My influences, experiences and skills are derived from a number of quarters: 25 years married to a woman whose behaviour seems very consistent with NPD – convincing and manipulative, she succeeded in fooling three out of four professional psychologists and continues to refuse a formal diagnosis. I have spent three years studying NPD – for my benefit and that of my teenage children. I continue to battle Parental Alienation and generally have two out of three kids onside at any one time. My route to get here is unusual, however.
Sandhurst and the Military
I started my working career as an officer in the British Army. Sandhurst-educated, I served as a Troop Commander in The Queen’s Gurkha Engineers – part of the Royal Enginners, but commanding soldiers recruited from the Nepalese Himalaya. My army career culminated in an operational tour in Bosnia – an interesting time as I, a mildly Christian officer commanding Hindu soldiers, sought to forge some peace between Catholic and Muslim Bosnians. Tact and diplomacy across cultural boundaries, steering tricky lines around deeply-felt sensitivities in a war-zone ravaged by the most unspeakable acts of cruelty, have equipped me with skills that have served me well throughout my career since. But my skills in confidence-building were forged earlier still – at university, where I was an adventure training instructor in my free time.
On leaving the forces I undertook an MBA specialising in International Business Strategy at Cass Business School, prior to embarking on a career as a management consultant between London and New York, specialising in eBusiness, for a number of years in the run-up to 9/11. My clients ranged from blue chip corporates that included NatWest Bank, Reuters and Boots Healthcare International, to smaller family-run outfits. The 9/11 attack changed the world in general, and mine in particular, prompting a move to SW France that was originally conceived as a sabbatical to escape the rat-race and establish a family. I started a real-estate business selling and hiring out prestige chateaux, representing both Knight Frank and Savills over a 12 year period.
Counselling & Therapists
Throughout this period, strains in my marriage became increasingly evident. Three separate courses of sessions with different marriage-guidance counsellors & psychologists failed to spot the underlying cause of our troubles. A fourth, after I myself had stumbled across Narcissistic Personality Disorder as the likely cause, was wrong to the point of being positively dangerous – demonstrating the much-quoted premise that even psychologists don’t understand NPD – to do so, one really has to experience it first hand and survive.
More than this, I believe that a therapist’s training and code of conduct actually prevent a therapist / counsellor from providing the sort of support that NPD victims require.
As a consequence I have adopted a style that differentiates me from other therapists – mine is not to do lots of listening and asking how you feel. It is more action-orientated – getting to the root of the problem, providing you with the insight and tools to deal with it, identifying childhood vulnerabilities that rendering you susceptible to narcissistic abuse, and then establishing a new direction of travel – rebuilding self-esteem, drive, ambition, confidence, and joy.
Whilst conventional wisdom might work in most situations, it doesn’t in many cases of NPD – and I provide a more assertive style the isn’t shy about challenging it. All-in-all, neither the background or style you will see with other professional therapists – nor the range of benefits.
I continue to live between SW France and London.
I have been campaigning to raise awareness of Narcissistic Personality Disorder through a variety of media, notably Quora, FaceBook and Instagram. I have built and maintain the information website narcopath.info and am currently writing a series of books on NPD.
In addition to my Engineering degree and MBA, I have diplomas in Psychology, Life Coaching and Mindfulness.
Might my style suit you? Let’s have a chat and find out….
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