Shirah Vollmer MD

The Musings of Dr. Vollmer

Archive for December 12th, 2011

Narcissistic Obstacle

Posted by Dr. Vollmer on December 12, 2011

   Jamie, sixty-one, wants special treatment. I suppose one could say, we all went special treatment. It makes us feel good, and it reminds us of our childhood, when we were the center of attention. Giving up that demand for special treatment is a maturing process. It may also be genetically mediated in that I imagine that certain people are born to be more thoughtful of others. Jamie’s desire for special treatment is manifested in my cancellation policy, forty-eight hours notice. He believes that for him, it should be twenty-four hours notice because he has trouble planning his life, such that he is more vulnerable to calendar issues than other people. As such, I should be, according to him, “more understanding” and change my policy just for him. After all, individual psychotherapy, is individual, and I am able to cater to special needs. On the other hand, the desire to have special treatment, may come from a deep-seated personality issue in which Jamie fears he is ordinary, and as such, he needs special treatment in order to feel some self-esteem. If this is the case, which seems likely to me, then I need to help Jamie understand his need for special treatment. Granted, I could do both. I could change my cancellation policy just for him and help him to see the underlying dynamics behind this request. However, by not granting him special treatment, I then see how he responds to limits and what these limits mean to him. It is a tough call. For now, I am going to keep my policy. It is going to be a bumpy road.

Posted in Narcissism, Psychotherapy | 2 Comments »

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