Health, Men’s Health UK, Woman’s Day, Women’s Health, Twist Magazine, and a source in Time Magazine. She writes for the Psychotherapy Networker and Huffington Post, YourTango, ThirdAge, and many other blogs. She can be followed on her own blog:


Wendy Behary, LCSWWendy Behary, LCSW is the founder and director of The Cognitive Therapy Center of New Jersey and The New Jersey Institute for Schema Therapy.  Wendy is a distinguished founding fellow (and supervisor) of The Academy of Cognitive Therapy (Dr. Aaron T. Beck). She was also the President of the International Society of Schema Therapy (ISST) from 2010-2014.

Wendy Behary has co-authored several chapters and articles on schema therapy and cognitive therapy. She is the author of (New Harbinger Publications – 2008 & 2013): “Disarming the Narcissist…Surviving and Thriving with the Self-Absorbed.” Her private practice is primarily devoted to treating narcissists, partners/people dealing with them, and couples experiencing relationship problems. She is also an expert in coaching individuals in interviewing, public speaking, and interpersonal skills enhancement.

**This program meets the educational requirements of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) and is approved for 3 CE credits – asynchronous. These CE credits may be applied toward AASECT certification and renewal of certification. Completion of this program does not ensure or guarantee AASECT certification. For further information please contact or go to  Please contact your local certifying organization for detailed information on courses they accept for CEs.